Aquarium in Magnificent Mile


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If 360 CHICAGO—the John Hancock observation deck—had a baseball card, the stats on the back would be pretty impressive: it's perched 1,000 feet above the Magnificent Mile on the 94th floor, and on clear days, visibility stretches up to 50 miles. With the Magnificent Mile bustling below and Lake Michigan sprawling endlessly nearby, the popular attraction provides some of the best views in the country according to Travel and Leisure magazine. But stunning vistas and the chance to witness the change on the lake when its freezing aren't the only reasons to visit. In 2014, 360 Chicago opened TILT, an attraction that brings brave guests face to face with a moving set of windows that angle 30 degrees downward for a spine-tingling glimpse of the streets below. Plus, interactive multimedia stations in seven languages share loads of information about the city and its architecture.
875 N Michigan Ave.
Chicago,
IL
US
What makes it great: hands-on exhibits including a huge water play area and dinosaur bone dig; a Kids Town toddler area where little ones can change a car tire and shop in a market; situated steps from the ferris wheel and other attractions on Navy Pier
700 E Grand Ave
Chicago,
IL
US
There was at least one time the Chicago sky lit up before 1900: the Great Fire of 1871. In the Chicago History Museum’s largest permanent exhibit, guests can see household objects fused together by the fire’s heat before exploring the city’s jazz clubs, retro fashions, and even Lincoln Logs.
1601 N Clark St
Chicago,
IL
US
Chicago might be far from any ocean, but that obstacle didn't stop it from pioneering the first permanent inland saltwater aquarium in the country. Thanks to civic leader John G. Shedd’s drive and contribution of $3 million paid for nearly a million gallons of seawater transported by rail from Florida’s coast, by 1930 the city hosted exhibits large enough to accommodate a wide variety of marine species–sea mammals as well as fish. Today, Shedd’s dream continues to thrive with the aquarium’s scores of undersea creatures—from sharks and dolphins to vibrant sea cucumbers—showcased in educational, eye-catching exhibits. The permanent collection spirits visitors from the Great Lakes to the Amazon River to the waters of the Pacific Northwest. The resident critters often share their turf with temporary guests such as sea jellies and stingrays, who fill dramatic special exhibits. The most exciting animal encounters, however, may come via the year-round aquatic show. Trainers demonstrate the natural behaviors of sea lions, dolphins, and even beluga whales. They have some four-legged company, too: a trio of rescue dogs often appear alongside their finned adoptive family, demonstrating how learning through positive reinforcement transcends boundaries between species. Groupon Guide Five Reasons to Visit (or Revisit) the Shedd Aquarium's Jellies Exhibit Here’s why these lovable blobs are worth a first, second, or even fifth visit.
1200 South Lake Shore Drive
Chicago,
IL
US
Start with the origin of the Earth itself, more than 4 billion years ago. Walk through cycles of flourishing life and extinction, past sea creatures and dinosaurs—include Sue, the largest, most complete T. Rex discovered. Then branch off into the cultures of ancient Egypt, halls with more than 120 years worth of taxidermy, and a DNA Discovery Center. Or forge your own path through 300,000 square feet of exhibits. (Multiple visits are a necessity.)
1400 S Lake Shore Dr.
Chicago,
IL
US
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