Sightseeing in East Chicago

The Children’s Museum in Oak Lawn—Up to 50% Off Outing

Oak Lawn

$14 $7

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Explore 16 hands-on, educational exhibits developed in accordance with Illinois Learning Standards

41% Off Outdoor Concert at Lincoln Park Zoo

Lincoln Park

$150 $89

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Watch Kristian Bush of Sugarland perform with Jana Kramer in historic Lincoln Park Zoo

50% Pub Crawl or Brunch Tour

The Loop

$80 $40

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Groups roam the pedway's watering holes while hearing about prohibition days, or combine history with brunch

Up to 44% Off Loop Interior Architecture Tour for Two

The Loop

$52 $29

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Featured in the Chicago Reader, guides lead groups through architecturally striking interiors and share photos and videos via iPads

Up to 50% Off Absolutely Chicago Segway Tours

Chicago

$50 $30

Ride up to some of Chicago's most iconic landmarks as the sun sets and the skyline begins to glow

Up to 50% Off an Inside Chicago Grand Tour

The Loop

$45 $25

A bus ferries visitors to the North and South Sides, showing them major parks, the Museum Campus, and the sights along Lake Shore Drive

Up to Half Off Urban Dare Adventure Race for Two

Allstars Sports Bar

$90 $45

Fast-paced competition challenges teams of two with trivia, photo hunts, and mental and physical challenges

Up to 57% Off Urban Scavenger Race

Dick's Last Resort

$80 $39

Teams navigate the city in search of 14 clues, which they must document via smart phone; first prize is $500 and entry for the championship

Chicago Architecture Foundation – $13 for a "Must-See Chicago" Tour

Chicago

$20 $13

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Stroll past such Chicago icons as the Art Institute, Willis (Sears) Tower, Wrigley Building, Chicago Theatre, and John Hancock Center

54% Off Scavenger Dash

Near North Side

$127.59 $59

Teams of two traverse the streets of Chicago as they find clues, collect items, take pictures, and complete challenges

50% Off Ghost Investigation Tour

Pilsen

$116 $58

After a crash course in ghost hunting, small supervised teams use tools of the trade to explore an Al Capone underworld operation

Up to 78% Off from TikiBoat Chicago

Monroe Harbor

$1,799 $399

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36-foot party barge with water slide ferries guests onto Lake Michigan and Chicago River; amenities include stereo, grill, and full bathroom

Up to 61% Off Urban Scavenger Hunt

Cubby Bear

$100 $40

Five-hour scavenger hunt takes participants through 12 challenges that encourage them to explore the city while testing their mettle

50% Off Segway Tours for Two

Multiple Locations

$138 $69

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Segways effortlessly glide through the city streets, allowing riders to breeze by Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House or Soldier Field

Up to 51% Off an After-Work Cruise

Chicago

$25 $13

Cruises aboard a yacht with dance floors and bars provide brilliant evening views of the Chicago skyline

Up to 52% Off Boat Tours from Seadog Cruises

Navy Pier

$30.45 $15

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Speedboats zip past famed Chicago landmarks along the lakefront and river; informative narration on city's history and architecture

Up to 53% Off from Chicago Crime Tours

Chicago

$79.90 $38

Learn about more than 100 years of Chicago’s crime history in a 90-minute tour of famous crime scenes and landmarks

Up to 57% Off Social Game Experience

Logan Square

$40 $20

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Players take part in a role-playing event that is set in the prohibition era and pulls from mob folklore

50% Off a Haunted-History Walking Tour

South Loop

$50 $25

A two-hour walking tour covers most haunted areas and allows guests to conduct their own paranormal investigation

Chicago History Museum – Up to 48% Off

Lincoln Park

$14 $8

Chicago museum brings history to life with 22 million artifacts & topical exhibits, including a look at 50 years of the Ebony Fashion Fair

Half Off Membership to the APR Pullman Porter Museum

Far South Chicago

$50 $25

Museum celebrates the victories of the nation's first African-American labor unions and the history of African-American railroad workers

Up to 60% Off Cupcake Tour of Chicago

Chicago

$50 $25

Tours make six stops along Michigan Avenue, visiting a century-old shop, one with 50 varieties of cupcake, and another with gelato

Half Off Science Museum Membership or Admission

Near North Side

$80 $40

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More than 600 art pieces and 7,000 medical artifacts—including a working iron lung—trace the advancement of surgery throughout history

Museum of Broadcast Communications – Up to Half Off

Near North Side

$24 $12

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Artifacts and digitized recordings detail the history of radio and television; interactive station lets visitors anchor their own newscasts

DuSable Museum – Half Off Membership

Washington Park

$40 $20

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Examine tales and artifacts of African American history with studies of gospel singers, murals, and even an animatronic Harold Washington

Discover the Kinetic Art of Chicago's Moving Bridges

Chicago

$15 $15

Walk the streets of the Loop with civil engineer Jim Phillips and watch the Chicago River's movable bridges in action

Select Local Merchants

Hailed as the "granddaddy of Northwest Indiana's haunted attractions" by the Post-Tribune, Reapers Realm Haunted Attractions terrifies guests every Halloween season with multiple haunted sites. Most of its frights lurk within the three floors of a 1920s-era stone mansion. There, fog makes it tricky to see where demented demons lie in wait, and strobe lights illuminate famous movie monsters such as Michael Myers reenacting classic scenes of carnage.

More creepy creatures populate the Reaped Woods, where, in the past, a corn maze has hosted sights nearly as frightening as a scarecrow stuffed with old SAT scantrons. At the aptly named Carnevil, the screams echoing from the rides aren't just screams of delight.

626 177th St
Hammond,
IN
US

The Illinois Theatre Center enthralls audiences with a wide range of theatrical performances that range from offbeat musicals to retellings of classic dramas. The Spitfire Grill, a musical adaptation of director Lee David Zlotoff's award-winning film, revisits the tale of a young woman recently released from prison who gets a second lease on life and a studio apartment. Wistful comedy Heroes centers on the lives of three war veterans living in an old folks' home who spend their final days reminiscing about ration-packet picnics. All performances are held in an intimate 179-person theater.

371 Artists Walk
Park Forest,
IL
US

At The Arthouse, mother-and-daughter artisans Heather and Janice Finney flatter artwork with expertly crafted frames and preserve cherished objects in customized memory boxes. More than 100 types of frames entice brush strokes to take up residence between their borders alongside a plethora of color, mat, and glass options. Enhance a 4" x 6" headshot of your child-star hamster with an 8" x 10" frame and a standard 2-inch mat ($69–$195), or buff up an artistic masterpiece in a 32" x 40" frame with a 2-inch mat ($278–$613). Heather and Janice’s specialty shadow boxes ($300+) display valuable photographs and mementos in personalized packages that protect them from light exposure and the enchanted curses of their original owners.

12723 S Ridgeland Ave
Palos Heights,
IL
US

The Chicago Academy of Sciences created a library and collection of flora and fauna specimens that burnt in the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, just 14 years after its inception. By 1894, the academy had regrouped and rebuilt its collection in Lincoln Park, where it stood for more than 100 years. In 1999, the academy turned it into the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, a family-friendly museum filled with exhibits that let visitors explore the flora, fauna, and ecology of the Great Lakes region.

The 6.35-acre campus hosts more than 15,000 plants, 13,000 birds, and 22,000 amphibians and reptiles in its specimen collections. As visitors walk through Popular attractions include the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven, where visitors can stand in a swirl of 1,000 exotic butterflies, and Mysteries of the Marsh and the Istock Family Look-in Lab, which feature dozens of living creatures, such as turtles, snakes, and giant bugs. The two-story Extreme Green House offers a hands-on look at the materials and technologies that surround us.

In addition to educating the public, the museum is a local leader in wildlife conservation. It's nestled in acres of restored prairie, where visitors can spot migratory birds and other native critters and plants. Outdoor exhibits include 17,000 square feet of green roofs, a restored-prairie nature trail, and a rooftop birdwalk.

2430 N Cannon Dr
Chicago,
IL
US

The creative team of framers and decorators at Foursided stocks stacks of creative greeting cards and paraphernalia. The self-described "frame nerds" do more than cultivate a collection of stationery by planting paper seeds in nearby printing presses; they also place prints and objects into frames and furnish homes with original pieces by a handful of favored artists. Staffers also buy and sell vintage flash cards, puzzle pieces, and letter tiles harvested from a variety of objects.

Owner Todd Mack has worked in framing for 20 years, and he draws on his vast experience when custom mounting a broad spectrum of pieces. Vintage and recycled frames, archival framing, and shadow boxes are a few of the options available. Mack's interest in shadow boxes makes perfect sense to visitors who take a look at his own art, which assembles found photos and objects in forms that aren't always 2-D.

On HGTV's Urban Oasis, interior designer Vern Yip ornamented a luxury apartment with prints gathered from Foursided's expansive collection. In that collection, colorful shelves of letter blocks, maps, corks, baby-doll heads, and harmonicas turn personal, nostalgic objects into stylish new decorations. Candles, jewelry, and books round out the gift selections.

5061 N Clark St
Chicago,
IL
US

When entrepreneur Harold Pierce opened the first Harold’s Chicken Shack on Chicago’s South Side in 1950, his chefs fried chicken as it was ordered, filling customers' empty hands with baskets of fresh, piping-hot chicken in 12–15 minutes. Today, the chain of 62 restaurants peppered across the Midwest and Southwest continues the old tradition of rewarding patience with astonishingly delicious chicken. The long-standing shop specializes in a simple order—breaded chicken fried in a rich mix of vegetable oil and beef tallow for a home-cooked flavor. Chefs prep the chicken Chicago style by pouring a dash of sauce over the basket, which soaks into the white bread and crinkle fries that come with every order. Marked with the famed emblem of a cook chasing a chicken with a hatchet, the restaurant has saturated the city’s consciousness, earning a mention in Tucker Max’s I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, an appearance in Kanye West’s music video Through the Wire, and its own chicken hologram projected over the skyline. Serious Eats sums up citywide sentiment for the chain: "When the words 'fried chicken' are uttered in Chicago, it’s a fair bet that the name Harold’s Chicken Shack will usually follow."

1134 W Washington Blvd
Chicago,
IL
US