Whether you are coming to Chicago for just the weekend or you plan to extend your trip, the Windy City has plenty of attractions to satisfy your interests and occupy your down time.


Feast on Food

With no shortage of restaurants to choose from, here are some of Chicago’s highlights.

Try Portillo’s Hot Dogs (100 W. Ontario St.), a famed spot to sample the classic Chicago dog.

Join in the great debate surrounding Chicago’s best deep dish pizza. Some of the nearby contenders in the South Loop include:

Lou Malnati’s (805 S. State St.)

Gino’s East (521 S. Dearborn St.)

Giordano’s (130 E. Randolph St.)

Pizano’s Pizza & Pasta (61 E. Madison St.)

Visit Eataly Chicago (43 E. Ohio St.), a multi-story Italian marketplace.

Satisfy your sweet tooth or warm up with a hot chocolate at the Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate (400 N. Michigan Ave.).

Instead of purchasing pricy tickets to observation decks, visit the Signature Lounge (875 N. Michigan Ave.) at the John Hancock Center for stunning city vistas from the 96th floor.

Browse our Travel Resources web guide to find more “fast casual” dining options near the two annual meeting hotels.

Get Outdoors

For those who don’t mind the winter temperatures and want to soak up the last of the holiday festivities, try these attractions:

Ice Skating in Millennium Park (1 N. Michigan Ave.), a short walk from both hotels

Lincoln Park Zoo Lights (2001 N. Clark St.), a quick trip north on the “L” Red Line with free admission

Crystal Gardens (600 E. Grand Ave.) at the Navy Pier, a respite from the cold, featuring a six-story indoor botanical garden and free admission

See a Show

January in Chicago is the perfect time for musicals, operas, IMAX, and more.

Fiddler on the Roof (Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St.), in its closing weekend

Hamilton (CIBC Theatre, 18 W. Monroe St.), winner of 11 Tony Awards

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Chicago Shakespeare Theater at Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand Ave.)

Cendrillon (Lyric Opera of Chicago, 20 N. Upper Wacker Dr.), an operatic revival of the classic fairytale Cinderella

Blue Man Group (Briar Street Theater, 3133 N. Halsted St.)

Giant Dome Theater (5700 S. Lake Shore Dr.) at the Museum of Science and Industry

Comedy Shows (1616 N. Wells St.) at The Second City, a Chicago landmark institution

Cheer on Chicago

Take a trip to the West Side and watch the Chicago’s NBA team play at home. The Green and Pink Lines make getting to United Center (1901 W. Madison St.) a breeze. Games scheduled during the annual meeting are:

Orlando Magic at Chicago Bulls, January 2, 8:00 p.m.

Indiana Pacers at Chicago Bulls, January 4, 8:00 p.m.

Brooklyn Nets at Chicago Bulls, January 6, 3:30 p.m.

Drop by a Museum

Chicago hosts too many world-class institutions to list. The Art Institute of Chicago (111 S. Michigan Ave.) is the closest to both of our meeting hotels.

Meanwhile, the nearby Museum Campus (337 E. Randolph St.) is home to the Field MuseumAdler Planetarium, and Shedd Aquarium.

Chicago also has plenty of local and niche museums to enjoy. Check out some recommendations from the AHA staff here.