5 Unique, Indoor Places to Visit in Chicago | Hotel EMC25 Unique, Indoor Places to Visit in Chicago

Chicago has been voted the Best Big City in the U.S. for the past 6 years in a row. Part of this may be due to the fact that despite the cold weather in the later months of the year, there are so many unique experiences available indoors. “The Bean” is one of the most iconic locations in Chicago, but there are also many warmer sights worth visiting. Check out this list for 5 unique, indoor places to visit in Chicago this winter.

Step into the Lincoln Park Conservatory

You don’t have to travel to a faraway island to have a tropical experience in the winter. The Lincoln Park Conservatory holds several display houses where you can see palm trees, orchids, ferns, and many other tropical plants. The glass houses themselves are a marvel, built with gorgeous architecture to inspire your creative side. There are also occasionally special exhibits within the greenhouse, such as a sound installation to imitate endangered species of birds. Experience the tropics from Chicago at the Lincoln Park Conservatory.

Visit the Museum of Ice Cream

One of the newest experiences in Chicago, the Museum of Ice Cream, recently opened up along the Chicago River. Ice cream lovers can taste flavors they’ve never imagined, such as hot dog flavored ice cream, while moving through the exhibits. There are interactive elements within each room, with their theme corresponding to the flavor. At the end of the self-guided tour, visitors can take a swim in the sprinkle pool after jumping off of the pink diving board. This is one sugar rush that you don’t want to miss. 

Experience sights high above

Following Cloud Gate, the second most well-known landmark in Chicago is the Willis Tower—formerly known as the Sears Tower. Atop the third tallest building in the Western Hemisphere is the Sky Deck, which allows visitors to look over the city. After walking through a short exhibit and learning about Chicago’s history, visitors can step out onto The Ledge, a glass box with a glass floor that extends out from the side of the building. Standing 1,353 feet in the air is one experience that will get your heart racing.  

Another chance to step over the clouds in the city is 360 Chicago, on the 94th floor of 875 N Michigan Avenue. As the name implies, there are unobstructed views in every direction, one thousand feet above the ground. While not as tall as Willis Tower, this view comes with the option to “tilt” over the edge. The Tilt is one of the highest thrill rides on Earth, with downward facing views of the city. 360 Chicago also allows you to enjoy a drink on their observation deck at CloudBar and even attend weekly events and entertainment above the Magnificent Mile. There is no better way to see the Windy City than with a birds eye view.

See aquatic life at Shedd Aquarium

The Shedd Aquarium is a great indoor experience for the whole family. With over 32,000 animals, there is so much to see that you can spend a whole day with the fish. Whether you’re sitting in a stadium to watch the dolphin or sea lion show, or touching a stingray or sea star in a shallow pool, you can customize your experience to see things you never have before. Illinois residents can enjoy free entry on specific days, and out-of-state visitors can bundle entry tickets with other museums in the area for their visit to Chicago. Escape the snow and say ‘hi’ to the beluga whales in this underwater adventure.

Marvel at the exhibits at the Museum of Science and Industry

The Museum of Science and Industry is the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere. Here, adults and children alike marvel at the exhibits and learn something new. Some of the fan-favorite experiences include stepping inside a WWII submarine, feeling the power of an indoor tornado, and seeing displays of human nervous systems. This museum is different from most—they encourage you to touch! Through hands-on experiments and exhibits, learning is fun for all ages. No matter what field of study you’re drawn to, there is so much to explore and enjoy.

Stay warm and entertained

As the weather drops and Chicago begins to freeze, there is still much to do and see. Chicago is perfect for date nights, solo adventures, or family outings. Most big cities can offer you places to eat and shop in the winter, but there are few that can give you unique experiences that you will treasure for a lifetime. 

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