Chicago is the third largest city in the United States and a major tourist destination for travelers worldwide. Nicknamed the Windy City, Chicago has 28 miles of lakefront with 24 beaches; more than 8,800 acres of green space and 600 parks; it has eight major league sports teams; more than 200 theatres, 250 live music venues, and 200 professional dance companies. Plus, there are more than 7,300 restaurants and over 160 breweries in the Chicagoland area. There are 59 historic districts and hundreds of historic landmarks; more than 70 music festivals, 36 parades, and over 40 film festivals annually.
In short, there’s always plenty to see and do in Chicago. Here are the latest happenings.
Museums and Attractions in Chicago
Chicago is home to 60 museums, showcasing world-class art, culture and history. Art on theMART is the largest permanent digital art installation in the world. One of the largest collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings outside of Paris is housed at the Art Institute of Chicago. More than 500 public works of art displayed around the city as part of the City of Chicago’s Public Art Program, including pieces by Picasso, Chagall, Miro, and Calder. The Museum of Science and Industry is one of the largest science museums in the world.
Here are some of the newest exhibits at the top museums in Chicago.
The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the top attractions in the city and boasts over 300,000 works of art in fields ranging from Chinese bronzes to contemporary design and from textiles to installation art. It’s considered one of the top fine-arts museums in the world. In addition to its permanent collection, the museum has wide-ranging exhibitions, including Cezanne, the first major retrospective of Paul Cezanne’s work in the United States in more than 25 years, and the first exhibition on Cezanne organized by the Art Institute of Chicago in more than 70 years. The exhibit lasts until September 5, 2022 and explores Cezanne’s work across media and genres with 80 oil paintings, 40 watercolors and drawings, and two complete sketchbooks. Other upcoming exhibits include David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020 (August 20, 2022 – January 9, 2023), Bridget Riley Drawings: From the Artist’s Studio, The Language of Beauty in African Art (November 20, 2022 – February 27, 2023) and, coming next year, Salvador Dalí: The Image Disappears (February 18, 2023 – June 12, 2023).
The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA) showcases the work and ideas of living artists with the goal of understanding the historical, social, and cultural context of the contemporary art. Upcoming exhibits include Forecast Form: Art in the Caribbean Diaspora, 1990s–Today (November 19, 2022 – April 23, 2023) — the first major group exhibition in the United State to envision a new approach to contemporary art in the Caribbean diaspora. And at the American Writers Museum, Dark Testament (opening September 2022) will explore racial injustice in America through the work of Black American writers from the end of the Civil War through the Civil Rights Movement. The multi-disciplinary exhibit will include: on-site exhibitions (spanning three gallery spaces in the American Writers Museum), online exhibitions, programs with contemporary black authors ongoing throughout 2022-2023.
Chicago History Museum’s newest temporary exhibition Treasured Ten: Selections from the Costume Collection (open until January 16, 2023), delves into the museum’s clothing collection of more than 50,000 pieces, to showcase ten ensembles that tell the stories of these five designers: Stephen Burrows, Scotty Piper, Patrick Kelly, Willi Smith, and Barbara Bates. Dating from the 1970s to the 1980s, the garments are expressions of their creators’ experiences and identities. The Jaffee History Trail exhibit is also open and showcases features such as a fire relic from the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and the Couch Tomb, a reminder that the area was once a Chicago city cemetery. Developed in partnership with the Chicago Park District and support of neighborhood groups, the Jaffee History Trail creates a new destination at Lincoln Park’s southwestern corner. The new landscaping includes approximately 150 young trees and large beds of native plants, which will attract birds and other pollinators.
The Field Museum’s newest exhibit Wild Color, running through January 8, 2023, invites travelers to dive into the color spectrum as they make their way through immersive rooms, each representing a color of the rainbow. In Jurassic Oceans: Monsters of the Deep, running through September 5, 2022, visitors will meet the underwater giants that lived 200 million years ago, delving into the latest scientific research to learn how these Jurassic giants evolved and comparing them to specimens of marine animals living today. Experience what it’s like to stand (or swim) next to top predators like a plesiosaur—a reptile with flippers, a very long neck, and super sharp teeth. In Native Truths: Our Voices, Our Stories, which is a new permanent exhibit, guests are invited to experience stories told by Native American and Indigenous people of self-determination, resilience, continuity and the future. Visitors will learn about the historical significance of items in the Field’s collection, like traditional regalia and pottery, and immerse themselves in works by contemporary Native artists, including Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) raised beadwork from Karen Ann Hoffman of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin and flute music from Frank Waln of the Sicangu Lakota. They will also dive deeply into current issues, like threats to Native land and the rights of tribal nations to govern themselves
New Accommodations in Chicago
The Emily Hotel is one of the newest hotels to open in the Windy City. Situated at the former location of The Ace Hotel, this boutique property has 159 rooms, 12 of which are suites.
The LaSalle Hotel, Autograph Collection is another new property. It’s located in the Financial District and has 232 rooms and is located 21 stories above street level. It boasts an expansive gym that has both TechnoGym equipment and Peloton bikes and a wellness program that aims to create synergy between work/life balance.
The St. Regis Chicago is slated to debut in early 2023 as the 50th St. Regis globally. The hotel will comprise the first 11 floors of the building, featuring 192 guest rooms, multiple dining options, a 12,000 square foot, St. Regis Spa, a fitness center, indoor pool and outdoor sunken terrace with scenic views. The hotel’s backyard is a six-acre botanical green space featuring a children’s play park.