Day 1 You'll See:
- Chicago Neighborhood Tour
- The Art Institute of Chicago
- Willis Tower Skydeck
Day 2 You'll See:
- Federal Reserve Visitors Center
- Lincoln Park Zoo
Day 3 You'll See:
Day 4 You'll See:
Chicago really is your kind of town – and his, hers…and theirs! And just to prove it, we’ve set up a fantastic sample itinerary perfectly designed to get you and your student group out and about on the Windy City educational adventure of a lifetime – a welcome break from the confines of the classroom and great way to encourage teamwork and interaction while cracking the doors of possibility in the minds of young scholars on the brink of launching their OWN exciting futures! There’s a BIG world out there, just waiting for them explore, and the City of Broad Shoulders is the ideal jumping-off place!
Chicago Neighborhood Tour
First order of business on this educational extravaganza are stops at Near Westside’s Little Italy and Greektown and Near Southside’s Chinatown; these wonderfully diverse districts deserve a place on every Windy City itinerary! Marvel at each neighborhood’s distinct architecture, popular landmarks and points of interest and swoon over samplings of delicious specialties tendered by local bakeries and restaurants; "mangia tutti cosi"…eat everything… and love life! A variety of guided tours direct you to all the neighborhood highlights, each tendering an unforgettable cultural experience.
The Art Institute of Chicago
Next stop on your four day educational adventure: The Art Institute - the museum Trip Advisor has named #1 of 305 Chicago attractions! It continues to outrank every museum on Earth, holding the majestic title of "TOP Museum in the WORLD!" This Windy City wonder is home to more than 300,000 pieces of art including the famous “American Gothic” painting by Grant Wood and Claude Monet’s “Stack of Wheat.” In addition to its world-renowned permanent collections, the Institute hosts 30 rotating exhibitions and hundreds of gallery talks and performances each year; the building, itself is a spectacular architectural gem!
Willis Tower Skydeck
Skydeck offers spectacular views across four states, an exhilarating, one-stop Chicago experience full of interactive exhibits capped off with the piece de resistance - The Ledge, a glass balcony extending four feet outside the 103rd floor of 1350 foot Willis Tower! Have your photo snapped with the giant “103”, explore the city on a touch-screen tour, enjoy a fascinating short movie detailing the Windy City’s rise to the top of the architectural world and then – if you dare – step out onto The Ledge for unsurpassed views from every angle! You’ll see all the way to Italy….Little Italy, that is!
Federal Reserve Visitors Center
So far, your fabulous four-day educational excursion has kept you on your toes – and you know you really do need to start snapping up those cool Chicago souvenirs. When was the last time you saw a $10,000.00 bill? What happens to “old money”? Sounds like a stop at the Federal Reserve’s Money Museum is in order! Create your own $1.00 coins, get the scoop on the counterfeiting “business”, pose for a portrait with a million bucks and walk off with a souvenir bag of authentic shredded green. Score!
Lincoln Park Zoo
This admission-free zoo is a huge, marvelous oasis in the midst of Chicago’s Skyscaper Country offering wonderful natural habitat to more interesting, wild and exotic creatures from around the world than one could ever imagine! Stroll the glorious gardens and browse the amazing displays and animal houses at your leisure; the zoo’s fascinating residents serve as ambassadors to their wild cousins, each with a story to tell, certain to appeal to the conservation-minded, compassionate heart. A fantastic selection of restaurants, cafes and snack stands ensure your charges won’t go hungry as they explore the Wild Kingdom of Chicagoland. Don’t forget to check out the gift shops, where you’re certain to find that perfect “zoo-venir”!
Grant Park – “Chicago’s Front Yard” - is a public oasis along the lines of NYC’s beloved Central Park located in the Loop Community area. Millennium Park, the Art Institute of Chicago, Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium and the Field Museum are all situated on Grant Park’s inviting 315 acre expanse. Named for United States President and Civil War General, Ulysses S. Grant, the park was developed as one of the Windy City’s first, and expanded through land reclamation. This stunning city centerpiece boasts world-class performance venues, breathtaking gardens, dazzling landmark Buckingham Fountain, plentiful art works, sports and harbor facilities and is a popular public events venue, hosting some of the area’s largest food and music festivals, including Taste of Chicago and Lollapalooza.
The Field Museum
At the Field Museum, your student group will encounter the awesome mammals of the Ice Age, journey into the bat caves of Kenya, explore the world of Haitian Voodoo, come face to face with Sue - the largest Tyrannosaurus Rex ever discovered, descend into an ancient Egyptian tomb and shrink to the size of a bug. Do you know what a turtle ant is? Would you like to cook your evening meal on a Pawnee fire pit? Do you think you could navigate the deep, blue Pacific in an outrigger canoe the way the Islanders do? Serving up a heaping, 4.6 billion year helping of “life” under one roof, Chicago’s amazing Field Museum has been enlightening, entertaining and inspiring curious guests for more than a century! P.S.: have you heard the spine-tingling, hair-raising story of the man-eating lions of Tsavo?
Conservation-minded Shedd Aquarium is a true Windy City treasure and the world’s largest indoor aquarium, to boot. A trip to its Caribbean Coral Reef at once amazes and delights – you’ll observe divers feeding lumbering nurse sharks, vicious barracudas, hawksbill sea turtles and other ravenous residents impatiently awaiting a fresh fish lunch. In the Oceanarium, you and your group are a rapt audience as skilled trainers guide their enthusiastic dolphin charges through a repertoire of leaping dives, tail walks and other slick tricks! The “Wild Reef-Sharks at Shedd” experience gets you a little too close and personal to sharks and other dastardly denizens of the deep as you carefully observe them through the tenuous barrier of a floor-to- ceiling window, while “Jellies” grants you a privileged peek into the world of these mesmerizing, fragile predators.
Chicago’s Magnificent Mile
Out-of-this-world shopping, fabulous dining, top-notch accommodations and plenty of historic sites - including the Chicago Pumping Station and a water tower that survived the Great Chicago Fire – await student groups hoofin’ it on this prestigious stretch of Chicago’s Michigan Avenue, world-renowned for its diversity of upscale attractions and notable points of interest. In the Spring, hundreds of thousands of colorful tulips burst into bloom in the Mile’s tree-filled median planters, while the "Gardens of The Magnificent Mile" festival, a self-guided landscape display walking tour – heralds the happy arrival of Summer. Wonderful seasonal events draw the crowds, and the world's leading retailers - Bloomingdale's, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, and Barneys New York – keep them shopping year-round. Luxury boutiques abound here , and designers, too - heavy hitters and industry standards, alike; three “urban shopping centers” tender all the traditional mall trappings along with plenty of attractions and entertainment- Magnificent Mile style. *Attention, People Watchers: Again, with the photo ops!
Museum of Science and Industry
If you’re of an inquiring mindset, the Museum of Science and Industry, the largest science museum in the western hemisphere, is the second largest cultural attraction in Chicago and an absolute must-see, with over 2000 fantastic exhibits displayed in 75 halls. Who wouldn’t like to experience a recreation of working, deep-shaft bituminous coal mine or see a genuine WWII Stuka divebomber – one of only three in the world?
Your young travelers will enjoy a stop at historic Navy Pier, Chicago's popular lakefront playground and the Midwest's foremost leisure destination, featuring fifty awesome acres of parks, promenades, gardens, shops, eateries and attractions! Take a spin on a fifteen-story Ferris wheel or a turn on the old-fashioned carousel, hit the links for a little mini golf or catch a 3D thriller at the IMAX® Theatre. Get lost in Amazing Chicago’s funhouse maze, hop a speed boat departing from Navy Pier's South Dock and browse Family Pavilion’s unique retail shops for that perfect Chi-Town souvenir. Summertime on the Pier brings spectacular twice-weekly fireworks shows perfectly synchronized to music on Lake Michigan; Navy Pier - “The People’s Pier”- has it all!
Shoreline Sightseeing Water Tours
On this classic 40 minute Lake Michigan boat tour you’ll experience the wonderful Windy City’s stunning skyline and points of interest from the water as friendly, knowledgeable guides provide engaging and informative commentary on Chicago’s colorful history and important lakefront architectural landmarks – the perfect way to wrap up the trip of a lifetime!