If the Escape Room God had issued his list of Ten Escape Room Commandments, I am quite sure one of those would have been
Thou shalt make an Escape Room a part of thy day out.
And so, committed as we are to helping our players have a great time, Fox In A Box Chicago has decided to create a list of things to do in Chicago to help our players plan their day out in Chicago.
You can start off your day with a nice walk down the Chicago Riverwalk which serves as a nice break from the constant buzz and activity that are the streets of Chicago, even in the early morning. The gentle lapping of the Chicago River right next to you doesn’t hurt either.
There are a number of restaurants and cafes along the Riverwalk, like a branch of the City Winery, Island Party Hut Tiki Bar and Grill and O’Brien’s Riverwalk Café.
The problem is, however, that most of these places don’t open till well after the typical morning walk hours.
If you really want to challenge yourself though, try the Lakefront Trail, that stretches for over 18 miles along Lake Michigan. Be advised though, certain parts of the trail are closed when the lake turns turbulent.
A third good place for a morning walk is The 606, based on the former Bloomingdale Line, that runs through several north-western Chicago neighbourhoods and is generally popular with walkers, joggers and cyclists.
The 606 too offers a range of gastronomic choices throughout its stretch, ranging from Korean food places to bars, pizzerias and what not.
If you’re looking for even more peace and quiet, you can consider driving a half hour to the Cranberry Slough Nature Preserve, which is complete with wetlands and mildly forested areas.
If quiet ain’t your thing, you can try out the Chicago Loop. This isn’t exactly a walking trail; it’s a business district of Chicago, but it’s a pleasure to walk through early in the morning when the engines of business and industry aren’t quite at full steam yet.
If you’re a farmers’ market aficionado, well, the windy city certainly gives you a lot of choices. There are farmers’ markets at Logan Square, there’s one inside the Loop and then of course you have the Green City Market.
If it’s not farmer, but a different f-word that you’re interested in, there are plenty of flea markets in and around Chicago too.
You have the
- Chicago French Market which is mostly known for its wide variety of eateries
- Randolph Street Market the must visit for anyone interested in art, furniture and various collectibles
- Vintage Garage where you can get everything from clothing to furniture to toys and old music records
among many others.
If you’re in Chicago with your kids, chances are they won’t be that interested in most of what the flea markets have to offer...apart of course from the food.
However kids will enjoy
- Getting on the Centennial Wheel at the Navy Pier
- Browsing through the exhibits, going on a simulated racecar experience and even trying to sleuth sports-related mysteries at the Chicago Sports Museum
- Paying a kind of tribute to Harry Carray (Trust me, kids will LOVE it)
- The climbing walls and skating ground at Maggie Daley’s Park
- Taking in the views of 4 different states at the Skydeck, especially from ‘The Ledge’
- The various rooms of the Chicago Children’s Museum
If you’re looking to expand your horizons and get to know the world better, you could consider checking out the various museums that dot Chicago
First up is surely the Field Museum of Natural History, one of the largest natural history museums in the world. From Sue the Tyrannosaurus Rex to interactive exhibits and even actual interaction with museum staff, the Field Museum has it all!
For those interested in art there’s the Art Institute where you can witness the difference between a Picasso and a Pollock, see photography collections and even check out ancient art and handiwork.
And if your taste lies more in engineering and science, you can check out the Museum of Science and Industry.
Apart from these there are museums catering to more specific niches like
- the Museum of Contemporary Photography
- the Swedish American Museum
- the American Writers’ Museum
- and the National Museum of Mexican Art
We talked about general places to eat earlier but what trip would be complete without some fine dining?
And Chicago has plenty of that too.
- The Acadia (2 Michelin stars) specializing in contemporary American fare and with a signature risotto that’s to die for
- The Parachute (1 Michelin star) with a Korean-based but creative menu
- The Topolobampo (1 Michelin star) whose speciality is Mexican cuisine
And as the day draws to a close you can enjoy a night out at
- Three Dots and a Dash, a Polynesian-themed watering hole
- The Chicago Magic Lounge where you enjoy illusionists perform their craft while you make cocktails disappear
- The Jazz Showcase where you can (as if it wasn’t evident) listen to heart lilting jazz
- Buddy Guy’s Legends which features blues and Cajun-themed music
If you are really thinking of visiting Chicago, make to check out the City Pass, which gives you free admission to five different Chicago hotspots. If you’re thinking of visiting some or all of them, it would make sense to get that pass!
Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list but we’ve tried to give you an idea of what you can do and how you can plan your day (including hopefully an escape or two at Fox In A Box Chicago) in the Windy City.