Local Experiences in Chicago

The Windy City is a destination of icons—famous foods, sports teams, architectural wonders, and historic blues bars. It’s a multifaceted metropolis with a lot going on, both on and off the tourist path. Here are a few ways to experience Chicago like a local.

Highlights
  • Hit the waters of Lake Michigan during a private sailing excursion along Chicago’s stunning lakefront.
  • Explore Chicago’s top-notch craft beer scene with a ride on the Brewery Barrel Bus.
  • Grab a paddle and go kayaking at twilight to watch the fireworks over Navy Pier.
  • Skip the line at one of Chicago’s top museums, including the Art Institute of Chicago, Alder Planetarium, Museum of Science and Industry, or Field Museum.
  • Indulge in a favorite Chicago pastime—retail therapy—with a shop and spa tour along the Magnificent Mile.
  • Rent a bike and hit the pavement for a self-guided tour of Chicago’s vibrant and diverse neighborhoods.
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Tours & Activities (22)
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SPECIAL OFFER

Skydeck Chicago Admission

Visit the Skydeck, located on the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) with this pre-paid admission ticket. From the highest point in the city, look out on Chicago's skyline for panoramic views of the sprawling Windy City. Peruse the interactive displays and exhibits showcasing Chicago's history, which are geared toward curious learners of all ages. Then walk out on to the Ledge, a glass balcony that allows views of Navy Pier and Wrigley Field from one of the world's tallest buildings, standing 1,353 feet (412.4 meters) tall.
  • Duration: 1 day
From
$22.00 USD
$24.00 USD  $2.00 USD savings
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  • Duration: 1 day
From
$22.00 USD
$24.00 USD  $2.00 USD savings

Tommy Gun's Garage Dinner and Show

Transport yourself back in time to Chicago’s roaring twenties at Tommy Gun’s Garage, a unique speakeasy dinner show in the Windy City. Say the password at the front door and then step into an era of mob guys and flappers, Broadway tunes by Cole Porter and George Gershwin and lively dances like the Charleston. This gut-busting show, full of song, dance and audience participation, is sure to please.
  • Duration: 3 hours
From
$67.00 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours
From
$67.00 USD

Art Institute of Chicago Fast Pass Admission

Explore the Art Institute, Chicago’s world-class art museum and the second-largest in the United States, with this Fast Pass Admission ticket. Situated in Grant Park, the museum’s incredible range of impressionist, post-impressionist, modern and contemporary works is near the top of the list of Chicago’s must-see sights. Among the artists on display are works by Pollack, van Gogh, Renoir, Monet and Picasso plus, plus a striking new Modern Wing and cutting edge graphic and industrial design.With mobile tickets, simply scan your phone for direct entry into the Art Institute.
  • Duration: 3 hours
From
$35.00 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours
From
$35.00 USD

Museum of Science and Industry Chicago

The Museum of Science and Industry Chicago is the largest science museum in the country.  Housed in the only remaining building from the 1893 World’s Fair, MSI is a Chicago must-see!  You’ll experience 14 acres of hands-on exhibits and have the chance to stand before a 40-foot tornado; take a run in a human-sized hamster wheel; navigate through a mirror maze; board a 727 hanging from the ceiling; transmit your pulse to a 13-foot, 3-D beating heart; and much more!
  • Duration: 4 hours
From
$19.95 USD
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  • Duration: 4 hours
From
$19.95 USD

Private Day Sailing Excursion on Lake Michigan

If you’ve ever dreamed of sailing away on your own private sailboat, this is the perfect excursion for you. You and up to five other invited guests will have the exclusive use of a sailboat, complete with captain and crew for the duration of your tour. Sail on Lake Michigan and enjoy the sights of Chicago’s striking skyline. If you want, you could even take a turn at the helm.
  • Duration: 2 hours
From
$389.76 USD
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  • Duration: 2 hours
From
$389.76 USD

Chicago Craft Brewery Barrel Bus Tour

Learn about Chicago’s brewpub scene and taste different types of craft beer on this guided, 4-hour brewery tour. Visit three unique breweries for craft beer samples plus an additional brewing production facility for an in-depth tour. Discover the science behind the brewing process, complete with step-by-step procedures, and enjoy approximately 50 ounces of beer total throughout the tour. Round-trip transportation in a Prohibition-era-styled barrel bus is included.
  • Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
From
$84.00 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
From
$84.00 USD

Field Museum of Natural History Admission

Delve deep into the world of natural history with this Field Museum admission ticket in Chicago. Spend as long as you like exploring the museum's collection of more than 26 million artifacts. Get to know SUE, the world's largest T. Rex, or stroll through the sparkling Hall of Gems. Time travel through 13,000 years of history in the Americas, from the Ice Age to Inca and Aztec temples. Take advantage of the free daily tours, led by Field Museum docents.
  • Duration: 8 hours
From
$24.00 USD
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  • Duration: 8 hours
From
$24.00 USD

Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum

Explore the outer reaches of the universe with this admission ticket to Chicago's Adler Planetarium, the first planetarium in the United States. Learn about space at the most advanced and oldest planetarium in existence today, with a plethora of shows and exhibits to delight visitors of all ages. Discover must-see shows like Cosmic Wonder, Destination Solar System and Skywatch Live and exhibits like Mission Moon, Our Solar System and the Universe: A Walk Through Space and Time. Admission includes choice of two Sky Shows and tour of historic Atwood Sphere.
  • Duration: 3 hours
From
$34.95 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours
From
$34.95 USD

Blue Man Group at the Briar Street Theater in Chicago

Enjoy a performance of the legendary Blue Man Group, one of Chicago’s longest-running shows, at the Briar Street Theater. This worldwide performance troupe, whose hilarious and quirky show has earned them raves in cities around the world, has recently updated their performance with new technology. Experience the group’s gigantic tablet, the “GiPad,” as you enjoy the laugh-inducing antics, stunning visuals and high-tech stage show of this ever-changing, family friendly show. Your ticket purchase also includes a choice of seating options and show times.
  • Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes
From
$69.60 USD
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  • Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes
From
$69.60 USD

Chicago-Naperville Indoor Skydiving Experience

Experience the thrill of skydiving, without jumping out of a plane, in a vertical wind tunnel.  Offered every half hour from 9am to 10pm, you can easily find a time slot that works for you. After small-group training, enjoy two solo sessions in the tunnel during which you float atop wind speeds as fast as 175 mph (282 kph). Feel secure with a guide giving you one-on-one coaching during each 60-second session.
  • Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes
From
$69.95 USD
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  • Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes
From
$69.95 USD

Prison Break Escape Room in Chicago

Bring your own group to River North in Chicago to play the Prison Escape Game. Using creativity and teamwork, work to solve a series of clues within one hour in order to escape before your time runs out. Perfect for groups of work colleagues, friends, and family.
  • Duration: 1 hour
From
$38.14 USD
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  • Duration: 1 hour
From
$38.14 USD

Chicago River Kayak Tour

Set your paddle into the Chicago River on a leisurely 2.5-hour kayak tour past the skyscrapers of downtown Chicago. Both novice and experienced kayakers will be at ease on this excursion past sights such as the Civic Opera Building and the Marina City Towers. Hear fascinating tales of the Windy City as you gaze at a stunning architectural landscape from the water, just how the original Chicago natives originally navigated the area!
  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
From
$65.00 USD
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  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
From
$65.00 USD

SPECIAL OFFER

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Chicago Admission Ticket

Bring the kids to  LEGOLAND® Discovery Center in Schaumburg for a day of brick-building adventure. With 30,000-square-feet of space this family-friendly attraction has activities for everyone: from an interactive pirate-themed playland to a factory tour where you can actually see how LEGO bricks are made. There's even a mini replica of famous Chi-town landmarks made from nearly 2-million LEGO pieces.
  • Duration: 7 hours
From
$16.69 USD
$20.95 USD  $4.26 USD savings
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  • Duration: 7 hours
From
$16.69 USD
$20.95 USD  $4.26 USD savings

Transfer to Chicago Premium Outlets

Spend a day shopping at the premier name brand shopping destination in the Chicago metro area, Chicago Premium Outlets. Featuring prominent international and American designer brands at discounted prices, you'll find deep discounts at stores like Nike, Armani, Calvin Klein, Kate Spade, 7 for All Mankind, and much more inside the outlet mall. The tour includes pickup and drop-off from Chicago hotels and five hours of on-the-ground shopping time.
  • Duration: 7 hours
From
$270.00 USD
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  • Duration: 7 hours
From
$270.00 USD

Self-Guided Chicago Scavenger Hunt

Chicago holds many treasures, but this experience helps you uncover the truth--the whole city is a gem. Guide yourself through the clues as you learn about the history of the city and its people. This Chicago scavenger hunt is a fun way to get oriented if you are new to the city, or challenge yourself to go deeper if you already know your way around.
  • Duration: 2 hours
From
$10.00 USD
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  • Duration: 2 hours
From
$10.00 USD

Chicago Bike Rental

Discover Chicago's many delights from the comfort of two wheels. Simply pick up your full-day bike rental with lock, map and helmet and start exploring, either solo or with friends. Make your way through Millennium Park and to historic Wrigley Field, stop for a visit at Navy Pier or spend a couple hours watching sea turtles, penguins and even a piranha at Shedd Aquarium. You get to tour Chicago independently at your own pace and leisure without having to deal with parking or public transit.
  • Duration: 8 hours
From
$20.55 USD
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  • Duration: 8 hours
From
$20.55 USD

Chicago Comedy and Craft Beer Walking Tour

Discover the best of Chicago’s local brews and comedic history on a 2.5-hour craft beer tour. Follow your guide to Old Town bars, including Old Town Ale House and Burton Place.  Taste a wide range of locally produced beers, along with a free snack. Along the way, learn all about Chicago’s historical and thriving comedy scene with stops by Second City and Zanies.
  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
From
$62.00 USD
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  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
From
$62.00 USD

NEW TO VIATOR

American Writers Museum Admission

Immerse yourself in American literary traditions, and enjoy a host of interactive exhibitions, during a visit to Chicago’s one-of-a-kind American Writers Museum. Conveniently located on Michigan Avenue, the museum was established in 2017, and is one of the city’s newest highlight institutions. Guarantee your admission, and prevent any travel hassles, by securing your tickets in advance. Once inside, you’ll have time to explore at your own pace.
  • Duration: 1 to 5 hours
From
$12.00 USD
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  • Duration: 1 to 5 hours
From
$12.00 USD

The Heist Escape Room in Chicago

A valuable piece of artwork has gone missing, and you and your team are tasked with finding it. Work together to solve clues, riddles, and puzzles in order to locate and recover the missing artwork. Succeed, and be hailed as national heroes. Fail, and face the wrath of the authorities.
  • Duration: 1 hour
From
$38.14 USD
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  • Duration: 1 hour
From
$38.14 USD

Shop and Spa The Shops at North Bridge

Pamper yourself with an indulgent day of shopping, massages and chocolate thanks to this welcome package at Chicago’s The Shops at North Bridge. Shop until you drop at the center’s world-class boutiques including Louis Vuitton, Sephora, Kiehl’s and many more, taking advantage of more than $500 in discount savings. When you need a break, stop by Spa Nordstrom for an included massage, or head to Vosges Haut-Chocolat for a sweet treat. A 30-minute massage, chocolate bar, discount reward card and shopping center concierge services are included.
  • Duration: 8 hours
From
$82.00 USD
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  • Duration: 8 hours
From
$82.00 USD

NEW TO VIATOR

Axe Throwing at BATL - The Backyard Axe Throwing League in Chicago

You’ve come to the right place for indoor axe throwing in Chicago. The Backyard Axe Throwing League (BATL) welcomes you to their walk-in hours open every weekend. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced thrower, BATL coaches are on hand to offer instruction or tips to improve your technique. Enjoy use all equipment and feel the unique rush of indoor axe throwing.
  • Duration: 1 hour
From
$19.91 USD
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  • Duration: 1 hour
From
$19.91 USD

Tandem Skydiving Experience in Chicago

Go skydiving in Indiana at a location situated only a 1-hour train ride from Chicago, making it easy to reach without a car. Your instructor provides all necessary equipment and training for your jump, then accompanies you on the tandem skydiving experience from 14,000 feet (4,267 meters). See Lake Michigan and perhaps the Chicago skyline from the air, and purchase video and photos of your jump if you wish.
  • Duration: 3 to 4 hrs
From
$188.00 USD
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  • Duration: 3 to 4 hrs
From
$188.00 USD


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