Epic Chicago Weekend Activities
This post is about my Epic Chicago Weekend Activities.
My trip to Chicago was to celebrate a good friend’s birthday so I wanted it to be a fun one.
I researched fun things to do in the city by consulting the Lonely Planet Chicago Guide. In addition to the birthday celebrations, I planned on visiting the Art Institute of Chicago, Shedd Aquarium and the Skydeck Chicago.
You might think I am crazy to want to do three awesome museums and attractions in one day, but like I said I wanted it to be an Epic trip!
How did I do it?
I utilized the Chicago CityPass which grants access to five attractions.
Each attraction costs around $35-$40 on its own and you often must wait in long lines. The Chicago CityPass sells for around $100 and gets quick access.
At the Shedd Aquarium there was a line out the door and halfway down the steps; however, I could bypass it and join a shorter line with five others ahead of me. That alone saved a lot of time.
I also saved a lot of time at the Skydeck Chicago by having the pass.
If I had another day, I would have used the other two attractions as well. But for this trip, I hit three of them, which basically would break even on the cost of the pass.
Bottom line, it is a great pass which gets you access to some awesome attractions in Chicago. Order your Chicago CityPass here.
Art Institute of Chicago
The Art Institute is a place that you could spend an entire day at especially if you take part in the audio tour or one of the guided tours.
The CityPass gives you the audio tour in addition to admission.
Due to my time constraints, I skipped the audio tour and welcomed around the museum exploring the different exhibits.
I generally prefer exploring on my own anyway but the audio tour is a nice option to get more out of the museum and to learn about every exhibit.
I let me eyes see all the exhibits and I spent time reading up on the artwork that was most appealing to me rather than hearing about all of them.
The museum has multiple floors and different collections, so there is bound to be something that appeals to you.
I liked the Modern and Contemporary Artwork the best; however, there were some awesome classic statues and paintings as well.
As you can see from the photos, the Art Institute of Chicago offers some amazing exhibits.
Have you visited the Art Institute? What section do you prefer?
The CityPass gives express entrance to the aquarium as well as it includes a 3D movie and aquatic show, that the reception desk schedules for you when you arrive.
The Aquarium offers sections with sea life from different climates, from local MidWest environments to the Amazon and Antarctica.
I had a great time walking around exploring the different sections.
In the main lobby is the Caribbean section where you can see sting rays, small sharks and a ton of cool looking fish.
In one of the other areas you could see turtles.
The aquarium has a large shark feature and you can see the sharks and other fish up close in the tanks.
At every area, a lot of educational resources were present so you could gain an understanding about the different environments.
My favorite area was Penguins! There were around 20 penguins who were swimming in the water and waddling around on land.
I love watching penguins as they are so amazing.
The exhibit gave a good look at their natural environment.
I visited the Dolphin area and saw them swimming around playing.
In addition, I got to see some whales up close which was another cool experience.
The 3D movie covered pre-historic marine life and was a pretty cool experience.
The Aquatic show featured education on marine conservation as well as how the animals are trained.
The best part of the show was the dolphins who performed for the audience.
I enjoyed exploring the Shedd Aquarium.
I visited the Skydeck Chicago at night.
The Skydeck is located at the Willis Tower which was formerly known as the Sears Tower.
The CityPass allowed me to skip a line of about 100 other guests waiting to go up to the tower. I joined a much shorter line and waited about five minutes before being able to take the elevator up.
Once I arrived on the deck, there were people everywhere and long lines to get your photo taken near one of the best view locations from the deck.
I avoided those lines and took photos in the other areas that did not have a line.
The views were excellent and offered a great view of all the buildings lit up at night as well as the Lake Michigan.
The experience was fun and I enjoy a city lit up at night.
The tower offers a great experience to do just that.
After spending, a few minutes taking in the views from the Skydeck Chicago, I joined a line of about 20 people waiting to take the elevator down.
After waiting for 10 minutes, I reached the front of the line and took the elevator down.
Upon arrival in the lobby, the agent there thanked guests and provided instructions for departing the building.
It was an Epic Weekend for me in Chicago. I had so much fun checking out the Art Institute, Shedd Aquarium and the Skydeck Chicago at the Willis Tower.
If I had more time, I would have visited the Field Museum and the Museum of Science and industry. Perhaps I will do that on a future visit.
If you have a few days in the city, I would highly recommend the CityPass because you get express access to several great attractions. Avoiding the lines at the Shedd Aquarium and Skydeck Chicago were great time savers. You can also save a lot of time at the Field Museum and the Museum of Science and Industry.
Check out more great things to do in the Lonely Planet Chicago Guide.
Have you been to Chicago and checked out some of these Epic attractions? What were your thoughts?
Note: I was a guest of Choose Chicago, who kindly provided a complimentary CityPass for my Epic Chicago Weekend Trip. The views in this post were mine.