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Katie Sagal

10+ Things to do in Chicago for couples – Chicago attractions for adults

Chicago is one of our favorite cities for couples. It's got everything from romantic adventures to exciting excursions, fine dining to fun snacks, and even great shopping. Whether you prefer museums or love the great outdoors (and frankly, anything and everything in between), there's something for both of you to love in Chicago.

If you’re looking for things to do in Chicago for couples, check out our list of the top attractions and activities, including...

  • 360 CHICAGO
  • Architecture River Cruise
  • Shedd Aquarium
  • Tall Ship WINDY
  • Art Institute of Chicago
  • Field Museum
  • Big Bus Chicago Tour
  • and more...

See Chicago from an observation deck

Chicago Skydeck view

Get a bird's eye view of the city at one of two fantastic observation decks: SkyDeck Chicago at Willis Tower or 360 CHICAGO at the John Hancock building. Take in a romantic sunset together or watch the skyscrapers sparkle at night.

Both offer amazing views of the city below, but each has unique strengths. You can see parts of four different states at 360 CHICAGO! Or, if you prefer better views of Navy Pier and Lake Michigan, SkyDeck Chicago and their exciting new TILT attraction is a hair-raising choice!

🎟️Getting in: Admission to both SkyDeck Chicago and 360 CHICAGO is available on all Go City® Chicago passes.

History & Natural History museums

Chicago Field museum

History fans, especially those with a taste for local history, will also get a lot out of a trip to Chicago. Visit the Chicago History Museum for a specific focus on the heritage and history of this marvelous city. Why not stop in at one of their fantastic temporary exhibitions and soak up some culture together?

With its convenient location in the south part of Lincoln Park, the Chicago History Museum is also right near Old Town, a trendy neighborhood with plenty of great food and drink options. We love Broken English (for tacos and margarita specials) or Old Town Pour House (for good craft beer, plus sports TV).

Or, head to the Field Museum for a fascinating perspective on the natural history around the globe. Here you'll find everything from SUE, the iconic T. Rex skeleton, to gorgeous gemstones of all varieties to Ancient Egyptian artifacts.

🎟️ Getting in: Chicago History Museum and Field Museum admission is available on all Go City® Chicago passes.

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Do you both simply adore the sea? Then a visit to Shedd Aquarium is a must-do activity for almost any age. This world-class aquarium features hundreds of sea critters, great and small. Encounter animals from fresh and saltwater, creatures who live near the water but are primarily terrestrial, and even seabirds. From amusing penguins to intimidating sharks, you'll find it all here.

🎟️ Getting in: Shedd Aquarium admission is only available on the Go City® Explorer Pass.

Amazing architecture excursions

Chicago river

Chicago is famous for its eclectic and innovative architectural makeup -- with iconic buildings designed by everyone from Frank Lloyd Wright to Mies van der Rohe. If you're a couple who loves art and architecture or unique sightseeing in general, then an exploration of Chicago's architectural scene is perfect for you.

One popular option is a tour of the Chicago River and the many beautiful buildings visible from the water. This relaxing and informative cruise provides many opportunities for excellent photographs! If you want to see more of the city's architecture than can be seen from the shores of the Chicago River, embark on a themed architecture walking tour run by the city's more significant architectural organization.

🎟️ Getting in: Chicago Architecture Boat Tour admission is only available on the Go City® Explorer Pass.

Hop-on Hop-off Big Bus Chicago tour

Chicago Big bus

It can feel a little too touristy sometimes, but the trick to a good city tour is to find one that balances fun, information, and convenience, all in one great package. A hop-on-hop-off Chicago bus tour is a great option here, as it provides the flexibility of boarding and disembarking wherever you please for maximum customizability.

See all the best sights of the city, from major landmarks like the Willis Tower and the Wrigley Building to top local attractions like the institutions at the Museum Campus and beyond.

You can be your own guide, pick and choose which top sights are right for you, and get on and off as you please. Choose which sights you tick off, from the Magnificent Mile and Shedd Aquarium to the Field Museum, Millennium Park, and many more.

🎟️ Getting in: Hop On Hop Off Chicago Bus Tour admission is included on all Go City® Chicago passes.

Lake Michigan cruises

Lake Michigan cruise

If you are looking to get out on the water of Lake Michigan, we recommend taking a peaceful cruise offered by Shoreline Sightseeing — one of the best ways to see the city of Chicago. This classic lake tour showcases the major sights along the shore - like Navy Pier and the beaches — and also the wild marine life found on the lake.

Another excellent, more adrenaline-fueled option is Lakefront Speedboat Tour. Zoom along Lake Michigan and admire the Chicago skyline in a 2,000-horsepower boat. Your experienced guide will provide a detailed and entertaining narration of the city's history and architecture.

🎟️Getting in: The Lakefront Speedboat Tour is available on the Go City® All-Inclusive pass, while Classic Lake Tour admission is available on the Go City® Explorer pass.

Top art museums

Art Institute of Chicago

Artistic couples and friends will find much to love about Chicago's museum scene. The world-famous Art Institute of Chicago is the ideal artsy attraction and boasts unique and beautiful architecture of its own. From the Renzo Piano-designed Modern Wing to the classic original structure, you'll find a wide selection of pieces from Chagall's American Windows to Georgia O'Keeffe's Black Cross New Mexico.

The smaller Museum of Contemporary Art is no less fascinating with its focus on living artists and the most recent developments. They have funky rotating exhibits that feature everything from installation art to graphic art and sculpture.

🎟️Getting in: Museum of Contemporary Art admission is included on all Go City® Chicago passes.

Bike rides around Chicago

Bike rides in Chicago

Chicago is an extraordinarily bike-friendly city. From the many trails and pathways around the lakefront to the giant parks located throughout the city, there are plenty of low-stress places to pedal a bike. What's more, the city is completely flat! There is barely a hill to pedal up, so you won't get out of puff in a hurry.

If you're a local or a real bike expert, you can even use a bike as transportation to get around the heart of the city itself. So, rent a couple of bikes and head off on your outdoorsy couples' adventure in lovely downtown Chicago.

🎟️ Getting in: Bike and Roll Chicago bike rentals are available on all Go City® passes.

Chicago Theatre Tour

Chicago theater tour

For artsy couples or friends, the iconic Chicago Theatre is a must-visit attraction. Take a tour of this historic theater and go behind the scenes of one of the art world's most storied venues. The beautiful French Baroque architecture is another testament to how important Chicago is to the history of design and architecture in America.

Plus, you'll get to see the backstage walls autographed by the many, many celebrities who have performed on this stage, as well as a historic photo display. You'll even get a chance to walk across the stage!

🎟️ Getting in: Chicago Theatre Tour Experience admission is available on all Go City® Chicago passes.

Beautiful urban parks

Lincoln Park Chicago

One of the most stunning things about downtown Chicago is its selection of gorgeous parks. From the culture-filled Millennium Park to the festival-friendly Grant Park to the tiny but darling Lurie Garden, there is a park for couples to wander and photograph for hours. Don't forget to stop by the famous Cloud Gate sculpture, aka, the Bean.

Or, venture further out of the city center into Lincoln Park, which boasts a zoo and several beaches. It's a great place to explore, ride bikes, run, play frisbee, etc.

If you venture a little west of the city you'll come across Garfield Park and its beautiful conservatory. Garfield Park is a sanctuary for 120,000 tropical plants over 1.6 acres of glass-topped indoor space.

To the south of the city, Jackson Park occupies a stretch of the water's edge with beaches, lush green playing fields, marinas, and landscaped lagoons. It plays host to the impressive Museum of Science and Industry, a neo-classical building home to innovative hands-on exhibits about all things industrial.

Shopping, shopping, shopping


Magnificent Mile

Whether you both love a good bargain or one of you is patiently accompanying the other, there's oodles of shopping to be found in Chicago. The Magnificent Mile is a particularly popular destination, featuring everything from elite couture shops to fast fashion favorites.

Or, head to Water Tower Place Mall for an excellent selection on everything from LEGOs to loose tea. A stroll along either locale is also just great sightseeing. You'll also be able to find souvenirs and more at many of the top attractions, too - the Art Institute of Chicago in particular has a stellar gift shop.

Unique Chicago neighborhoods

Ukrainian Village, Chicago

There's more to Chicago than just the Mag Mile. In fact, some of the city's best dining options are found in outlying neighborhoods. Try the trendy neighborhood of Old Town for delicious cuisine and fun bars, or Wicker Park/Bucktown for boutique shopping.

If you're craving Italian, try Little Italy & University Village, or if you want to embrace Chicago's Polish heritage, scope out Portage Park. Another fun neighborhood with great food and drink is Ukrainian Village, featuring a fun brewery, a top sushi restaurant, and some wonderful indie shops.

Save on admission to top Chicago attractions with Go City®

Discover our full line-up of Chicago attractions for couples including the Chicago River Architecture walking tour, Chicago Theatre Experience, Skydeck Chicago, and more.

🤩 If you want to see and do as much as you can, our All-Inclusive Pass is for you.

😎 If you want to pick just a few attractions and visit at your own pace, our Explorer Pass is

the perfect option.

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