[Skip to Content]

Play tourist and fall in love with the Chicago Loop all over again

Posted  12 months ago  in  Trending, Loop List, Things to Do

4 MIN READ – Fall in love with your city all over again with this guide from the locals. Whether you want to sit back and relax or go on many active adventures, in the Chicago Loop, the possibilities are endless.

Eat and Play

Reinvent Chicago with a culture-filled day downtown by starting with a unique tea service at Russian Tea Time. Enjoy savory and sweet bites influenced by traditions and cultures from different Eastern European and Central Asian countries. Combine this with a wide selection of green, black, herbal, and decaffeinated teas and your day is already off to a great start! Then walk a few blocks over to Millennium Park and Maggie Daley Park for some fun in the sun! 

Take advantage of the weather and go to Maggie Daley Park. Keep yourself and the kids busy all day with activities like mini golf, wall climbing, and scooter and rollerblade rentals. Treat yourself to hot dogs and ice cream for the ultimate day out.

Tour the Auditorium Theatre 

The Auditorium Theatre was designed by renowned architects Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler and opened in 1889. In 1975 it was declared a National Historic Landmark, and you can now tour the space in person with expert guides. Historic Tours teach attendees how and why the theatre was built; share stories of the many artists who have performed on the historic stage; and provide a closer look at the architecture. Focus on the brilliant 24-karat gold-leafed ceiling arches, hundreds of Sullivan’s elegantly restored, intricate stencil patterns, the stained glass muses at the entrance, and murals by Charles Holloway and Albert Fleury. Learn more and purchase tickets here.


Want to capture the perfect view of Chicago? Why not start your morning off with the Capture Chicago Photography Cruise aboard Chicago's First Lady Cruises? It's the perfect way to get Instagram-worthy photos or to just admire Chicago’s beauty in the early morning light. The tour will pause three times to give you prime opportunities to capture that perfect shot! Departing at 9 a.m. Summer Saturdays May 28 through October 10. Tickets and more information available here.

Visit Museums

Pritzker Military Museum & Library

Explore the Pritzker Military Museum & Library’s new exhibit, Life Behind the Wire: Prisoners of War. What happens when a soldier, sailor, airman, or marine is captured during war? How do they cope with the physical and mental toll of prison life? Focusing on POWs from WWII and the Vietnam War, Life Behind the Wire draws from the PMML collection, along with never-before-seen prisoner of war materials on loan to the museum for a detailed examination of life in a prisoner of war camp. Tour the exhibit today to discover the perseverance of the citizen soldier when faced with these insurmountable odds.  

Medieval Torture Museum

Step out of the heat with a chilling look into the darker side of history! Open until 9 p.m. Monday - Thursday, and until 10 p.m. on weekends, the Medieval Torture Museum’s self-guided tours take around an hour to complete. The story-based audio guide accompanies visitors through the Museum’s eight rooms, which feature lifelike dioramas and over 100 different torture implements on display. The quick turnaround makes it the perfect destination to fit in some summer spooks before catching a show at the Chicago Theatre, or on your way back from shopping and dinner nearby. For maximum scares, be sure to stop by after dark, and try out the Museum’s ghost-hunting experience!

Art Institute of Chicago

Wander through the Art Institute and see historical pieces as well as contemporary works in the modern wing. Get lost in the work of post-impressionist artist, Paul Cezanne (French, 1839–1906) in the museum's latest exhibition.

Museum of Illusions Chicago

Be amused by the world of illusions where you can truly experience the impossible. Illusions allow us to see things differently, and they expose a lot about how the brain interprets reality. Visit the Museum of Illusions Chicago where nothing is quite as it seems!

Shop ’til you drop

Shop on State Street and beyond with plenty of great retail options throughout the Loop. From apparel to health and beauty, from small businesses to major retailers, the Loop has everything you need. Find stores here.

Night Life

Long week at work? Go out on the weekend with plenty of places to party in the Loop. Take night life to a whole new level at the Loop’s finest rooftop bars with some of the best views in the city. Check out the glamorous ROOF on theWit, a foodie’s paradise at Cindy’s, the classy LondonHouse Rooftop Lounge, breezy I|O Godfrey Rooftop Lounge, modern industrial Raised | An Urban Rooftop, South American flavor at Boleo, and the cool and laidback AIRE.

Or stay more down-to-earth with Flight Club Darts. Flight Club is a multi-award-winning venue that offers social darts experience. This dynamic venue has 14 playing areas, called Oches, two bars, and a restaurant. Flight Club provides a unique social gaming experience, with multi-player games in semi-private playing areas. In addition to the fun and games in this venue, there is a great atmosphere, a bar serving specialty cocktails, and delicious food. Flight Club has enhanced a typical game of darts with technology that allows 6-400 people to play at the same time. If you’re more of a ping pong pro, check out Acebounce. AceBounce is the place to play ping pong and get drinks. The venue is comfortable and exclusive with blacklight ambiance and a cool atmosphere. There is a cocktail bar with a dedicated bartender, three beautiful turned wood models of the original Jaques ping pong tables, and a Games Guru Experience.  

Start your night off with dinner at The Dearborn. Locals love it, and tourists should experience it! The Dearborn is a down-to-earth American tavern, featuring leather booths, subway tiles, vintage-inspired lights, and murals of Chicago's history. The Dearborn dining experience makes everyone feel like part of the family. They offer savory Midwestern fare and drinks. Stop in for their famous Dearborn Burger, one of their innovative cocktails, and a sweet treat. Reservations can be made online here.

Make a staycation of it

Stay in hotels in the Loop for the ultimate staycation. There are so many places to choose from in the heart of Chicago. Hotels offer a luxurious stay or an affordable one. A unique stay or a classic one. A lavish stay or a practical one. No matter what you’re looking for, visit the Loop to find your niche. Explore the best of Loop hotels here