Apr 1, 2010 12:00 PM
Feast on pizza, jazz, skyscrapers, museums, or the Cubs
The legendary Chicago Theatre, whose famous C-H-I-C-A-G-O marquee lights up State Street, hosts concerts, comedians, special events, and theatrical productions, and more recently the brand new production from Cirque du Soleil, Banana Shpeel. You can also take a peek behind-the-scenes on the venue's Marquee Tour, which highlights the history of the building from its landmark opening in 1921 to today.
The Harris Theater for Performance and Dance features world-renowned dance and music institutions and hosts acclaimed national and international companies in its state-of-the-art setting at the north end of Millennium Park.
How about museums?
In Chicago's lakefront Museum Campus, centered within The Field Museum's 20 million biological and anthropological specimens, is Sue, the largest and most complete T-Rex ever found. Explore the universe at Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum, the world's only museum with two full-size planetarium theaters. Or head to the Shedd Aquarium and get up close with 22,000 aquatic species.
The Museum of Science and Industry — the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere — offers over 800 captivating interactive exhibits, including the U-505 submarine, a working coal mine, and a Boeing 727 airplane.
The Art Institute of Chicago has a permanent collection of paintings, drawings, photography, and textiles that includes the largest compilation of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works outside the Louvre. Find outstanding and thought-provoking visual art created since 1945 at The Museum of Contemporary Art.
Curious about the environment we live in and creatures that live among us? Visit The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Lincoln Park to learn about urban nature.
For the kids, the Children's Museum is a must-see.
Chicago is synonymous with pizza. It migrated to America with the Italians in the latter half of the 19th century and was introduced to Chicago by a peddler who walked up and down Taylor Street with a metal washtub of pizzas on his head, offering a chew for two cents. In 1943, Chicago-style deep-dish pizza (a pizza with a flaky crust that rises an inch or more above the plate and surrounds deep piles of toppings) was created by Ike Sewell at his bar and grill called Pizzeria Uno.
Nightlife? Chicago is the birthplace of Chicago Blues, which adds electricity to strengthen the standard guitar/harmonica combination. Experience this legendary sound at Blue Chicago's two locations, from celebrated local and national touring acts at Buddy Guy's Legends, and at Kingston Mines — Chicago's oldest blues club and Chicago Music Awards' “Most Popular Blues Club” for eight years. Catch smooth jazz sounds at The Back Room, Pops for Champagne, Andy's Jazz Club, Green Dolphin Street, or The Green Mill.
Catch a performance by the famed Chicago Symphony Orchestra or renowned Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Or, if laughter is what you seek, you're in the right place: Modern improv was born in Chicago. The Second City, which has produced comic greats since 1959, and ComedySportz deliver fast and funny improv.
The Second City launched the careers of such comic greats as Tina Fey, Will Ferrell, and Steve Carell. On each of the two stages in the Old Town theatre, resident troupes perform.
At ComedySportz in the Lakeview neighborhood, Red and Blue teams battle it out in front of a referee in games the audience selects, and points are awarded based on how hard the improvisers make you laugh. Other shows include The Improv Match Game, in which real audience contestants match wits with top Chicago improvisers, The Rotator shows created by ensemble members, and The Beatbox — a fast-paced fusion of long form improvisation and classic hip-hop.
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