10 Best Things To Do In The Loop, Chicago, Illinois - Updated 2023

things to do in chicago loop
| 4 min read

Your travel to the Loop is going to be your favorite trip ever. The reason is it offers all the fun and activities that one desires while on vacation. Its skyscrapers will enthrall you and its dazzling restaurants serve mouthwatering delicacies that you can’t resist. The people in the Loop are quite friendly. You should try both the walking and the train tour to explore the place to get a unique experience. The walking tour will help you grasp the real beauty of the place with your eyes. Go and see the iconic Cloud Gate. This place is heaven for luxury shoppers. To make your holiday plans perfect, check out the list below of the best things to do in the Loop, Chicago, Illinois.

1. Attend a concert at Chicago Cultural Center

Chicago Cultural Center and Chicago Public Library, Chicago June 30, 2012-42
Source: Photo by user Victorgrigas used under CC BY-SA 3.0

To spend a vacation in the best possible way, learning about the culture of the place is the optimum approach. And to do that in The Loop, Chicago, you should visit the Cultural Centre and watch the performances of the most talented ethnic music instrumentalists, vocalists, jazz and classical artists. This building was opened in 1897. When you visit, you will also learn a lot about the history of the Chicago Cultural Centre. You can also watch a free concert series at the center, that they host year-round on the first and fourth Monday of every month, and every Wednesday.

Chicago Cultural Center

Address: 78 E. Washington St., Preston Bradley Hall, 3rd floor south, 312-744-6630

Website: Chicago Cultural Center

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 10am - 7pm; Sat - Sun: 10am - 5pm

2. Check out the food truck meet-ups on Daley Plaza

Food Trucks, Daley Plaza, Chicago
Source: Photo by Flickr user Daniel X. O'Neil used under CC BY 2.0

We all are big-time foodies and enjoy different cuisines. In Chicago, you will find endless varieties of food. To explore the real food culture of Chicago, you should attend the Chicago Food Truck Fest. Chicago’s Small Business Center organizes this fest. Fridays are primarily dedicated to food trucks. They all gather at Daley Plaza and bring the delicacy to the street. You can find the Fat Shallot, Harold’s Fried Chicken, DönerMen, and many more mouthwatering dishes that these food trucks serve in the Loops.

Food trucks at Daley Plaza

Address: Washington and Dearborn Sts Chicago

Website: Food trucks at Daley Plaza

Opening hours: Fri: From 11am

Price: Free

3. Learn about dinosaurs at the Field Museum

Chicago Field Museum
Source: Photo by user KiwiDeaPi used under CC BY-SA 3.0

A visit to the Field Museum will enrich your knowledge of nature and culture. You will get to see 40 million unique specimens and artifacts at this museum. Who doesn’t want to see the world’s most complete Tyrannosaurus rex? To know more about the dinosaurs and its history, you should plan a visit to the Field Museum. Come and see the real dinosaurs bones. You will never forget the experience that this place will confer you.

Field Museum

Address: 1400 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605, USA

Website: Field Museum

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)

Price: 35 USD - 40 USD

4. Check out the exhibits at the Art Institute of Chicago

Art Institute of Chicago
Source: Photo by user Phil Roeder used under CC BY 2.0

You might have visited several art museums, but the Art Institute of Chicago is different from other museums in the world. You will get to see glorious contemporary masterpieces that you won’t find anywhere else. You will experience the history of the entire globe when you will walk through its art gallery and see the art of ancient Greece, Africa, Japan, and the Americas. Those who visit always love every second that they spend in this art institute. Check out the iconic paintings and don’t forget to see the Eduard Manet exhibition.

Art Institute

Address: 111 S Michigan Ave, 159 East Monroe Street, Chicago, IL 60603-6110

Website: Art Institute

Opening hours: Mon - Wed: 10:30am - 5pm; Thu: 10:30am - 8pm; Fri: 10:30am - 5pm (closed on Sat & Sun)

Price: 25 USD

5. Go on a Chicago donut tour (from USD 55.0)

If you have a sweet tooth, then you should not miss this tour. You will get countless varieties of donuts that you can’t even imagine. If you want gluten-free and nut-free donuts, these will be provided to you. Go on this tour and celebrate your vacation with the tastiest cream or sugar or chocolate-filled donuts. It is a unique way to explore the food culture in Chicago.

Underground Donut Tour: Chicago's First Donut Tour

Duration: 2 hours

733 reviews

6. Take a cruise tour to see the historic Chicago architecture (from USD 50.0)

It is essential to know about the architecture of the place to feel the real beauty of the area. To see the authentic architecture of the Loop, Chicago, you should take a river cruise tour. Highly trained expert docents will take you on this tour and show you the historic and modern architectural style of buildings. They will also tell you the stories about the people who have designed the buildings and explain everything. This is a 90-minute cruise tour where you will learn a lot about the Chicago architecture.

Chicago Architecture River Cruise Guided Tour

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes

11445 reviews

7. Catch a show at Chicago Theatre (from USD 24.0)

The Chicago theatre is well known as the Balaban and Katz Chicago Theatre. It’s a legendary theatre where you can watch several splendid live events, dramas and shows. Whether you love a rock band performance or thrilling and mesmerizing drama, there is something for everyone. The time and price of the events vary. So, check and book before visiting. The cozy seats and extremely ravishing atmosphere make this theatre one of the best things that you should do in the Loop, Chicago, Illinois.

Behind-the-Scenes Tour of Historic Chicago Theatre

Duration: 1 hour

28 reviews

8. Admire the glory of the Buckingham Fountain

Buckingham Fountain & close Chicago skyline, Aug 10
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user An Errant Knight used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Buckingham Fountain is one of the largest fountains in the world. Its Beaux-Arts-style landscape design will leave you spellbound. The architects used technology in the finest way to design this fountain. You will see wrought bronze sculptures which make this fountain spectacular. If you want to see it in its full glory, visit at night. You will get an incredible light show.

Buckingham Fountain

Address: 301 S Columbus Dr, Chicago, IL 60605, USA

Website: Buckingham Fountain

Opening hours: 8am - 11pm (daily)

Price: Free

9. Attend a concert at the Civic Opera House

Civic Opera House is renowned as Lyric Opera House. It is a once in a lifetime experience to watch a musical show at this venue. This is an excellent place for a romantic date with your loved one. The excellent stage, acoustic, and vocals make this place the best. Enjoy the West Side Story and then later go for dinner at the Sarah and Peer Pedersen Room. The meal will cost you around USD 100 for two people. You will certainly enjoy your visit to this wonderful historic venue.

Civic Opera House

Address: 20 N Upper Wacker Dr #400, Chicago, IL 60606, USA

Website: Civic Opera House

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 5pm; Sat: 10am - 5pm; Sun: 10am - 2pm

10. Learn about the universe at Adler Planetarium (from USD 35.0)

It is a public museum for every science enthusiast, especially if you are interested in astronomy and astrophysics. You will learn a lot about the Universe. All the progress that science has done in the last 100 years you will also be able to know more about that here. Every year, half a million visitors throng this museum. You should also watch the sky shows. You will certainly get an out of the world experience.

Adler Planetarium

Duration: 3 hours

24 reviews

A memorable holiday

So far, you must have realized that there are so many things to do in the Loop, Chicago, that can transform your entire vacation into a memorable holiday. You should give some time to each of these activities in the Loop. Don’t even miss a single one if you really want to have a great holiday.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Nikhil NG is a writer, brand strategic consultant, traveler and the founder of SuccessRider.com. His writing inspires people to travel on a budget. Plus, he helps hospitality dealers achieve...Read more

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