Explore Chicago: Attractions & Events

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While there’s almost never a shortage of things to do in Chicago, the seemingly limitless opportunities for exploration can be overwhelming for some. Whether it’s your first time in Windy City or your fifth, check out the list below to experience just a fraction of the core attractions Chicago offers outside of IMTS.

  • navy wharf – At the edge of Lake Michigan, navy wharf offers beautiful waterfront views of the surrounding Chicago cityscape. Pick up a souvenir at one of the many kiosks, featuring both Chicago locals and national chains. Don’t forget the centenary wheel!
  • Michigan Avenue – Shop for hours on Chicago Thousand magnificent. Between department stores and prestigious boutiques of international designers, there is something for everyone. Pick up a one-of-a-kind piece to stand out, or just get the basics from your favorite retailers.
  • The bean – You have probably seen many photos and videos of people you know posing with the infamous giant, silver bean. Located in Millennium Park, now is your chance to join the masses or expand your collection with a photo of you and The Bean.
  • Lincoln Zoological Park – The fourth oldest zoo in America has free entry. Witness the majesty of the big cats, meet the primates to find your closest living relatives from 60 million years ago, and learn about conservation programs. Also be sure to check nearby Lincoln Park Conservatory while you are in the area.
  • 360 Chicago – Get a Chicago load of 360 Chicago Observation Deck. Located in the former John Hancock Building, the observation deck offers views of the city in every cardinal direction.
  • Chicago Criminal Tours – If you’re a history fan or just want to learn more about Chicago’s dark underbelly, check out Chicago Criminal Tours. Take a round-trip bus tour where you’ll be escorted to various historic crime scenes and learn about Chicago crime bosses like Al Capone.
  • Chicago Cultural Center – Still lacking in history and culture? Admission to Chicago Cultural Center is free. Explore an exhibit about the Great Chicago Fire or take a guided tour of the history of the building itself.
  • Garfield Park Conservatory – Stop and smell the flowers at the Garfield Park Conservatory. Tours of the conservatory are free, but you must make a reservation to guarantee entry.
  • Adler Planetarium – Get out of this world Adler Planetarium. Head to the observatory for a close look at the cosmos or take a tour of the outer reaches of space during a show in the unique domed theatre.
  • Boat trips in Wendella – Get a unique view of the city from a boat trip with Wendella. Admire Chicago’s grand architecture on a guided tour or watch the sunset on a relaxing evening cruise.

Are you extending your stay in Chicago? Looking for something to do outside of the typical tourist activities? There is plenty to see and do for all food lovers, music lovers and weekend vacationers.

Check out the weekend’s other events below:


  • Norwood Park Fall Festival
    • Norwood Park Station: 6088 W. Northwest Highway, Chicago 60631
    • September 16 (5 p.m.-10 p.m.) and September 17 (12 p.m.-10 p.m.)
    • npfallfest.org


  • LIV Golf Invitational Chicago
  • Monster jam


  • Kid Cudi
  • Hoseas
  • Caifanes
  • Morgan Evans
  • The Doobie Brothers


  • Kevin James

  • blue man group

The International Manufacturing Technology Show takes place September 12-17, 2022 at McCormick Place in Chicago. Sign up for IMTS today to start planning your show.

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