Play

Here is a collection of Internet resources for making the most of “playing” in the great city that is Chicago.

Chicago Events

Mayor’s Office of Special Events – the City’s official page for major upcoming events in Chicago

Chicago Metromix – a comprehensive resource on Chicago events and amenities

Parks and Gardens

Chicago Park District – the webpage for Chicago’s public parks and the events they host

Chicago Community Gardeners Association – a network of Chicago community gardens with information on how to get involved

Millennium Park – the 25-acre downtown park that is a signature Chicago attraction with its public art, bandshell, gardens, restaurants, and ice skating rink

Chicago Botanic Garden – Chicago’s always-beautiful – and always-free – botanic garden in Glencoe, Illinois

The Lincoln Park Conservatory – Lincoln Park’s lush indoor greenhouse full of ferns, orchids, and other tropical plants – free and open every day

Sports

The Chicago Cubs – (MLB)

The White Sox – (MLB)

The Chicago Bears – (NFL)

The Chicago Bulls – (NBA)

The Chicago Blackhawks – (NHL)

The Chicago Sky – (WNBA)

Transportation

City of Chicago – Traffic and Transportation Page – city resources for traffic conditions, parking permits, towed vehicle information, and more

Chicago Transit Authority – Chicago’s all-important rail and bus mass transit system

Google Maps – the popular mapping service, integrated with the CTA and Metra to conveniently plan trips by car, bus, or rail

Metra – the main commuter rail service serving Chicago and the outlying suburbs

Chicago Traffic Map – a map of traffic conditions and accidents on Chicago’s major arteries

The Expired Meter – a blog dedicated to educating and informing Chicagoans about contesting parking tickets and parking issues in general

Tourism

Chicago Chicago – the official city page offering tourism info and printable discounts for visitors to the city

WikiTravel Chicago – a user-compiled tourist guide to Chicago

Museums, Zoos & Family Destinations

The Chicago History Museum – preserving and retelling Chicago’s history – from backwater trade route to present day metropolis – through documents, artifacts, and exhibits

The Museum of Science and Industry – host to an expansive array of exhibits including a working coal mine, a German WWII submarine, a 3,500-square foot model railroad, and the first diesel-powered streamlined stainless-steel passenger train

The Field Museum of Natural History – home to Sue, the largest and most complete T-Rex skelton in existance, and countless other artifacts of natural history

The Chicago Children’s Museum – the fourth largest children’s museum in the U.S. with 57,000-square feet of exhibit space

The Adler Planetarium – the oldest planetarium in existance though still boasting three modern full-sized theatres and numerous astronomical exhibits

The Shedd Aquarium – frequently Chicago’s most popular cultural destination with its 2,100 species of fish, marine mammals, birds, snakes, amphibians, and insects

The Art Institute of Chicago – one of the nation’s premiere art institution with its extensive collections of Impresionist, American, and old master works

The Lincoln Park Zoo – Chicago’s renowned (and free!) zoo with some 1,250 animals and numerous exhibits and habitats

The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum – butterflies, insects, amphibians, reptiles and other creatures delight at the this year-round Lincoln Park museum

LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Chicago  – a kid-centric LEGO destination featuring life-sized LEGO creations, a LEGO Chicago cityscape, rides, a “4D” cinema, a soft play area, and more

Music & Dance

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra

The Lyric Opera of Chicago

The Joffrey Ballet

Threatre & Comedy

Second City – Chicago’s renowned improv threatre headquartered in the Old Town neighborhood

Steppenwolf – Lincoln Park’s Tony Award-winning theatre

Victory Garden – another of Chicago’s Tony Award-winning theatres and one of the nation’s most important incubators of new playwrights

Reviews

Zagat Survey Chicago – professional reviews of Chicago restaurants, nightlife, hotels, and other city attractions

Yelp Chicago – community portal and user ratings of every aspect of Chicago life from dining to nail salons to auto mechanics

News

Chicago Tribune

Chicago Sun-Times

CBS 2 Chicago

NBC 5 Chicago

WGN TV Chicago

My Fox Chicago

Local Politics

Chicago Board of Election Commissioners – official information and resources for Chicago voters

District/Official Search – find which local and state legislators represent you

Elected Officials – a list of local, county, and state elected officials