15 Things To Do In Chicago While Sober from UpOut.com
Drinking is more than a hobby in Chicago.
A huge part of our history was defined by defying laws to keep the spirits flowing.
But, although it sometimes it feels like booze flows in the streets of Chicago (literally if you’re in Wrigleyville) there’s plenty to do without a drink in hand. We’re here to help with a list of all the best things to do in Chicago when you’re sober.
Food, Food, Food!
Not only does Chicago have some of the best food in the country, it has the most restaurants as well. Superdawg is the perfect example of what Chicago dining really means. One of the original car hop drive-in restaurants in the country, Superdawg opened for the first time in 1948, and their methods haven’t changed since. This hometown favorite is so well known it is featured both in the Chicago Frommer’s Guide and the book 1,000 Places to See Before you Die, by Patricia Schultz, so it’s time to check this stop off your list.
Chicago might be famous for Deep Dish Pizza, but don’t make the mistake of assuming that Chicago is only good for a Deep Dish Pizza experience. If you’re really looking to step out of your Chicago comfort zone, Vito and Nick’s is a can’t miss destination, having an even longer history than Superdawg, first opening in 1932. After having been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives with Guy Fieri, the business exploded again and having eaten there myself, I can guarantee they don’t just make the best thin crust pizza in Chicago. If you’re looking for a great place to go on a Friday that isn’t a bar, Vito and Nick’s offers a special Egg Pizza only on Fridays: A delicious traditional Pie topped with a few cooked Eggs.
Technically a park, this gorgeous area is a 57-acre park that connects Soldiers Field, the Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium, and the Field Museum. Individually each of these museums is a fun time, but on a sunny day, there’s no good reason to not walk between them and explore them together. It becomes the perfect way to spend a day.
If you consider the science of the planets and the cosmos to be one of the more mysterious and interesting fields of study, this is the museum for you. The Adler was the first museum in America, it was founded and opened in 1930 by Chicago business leader Max Adler, its place in American History was cemented when it was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987. As interesting as those things are, however, the main attraction is the museum itself, with three theaters designed to help guests better understand the galaxy. For current shows, check here.
If you want something a bit more romantic, we would recommend heading to their ongoing Alder After Dark, with unlimited Sky Shows, live entertainment, and the best view of the Chicago Skyline you’ll see anywhere. This is the perfect date night.
Shedd Aquarium is one of the countries largest aquariums, with 32,000 animals and 5 million gallons of water, some of Shedd’s Animals are even available to touch! There’s no end to the cute and happy animals available to see including dolphins, turtles, sea lions, otters and more.
The Field Museum has everything. One current exhibit even explores the history and tools of tattooing. The Field Museum wants to help you find out what tattooing means to you. If more traditional exhibits are what you are looking for, however, explore their Ancient Egyptian Tomb, and meet the Largest T. Rex ever found!
Museum Campus isn’t the only place science lives in Chicago, and if you want to do something that is just as cool as it is educational, touring the U 505 Submarine at the Museum of Science + Industry is must see. Very much an active vessel in its time, this submarine was captured in the waters of the Atlantic on June 4, 1944, and you can see the inside up close and in person.
While traditional art may not be everyone’s cup of tea, there is a reason TripAdvisor considers this the number one destination in Chicago. Between a number of touring exhibits that change annually and a massive in-house collection, every local should take a day to relax and enjoy the art.
Being sober doesn’t mean being boring and if you want crazy sober fun, you need to be at the Music Box. Specializing in movies that are weird, less well known, and sometimes true classics this is where you go when you don’t want to see the same old Hollywood Blockbuster. Plus, the link above takes you to the real fun, the Midnight Movies page, where they show movies like The Room and Rocky Horror Picture Show at 11:59 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Campy fun has never been this awesome.
Depending on the time of the year, this may be the event for you. Starting in early June this annual festival is a local favorite, lasting all the way through September. The schedule changes every year so make sure to check it out and get your tickets early because tickets to Stevie Nicks and John Mellencamp won’t last long.
Chicago is a beautiful city, assuming it’s not snowing, and the parks of Chicago are a great way of seeing that first hand. More importantly, Chicago is home to a number of gorgeous parks and simple ways to spend the day, but we all know Chicago has a quirky side, so here are a few parks that you’re guaranteed to enjoy.
Oz park well known for more than just the trees and nature trails. Themed around the Wizard of Oz, this park features stunning sculptures of the four main characters from L. Frank Baum’s famous story.
The Fountain of Time is more of an art installation than a traditional park. This fountain measures 126 feet in length and features 100 individuals of all genders and ages passing before Father Time. As a monument to the first 100 years of peace between Great Britain and the United States, this stunning piece is the perfect place to sit and take a breath.
Garfield Park is legendary, called “landscape art under glass” the conservatory itself is nearly two acres holding thousands of plants. More than any other place on this list, the Garfield Conservatory, holds to the value, “the country must come to the city”
Part of a growing number of indoor trampoline parks opening nationwide, this park is the definition of fun for the whole family. This isn’t the same type of trampoline experience you’re used to, though, their freestyle court offers numerous trampolines lined up side by side, with wall vertical trampolines for flips and spins. If you’re looking for something a bit more competitive, they have games of basketball and dodgeball that can be played on trampoline courts as well. This is perfect for kids of all ages.
Another growing trend, Escape Rooms have captivated adults for their imagination, creativity, and the thrill. With many settings being horror themed you have an hour to either escape from your prison cell, a mob hit, or even cure yourself of an infectious disease, but either way, your life is on the line. If you can’t have fun unless your pulse is pounding, you will have fun here.
[Featured Image: Sky High Sports]