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TOP 10 things to do in Chicago

    TOP 10 things to do in Chicago:

    1)    Take a walking tour of the Loop. Thompson Center, City Hall, Picasso and Miró statues, Macy’s, Chicago Cultural Center, Chagall mosaic, The Rookery, Chicago Board of Trade, Willis Tower, etc. For expert guided tours, check out the Chicago Architecture Foundation, 224 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60604.

    2)    Explore Millennium Park and Grant Park. Crown Fountain, Cloud Gate (“The Bean”), Nichols Bridgeway, Jay Pritzker Pavillion, Lurie Garden, BP Bridge. Buckingham Fountain, Monroe Harbor.

    3)    Visit one of Chicago’s many museums. This week’s free times at Chicago museums:

    • The Art Institute of Chicago. Free admission to Illinois residents on Thursday, April 24, from 5 to 8 p.m. Illinois teachers get free admission anytime. 111 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60603. (312) 443-3600.
    • Chicago Children’s Museum. Free for all visitors every Thursday, 5-8 pm. Navy Pier, 700 E Grand Ave., Chicago, IL 60611. (312) 527-1000.
    • DuSable Museum of African American History. Free on Sundays, April 20 and 27. 740 E 56th Place, Chicago, IL 60637.
    • Jane Addams Hull House Museum. Free every day. 800 S. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60607. (312) 413-5353.
    • Museum of Contemporary Art. Free admission for Illinois residents on Tuesday, April 22. 220 E Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611. (312) 280-2660.
    • The National Museum of Mexican Art. Free Tuesdays to Sundays. 1852 W 19th St, Chicago, IL 60608. (312) 738-1503.
    • Chicago Cultural Center. Free exhibits and events. Stunning landmark building (incl. world’s largest stained-glass Tiffany dome). 78 E. Washington St., Chicago, IL 60602.

    Other great Chicago museums (no free days in April):

    • Chicago Field Museum. 1400 S Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL 60605.
    • Shedd Aquarium and Oceanarium. 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605. 312-939-2438.
    • Adler Planetarium. 1300 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605. (312) 922-7827. Even if you don’t visit the planetarium, bike or walk out to it for the best view of the Chicago Skyline.
    • Museum of Science and Industry. 5700 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL 60637. (773) 684-1414.

    4)    Rent bikes and bike Chicago’s Lakefront Trail. Bike and Roll, 239 E. Randolph Street, Chicago IL 60601 (at north end of Millennium Park). (312) 729-1000.

    5)    Watch a baseball game. Wrigley Field: The Cubs play the Diamondbacks Tues., April 22 at 7:05 p.m.; Wed., April 23 at 1:20 p.m.; and Thurs., April 24 at 1:20 p.m. U.S. Cellular Field: The White Sox play the Rays on Fri., April 25 at 7:10 p.m.; Sat., April 26 at 6:10 p.m.; and Sun., April 27 at 1:10 p.m.

    6)    Hear the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in concert. The CSO will play Gershwin (An American in Paris) on Tues., April 22 at 7:30 p.m.; and Mozart and Strauss on Thurs., April 24 and Sat., April 26 at 8 p.m.

    7)    Walk and shop on the Magnificent Mile. Michigan Ave., north of the River.  Find pieces of the Chinese Wall, the Parthenon, and many other famous buildings along the walls of the Tribune Tower, visit the original Billy Goat Tavern at 430 N. Michigan Ave. (take stairs down to street’s lower level; made famous by SNL skit and “Billy Goat curse”;, Chicago Water Tower and Pumping Station, Fourth Presbyterian Church, and Hancock Building (watch sunset from 96th floor Signature Lounge,

    8)    Navy Pier. “Chicago’s lakefront playground” is currently under reconstruction, but you can still explore many of its attractions, incl. the Chicago Shakespeare Theater (showing Steven Sondheim’s Road Show April 22-27; and take in the magnificent views of the Chicago skyline.

    9)    Riverwalk. Chicago’s newest attraction is an open, pedestrian waterfront located on the lower level of the south bank of the Chicago River. The Chicago Architecture Foundation offers a popular Chicago River Cruise from the SE corner of the Michigan Avenue bridge.

    10) Ride the legendary El train. Hop on the Brown Line, loop around the Loop, travel across the Chicago River to Chicago Ave. (or beyond), and then ride back.