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Chicago's 58 million domestic and international visitors in 2018 made it the second most visited city in the nation, behind New York City's approximate 65 million visitors. Landmarks in the city include Millennium Park, Navy Pier, the Magnificent Mile, the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum Campus, the Willis (Sears) Tower, Grant Park (Chicago), the Museum of Science and Industry, and Lincoln Park Zoo. Chicago's culture includes the visual arts, literature, film, theater, comedy (especially improvisational comedy), food, and music, particularly jazz, blues, soul, hip-hop, gospel, and electronic dance music including house music. Of the area's many colleges and universities, the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and the University of Illinois at Chicago are classified as "highest research" doctoral universities. Chicago has professional sports teams in each of the major professional leagues, including two Major League Baseball teams.

Museums

  • Museum of Science and Industry, www.msichicago.org the largest science museum in the western hemisphere; more than 14 acres of exhibit space
  • Shedd Aquarium https://www.sheddaquarium.org some 32,000 animals make their home at the Shedd Aquarium. Catch a show and head into the underwater viewing areas for more close-ups. This place is popular. Every day. At almost every time. But the focus on education, conservation, and sustainability underlies it all, making the lines and crowds well worth the hassle.
  • The Field Museum, www.fieldmuseum.org This is a big one. Over 480,000 square feet of exhibition space dedicated to all things natural history.
  • Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, https://mcachicago.org a constant rotation of thought-provoking works and artist retrospectives in the galleries; a cutting-edge mix of dance, music, and theater on the stage; and a menu of seasonal cuisine from a top Chicago chef in the kitchen.
  • Chicago History Museum, http://www.chicagohistory.org a perfect spot for catching up on all the chapters of city history, like the Great Chicago Fire in 1871 and the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893.
  • Art Institute of Chicago, http://www.chicagohistory.org highlights from the museum’s permanent collection include American Gothic, Nighthawks, and A Sunday on La Grande Jatte. The Impressionist and Post-Impressionist collection is a big draw, and in total there are over 300,000 works of art. You can be surrounded by Monets one minute, then turn a corner and come face to face with one of Warhol’s pop art portraits, then look down a hall to find a full-sized Medieval figure on horseback rearing up for battle. Spot the major pieces and big-name artists, or wander the galleries until you get lost. It’s all part of the fun.
  • Adler Planetarium, https://www.adlerplanetarium.org a public museum dedicated to the study of astronomy and astrophysics. It was founded in 1930 by Chicago business leader Max Adler.

Millennium Park

Patrick L. Pyszka_City of ChicagoMillennium Park, it’s hard not to fall in love with Cloud Gate, aka “The Bean.” Forming a glistening archway into Millennium Park, visitors stroll under the monumental structure and gaze inquisitively upon their distorted reflections. No wonder it’s #1 for selfies! The Millennium Park Campus is the epicenter of holiday fun in Chicago with holiday traditions, ice skating, music, exhibitions, nature and fun for the whole family this season. Don't miss the Maggie Daley Park Skating Ribbon, McCormick Tribune Ice Rink, Caroling at Cloud Gate or the 106th Annual City of Chicago Christmas Tree!  This is across the street from the Fairmont Hotel.

https://www.choosechicago.com/blog/post/10-things-you-shouldnt-miss-at-chicagos-millennium-park-campus/

Shopping

Shopping_MichiganAve3Shopping on State StreetMacys and Block 37 are accessible via the pedway.  You can walk underground and avoid the cold! Open Monday through Friday.  Shopping on the Magnificent Mile is a quick cab ride or a short walk (depending on the weather).  The Magnificent Mile is Chicago’s premier commercial district. The vibrant, bustling area is home to upscale shops, luxe fashion outlets, cool restaurants and posh hotels. Landmarks include the historic Chicago Water Tower, the neo-Gothic Tribune Tower, the terracotta Wrigley Building skyscraper and the 100-story John Hancock Center, which has a rooftop observation deck with fine dining and panoramic city views. They have a bar for winter views of the lake indoors where it’s warm!

Inspired by the Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany, which began in 1545, the Christkindlmarket Chicago brings a cherished German and European tradition with international flair and local charm to Chicago. The unique shopping experience, typical German food and drinks, as well as diverse holiday entertainment make the Christkindlmarket Chicago a preferred and popular destination. Daley Plaza is within walking distance of the hotel.

A Holiday One of a Kind Experience -  The 19th annual One of a Kind Holiday Show will return to The Mart December 5-8 with more than 600 talented artists and makers. Enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience while browsing and shopping from a variety of categories of handmade work. The One of a Kind Show & Sale Chicago hosts over 600 artists displaying a wide variety of gift and other kind of items including accessories, ceramics, fiber art, furniture fashion goods, glass, gourmet food, jewelry, metalware, mixed media, paper art, painting, photography tools, toys, sculpture and artworks in wood. This is an amazing event, don’t miss it!  It is about a mile walk or a quick cab ride from the hotel. There are restaurants along the way to stop for coffee, food or shelter from the cold if you decide to walk!

Sweets and Sports

pancakeworld-famous-banana-pudding

Donuts
 

 

 

 

 

 My favorite eateries near the hotel worth investigating! – Featured on Diners, Dives and Drive-ins, Wildberries is around the corner. Cinnamon Roll Pancakes & other big portions of American eats draw hungry folks to this breakfast-lunch cafe. Open daily 6:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Magnolia Bakery is in Block 37. In 1996, Magnolia Bakery opened its first location on a quiet street corner in the heart of New York City’s West Village. From its inception, Magnolia Bakery has been cherished for its classic American baked goods, vintage decor and warm, inviting atmosphere. From cupcakes to their famous banana pudding, it’s a great spot. Do-Rite Donuts, chef-owned counter for artisanal donuts in unusual flavors plus fried chicken sandwiches & coffee.

Sports – NFL - The Bears play the Cowboys, Thursday Dec. 5 at home. They are on the road Dec. 15 at Wisconsin. Chicago Bulls (basketball) and Chicago Blackhawks (hockey) schedules will be available in the fall.

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