Things to do in Wicker Park Chicago

Things to do in Wicker Park, Chicago

Feeling hip? Chicago's Wicker Park is one of the coolest places in the city. If you're visiting Chi-Town from out-of-town or simply a local who doesn't know, why not find out why? Here's our guide to Wicker Park, which highlights some of the best things to do!


  • Exploring the outdoors
  • Classic arcade fun
  • Refreshing beverages
  • Poignant performances
  • Comedy clubs
  • and more!
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Go exploring!

Firstly, if you're new to the area, get out there and explore! There are plenty of green spaces that are worth your time.

Wicker Park is a park named after Wicker Park the place. Once you've wrapped your head around that one, you'll find one of Chicago's coziest but classiest outdoor spaces. Pack a picnic basket and go enjoy the ambiance! Lots of events also occur throughout the year, like film screenings, markets, and live performances.

Or, for a more urban escape, follow the abandoned 606 train tracks. The 606 has become a tourist destination in its own right, with a winding walk that will take you past some of the city's most recognizable landmarks. It's also full of creative street art for you to check out, and put on your socials if you crave the attention of others so incessantly. Alongside the fantastic views, there are a wealth of events on all year round, from bakesales to outdoor exercise classes. So, go explore. Right now!

Play on, player

Fancy trying your hand at some retro arcade video games, air hockey, and other '80s entertainment? Then check out Emporium at Wicker Park!

Bring some friends along and get to grips with some classic arcade games. Then, when you've lost all your lives, hop on a pool table and play a few rounds, challenge them to a spot of foosball, or get clinking at one of the many pinball tables. Then, to wet your whistle, grab a refreshing craft beer from the bar, or maybe a bite to eat if you need to refuel. They even have live music on occasion, if you need some tunes to get your pinball fingers pumping. Emporium is awesome, and easily one of the best things to do in Wicker Park if you're visiting Chicago!

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Grab a drink

After all that activity, you might want to just sit back, relax, and get a refreshing drink or two down your gullet. Well, Wicker Park has got you covered, with a wide variety of relaxed watering holes that'll help you take the edge off.

One of Wicker Park's most popular is Phyllis Musical Inn, a saloon-style pub with countless beers on tap, live music, and a massive garden where you can soak up the rays when the weather's good.

Or, if you want to stuff it down with brown, head to Whiskey Business. Besides a delightful and grandiose selection of whiskeys, they also serve a mean cocktail, local craft beers, and you can enjoy it all on their vibrant rooftop!

Or, if you fancy something fancy and a little pricier, check out The Violet Hour. This stylish, sophisticated joint has a bevy of master craftsmen who can whip you up whatever you desire, all paired with delicious bites.

Catch a secret show

If you like your music raw, and your favorite acts unheard-of, then wade through the cool and pull up a pew at Hideout. This Wicker Park hang spot features local acts and up-and-coming artists from the world of alternative music.

On any given week, expect to see post-punk one day and then acoustic indie the next. If you like your venues grungy, your music noisy, and your beer just the way it should be, head down to The Hideout and see if you discover your new favorite artist. Just don't expect they'll have any merch. That's for posers, bro.

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Have a laugh

We all like the giggle. It's said that laughter is the best natural way to gain a six-pack. And you don't even have to do anything, just laugh. How awesome is that? If you want to work on your six-pack and laugh till your sides hurt, why not check out The Comedy Clubhouse? Widely thought of as the premier Chicago comedy club, it's one of the best things to do in Wicker Park.

You'll find a slew of shows on there, from stand-up gigs to improv shows. Many comedians you find on cable comedy greats like Parks and Rec and The Office cut their teeth at this very club, so you have some idea of the quality you can expect when you visit. Pair all them funnies with some refreshing drinks and delicious pizza, and you've got yourself a night out right there.

Dig in the crates

This one's for the collectors. If you're a muso and big into vinyl, do yourself a favor and check out Reckless Records. Inside, you'll find wall-to-wall rare vinyl from bygone eras, new EPs from up-and-coming artists, and even old movies if you're so inclined.

A lot of it's second-hand, understandably, so make sure to check your purchases before you wreck your purchases. Or, God forbid, they wreck you. If you want to lose multiple hours and come away with a collection to make all of your weird friends froth at the mouth, go check out Reckless Records.

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Get artistic

Need to be inspired? Go check out some of Wicker Park's quirky art galleries!

The Flat Iron Building has a whole collection of galleries where you'll find mind-blowing, or mind-altering, works from local artists.

If you like your art with a hint of street, check out The Vertical Gallery for some thought-provoking pieces on modern life, local culture, and antiestablishmentism.

Or, if you like more experimental art, or are at least open to it, head to Johalla Projects. Step inside, and you'll find a huge gallery space filled with images, sculptures, movies, and paintings. Now that's art, baby.

Grab a bite

And finally, this one's for the hungry. Luckily for you, Wicker Park has a handful of great restaurants to get some chow.

If you want some southern fun with your food, check our Ina Mae's delicious menu full of New Orleans-inspired dishes. Their potato salad is to die for.

Want to go even further south? Try Antique Taco, which offers a selection of gourmet tacos and Mexican appetizers, alongside some tequila-based cocktails to wash it down.

Or, if you want your mind blown with some New American cuisine, a few dollars more will get you a delicious meal at Schwa. Many locals think it's the best restaurant in town. Best you find out for yourself!

And that was our list of the best things to do in Wicker Park when you visit Chicago!

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