Any of you people coming to Chicago for the Agile conference, here are a few of my wife’s and my recommendations for things to do in the the city. Most of these activities are within walking distance of the conference hotel.
Grant Park Museum Campus
1) Natural History Museum
– Excellent museum, with the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex. You will be glad “Sue” is extinct. Lots of interesting exhibits.
2) Adler Planetarium
– if you have never been to a planetarium, go see their sky show. They have a great exhibition of historic astronomy gear also.
3) Shedd Aquarium
– if you like sea life, check it out. They have a dolphin and beluga whale show
4) Chicago Art Institute
Do not bother with the Science Museum. It used to be great and is still at least OK. But it has been dumbed down. It is also rather far from the city center, too.
Grant Park, Buckingham Fountain, Millennium Park
See the big bubble of mercury, LED water sculpture, giant overhead spider web. They have free evening concerts there.
Architectural walking tours
Architectural boat cruises (Wendella, and others)
Nay pier – Giant Ferris wheel, Shakespearean Theater, nice view of the lake.
Are you interested in going to the top of tall buildings?
Walk down Michigan Ave. Expensive shopping and people watching on the Magnificent Mile. The you come to the John Hancock Building. It is the 2nd tallest building in Chicago, but has the best lakefront view. We don’t go to the observatory, we go to the bar one floor below the observatory. Sit in the window, enjoy the view with a beer. Probably costs about the same as the observatory fee, but you get a beer.
Chicago is famous for Jazz and Blues
– The Green Mill, not close but a classic.
– House of blues – close but not so intimate.
Chicago is famous for gangsters in the 1920’s You could probably get a gangster tour.
– Dillinger, Al Capone are famous bad guys.
Just a plane old walk along the lake shore is great too. Bikes and roller-blades are welcome. I bet there is a Segway tour or rental too.
Lincoln park zoo is a nice, in city, free zoo. We always like to watch the sea lions.
Other Chicagoans please weigh in.
I’ll have my wife make some restaurant recommendations.