If you’re planning a trip to Chicago, then you’ve probably heard about the city’s famous nightlife scene. From top nightclubs and bars to hole-in-the-wall dives that are still packed with people, it seems like there is always something going on in Chicago at night. But what should you actually do if you get the chance to spend a night in this city?
Well, there are so many things to see and do in Chicago at night. But between all of the street festivals and late movie shows, it can be hard to know where to start. Luckily for you, we have compiled a list of some of the best things to do in Chicago at night – no matter how short your stay may be!
Go to Parades and Street Fairs
Chicago’s street fairs are a popular attraction for people of all ages. Not only are they a great way to enjoy Chicago’s iconic architecture, but you can also pick up some local souvenirs and snacks along the way. Some of the most popular festivals that happen in the city include Taste of Chicago, Blues Fest, Lollapalooza, and Ribfest.
If you have time to spare, then the best thing to do is go to one of these festivals and watch a parade! You can do this right at Jackson and Washington or any other major street in downtown Chicago. Walking through these streets will give you a view of many famous buildings as well as many interesting sights and sounds. Plus, watching parades is fun too!
Take in a Concert or Show
If you have some time to spare in Chicago, then your best bet is a show or concert. Music is an integral part of the city’s culture, and there are tons of concerts and shows that take place every day of the year. Some live music venues might be more popular than others, but you’re guaranteed to find something you like at one of these places.
Some of the most popular live music venues in Chicago are the Aragon Ballroom, House of Blues, and Metro Chicago Theater. All three often host concerts or other events throughout the week – so be sure to check their schedules before heading out!
Just because you’re staying in Chicago for only a short period doesn’t mean you can’t see live music while you’re here. If you’re looking to catch a show while in town, then search through dates for upcoming shows at the Aragon Ballroom or Metro Chicago Theater on any evening.
Go to a Night Market
If you’re in the mood to explore new cuisines, then a night market is the perfect place for you. From street food vendors to artisanal craftsmen and women, Chicago’s night markets offer an exciting variety of food and goods. Plus, you can stay warm on these chilly winter nights with some hot coffee or a cold beer!
Another thing to check out at night markets is live music. The best part? You don’t have to pay cover fees or spend a lot of money at these events – just come to enjoy some good tunes!
If music isn’t your style, then maybe take in one of the many cultural performances going on downtown. You can also opt for a more low-key performance like watching some theater or checking out a film screening. In Chicago, there are always something going on that will make you feel like you’re living in the city even when you don’t have time to explore it during daylight hours.
But even if all that jazz doesn’t sound like your speed, there are still plenty of things to do at night in Chicago! Go see what’s open after dark and find something that speaks to your tastes. Whatever you decide, be sure not to miss out on all the fun things happening in this world-famous city!
Grab Dinner and a Drink at a Pub
Chicago is home to some of the best bars, clubs and restaurants in the country. It’s sometimes hard to think about when you might have time to eat, but Chicago has a lot of great places where you can grab a bite to eat and drink before or after your night out on the town.
Some people just might not be hungry enough for a huge meal before going out, so they like to head straight for one of these great pub-style meals that are also very affordable. There’s always something good on the menu at these Chicago pubs – from traditional bar food like hot dogs and nachos, to more upscale dishes like grilled salmon with pesto sauce. Whatever you choose, the drinks are always flowing and the atmosphere is always awesome.
If you want something different for your night out in Chicago, then there are also plenty of options for that too! For example, why not take a break from all of the drinking and dancing by spending an evening at the Chicago Symphony Center? Even if you don’t know how to play an instrument yourself, there will still be someone on hand who does – so everyone can enjoy themselves even if they don’t know anything about classical music! And what about some live theater? The Steppenwolf Theatre Company certainly has a lot to offer at this level – go see their latest production any night of the week!
Chicago has some amazing spots around town that make it easy for visitors just passing through.
Go to a Jazz Club
Chicago’s nightlife scene is well-known for its jazz music. Many of Chicago’s best jazz clubs are located downtown, and they boast some of the best live performances in the entire country. It doesn’t matter if you want to hear classic or contemporary modern jazz – whatever floats your boat. All it takes is one listen to get hooked on this genre because it has such an incredible depth and richness with so many different styles and genres. So, if you’re looking for something new and exciting that will leave you feeling like you just stepped out of a movie theater, then swing by one of these jazz clubs and see what all the hype is about!
Visit a Museum or Gallery
The Art Institute of Chicago is a great place to start if you want to visit a museum or gallery. Not only are the exhibitions interesting, but the museum also offers a lot of opportunities for visitors to interact with the art themselves. You can take classes that teach you about different materials and techniques used in different periods of time at the Art Institute of Chicago!
Stay on Top of the Day’s Events With Twitter and Apps
It’s hard to know what to do every night in Chicago, but there are a few events that are worth checking out. For example, if you want to see some of the best local music, head to Schubas Tavern. If you’re looking for a more family-friendly event, then check out the Chicago Cultural Center’s Music Under the Stars concert.
But if you don’t have time or energy to leave your hotel room to go check out these events, apps like Foursquare can help keep you up to date with what is happening in Chicago through Twitter posts and geotagged photos. That way, when the party is going down in the streets of Lincoln Park at 1am and everyone else is heading there – you will already be on your way!
Whether you’re here for a quick business trip or a long stay, there are plenty of things to do in Chicago at night. So if you have the chance to visit this vibrant city and stay out late, make sure you check out some of these great places to do so!