MUSEUMS, ATTRACTIONS, AND RECREATION
Attractions In and Near Downtown Chicago
Sports and Recreational Facilities
Argonne Recreational Organizations
Chicago provides a rich and varied cultural environment,
which we encourage you to sample and enjoy during your stay here. There
are numerous major art, natural history and science museums, as well as
smaller ones devoted to the cultural histories of the many
nationalities that have settled in this city. The city is home to a
world-renowned symphony, a major opera company, a wide variety of
theaters and professional sports teams. The lakefront park hosts free
weekly open-air concerts throughout the summer, as well as numerous
festivals. We have two zoos, a lakefront aquarium and a planetarium.
Forest preserves providing outdoor recreation are plentiful in both the
city and suburbs, and visits to the nearby arboretum or the botanical
garden are wonderful ways to enjoy the outdoors.
Numerous publications are available listing the events and activities offered in Chicago. The Chicago Official Visitors Guide,
available in the lobby of the Argonne Guest House, is free and has a
complete listing of museums and other attractions including current
hours and admission fees. The Chicago Tribune newspaper,
especially the Friday, Saturday and Sunday editions, has entertainment
sections with weekly listings of events, movies for all ages. Chicago magazine is an excellent guide for concerts, theaters, restaurants, museums and
attractions of all kinds. This monthly publication is readily available
in the magazine sections of many supermarkets, drugstores, and
Guidebooks to Chicago and road maps are available in
area bookstores. Map books which include detailed maps for the entire
metropolitan area are available as well as individual fold out maps for
sections of the city. Information is available on the web at
choosechicago.com and chicago.metromix.com.
The Chicago Office of Tourism has a website where you can print coupons for savings on attractions, dining, entertainment, museums, and shopping. The Chicago CityPASS allows visitors to gain admission to the top attractions in Chicago for 50% less than purchasing tickets separately.
There are two Visitor Information Centers in downtown Chicago :
Chicago Cultural Center
77 East Randolph at Michigan Ave
Monday - Thursday: 8am - 7pm, Friday: 8am - 6pm, Saturday: 9am - 6pm, Sunday: 10am - 6pm, Holidays: 10am - 4pm
Chicago Water Works (old Chicago Water Tower)
163 East Pearson at Michigan Ave
Open Monday - Thursday: 8am - 7pm, Friday: 8am - 6pm, Saturday: 9am - 6pm, Sunday: 10am - 6pm, Holidays: 10am - 4pm
Both centers are closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas day, and New Year's day.
Call their toll free hotline 1-877-CHICAGO; 1-866-710- 0294 ( TTY) for more information about events, exhibits, programs, accommodations, sightseeing, or to request a free Chicago vacation-planning package.
Discover Downtown Chicago Through Walking Tours
Free audio tours are now available for the Loop area and Millennium Park
Loop the Loop
Free Self-guided audio tours feature the highlights of Chicago’s
famed downtown district. Blending both historical and modern
perspective, Loop the Loop allows you to chart your own course selected from over 90 minutes of engaging narration. Download each tour, direct to your MP3 player, along with
maps. Don’t have an MP3 player? Reserve a fully loaded Loop
the Loop MP3 player at the ArchiCenter, 224 South Michigan
Avenue. There are 3 Loops of the Loop available:
• Art Loop
• Landmark Loop
• Theatre Loop
Millennium Park Self-Guided Audio Tour
Chicago’s Millennium Park is an unparalleled center for art, music, architecture and landscape design.
Now you can explore the 24.5 acre Park with its creators as your guide,
including architect Frank Gehry, and artists Anish Kapoor and Jaume
Plensa. Discover how and why Millennium Park was built. Learn the
secrets that lie beneath the Park floor, and hear the reasons why
Millennium Park is one of the world’s most spectacular new public
Download the map and free audio tour for your MP3 player.
With the Millennium Park self-guided audio tour, you can go at your own
pace and listen in any order you choose. Audio tour rental is also
available for $5 in the Chicago Shop at Millennium Park, located on the
second floor of the Northeast Exelon Pavilion, 201 E. Randolph Street.
Tour stops are designated on the Millennium Park maps located in the
Welcome Center in the Northwest Exelon Pavilion and on the downloadable
The City of Chicago welcomes you to the new Explore Chicago downloadable at our website, presented by the Chicago Office of Tourism. These free downloadable tours will take you on an adventure which you can enjoy anywhere -- at home, in the car or walking down our city streets. Each tour features local experts sharing what they know best, Chicago! Visit exciting destinations, listen to music created here and share in the culture only found in our city. Tours are available in 5 languages: English, German, Japanese, Mandarin and Spanish. Right now there is a tour of the History of Chicago Blues, Chicago for Kids! and one of Millennium Park.
Attractions In and Near Downtown Chicago
Many attractions have free admission days or coupons are available. Call or check the websites for details. The Chicago CityPASS allows visitors to gain admission to the top attractions in Chicago for 50% less than purchasing tickets separately.
Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum - 1300 South Lake Shore Drive (in Museum Campus), 312-922-7827,
Take a trip to the Moon, the stars, the end of the galaxy and beyond
without leaving Chicago at the Western Hemisphere 's first planetarium.
Art Institute of Chicago - 111 South Michigan Avenue (at Adams St ), 312-443-3600, www.artic.edu/aic.
The institute houses one of the world's great collections of art and
has an outstanding display of French Impressionist and post
Brookfield Zoo -3300 Gold Road, Brookfield IL, 708-688-8000. www.brookfieldzoo.org. One of the world's largest zoos just 25 minutes or 19 miles north east of Argonne.
Chicago Architecture Foundation - 224 South Michigan Avenue, 312-922-3432, www.architecture.org. Exhibits and excellent guided tours celebrate the city's rich architectural heritage.
Chicago Botanic Garden - 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, 847-835-5440, www.chicagobotanic.org.
385-acre living museum featuring 24 specialty gardens set on a series
of islands and lakes. 44 mile (approximately 50 minute) drive north of
Chicago Children's Museum - 700 East Grand Avenue (at Navy Pier), 312-527-1000 www.ChiChildrensMuseum.org. Unique hands-on exhibits and new activities daily. Fun for children ages two to ten and their parents.
Chicago Cultural Center - 78 E Washington St (at Michigan Ave ), 312-744-6630,
http://egov.cityofchicago.org/city/webportal/portalEntityHomeAction.do?entityName=Cultural+Center&entityNameEnumValue=128. Daily programs and changing exhibitions covering
a wide range of performing, visual and literary arts. FREE
Chicago Historical Society - 610 North Clark St (at North Ave), 312-642-4600, www.chicagohs.org. The
Historical Society specializes in Chicago and Illinois history the
excellent permanent collection includes a Civil War gallery, the
earliest known photographic views of the city and an audiovisual
presentation of the Great Chicago Fire.
Chicago Shakespeare Theatre - 800 East Grand Ave (at Navy Pier), 312-595-5600 www.chicagoshakes.com. Professional theater dedicated to presenting the works of William Shakespeare.
Chicago Symphony Orchestra - Symphony Center, 220 South Michigan Ave. 312-294-3000, www.cso.org.
The orchestra performs more than one hundred concerts a year in a
season running from September to May. The Center hosts many other
series including pop, piano, jazz and many international orchestras.
Field Museum of Natural History - 1400 South Lake Shore Drive (in Museum Campus), 312-922-9410, www.fieldmuseum.org.
Named for its founding donor, Marshall Field I, it is home to the
largest T. Rex dinosaur and houses collections of American Indian,
primitive and Chinese art, archeology and Oceania.
Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance - 300 N Central Park Ave,
312-746-5100, www.garfield-conservatory.org. Visit one of the nation's premier conservatories - six multi-faceted greenhouses and two grand exhibition halls. FREE
John G. Shedd Aquarium - 1200 South Lake Shore Drive (in Museum Campus), 312-939-2438, www.sheddaquarium.org. The world's largest indoor aquarium.
John Hancock Observatory - 875 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, 1-888-875-8439,
http://www.hancock-observatory.com/en/. With sweeping views spanning 4 states - Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois - there's a whole lot to see!
Lincoln Park Zoo - 2001
North Clark Street, 312-742-2000, www.lpzoo.org. Nose to nose with nature. FREE
Lyric Opera of Chicago - Civic Opera House, 20 N Wacker Drive, 312-332-2244, www.lyricopera.org. Opera season from September to April.
Millennium Park - bordered by Michigan Avenue to
the west, Columbus Drive to the east, Randolph Street to the North and
Monroe Street to the South, 312-742-1168, www.millenniumpark.org. Open daily from 6am - 11pm. FREE
Museum of Contemporary Art - 220 East Chicago Ave, 312-280-2660, www.mcachicago.org.
Just steps from Michigan Ave and Chicago 's historic Water Tower, the
MCA presents today's most innovative and exciting artists.
Museum of Science and Industry - 57th St and Lake Shore Drive, 773-684-1414, www.msichicago.org.
The latest developments of science and industry are shown in the 14
acres of exhibits. Many exhibits are hands-on and the Omnimax Theatre
shows films on a five-storied domed screen.
Navy Pier Chicago - 600 East Grand Ave, 312-595-7437, www.navypier.com. Year-round more than 50 acres of parks, promenade, gardens, shops, restaurants, and entertainment await you!
Oriental Institute Museum - 1155 East 58 th St, 773-702-9520, www.oi.uchicago.edu.
The museum is connected with the University of Chicago, and its
collections center on ancient Near Eastern Archeology, art, religion
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum - 2430 N Cannon Drive (at Fullerton Parkway ), 773-775-5100, www.chias.org. Hands-on exhibits to connect the visitor with the natural world. Home to the only year-round butterfly haven.
Ravinia Festival - 200 Ravinia Park Road, Highland Park, 847-266-5100,
www.ravinia.org. Outdoor concerts from June to September, including classical, pop,
jazz, folk, and chamber music. Summer home of the Chicago Symphony
Sears Tower Skydeck - 233 S. Wacker Dr., Chicago, 312-875- 9447. www.theskydeck.com. (Enter Skydeck on Jackson Blvd.). The best view of Chicago and beyond from the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. Interactive displays highlight the character and characters of this great city.
Artists Showcase West - 630-963-9093, www.dgconcerts.org . The purpose of the Artists showcase is promote and encourage public interest in the performing arts in Downers Grove, Illinois and surrounding areas by presenting a program of outstanding professional talent in the sphere of music and dance at affordable prices.
Downers Grove Choral Society - 630-515-0030, www.dgcs.org . A community choir with participations open to all members of the community. Three major concerts are held each year.
DuPage Children's Museum - 301 N. Washington St. Naperville, 630-637-8000, w ww.dupagechildrensmuseum.org . A hands-on educational discovery center.
Fermilab Arts Series - Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Batavia, www.fnal.gov/pub/events/culture.html . Cultural programs include an arts series, lectures, international film series and art gallery with rotating exhibits.
Grove Players - 630-415-3682, www.groveplayers.org
Their purpose is to provide the audience the opportunity to experience
and enjoy the wonders of theater, and to provide an opportunity for
those who wish to participate in the challenges and rewards of this art
form. Rehearsals and performances held in Downers Grove.
Hinsdale Center for the Arts - Katherine Legge Memorial Park, 5903 South County Line Road, Hinsdale, 630-887-0203,
www.hinsdalearts.org. Exhibitions and classes in art, music and dance.
McCord Gallery - 9602 West Creek Road, Palos Park, 708-671-0648, www.mccordgallery.org . To preserve the McCord House as a learning center for the arts and cultural history while showcasing the artworks of local and regional artists .
Morton Arboretum - 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle, 630-968-0074,
This 1,700 acre outdoor museum serves as a haven for tree, nature and
bird lovers and is a site for the study of natural history. Many
Naper Settlement - 523 S Webster St. Naperville, 630-420-6010, www.napersettlement.org .
This living history museum tells the story of daily life in Naperville
as it changed from a simple frontier outpost to a bustling
Theatre of Western Springs - 4384 Hampton Ave, Western Springs, 708-246-4043, www.theatrewesternsprings.com .
The Theatre of Western Springs, is dedicated to serving as a major
cultural resource, providing a company of adult and young members with
education in theatre arts and opportunities for personal fulfillment.
Individual and season tickets available.
Sporting events are held regularly throughout each
sports season. Ticket information can be found through each team's
website and through ticket agencies such as TicketMaster. Check out "Ticket Sales - Entertainment & Sports" in the Yellow Pages
Chicago Bears - football - www.chicagobears.com
Chicago Blackhawks - hockey - www.chicagoblackhawks.com
Chicago Bulls - basketball - www.bulls.com
Chicago Cubs - baseball - www.cubs.com
Chicago Fire - soccer - www.chicago-fire.com
Chicago White Sox - baseball - www.whitesox.com
Chicago Wolves - hockey -
Sports and Recreational Facilities
Forest Preserves - each
county reserves a certain amount of land as an open space, to preserve
a habitat for wildlife and to provide an array of outdoor educational
and recreational opportunities. Each forest preserve consists of
numerous individual parks with a variety of resources such as trails,
nature centers, and picnic areas. Check out each district to determine
which facilities interest you.
- Forest Preserve District of DuPage County - 630-933-7200 , www.dupageforest.com . Waterfall Glen surrounds Argonne National Laboratory.
- Forest Preserve District of Cook County - www.fpdcc.com
Golf - numerous public and private golf
courses are located in the suburbs surrounding Argonne.
Check the internet and telephone directory for golf courses and price ranges.
Health and Fitness Clubs - There are
many private clubs with a full range of exercise equipment and
facilities. The internet and yellow pages of the telephone directory list many. It
is a good idea to visit several to compare facilities and fees.
Park Districts - Each community has a
Park District, which offers a wide variety of programs and classes and
oversees public sports facilities in its area. The easiest way to find
your park district is to do an internet search using your community
name and "park district". This will lead you to schedules and services
offered such as: public outdoor pools, children's baseball and soccer
leagues, art classes, etc.
Skating Rinks - There are several ice
skating facilities in the area. Check under "Skating Rinks" in the
yellow pages for information about public skating time, hockey teams
and where lessons are available.
YMCA - (Young Men's Christian Association) the "Y" is
the nation's pioneer and still largest provider and promoter of
comprehensive health and fitness programs in the country - fitness in
spirit, mind and body. Three local communities, Downers Grove,
Naperville and LaGrange, have associations.
Argonne Recreational Organizations
Arts at Argonne - A performing arts series at Argonne held in the auditorium of Building
401. Concerts are advertised in the Argonne News and tickets are sold
in the cafeteria or at the door.
Argonne Community - Check out the Inside Argonne website and
browse through the community section to find out about clubs and
employee organizations, exercise facility, holiday schedule,
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