Here’s Tiqets’ roundup of the best of the (Mid)West

Home of The Blues Brothers, Christian Bale’s Gotham, and even a track by Sufjan Stevens, Chicago is a pop-culture icon – but what can you do in the USA’s Second City, besides freeze during winter?

Millennium Park

A green utopia in the summer, winter wonderland by December. What’s now-iconic to the city is, in fact, somewhat new. Having only opened in 2004, Millennium Park is surrounded by the city’s skyscrapers and this urban Eden offers a getaway from the busy city streets

And, best of all, you can watch movies for free in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion during summer!

Chicago's Millennium Park with the city's skyline in the background
Catch a movie in a pavilion designed by Frank Gehry – Muzammil Soorma, Unsplash

The Cloud Gate sculpture

Technically it’s part of Millennium Park, but this world-famous sculpture deserves its own segment. It would be remiss to miss The Bean during any visit to Millennium Park.

The Chicago Cloud Gate Sculpture between autumn trees
Bean there, done that! – Antonio Gabola, Unsplash

Navy Pier

It’s been a dock, a jail, an army training center, and a place of study for the University of Chicago. But now, the Navy Pier is home to restaurants, rides, shopping, and art exhibitions.

Chicago Navy Pier Ferris wheel
Grace Ho, Unsplash

Jumping on the Centennial Wheel is wheel worth your time. Flying 200 feet above Chicago, you’ll get stunning views of the coastline.

The Buckingham Fountain

There’s something appealing about a grand fountain at the center of a park, and Chicagoans know how to do it right. Well, they know how to imitate it right – Buckingham Fountain is based on the Latona Fountain in the Palace of Versailles.

Chicago Buckingham fountain by night
”Tis a fine fountain, but sure ’tis no palace, English.’ – Brian Miller, Unsplash

See the skyline 

The Windy City boasts a skyline to rival NYC’s. After the Great Chicago Fire, the city rebuilt big, and they haven’t looked back since. A cruise along the Chicago River and Lake Michigan is the best way to see the city’s architecture and get some amazing snaps of your trip.

Sunset at the Chicago Navy Pier with skyscrapers behind
Gautam Krishnan, Unsplash

Be part of the skyline

Skydeck Chicago at The Willis Tower has the best panoramas of Chicago on offer. Despite its 1,450 feet height (technically, it’s higher than NYC’s tallest building in terms of where you can stand), it takes less than 40 seconds to reach the observation deck. The One World Observatory’s elevator still wins out, though, with a multimedia display taking you through the history of New York as you climb up.

First person perspective of a man looking down through a glass floor from Skydeck Chicago
Tim Trad, Unsplash

Wrigley Field

‘If you build it, they will come.’ Wait, wrong field…get out of here, Costner! Yankees caps are an oversaturated market. Walk out of this stadium with a Cubs cap, a foam finger, and if you’re lucky, a homerun ball. You can grab tickets from as low as $26.

Cubs baseball cap held up in front of Wrigley Field
Blake Guidry, Unsplash

The Art Institute of Chicago

In all likelihood, you aren’t skipping school anymore. But you can still make like Ferris Bueller and pay a visit to the Art Institute of Chicago. Georges Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte is still in the museum’s possession, along with two American icons, Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks and Grant Wood’s American Gothic.

 A Sunday on La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat
Georges Seurat, A Sunday on La Grande Jatte

The Field Museum

A T. rex skeleton that’s 90% complete, a 120-foot long Titanosaur, and more than 30 real mummies inside a replica of an ancient burial tomb are what awaits you at The Field Museum. If you’re with kids, or simply inquisitive at heart, this museum is a playground of discovery.

SUE, Chicago Field Museum's T-rex skeleton on display
Chris Nguyen, Unsplash

Chicago Riverwalk

Here’s a freebie on the list – all it’s going to cost is a few calories. Walk right beside the Chicago River and pass through colossal skyscrapers, discover great places to eat, and wind down in one of the city’s biggest public projects.

Gautam Krishnan, Unsplash

Callum Tyler

Callum Tyler

Callum is the middle child in a family with nine children. Growing up he lost six imaginary siblings and uses writing as an outlet for his grief.
Callum Tyler