Chicago Culture Overview

Lincoln Park - Beach | Culture | Outdoor Activity | Park in Chicago

Without losing its blue-collar roots, Chicago has sneakily become a major cultural center. Culture in Chicago isn’t hard to find; between world-class museums, theater, dance, and music, the city keeps pace with the coastal big metropolises. Some options are even pretty affordable.

The city’s crown jewel of museums, the Art Institute of Chicago, consistently displays some of the most lauded works of art ever created. In addition to its permanent collection, the museum features blockbuster exhibitions from artists ranging from Picasso to Hopper, and its Modern Wing is a piece of art unto itself. The AIC hosts many after-hours cocktail events for young professionals.

Nearby, the city’s “museum campus” is home to the Field Museum of Natural History, the Adler Planetarium, and the Shedd Aquarium. This famous trio lets visitors stargaze, swim with dolphins, and check out the famous T.Rex skeleton “Sue” in a short amount of time. Like the Art Institute, this trio hosts cocktail events after hours.

Skipping ahead in time, the Museum of Contemporary Art, in the Gold Coast, has an especially young fan base, due in part to its extremely popular First Fridays events, where singles drink and mingle among the contemporary art exhibits.

Other premier venues include Symphony Center, home to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the Auditorium Theatre, home to the Joffrey Ballet. Chicago culture also gets a big boost from the A-list actors happy to grace the stage at the Goodman, Steppenwolf, and Lookingglass theaters.

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