Chicago skyline and the bean
Travel & Activities

Fun Things To Do In Chicago

This is a guest post written by FLATS®.

Are you visiting the Windy City and looking to make the most of your stay? Or would you perhaps like to permanently relocate to a new neighborhood with a “sweet view”? Either way, downtown Chicago should be on your radar — River North especially.

Located west of Streeterville and bordering on Magnificent Mile to the south, River North is downtown Chicago’s all-round entertainment hub. In the beginning, the neighborhood was home to some of the city’s greatest manufacturing plants and factories. However, it now boasts a busy nightlife scene, luxurious art galleries, shops, celebrity-owned restaurants, and more.

Be that as it may, starting small is always a good idea. For this reason, we will first focus on the casual, everyday aspects of Chicago that are sure to pique your interest. Afterward, you will get to learn more about some of the amazingly fun things to do in the City of Big Shoulders. And on that note, let us begin!

Upgrade Your Morning Coffee Routine

What better way to start your day than with a fresh cup of coffee? And if fresh coffee is what you need, you will want to make your way to Heritage Bikes & Coffee. The shop shares the building with The Ardus apartment complex and is the best place to visit before embarking on your Chicago adventure.

Heritage Bikes & Coffee is a nationally acclaimed establishment that merges the best of two worlds — convenience and pleasure. It offers locally made bicycles and coffee. The business took over the Chicago-made bicycle scene after Schwinn productions left the city. So treat yourself to a fancy handmade bike and a cup of locally brewed coffee, and start heading south!

Explore the Merchandise Mart

Merchandise Mart is a stone’s throw away from the north bank of the Chicago River. It was the world’s largest commercial building when it was first built and even had its own zip code. In fact, the building is so large that it is still referred to as “a city within a city.”

With a floor space of 4.2 million square feet, you are looking at a day’s worth of sightseeing. This magnificent building houses apparel shops, bookstores, interior design showrooms, specialty food and wine stores —  and that is just to name a few. In short, Merchandise Mart is a shopper’s paradise and an architectural masterpiece at the same time.

Take a Stroll Down the Riverwalk

You will find the award-winning Chicago Riverwalk extending from Lake Michigan and Lake Shore Drive to Lake Street. This pedestrian oasis runs along the south bank of the Chicago River. It is 1.25 miles long and divided into four distinct outdoor areas.

From the Marina to the Swimming Hole, there is no shortage of entertainment. Whether you are looking to wine and dine, lounge, dip your feet in the zero-depth fountain, or simply enjoy the view, the Riverwalk is your go-to.

Have Fun in the Water

As far as engaging water activities are concerned, the Chicago River has a lot to offer. For example, booking a sightseeing cruise will help you understand Chicago’s history from a different perspective. Some of the water tours offer unique sightseeing experiences, while others focus on the city’s architecture.

Additionally, you can choose to ride a water taxi for the first time or board a party boat if you would like. However, if none of this strikes your fancy, you can always go kayaking or rent a paddleboat instead.

Be a Gangster for a Day

Chicago’s rich mob history means that you can experience the bygone gangster era first-hand! If this is something you are interested in, the downtown area is known to host such tours.

By becoming “a gangster for a day”, you can expect to interactively learn more about Chicago’s mob culture during the 1920s and ‘30s. That is to say, you will be jolted back to the Prohibition Era gangster-like! Moreover, you will get to visit the mob hotspots and hear all about important gangster figures such as Moran, Dillinger, and Capone.

Make the Great Escape

Your inner child is bound to thrive in Chicago. The city is home to various Game and Entertainment Centers, Comedy Clubs, and Live Music Bars. If you like to spend your time solving puzzles, playing an instrument, or having a good laugh, you have come to the right place!

You can try your luck at an Escape Room at The Escape Game Chicago, or enjoy a night out at The Comedy Bar. Better yet, Chicago Blues Camp will provide you with an opportunity to learn the art of Chicago Blues alongside the biggest performers in the industry.

Enrich Your Knowledge

Did you know that outside of Manhattan, River North has the greatest number of art galleries in the United States? Additionally, some of Chicago’s famous museums or genius sculptures, such as Cloud Gate, will make your heart skip a beat. After all, the possibilities to enrich your knowledge are endless!

Nevertheless, if being a history buff is not your jam and you prefer to work on your practical day-to-day skills instead, you can take cooking classes at The Chopping Block. And if you thirst for some local brewery knowledge, signing up for a distillery tour with The Barrel Run is a must!

Chicago — Off the Beaten Path

All things considered, Chicago is a city brimming with culture. With over 27 million inhabitants, it is the third-largest city in the United States. For this and many other reasons, it is almost impossible for us to list all of its charms in such a short article.

In the long run, we hope that you will begin your exploration of Chicago’s multi-level streets at its core — downtown. But even if you end up going off the beaten path, you can rest assured that “the city that works” will ultimately work out for you.

ABOUT FLATS®FLATS® is CEDARst Companies’ property management brand with a mission to bring big style to smart spaces. They deliver high quality, amenity-rich, branded environments at approachable rents. FLATS® places people at the forefront by offering spaces that are open to the public, music and arts driven events, complimentary fitness classes for residents, and marketing geared to highlight the members of the community.

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