Go ahead. Be a tourist.
Looking for things to do in Chicago during your visit? With countless parks, museums, galleries, music venues, boutiques, and so much more, you'll never be bored—no matter the season. Here are our suggestions for must-see destinations within about 1 mile of Columbia College Chicago's campus in the South Loop neighborhood in downtown Chicago.
ShopColumbia - Our onsite art boutique where students and alums market and sell their work.
619 S. Wabash Ave.
Museum of Contemporary Photography - A world-class contemporary photography museum founded by Columbia in 1976. Free for all!
600 S. Michigan Ave.
Wabash Arts Corridor Murals - This initiative, launched by Columbia in 2013, brings the South Loop to life with breathtaking street art.
Michigan Avenue to State Street, Van Buren Street to Roosevelt Road
For Art and Architecture Buffs
Art Institute of Chicago - Consistently ranked one of the best museums in the world, the Art Institute houses more than 300,000 pieces of priceless art.
111 S. Michigan Ave.
Calder’s Flamingo - This 53-foot-tall red sculpture contrasts with surrounding Mies van der Rohe-designed buildings.
50 W. Adams St.
Chicago Architecture Center - The CAC offers awe-inspiring tours of the city—via foot and boat—and in-house exhibitions.
111 E. Wacker Drive
Chicago Cultural Center - A landmark building with breathtaking Tiffany glass domes and free art and music events.
78 E. Washington St.
Chicago Picasso - Picasso never explained the meaning of this 50-foot-tall, 160-ton sculpture.
50 W. Washington St.
For Fans of the Performing Arts
Auditorium Theatre - A historic landmark venue for dance—including the Joffrey Ballet—and music, this theatre is oftentimes home to Columbia College Chicago Commencement.
50 E. Congress Parkway
Chicago Symphony Center - The home base of the world-renowned Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
220 S. Michigan Ave.
The Laugh Factory - East Lakeview venue for standup. Perfect for aspiring comedy majors. Use the code colum at checkout for free tickets.
3175 N. Broadway
Goodman Theatre - Chicago’s oldest nonprofit theatre organization.
170 N. Dearborn St.
Chicago Theatre - A can’t-miss marquee marks this tourist destination and venue for music and comedy.
175 N. State St.
Jazz Showcase - Founded in 1947, this 170-seat venue features local, national, and international jazz acts.
806 S. Plymouth Court
Museum Campus—Science, Nature, Sports, and Amazing Skyline Views
Adler Planetarium - The Adler is America’s first planetarium, with shows in immersive domed theaters and cutting-edge exhibits.
1300 S. Lake Shore Drive
Field Museum of Natural History - Home to Sue—the largest T. rex skeleton in the world, ancient Egyptian artifacts, rare jewels, and rotating exhibitions.
1400 S. Lake Shore Drive
Shedd Aquarium - The Shedd features aquatic shows, hands-on exhibits, and 32,000-plus sea animals, including jellies and beluga whales.
1200 S. Lake Shore Drive
Soldier Field - Home of Da Bears—need we say more?
1410 Museum Campus Drive
Culture, Nature, and Adventure in Grant Park
319 acres of gardens, art, sports facilities and performance venues; home to summer festivals such as Lollapalooza, the Taste of Chicago, Chicago Outdoor Film Festival, Chicago Blues Festival and many more.
Millennium Park - You'll find photogenic Cloud Gate (aka The Bean), interactive Crown Fountain, free concerts at the Pritzker Pavilion, and ice skating in the winter.
201 E. Randolph St.
Buckingham Fountain - A beaux arts-style marble fountain—one of the largest in the world—with hourly water shows.
301 S. Columbus Drive
Maggie Daley Park - This family-friendly park offers seasonal attractions, including an ice skating ribbon, climbing wall, and an enormous, whimsical playground.
337 E. Randolph St.
Grant Park Skate Park - A sprawling, world-class skate park with plenty of room for skaters and spectators.
9th Street and Columbus Drive
- Head to Hot Tix (72 E. Randolph St.) for highly discounted tickets to storefront theatre and dance performances as well as Broadway in Chicago plays.
- If you’re interested in hitting multiple attractions, consider investing in a CityPASS.
- On certain days, many museums offer free admission for Illinois residents.