Chicago has a lot to offer beyond Wrigley Field, the Willis Tower, and the Art Institute. After taking in these famous tourist spots, you may want to check out some of the Windy City’s more offbeat and unusual attractions. Perhaps you can check out a unique museum, visit one of the city’s most famous pieces of outdoor art, or take a walk through a Frank Lloyd Wright house. Here are five fun things to do in Chicago.
Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio
Famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed hundreds of homes and buildings throughout his lifetime. If you’re interested in his work, you should check out the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio in Oak Park. On arrival at Chicago Avenue, you’ll notice the historic building’s imposing presence. After opening the door, your eyes will be drawn to the building’s striking design elements, like its triangular roof and angled window bays. Once you’ve taken in the scenery, you can sign up for a tour to see where Wright worked and lived for two decades. You will fully understand why a visit to a Frank Lloyd Wright house is such an impressive architectural experience.
The International Museum of Surgical Science
Whether you’re intrigued by brain surgery in 2000 B.C. or want to know more about iron lungs, you’ll enjoy a trip to the International Museum of Surgical Science. When you make your way into the facility, your eyes will be amazed by the four floors of primitive medical instruments, medical-themed artwork, and informational displays about the evolution of surgery, x-rays, dentistry, and pharmaceutical drugs. As you wander the area in awe, be sure to check out the Hall of Immortals, a room with eight-foot stone statues depicting important medical figures like Marie Curie and Hippocrates.
Cloud Gate Sculpture (“The Bean”)
When you’re exploring Chicago’s Millennium Park, you’ll likely stumble upon the beloved Cloud Gate sculpture, otherwise known as “the Bean,” due to its vegetable-like shape. As you feast your eyes on the 100 tons of stainless steel, you’ll see distorted reflections of the surrounding skyscrapers. If you’re in the mood to take advantage of the winter weather, you can rent a pair of skates and hit the ice rink that lives on a lower level just beneath the sculpture.
The Money Museum
How often do you get a chance to have your picture taken next to a briefcase containing one million dollars? Take advantage of this opportunity at the Money Museum in downtown Chicago. Educate yourself with the exhibits about the history of American currency, then marvel at the collection of rare and unusual paper money, like a $10,000 Federal Reserve note printed just after World War I and a bill issued in 1776 by the Continental Congress that’s so small it resembles a ticket stub. And, since it’s free, you won’t have to spend any of your own money to visit!
The Leaning Tower of Niles
If you travel just outside the Chicago city limits, you may stumble upon a life-sized replica of the world-famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. Built in 1934, the Leaning Tower of Niles is a truly quirky Illinois attraction. At first glance, you may be surprised by how much the 94-foot white cylindrical structure looks like the 12th-century Italian landmark. You may even feel the urge to whip out your phone to take the perfect selfie to fool all of your friends.