Things to do for Outdoor Enthusiasts in Illinois 

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  • 1

    Millennium Park

    201 East Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60601-6530
    262 reviews

    This beautiful space combines outdoor art installations with greenery and fantastic views of the Chicago skyline. An easy add-on to a visit to the Art Institute, Loop, or Grant Park. A great example of how this city has undergone a renaissance in the last 15 years.

    Popular withFamiliesOutdoorBudget
  • 2

    Lincoln Park Zoo

    2001 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60614-4712
    84 reviews

    Its Free, doesn't get much better than that! You must stop at the Gorilla exhibit, there are 2 baby gorillas who I could watch for hours. They are hilarious.

    Popular withFamiliesBudgetOutdoor
  • 3

    Grant Park

    337 East Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60601-7403
    39 reviews

    Just happened to be in town for the annual blues festival this weekend. Lots of fun! They had a street festival with food, drinks and souvenir/ trinkets. Other than that this park is still pretty to walk through, but doesn't hold much entertainment value.

    Popular withOutdoorLocalBudget
  • 4

    Lincoln Park

    600 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60611-3016, United States
    27 reviews

    Gorgeous park with great views of the city, lake, and a lovely zoo. The park also features frequent special events. A nice place for a run or stroll that connects Lincoln Park to the Gold Coast / Michigan Avenue.

    Popular withOutdoorLocalFamilies
  • 5

    Lake Michigan

    58 reviews

    The lake is beautiful and oceanic in size. Also a great anchoring point if you are trying to figure out your way in the city. The lake is always East.

    Popular withOutdoorFamiliesLocal
  • 6

    Montrose Beach

    601 West Montrose Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60613, United States
    6 reviews

    Went there for a day of picnicking and hanging with friends. The beach is extremely large with plenty of volleyball courts. Does get really packed on the weekends, especially with such limited nice weather in Chicago throughout to the year. I wouldn't go out of your way to visit if you are touring Chicago, but if you live here, great ...

    Popular withOutdoorAdventureFamilies
  • 7

    Chicago River

    45 reviews

    The river is a great way to explore the city. The best way to see it is with an architectural boat tour -- one of the highlights of a visit to Chicago. The river takes center stage during St. Patrick's Day when it "turns" green in honor of the Irish community.

    Popular withOutdoorLocalHistory
  • 8

    North Avenue Beach

    9 reviews

    This beach has something for everyone. If you just want to relax, you can soak up the sun and check out the great views of Chicago from the south end of the beach. If you want to be a little more active, there are beach volleyball courts, paddleboarding & jet ski rentals, or you can always run along the Lakeshore ...

    Popular withOutdoorFamiliesAdventure
  • 9

    Ohio Street Beach

    400 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60611-4308
    4 reviews

    A lesser known beach so it tends to be a little less packed than North Avenue & Oak Street. It is also a great place to watch the air & water show if you want to beat traffic afterwards with a quick escape.

    Popular withOutdoorFamiliesAdventure
  • 10

    Ravinia Festival

    418 Sheridan Rd, Highland Park, IL 60035, United States
    3 reviews

    Summer concerts at Ravinia are one of the best nights you can have in Chicagoland. A large spread out grassy area can hold several thousands of people with lawn chairs, and baskets full of wine and food grouped together as if they were gathering for a picnic. The best part is you can enjoy your time listening to great artists ...

    Popular withOutdoorLocalFoodies
  • 11

    Chicago Botanic Garden

    1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL 60022-1168
    20 reviews

    Located about thirty minutes (given the traffic on Hwy 41) north of Chicago, the Chicago Botanic Gardens are hundreds of acres of awe-inspiring sights and sounds of the majestic beauty of nature, consisting of, but not limited too, blooming flowers, plants, trees, hills, and lakes.

    Popular withOutdoorBudgetWellness
  • 12

    Architecture River Cruise

    333 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60601-3700
    35 reviews

    It may sound dull, but this cruise is the best way to learn to learn about the architecture and the history of the Chicago while getting a feel for the city at the same time. On a sunny day, grab a cocktail and a seat on the top deck for the 90-minute tour.

    Popular withHistoryLocalOutdoor
  • 13

    Garfield Park Conservatory

    300 North Central Park Avenue, Chicago, IL 60624-1945
    12 reviews

    Spectacular botanical garden. It is one of the largest in the US, and is almost 150 years old. It is a great place to go in the winter, when you need a reminder that spring will eventually return

    Popular withOutdoorFamiliesLocal
  • 14

    Soldier Field

    1410 South Musuem Campus Drive, Chicago, IL 60605
    41 reviews

    A great place to catch a football game. Small enough that every seat is a good seat. I am not a Bears fan, but you can't beat going to a game there.

    Popular withLocalOutdoorAdventure
  • 15

    Brookfield Zoo

    First Avenue and 31st Street, Brookfield, IL 60513
    9 reviews

    Sometimes you just need to get away from the city...and the bars and revelry that come along with vacationing. The Brookfield Zoo is the perfect escape. Bonus, admission is free in the colder months of the year, several days a week. Check the website to see if your time in town aligns with Brookfield's admissionless days!

    Popular withFamiliesOutdoorLocal
  • 16

    Jay Pritzker Pavilion

    Columbus Drive and Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60601
    29 reviews

    A Frank Gehry-designed pavilion, lawn seats, and the city lights twinkling in the background are the perfect combination for a warm summer night.

    Popular withFamiliesOutdoorDesign
  • 17

    Cloud Gate

    AT&T Plaza, Chicago, IL 60686
    80 reviews

    The Cloud Gate sculpture, which many affectionately call "the bean," is a cool sculpture with the city skyline in the background, but the crowds didn't make me want to linger.

    Popular withDesignFamiliesOutdoor
  • 18

    John G. Shedd Aquarium

    1200 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605-2402
    96 reviews

    I absolutely love this place. I've been to several fine aquariums, but this place might offer the most complete overall experience in that category. Worth the price of admission.

    Popular withFamiliesAdventureOutdoor
  • 19

    Lakefront Path

    McCormick Place to Belmont, Chicago, IL 60661
    17 reviews

    After you're done checking out Jackson Park, head towards the lake the check out the Lakefront Trail, which runs 18 miles along the coast of Lake Michigan. Head north towards downtown, and take a detour anytime you see something you want to check out. Bike rentals can be found near the lakefront and are essential for most people to do ...

    Popular withLocalOutdoorHistory
  • 20

    Promontory Point Park

    5491 S South Shore Dr
    4 reviews

    Beautiful view of the Great Lake. Nice place to walk, very clean. Parked by museum. $1 an hour.

    Popular withOutdoor
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