Splash Landings Indoor Aquatic Center's year-round indoor water park brims with swimmers of all ages and skill levels enjoying its watery attractions, which range from a zero-depth entry pool for kids, a relaxing whirlpool, and slides. Soaring above the pool are vintage model airplanes sporting vintage model water wings, and lifeguards stand throughout the facility to ensure tykes are protected. The staff also prepares visitors for safe splashing with a wide array of swimming lessons offered year-round.
The Skatium Ice Arena offers public skating on most weekday mornings and during weekend afternoons and evenings. Check out the full calendar for a complete list of public skating times. Savvy skaters can figure-eight their way around the full-size hockey rink, while novice ice walkers can lock hands with that special someone, strictly for balance purposes. Use the sessions to perfect your triple Lutz, or treat 10 strangers to an ice-breaking afternoon.
Encompassing an 85’x200’ main rink as well as a smaller 80’x60’ surface, Franklin Park Ice Arena hosts wintry productions ranging from hockey and figure skating to broomball and birthday parties. When not configured for youth or adult hockey leagues, speed-skating time trials, or test drives of icebreaking jet skis, the rink hosts public skating sessions offered up to six times per week. Meanwhile, Orch’s Pro Shop stands at the ready for skaters with equipment by such major brands as Bauer, CCM, and Easton, as well as repairs and skate sharpening.
At Orbit Skate Center, the glide of wheels on a half-acre of wood floors adds a percussive underscore to live music and colorful lights. As visitors skate the rink, DJs spin contemporary hits or throwback '80s and '90s favorites on retro nights. Some evenings feature the Galaxy SkyBar and Cosmic Cafe, as well as races, dodge-ball games, and light shows. Guests can strap on brand-new quad- or inline skates inside Orbit's pro shop, or sign up for all-ages lessons to improve basic skills for manual or automatic-transmission skates.
Lincoln Park Zoo is a living, breathing, and sometimes roaring historical landmark that has delighted Chicago families since its founding in 1868. Anyone can simply walk into the zoo and immediately enter an exotic world of wild-animal habitats?without having to pay a cent. Beyond their animal exhibits, Lincoln Park Zoo stands as a leader in conservation science, both at the local and global level. They work towards the highest possible animal care and educational outreach.
Click above to buy a Sky High annual adult membership to John Hancock Observatory for $39 ($79 value). Buy here for a Sky High annual membership for you and a youth (ages 3–11) to John Hancock Observatory for $29 ($59 value).
Each year, dozens of acrophobes overcome their fear of heights by building their own skyscraper by hand. Today's Groupon to John Hancock Observatory lets the height-averse breathe the heart-starting thin air of extreme altitudes without the hassle of scraping their own skies. For $39, adults get an annual membership with unlimited Fast Pass entries for you and a guest ($79 value), plus a 10% discount at the Espression by Lavazza café, at the observatory gift shops, and on Fun Photos. Get a similar deal for you and a youth for $29. Activate your membership in person at the ticket desk no later than March 31, 2010, to get unlimited access to the 100-story exemplar of structural expressionist style.
To prepare for life after your PhD, practice looking down on others from the open-air skywalk, where you'll feel the winds 1,030 feet above ground level while protected by a super-strong screen. From the observatory deck, a soundscope amplifies and zeroes in on sounds all over the city, so low-budget spies can get vague approximations of what's happening in Lincoln Park on any given day, or hear how the Sox game is going without turning on a radio. In addition to high-tech spy gear and meshed windwalks, you'll get access to tons of history and maps, as well as an audio guide narrated by former Friend and dinosaur lover David Schwimmer.
For those who are frequently out a'wooing, John Hancock Observatory's breathtaking nighttime views can turn a friendly evening out into a wind-swept romance—the observatory is open until 11 p.m. Before you impress your date with gorgeous views of four states (Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, and the other one), you'll get the high-roller treatment with an express elevator up to the 94th floor observation deck and an express ride back down, bypassing the tourist lines. You can tell your date you don't actually own the John Hancock Center after you're married.
Youth membership passes include one guest between the ages of 3 and 11. Photo ID will be required with each entry.
Citysearchers give John Hancock Observatory five stars, while Yelpers and Insider Pagers give it four. TripAdvisors give it 4.5 owl eyes:
- The views are spectacular. Watching the sun go down and the city lights appear is incredible. – RobAndKathy, TripAdvisor
- It has great views of the lake/waterfront , skyscapers, and the city. don't miss this attraction. it's amazing. we also think it has the best gift shop(street level) we could find on michigan ave. a must see! don't miss it. – Corry2006, TripAdvisor