Fun things to do in Illinois
Tourist Attractions

15 Cool and Unusual Things to Do in Illinois

Not sure what to do on your next vacation? Check out this list of the top 15 activities in Illinois, USA that you won’t want to miss! From strolling around and exploring parks, all the way up through sightseeing tours and historical landmarks – we’ve got something for everyone. Get ready for an unforgettable experience!

The Best Thing To Do in Illinois

Fun things to do in Illinois
Fun things to do in Illinois

Millennium Park

  • Address: 201 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60602, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (72508)
  • Phone: +1 312-742-1168
  • Website: Link
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: 6:00 AM – 11:00 PM
    Tuesday: 6:00 AM – 11:00 PM
    Wednesday: 6:00 AM – 11:00 PM
    Thursday: 6:00 AM – 11:00 PM
    Friday: 6:00 AM – 11:00 PM
    Saturday: 6:00 AM – 11:00 PM
    Sunday: 6:00 AM – 11:00 PM

5 Replies to 15 Cool and Unusual Things to Do in Illinois

  1. Such an amazing place to visit and a must in your in the Chicago area. Great place to capture amazing photos of the famous Bean and downtown area. I really enjoyed hitting the ice skating ring for a few laps. I highly recommend coming here to visit a iconic piece of Chicago.

  2. It is a really good touristy place for everyone to come and hangout with their friends/family/partner. I went during Thanksgiving as well as New Year’s day. The snow never stop anyone there are always people around the park. Also, overview of the Chicago skyline is must to watch and nearby to all other attractions nearby.

  3. Beautiful place!!! You can spent so much time taking pictures around the bean but we also enjoyed the ice skaters. It was not too cold so we could spend quite a while around. Lots of nice places close too.

  4. If you’re going to Chicago, then you definitely need to stop by Millennium Park and visit Cloud Gate (The Bean). It’s such an amazing place to visit and spend an afternoon walking around the park or simply have nice picnic. Great atmosphere! Highly recommend it.

  5. We are never tired of this place. It’s almost like a ritual to visit this place whenever we are on a trip to Chicago irrespective of the season. Be it watching the reflections of the majestic Chicago skyline on Cloud gate AKA Bean or the nearby Crown Fountain or catching bands perform in the pavilion, or the Christmas tree during holiday season, or taking a stroll upto the Buckingham fountain in nearby Grant park, or the Ice-skating rink, there are lots of things to see/experience here. Absolutely must visit. Roadside Parking is a hit or miss here depending on the crowd.

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Top 15 Things To Do Illinois, USA

Fun things to do in Illinois
Fun things to do in Illinois

Navy Pier

  • Address: 600 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.6 (66172)
  • Phone: +1 312-595-7437
  • Website: Link
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
    Tuesday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
    Wednesday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
    Thursday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
    Friday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
    Saturday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
    Sunday: 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Reviews:
    Ferris wheel was very fun. There were other carnival ride options as well. Great food options too!. Great options for boat tours. We had kids and did a quick 40 min boat tour. Overall, navy pier seems to amaze me everything I go. Been going since I was a kid and was able to share this with my kids for the first time.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Matthew Alvarez (6 months ago)
    Gorgeous place! We didn’t realize how big it is, and how many shops there are!

    We came for the “Light up the Lake Event”. It was awesome! Indoor so no worries about weather. The pier is free, but would definitely buy tickets in advance for the lights.

    We rode the ferris wheel and it was so much fun! The view is gorgeous!

    ✭✭✭✭✭ By brittny92 (2 months ago)
    Beautiful in the day time and even more beautiful at night. We visited on the weekend and it’s a place for everyone to walk, hangout, eat, relax, ride the Ferris wheel and lots to do. It gets packed and busy but fun for sure. I recommend this place.. one of the must visit in Chicago places. Fire work show was awesome as well it was not a disappointment. Was worth staying there till 10pm.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Salim Khodari (7 months ago)
    Our experience was very nice despite the hot weather. The staff was friendly and very informative. The Chicago Architect boat ride was fun. 1 The narrator was very informative and very friendly. I will not recommend taking this ride during 12 to 4 PM if the sun is out brightly. You will be sitting directly in the sun. There is some shade on the boat but you have to get there early.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Alma L Scott (7 months ago)
    A must place to visit….
    Free sightseeing place to roam around and explore…

    Hours are different in google… They are open till 10PM ( We were told by an employee working there)

    We had city pass to redeem at Centennial wheel. Which saved us sometime…

    Centennial wheel was amazing… very nice for people to look around the surroundings and beautiful Lake Michigan

    Navy pier is a huge area.. more than 5 mile if we just walk around…

    Lot of food options, restrooms available, scenic views, a place to view fireworks for free when scheduled, Gift shops available, different rides for adults and kids are available…. and many more things to do…

    Ship docker/anchors with lot of party boats are seen…

    ✭✭✭✭✭ By AP SAI (6 months ago)

The Art Institute of Chicago

  • Address: 111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (28426)
  • Phone: +1 312-443-3600
  • Website: Link
  • Opening hours:
    Monday: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Tuesday: Closed
    Wednesday: Closed
    Thursday: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
    Friday: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Saturday: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Sunday: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Reviews:
    Forever captivated by the beauty and history encapsulated in the Art Institute. Not a place to visit too often as the gallery is largely full of permanent installations, but there is always some sort of special exhibition/gallery taking place when they are open. Entire building is extremely clean with staff and maps scattered around in order to make your experience more enjoyable. Many famous works that one recognizes from pop culture or past studies are able to be seen here. One of the top art museums in the world and an undeniable staple in Chicago’s history. Do not miss out on viewing everything it has to offer.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Dylan Ivanov (6 months ago)
    Thia museum was enormous and I am pretty sure a week in this place still wouldn’t be enough time. I wish I would have had more time to appreciate each piece but what I did see was amazing in every single way. The museum is beautiful, spacious, and clean. They have attendants in every room to help you find your way. I would absolutely recommend a visit here and be prepared to spend the way and wear comfortable footwear. They have 4 levels and multiple buildings and wings. I typically don’t use elevators unless its a high rise but I did today. There are multiple entrances and exits as well.
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Cassie Ware (9 months ago)
    This place is immense and worth every penny of the admission fee. See some highlights like American Gothic or that famous Seurat painting at the park you recognize from studying pointillism back in school. But don’t miss some hidden gems: creepy Goya etchings from 1800s Spain, the picture of Dorian Gray from the 1945 film, and a fascinating collection of miniature rooms that look ready for Stuart Little to move in. They also have a very wide range of Picasso styles collected under one roof and the impressionism section truly is a must-see!
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Stephen Dysert (5 months ago)
    It is so famous that I had expected the exhibit to be as informative and comprehensive as the British Museum or the Metropolitan. That might be too challenging. The display in each section is lack of clear plot/storyline, by which I mean the items are like various bread slices in a basket, correlated but not unable to compose a full piece. I understand this is an art museum, so the explanation notes mainly focus on art perspective. Still, for visitors who might come from different backgrounds, the museum could have done a better job of interpretation.
    ✭✭✭ By Cidane CG (a year ago)
    Beautiful building filled with beautiful paintings. I especially enjoyed the Monet collection. I thought I would be taken by the lilies, but wheat piles just took me to another dimension, and i was sober, alright ;). I also liked Van Gogh and other impressionists. The collection of eastern ceramics and wall paintings was also impressive. We stopped by only for few hours, so we didn’t see everything, but i definitely plan to come back ;).
    ✭✭✭✭✭ By Katarína Kmeťová (12 months ago)

Skydeck Chicago

  • Address: 233 S Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60606, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.5 (25513)

Cloud Gate

  • Address: 201 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60602, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.8 (24601)

Willis Tower

  • Address: 233 S Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60606, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.5 (20812)

Grant Park

  • Address: 337 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.7 (18873)

Starved Rock State Park

  • Address: 2678 E 875th Rd, Oglesby, IL 61348, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.7 (13738)


  • Address: 875 N Michigan Ave 94th floor, Chicago, IL 60611, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.6 (12063)

Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site

  • Address: Collinsville, IL, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.7 (3828)

Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino

  • Address: 21 Blackjack Blvd, East Peoria, IL 61611, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4 (3247)

East Peoria Festival Of Lights

  • Address: 123 Par 3 Ln, East Peoria, IL 61611, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.7 (447)

Absolutely Chicago Segway Tours

  • Address: 300 E Monroe St, Chicago, IL 60603, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.9 (298)

Washington Park District

  • Address: 105 S Spruce St, Washington, IL 61571, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.5 (105)

Choose Chicago

  • Address: 301 E Cermak Rd, Chicago, IL 60616, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 4.1 (70)

Illinois Office of Tourism

  • Address: 100 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601, United States
  • Map: Click here
  • Rating: 2.4 (14)

That’s it for our list of the best things to do in Illinois! If you have any arguments or additional information, please leave a comment. We love to hear from our readers too!

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