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Exploring Chicago

Exploring Chicago is a multi-season, never-ending activity! Check out the many activities, attractions and features the city has to offer here and some of the unique shopping and festival attractions here

Before you go Heading link

Get as much information before heading out to your destination! Whether you are curious about an attraction, restaurant, or business, there are many online resources available with reviews from locals and recent visitors to whatever attraction you plan to attend. Common websites for reviews are Google Maps, Yelp, and TripAdvisor.

Restaurants Heading link

Chicago might be best known for deep dish pizza and Chicago-style hot dogs, but we are a great food city for nearly every other cuisine as well. Are you looking for distinct Chicago or American-style cuisine? A taste of home? Maybe a culinary trip around the world? Whether downtown, near campus or in the neighborhoods, Chicago restaurants offer nearly anything you can think of to satiate your cravings. The city is also great for vegetarians and vegans as well! Find your next favorite restaurant here.

Tipping culture Heading link

Tipping at dine-in restaurants, at bars or when you order delivery is customary in the U.S. Though not legally required, it is considered standard to tip your restaurant waitstaff between 15-20% of the final bill, before tax. Paying extra on top of the bill is expected because the minimum wage for tipped employees can be as low as a couple of dollars per hour. In Chicago, the minimum wage for tipped workers is currently $8.10-8.40 per hour, compared to $13.50-14.00 for regular, non-tipped employees. Luckily, this is higher than in many places. In the rest of Illinois, including Chicago suburbs, minimum wages are lower.

Night life Heading link

Chicago has a vibrant night life for all tastes. Chicago is best known for its roots in jazz and blues, but the city is also a hub for touring and local music of all kinds. We also have a rich comedy and theater tradition, with many prominent stars of today and the past having had their start in Chicago.

Theater and music Heading link

Chicago is home to a theater scene of national and international significance. The second city has over 100 major theaters within the city limits, and countless independent theater companies gracing stages around town nearly every single night.

Visit Theater in Chicago to keep up-to-date on Chicago theater, including reviews, ticketing, previews, and more. The Chicago TheaterGoodman TheaterSteppenwolf TheaterChicago Shakespeare Company and Second City each have local cultural and historical significance in Chicago’s entertainment scene. For on-campus performances and productions, check out the UIC Theatre Department.

Popular Chicago comedy clubs include the iO TheaterSecond City and The Den Theater.

For large scale classical music performances, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra  and the Lyric Opera offer an annual season of classical music and opera performances. Broadway in Chicago provides an events calendar for popular Broadway performances that run on stage in Chicago for a limited timeframe.

Sports Heading link

Many professional, semi-professional, and collegiate athletic teams call Chicago home, including our very own UIC Flames. Named in reference to the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, the Flames have men’s and women’s athletic teams in basketball, baseball, soccer, tennis, volleyball, and more!

See the links below for more information on Chicago sports teams and ticketing: