I have to admit that Chicago was not on my list of top places to visit, but we had a perfect weekend in Chicago! I had let the mafia-ridden reputation of the 1920s influence my opinion and I couldn’t have been more mistaken. We stayed at an adorable Airbnb in The Ukrainian Village, the weather was ideal, the pizza was on-point, and the activities were enjoyable.
Lou Malnati’s Pizza
You can convince me to do anything as long as Pizza is involved. “But there’s pizza in Chicago” are the exact words my husband used to convince me to go – and Lou Malnati’s was the ultimate taste of Chicago-style pizza. I have a bottomless pit when it comes to pizza and the medium-sized Lou was more than enough to feed 2 people.
Lincoln Park Zoo
Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the best zoos I’ve been to, and we didn’t even pay to get in – admission is free! Parking, however, costs $35, so I would recommend taking a Lyft or public transportation. There are a variety of species, each with an exhibit tailored to their needs. There were many animals I had never seen before including a bald eagle, vultures, snowy owls, storks, polar bears, a baby rhino, antelopes and kangaroos. Birds and primates are my favorite animals and Lincoln Park Zoo definitely delivered!
Believe it or not, you can actually take pretty good pictures of zoo animals. If the subject is far enough away from the fence you use a large aperture (low f-stop number), and the fence will be out of focus enough that it will hardly be visible.
The cost to get in is a little steep ($40/adult, $30/child), but I’ll gladly give money to an organization devoted to improving animal care and conservation and reducing plastic pollution. Besides, with 4 floors of more aquatic species than I can name, the Shedd Aquarium exhibits are sure to entertain for the entire day. Jellyfish, starfish, crabs, sharks, dolphins, whales; the list goes on. There were so many seahorses, you had to drag me away! Did you know seadragon is a thing?! Am I the only one who sings “under the sea” to themselves while at an aquarium? Maybe it’s because I watched the Little Mermaid on repeat as a kid (sorry mom!)
**NOTE: The health and well-being of animals is a top priority which is why I only visit zoos and aquariums with a World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) accreditation. WAZA and its members are committed to high standards for animal care and welfare, environmental education, and global conservation.
Frederick C. Robie House
As the daughter of a residential construction foreman turned realtor, I was born with a love for architecture stored in my DNA. I have been fascinated with Frank Lloyd Wright since 6th grade when I built a model of his renowned Falling Water. So, there was no question that the Frederic C. Robie Tour was on my must-see list. I enjoyed learning how the Robie House interior is filled with Frank Lloyd Wright’s signature touches and how the prairie school style continues to influence today’s architecture. I couldn’t believe the house was 109 years old because parts of it still felt so modern.
Chicago is where you go to break into the comedy scene, so there is no shortage of quality laughs.
You can’t go wrong with any comedy act in Chicago, but I highly recommend Improvised Shakespeare; an improvised play in the language and style of Shakespeare. The theme spouted out at the beginning was “The Real House Wives of New Jersey”, as events unfolded it turned into a backstabbing murder mystery of wives trying to overtake the thrones of all the “new” states (New York, New Mexico, etc.). We laughed until we cried and then we laughed some more.