Top Things to Do in Central

THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Central, Chicago

Top Things to Do in Central

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  • Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.
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What travellers are saying

  • GrandTour31049769877
    5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    So many fabulous exhibits. We couldn’t see everything in one day so we focused on the impressionists, American furnishings, the galleries are spacious, not as crowded museums on the coast.
    Written 17 June 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Miguel Gómez
    Monterrey, Mexico11 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    My visit to millennium park was good, I went with no expectations and what I found was really good. Unfortunately, the cloud gate was still closed when I went so I didn’t have the opportunity to see it from a close distance. Otherwise, there are more things to see in millennium park, like the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, that is this big, beautiful and nice outdoor auditorium where they make some music events, when I went there was a blues music event and the vibe was good. There is also the Crown Fountain, that is a fountain with screens that has faces of people, and sometimes they spit water, very funny. Millennium park is the place in Chicago where the people can meet and spend a good time.
    Written 18 June 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Sandra D
    Chicago, IL257 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Gold Coast Dearborn Street walking tour was excellent. The docent, Virginia Gerst, was fun and knowledgeable. Highly recommend.
    Written 15 June 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Irina
    United States13,367 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    It's always enjoyable to visit the Mag Mile (North Michigan Avenue), especially during the week days, when it is not too busy with traffic and people.

    There are new things on The Mile -- new shops, restaurants, cafes, offices, etc, and there are also closures of some famous establishments, mainly restaurants -- a very popular Grand Lux Cafe at 600 N Michigan Ave, and Signature Room with Signature Room Lounge on the 95th floor of John Hancock Center at 875 N Michigan Ave are permanently closed.

    The avenue is now decorated with bright summer flowers and ... cool-looking butterflies, i.e. the art installations of all types of colorful butterflies, with info plaques about the artists and also about the migration habits of butterflies. The exhibition project was organized by the Chicago Park District, and it looks fresh and wonderful!

    The upscale shops are doing very well -- and they are busy with offering new, trendy, city chic summer items. All the attractions nearby welcome public, as well: Tribune Tower, Wrigley Building, Pioneer Court, Chicago Riverwalk, and many other historic and modern sites of this great and friendly city. I'll be back very soon!
    Written 13 June 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Pure_Diamond
    Helsinki, Finland180 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    I'm afraid of heights and thought that I can't do this: stand on 103rd class floor and look down. We had 90 secs time to stand on that floor and I sneaked there and looked down. Wow... I did it👍👍👍. Very proud of myself..

    What a view.... I recommend this experience👍
    Written 18 May 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Caitlin H
    Kansas40 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful and historic Chicago building that has been skillfully retrofitted for wheelchair accessibility. Multiple bathroom configurations available depending on your personal needs.

    Educational and fun exhibits, including their ticked experiences.
    Written 9 June 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Rachel & Andy
    344 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Visited: 06/07/2023

    Inside Millennium Park, this sculpture/artwork is affectionately nicknamed "The Bean". It is quite remarkable and we enjoyed trying to take pictures of ourselves in the reflective surface.

    Can get hot when in the sun for a long time, so be careful on warm days. However, the underneath/gate of the sculpture is really cool and refreshing. It is a lot bigger than you realise and spcaious underneath as well.
    Written 14 June 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • LaurenSCO
    Scotland, UK97 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    The most amazing views! The tilt experience was great and I thought, reasonably priced! Staff were nice and queues moved fast. Only thing that stopped it being a 5 was the cost of the photos. You expect to pay a bit more at these things but I felt $30 for one print was excessive.
    Would definitely recommend when in Chicago!
    Written 21 November 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • sanju_222323
    New Jersey15,989 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    There are few better places to enjoy the outdoors than the Chicago Riverwalk. The Chicago River runs through the heart of the city, parallel to the lakeshore, and is known for its large number of movable bridges. In just two miles, there are 18 bridges, each with the ability to allow large boats to pass.

    The 1.25-mile pedestrian walkway on the south bank of the Chicago River is the perfect place to take a stroll and observe the city skyline. what I found unique is - it's not a monotonous walk.

    Did you know that the Riverwalk is made of six separate coves? Each cove has a unique identity and nickname (Part of my R&D

    The Marina (State to Dearborn):
    The Cove (Dearborn to Clark): Stop for a snack or rent a kayak
    The River Theater (Clark to LaSalle)- plenty of trees and greenery.
    The Water Plaza (LaSalle to Wells)- great for families. Adults can relax around a fountain,
    The Jetty (Wells to Franklin)- See floating wetland gardens
    The Boardwalk (Franklin to Lake)- perfect place to see the Chicago River’s three branches.

    it is one of my favorite attractions in the city, the other two are Navy Pier & Millenium Park - I can keep these 3 to the top -best experience in Chicago.

    visit the public gardens and art displays, or grab a meal at a popular restaurant or bar overlooking the Chicago River. The Riverwalk is home to many dining options and hosts special events throughout the year, and you can also find several river tours and cruises that depart from the Riverwalk.

    Public art is on show throughout the pedestrian trail. But Art on the MART is perhaps the Riverwalk’s most famous work. This is the largest video-projection art installation in the world, taking up approximately 2.5 acres of the MART’s river-facing facade

    bw guys, let me tell you a fact- it was not as beautiful in the past as you are seeing right now- strolling along the picturesque Riverwalk, it’s hard to imagine that it was once a shipping channel — and a smelly one at that. After a lot of effort and dedication, though, it has become one of Chicago’s star attractions

    The Riverwalk is also the epitome of romance as the sun goes down. Listen to live music, and sip wine on a riverside patio.
    Written 16 June 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Donald L
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very awesome the sets are great gory and informative. The ghost tour is really cool you can record and snap a pic so all in all great.
    Written 5 June 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • MojoLad
    Graton, CA305 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    We went here just to check out the famed Tiffany Dome, but as there was a free docent-led tour starting, decided to take in the whole experience. It was wonderful! And free! The building itself is something else, with jaw-droppingly beautiful mosaics throughout, recently cleaned and now in their full original glory, and of course the Dome, which just in itself is worthy of a visit. There's also a cool little (unafiiated) gift shop with very interesting art & souvenirs for sale entirely created by local Chicago artists. Strongly recommended.
    Written 22 April 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Taylor B
    Chicago, IL8,293 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Chicago River is a winding, wandering, wonderful body of water. It flows backward, piercing the heart of Chicago, linking Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. It is a system of rivers and canals with a combined length of 156 miles that runs through downtown Chicago. It is dyed bright green on St. Patrick's Day and is spanned by iconic bridges that open and close to traffic. Today, the main stem of the river flows west from Lake Michigan to Wolf Point, near the Merchandise Mart, where it converges with the North Branch to form the South Branch, which flows southwest and empties into the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. The North Branch has its beginnings in the northern suburbs where its three principal tributaries converge -- Skokie River, Rondout and Mettawa -- and continue south through Niles before entering Chicago near the intersection of Milwaukee Avenue and Devon Avenue. Meanwhile, the South Branch enters the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal at Damen Avenue and flows down the canal through the southwestern suburbs and, in time, into the Des Plaines River between Crest Hill and Lockport, eventually reaching the Gulf of Mexico. Historically, Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette, though probably not the first Europeans to visit the area, are the first recorded explorers to have visited the Chicago River in 1673. Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, acknowledged to be the first permanent resident of Chicago, built a farm on the north bank at the mouth of the river in the 1780s. In 1803, Fort Dearborn was constructed on the bank opposite what had been Point du Sable's settlement, on the site of the present day Michigan Avenue Bridge. The first bridge over the river was constructed over the North Branch near present day Kinzie Street in 1832. A second bridge over the South Branch near Randolph Street was added in 1833. Today, the Chicago River is spanned by 38 bridges, down from a peak of 52. To learn about the history of the Chicago River and how the bridges are raised and lowered, visit the five-story, 1,613-square-foot McCormick Bridgehouse and Chicago River Museum at the southwest bridgehouse of the Michigan Avenue Bridge. Looking for other ways to enjoy the river? Take a lightening fast cruise on the speedy Seadog, which jets off from Navy Pier, speeds along the lakefront, then zips down the river. allowing passengers to see the most famous riverfront buildings, including Tribune Tower, Wrigley Building, Willis Tower, Marina City, Lyric Opera and Merchandise Mart. Take a ride on a fireboat, paddle a kayak, take a guided architectural tour that circles the Loop and glides past the spot where the first settlers to Chicago set up their home base or hail a water taxi to travel via the Chicago River to Chinatown, Navy Pier, the Museum Campus, Willis Tower, Michigan Avenue and Union Station. All in all, there are many exciting ways to explore the Chicago River.
    Written 4 June 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Jennifer T
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful home! They take the time to answer questions. The exhibits are very well done. I learned a lot about what life was like for wealthy families during the Gilded Age, which helped me better understand Chicago's history.
    Written 1 June 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Baybug2
    Macon, GA317 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Just be prepared for the wind...........it was nice and warm and people were out and about. It was our first time visiting the Pier. It was nicely done and very spread out so you could move about even when it was busy.

    We will come back for the boat tours and probably some good food as well.

    The view is just absolutely beautiful. It is really hard to believe it is a freshwater lake. Reminded us alot of the Destin FL harbor.
    Written 30 April 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Miguel Gómez
    Monterrey, Mexico11 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Buckingham Fountain was very nice, is a great spot for taking pictures to yourself or to the ones that are with you. I really recommend to take a look a this place.
    Written 19 June 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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