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Exploring Chicago After The Sun Goes Down: Best Things To Do At Night

Lorrie
Published Mar 21, 2017

Chicago is one of my favorite cities-living in Michigan I can take the train in and enjoy the city. There’s something for every type of visitor at night: If you want culture, then enjoy fine dining at one of the many downtown restaurants followed by a night at the theater. If you’re a music lover, then check out the jazz performances and bars of the city. There’s also do-it-yourself options such as a River Boat Cruise or a stroll down the Magnificent Mile. These are the best things to do at night.

1. Jazz and breweries

Source: wikimedia

Jazz, one of America’s great musical styles, got its start in Chicago. The Green Mile Cocktail Lounge includes a dance floor, gardens and it stays open late to offer breakfast. With the best jazz acts all week long, it’s a must see destination in Chicago. They have a cover charge at the door (cash only) for those 21 and older.

Half Acre Brewery is only 10 minutes away and considered a Chicago institution and offers brewery tours. Constellation, located in northern Chicago, is the place for experimental jazz, improvisation and classical in a space that was once studio space. Revolution Brewing is nearby and is the largest independently owned brewery in Illinois. They produce dozens of brews each year and host trivia nights as well as nights that include food. Andy’s Jazz Club is a city mainstay, in the Loop-they offer Latin jazz, fusion, traditional and swing-a wide variety of styles. This club has a restaurant and only offers tables to those who dine, but if you want to get drinks beforehand head to the Haymarket Pub & Brewery located in West Loop. They specialize in American beers, offer tours and have live music. Another bar worth mention is The Violet Hour, recognized by GQ as one of the best cocktail bars, located in Wicker Park. It has a VIP list so reservations are required. It offers pre-Prohibition style cocktails, cocktail classes as well as hosts private events.

The Green Mile Cocktail Lounge

Address : 4802 N Broadway St Chicago IL

Price: 4 - 15 USD Cash Only

Opening Hours: M-F noon-4am; Sat noon-5am; Sun 11am-4am

Duration: varies by performance

Access: free parking lot reserved for our customers from 6pm-6am one block west of the Green Mill, at Lawrence & Magnolia or by train: Red line to the Lawrence stop.

Contact: 773 878 5552

Near by Food: food at location

Website Green Mile Cocktail Lounge

Half Acre Brewery

Address: 4257 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL

Opening Hours: Closed on Mondays; Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday 11am - 11pm; Friday 11am - 1am; Saturday 11am - 2am

Contact: +1 773-248-4038

Website: Half Acre Brewery

Constellation

Website: Constellation

Revolution Brewing

Website: Revolution Brewing

Andy's Jazz Club

Website: Andy’s Jazz Club

Haymarket Pub & Brewery

Website: Haymarket Pub & Brewery

The Violet Hour

Website: The Violet Hour

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Chicago and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Chicago

2. Theater and fine dining: Goodman Theater

Chicago has amazing theaters: The SteppenWolf Theater located in Lincoln Park has launched the careers of many actors-the dramas seen here portray deeply enriched character stories by a ensemble cast. The theater includes a bar area to socialize before the show and during intermission.

Victory Garden, located in Lincoln Park is dedicated to the development of new plays and playwrights and explores the diversity of the city. They have community events and take part in art education programming.

For theater downtown head to the Goodman Theater. Considered the Grand Dame of Chicago Theater, it features the best playwrights and offers stage readings and workshops, yearly. The plays offered here are often an American spin on classic plays as well as plays that celebrate culture, bravery, and real life people of history. It has an elegant lounge area that’s open an hour before performance and during intermission.

Goodman Theater

Address: 170 N Dearborn Street Chicago

Price: 18-40 USD upper 45-50 USD lower

Opening Hours: 9am - 6pm. Closed on public holidays.

Duration: 2 or more hours

Access: Two self-parks in Theater District and Government Center, centrally located to train, bus lines

Contact: 312 443 3800

Website: Goodman Theater

Stepphenwolfe Theater

Address: 1650 N Halstead St Chicago

Price: 44-89 USD

Opening Hours: showings afternoon and evenings.

Duration: 90 min

Access Red Line North Clybourn

Contact: (312) 335-1650

Near by Food: Vinci & Balena

Website: StepphenWolfe Theater

Victoria Gardens

Address: 2433 N Lincoln Ave Chicago

Price: 25 to 35 USD

Opening Hours: afternoon and evening showings

Duration: varies by performance

Access: Red Brown or Purple Fullerton Stop

Contact: 773-871-3000

Near by Food: Fiesta Mexican and Tandoor Char House

Website: Victory Garden

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3. Take a stroll down Magnificent Mile

If you’re short on cash, then explore the city on foot walking down the Magnificent Mile, listening to street artists and then walk through Grant Park with it’s beautiful Buckingham Fountain. End the evening with a carriage ride around town, which can either take you downtown or along the lake shore area.

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4. Book an entertaining activity!

Second City Sights

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Second City in Lincoln Park is a great place to have a laugh in the evening. If you’re interested in food, start your evening with a food tour with Tastebud Food Tours. They offer a wide variety of tours such as Chicago Underground, Savor Gold Coast and Old Town Tours. Take a ballroom dance class in Lakeview at Ballroom Dance Chicago from skilled professionals for reasonable rates. They cost between 50-100 USD

More Information: Second City in Lincoln Park

More Information: Tastebud Tours

More Information: Ballroom Dance Chicago

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4. Views from above: The Signature Room at the Hancock Center and theWit Hotel

Two places that offer great views of the city are The Signature Room on the 95th floor of the John Hancock Center. I have been to this building and the views are amazing. They offer a 360-degree view as well as a restaurant. The other is the Rooftop Bar at theWit Hotel, by Hilton.

More Information: The Signature Room

More Information: theWit Hotel

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Chicago and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Chicago

Chicago: my favorite city

Chicago is a city that will always be one of my favorites-it holds excitement and lots of things to explore and do. Every interest is represented in this great city and you will always have a memorable time, so make the trip and enjoy the nightlife of Chicago.

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I'm a self-employed pet sitter and have been in business for almost 13 years. I'm a solo traveler since 2011 and have visited Charleston, Newport RI, Chicago, Denver, Boston, Mackinaw Island and...Read more

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