Things to do in Chicago

To reflect on our latest visit to Chicago, the Rivkin Travel Review has been focusing many recent articles on local Chicago hotels and restaurants. Today we wanted to focus on the real essence of any leisure travel or family vacation: The itinerary. Sure finding the right hotel is essential and you’ve got to know where to eat, but it’s the activities and attractions that make visiting a new city so exciting and memorable. So in this edition of the Andrew Rivkin Travel Review we are going to focus on things to do in Chicago!

Music has always been a passion of ours, and while traveling we’ve noticed that when really immersed in the surroundings of any metropolis, you will find that each has its own unique sound and a rich heritage of music. That’s why we have to recommend Kingston Mines- Chicago Blues Center for those that digg arts and culture. There’s live blues music (2 stages, 2 bands) seven nights a week, as well as Chicago’s best barbeque with spirits to wash it down. It’s the place to “Hear Blues, Drink Booze, Talk Loud, You’re Among Friends”. Kingston Mines features a variety of blues, from soulful to toe-tapping and everything in between. The musicians are Chicago’s finest, and any one visiting can really get a feel for the historical city’s culture from the best blues musicians in the area. Visit to check out the menu, music schedule and more; find them on Facebook or follow on Twitter @KingstonMines.

History is another passion of ours, and if we can travel while learning more about the past and how things work, that’s a double bonus! That’s why we stopped off at the Museum of Science and Industry, and if you enjoy expanding your knowledge this is a great Chicago attraction. The museum is located at 57th Street and Lake Shore Drive and it’s one of the world’s largest science museums. It features over thirty thousand artifacts and nearly fourteen acres of hands-on exhibits that are meant to “To inspire the inventive genius in everyone.” A few major permanent exhibits include the U-505 Submarine, YOU! The Experience, Science Storms, Genetics: Decoding Life, Earth Revealed, the Pioneer Zephyr, and Take Flight; the Chicago museum also has public programs like daily live science experiences, facilitated exhibits, special access tours, science theater shows, lectures and live video conferences.

The Shedd Aquarium is another must see Chicago attraction that has been around since 1930, though it was previously the John G. Shedd Aquarium. The aquarium literally has tens of thousands of fish, and marine animals from all corners of the earth. Exhibits include Amazon Rising, the Caribbean Reef, Waters of the World and Abbott Oceanarium, just to name a few. Get your Shedd Aquarium tickets online to save time and money.

Michigan Avenue is probably the most well-known area to Chicago tourists and residents alike. You can’t visit the city of Chicago without a stroll through the many historic districts in the area, and it’s here where you will actually run into many subsequent attractions along the way! Start out at the edge of beautiful Lake Michigan at Lake Shore Dr. and begin heading south down Michigan Avenue where along the way you will find the Chicago Water Tower, the Art Institute of Chicago, Millennium Park, and the world-renown Magnificent Mile, which is a stretch of boutique shopping with every store imaginable and several of the city’s landmark buildings.