Chicago is a beautiful city that is filled with the hustle and bustle of the city, yet has lush, green parks, lakeside beaches and scenic cityscapes.  It’s also a city packed with art, architecture, music, shopping and much more to explore.  Here are a few things to do when in the Windy City:

1. Take in the City

  • Skydeck/ Observation Deck
    Willis Tower’s Skydeck and the John Hancock’s observation deck were each built for the same purpose: experiencing Chicago with a bird’s eye perspective! Each deck has a unique platform for viewing a different part of the city. The Hancock offers more than just a viewing deck with its “Tilt” option, they also hold a weekly yoga class with a view of the city. The Willis Tower, formally known as the Sears Tower, has glass boxes for those brave enough to step into in order to view the skyline…and don’t fear looking below through the clear glass bottom.
  • Architectural Boat Cruise
    Second only to a tour of the Vatican1 in popularity is a boat cruise of Chicago’s architecture. This relaxing, water tour is truly a sight to behold.  Glass and steel nestled close to the water’s edge, impressive skyscrapers, and architectural history make this a perfect journey for those who want to enjoy a bit of Chicago history, wonder at the engineering, enjoy the water, and take in the beautiful Windy City.  To end the cruise in a perfect way, be sure to stop by the River Roast where you can enjoy a fantastic meal along with incredible views of the city!
  1. Visit a City Park
  • Millennium Park
    Home to one of the city’s favorite sculptures, Cloud Gate, or as you may know it “The Bean,” Millennium Park has so much to offer. Over 24 acres of open space provides the perfect environment for festivals, concerts, art exhibits and even plays.
  • Lincoln Park
    While there’s a city of the same name, this neighborhood (where the park is conveniently located) is delightful. Shopping, a zoo, artwork, an amusement park, dining plus walking trails, conservatory and beachfront access.
  1.  Go Shopping
  • The Magnificent Mile
    Located in the North Side, the Magnificent Mile strip offers high-end shopping, beautiful architecture and fantastic dining.
  1. Watch a Ball Game
  • Wrigley Field
    Chicago is home to two Major League Baseball (MLB) teams, the north side Chicago Cubs and the south side Chicago White Sox. Both teams deserve and receive much love from their fans, but the Cubs have an iconic history in Chicagoland. The Cubs home, Wrigley Field, still uses the hand operated scoreboard which was installed in 1937 and is adored for the ivy along the outfield wall. Built in 1926, Wrigley Field is the second oldest baseball stadium in use in the United States.
  1. Attend a Festival (or more)
  • Taste of Chicago
    For five days during the month of July Grant Park fills its streets with the most delicious foods the city has to offer. When your belly gets too full there are plenty of activities to distract you until you’re ready for your round of delicious flavors. A lineup of headlining concerts adds to the list of things to do while discovering your new favorite restaurant at the Taste of Chicago.
  • Grant Park Music Festival
    Beloved for over 80 years, the Grant Park music festival is a favorite among Chicago residents and visitors alike.  Every year, for 10 weeks each summer, live, classical music performances are held in the park.  Simply bring a blanket or, for reserved seating call ahead. 
  1. Visit a Museum
  • Art Institute of Chicago
    Another icon in the heart of the Windy City is the Art Institute of Chicago. Known to be one of the oldest art museums in the United States, the Institute has more to offer than just art (even though the art is pretty spectacular). The Ryerson and Burnham Libraries are located within the museum and also a conservation science department. Outside the Institute are two bright green lions, created by the artist Kemeys in 1893. The lions are loved by the citizens of the city and during the winter holidays they can often be seen adorned with large wreaths.
  1. Have Some Fun
  • Shedd Aquarium
    Once the largest indoor aquarium in the world, the Shedd is held near and dear to Chicago’s heart. Over 5 million gallons of water make up the homes of 32,000 animals ranging from lovely Beluga whales all the way to stingrays, which you are able to interact with. The Shedd is a great way to spend a day indoors no matter what the weather outside is.
  • Navy Pier
    Fun for all ages, Navy Pier is a great way to spend a summer day or a cool evening. The giant Ferris wheel located near the end of the pier was inspired the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. It is 150 feet tall and can hold 6 people in each of its 40 gondolas. The giant wheel is perfect for a group of beginner thrill seekers! The rest of the pier to chalk full of activities like mirror mazes and pirate boats.
  1. Enjoy the Nightlife
  • Kingston Mines
    While the Blues originated from southern states, it’s quite popular in Chicago. With two stages and live music 7 nights a week, there’s a reason why Kingston Mines is has numerous awards for blues performances.  It’s also the oldest blues club in Chicago.

Whether it’s a festival, a casual day relaxing or having fun at a park or enjoying all the city has to offer, you’ll find a variety of options in Chicago.  It’s a perfect destination for corporate meetings where business and travel can be mingled for a truly memorable experience.

Need help with your next corporate meeting or event? Contact Gavel International to learn more about how meeting planning can help your business.



Eloisa Mendez

With over 25 years of experience in the meetings & event industry, Eloisa has worked closely with a variety of clients on events ranging from small incentive trips to large corporate meetings. While growing her career at Gavel International, Eloisa has managed all aspects of the event lifecycle, including site selection, creative materials, attendee registration, rooming list and transportation management, entertainment bookings, and website development. Eloisa was progressively promoted in recognition of her meeting management expertise, professionalism, and genuine passion for driving improvements within overall event operations. She was recognized as the 2000 Employee of the Year and is currently the General Manager for Gavel International.
Eloisa Mendez