My Chicago Bucket List

I never really had any reason to make a list of things to do while living in a city; in Springfield, just write down Abraham Lincoln and you’re good, and in Peoria, there are enough to remember in your head. But when I moved to San Francisco, I recognized the abundance of things to do while living in such an area. I made an SF bucket list, and I am happy to say I crossed off almost everything (and I will go back someday to cross off the rest).

Now that I’m in Chicago, it’s a similar situation – I am in a sprawling metropolitan area teeming with opportunities. It is different here because I never lived that far away, so I already have done plenty of things in the city. Nonetheless, the phrase “Chicago bucket list” has come up multiple times recently, and there is so much I never got around to doing as a visitor. That is why I have been inspired to make a list of things I would really like to do while living here.

Common ones: The Field Museum, Lincoln Park Zoo, Millennium Park, Museum of Science and Industry, Shedd Aquarium, Navy Pier (All Done)

Sports: See the Cardinals vs. Cubs at Wrigley Field (Done), White Sox (Done), Bulls (Done), Bears, Blackhawks, Rush (arena football)

See the Million Dollar Quartet

See a Chicago Symphony Orchestra performance

Visit the Goodman Theatre

See “Metamorphoses” at LookingGlass Theatre

See a play at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre (Done)

Go to a Blue Man Group performance

See a concert at the Old Town School of Folk Music

See a free stand-up comedy show at a dive bar (Done, “The Two-Hour Comedy Hour”)

See a poetry slam

Walk out on the Willis (Sears) Tower Skydeck Ledge

Have a cup of coffee while looking out of the 94th floor of the Hancock Building

Take a Segway tour

Explore Northerly Island

Walk next to the Caldwell Lily Pool (Done)

Go ice skating in Millennium Park

Play tennis in Grant Park

Sit by Buckingham Fountain

Read a book in what feels like a small-town park (Done, secret location)

Ride my bike the entire length of the Lakefront Trail (Halfway Done)

Ball with the ballers at Horner Park in a game of pick-up (Done)

Join a city basketball league (Done)

Join a city Ultimate Frisbee league (Done)

Take the Chicago Sunset Cruise

Walk through the Garfield Park Conservatory

Go to the Logan Square Farmers Market

Meditate at the Bodhi Spiritual Center

Take a class at Discovery Center

Take piano lessons at Bucktown Music

Go to Brookfield Zoo

Go to the Driehaus Museum

Visit the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows (Done)

Visit the Oriental Institute Museum (mainly ancient Egyptian things, which I love)

Visit the Fed’s Money Museum

Visit the Hemingway House

See the Frank Lloyd Wright Home, The Rookery, and the Robie House

Experience The Violet Hour

Dine at Hot Chocolate

Go to Taste of Chicago (Done)

Visit Marbles: The Game Store (Done)

Explore and peruse at Myopic Books (Done)


In the surrounding area:

Skydive for the first time at Skydive Chicago

Drive an Indy Car at Chicagoland Speedway (through my credit card’s rewards program)

Dine at a Medieval Times show (Done)

Go to Six Flags Great America (Done)

Go to the IKEA store (Done)

Wander through Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve

Learn to snowboard at Raging Buffalo

Play around at GameWorks (Done)

See the elk herd in Elk Grove (Done)

Visit the American Movie Palace Museum

Go to the Illinois Railway Museum

Walk through the Morton Arboretum

Visit Sonny Acres Pumpkin Farm in the fall

Stay at the Lynfred Winery Bed & Breakfast

There are plenty of others, like local arts and crafts fairs, festivals, and quiet walks through pretty parks and woods, but this list is pretty extensive. I look forward to doing as many things as possible on my Chicago bucket list.


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