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Michigan Avenue - - THE SOURCE: SCENE -

THE ART IN­STI­TUTE OF CHICAGO

Con­sid­ered one of the world’s finest mu­se­ums, this prized in­sti­tu­tion houses more than 300,000 works of art—in­clud­ing such trea­sures as Grant Wood’s Amer­i­can Gothic and Ge­orges Seu­rat’s La Grande Jatte— and wel­comes 1.5 mil­lion vis­i­tors each year. 111 S. Michi­gan Ave., 312-443-3600; ar­tic.edu

CHICAGO HIS­TORY MU­SEUM

On dis­play at this must-visit cul­tural in­sti­tu­tion through Novem­ber 26 is “Spies, Traitors, and Saboteurs: Fear and Free­dom in Amer­ica,” which ex­plores nine ma­jor events in US his­tory when the na­tion was threat­ened within its own bor­ders. 1601 N. Clark St., 312-642-4600; chicago­his­tory.org

CHICAGO’S FIRST LADY

From pri­vate yacht rentals for two to blow-out wed­dings for 250 to the wildly pop­u­lar, lo­cals-love-it Chicago River ar­chi­tec­ture tour, this city in­sti­tu­tion is one of the top names in

Chicago cruis­ing.

IN­SIDER TIP: As the only com­pany that part­ners with the Chicago Ar­chi­tec­ture Foun­da­tion on its river tour, CFL’S do­cents are hands down the best in town. 112 E. Wacker Dr., 847-358-1330; cruisechicago.com

DUSABLE MU­SEUM OF AFRICAN AMER­I­CAN HIS­TORY

Ex­plore the his­tory and cul­ture of Amer­ica’s black com­mu­ni­ties in di­verse ex­hibits like “Free­dom, Re­sis­tance, and the Jour­ney To­ward Equal­ity” and “A Slow Walk to Great­ness: The Harold Wash­ing­ton Story,” as well as works by no­ta­bles such as Henry Os­sawa Tan­ner and Archibald Mot­ley Jr. 740 E. 56th Pl., 773-947-0600; dus­able­mu­seum.org

ESCAPEHOUSE CHICAGO

The es­cape-room craze hits River North with this high-tech at­trac­tion, where teams role-play as spies or Se­cret Ser­vice agents as they solve puz­zles and work to­gether to emerge vic­to­ri­ous in un­der 60 min­utes. 54 E. On­tario St., 312-981-6633; es­cape­house­chicago.com

FIELD MU­SEUM

This nat­u­ral his­tory nerve cen­ter is beloved for its world-fa­mous res­i­dent T. rex fos­sil SUE, as well as dy­namic ex­hi­bi­tions and the new in­ter­ac­tive Grainger Science Hub. Cur­rently on view is “Spec­i­mens: Un­lock­ing the Se­crets of Life,” an ex­am­i­na­tion of the im­por­tance of some of the mu­seum’s more than 30 mil­lion spec­i­mens.

1400 S. Lake Shore Dr., 312-9229410; field­mu­seum.org

GREEN MILL

This cen­tury-old night­club was a fa­vorite of the Al Capone set and still at­tracts jaz­zheads from around the world for per­for­mances by Pa­tri­cia Bar­ber and the Alan Gre­sik Swing Shift Or­ches­tra.

IN­SIDER TIP: The Up­town Po­etry Slam (Sun­days, 7–10 PM) is a rol­lick­ing cel­e­bra­tion of the spo­ken word, hosted with lac­er­at­ing wit by slam po­etry leg­end Marc Kelly Smith. 4802 N. Broad­way, 773-8785552; green­mill­jazz.com

HAR­RIS THE­ATER

From host­ing per­for­mances of world mu­sic and in­ter­na­tional dance to serv­ing as home to lo­cal com­pa­nies like Hub­bard Street Dance and Chicago Opera The­ater, this sleek, subterranean Mil­len­nium Park oa­sis has evolved into one of the city’s most com­pelling cul­tural venues. 203 E. Ran­dolph St., 312-334-7777; har­risthe­ater­chicago.org

MIL­LEN­NIUM PARK

From ex­pan­sive lawns and an ex­tra­or­di­nary live-mu­sic venue to a duo of crowd-pleas­ing pub­lic art in­stal­la­tions in Anish Kapoor’s iconic Cloud Gate (“The Bean”) and Jaume Plensa’s Crown Foun­tain, this 25-acre play­ground has be­come the epi­cen­ter of down­town Chicago.

IN­SIDER TIP: Stroll across Frank Gehry’s sin­u­ous bridge to­ward the lake to dis­cover the kid-tas­tic Mag­gie Da­ley Park, with climb­ing walls and slides aplenty. 201 E. Ran­dolph St., 312-742-1168; mil­len­ni­umpark.org

MU­SEUM OF SCIENCE AND IN­DUS­TRY

The largest science mu­seum in the Western Hemi­sphere, this in­sti­tu­tion cel­e­brates in­no­va­tion with in­ter­ac­tive ex­hibits that ex­plore green en­ergy, space travel, fu­ture tech, and more. IN­SIDER TIP: On a scale of 1 to 10, the baby chick hatch­ery scores an 11 for cuteness, elic­it­ing “oohs” and “aahs” from all ages. 5700 S. Lake Shore Dr., 773-684-1414; msichicago.org

NAVY PIER

Chicago’s num­ber-one at­trac­tion, with more than 9 mil­lion vis­i­tors a year, re­cently cel­e­brated its centennial with an ex­ten­sive re­design, in­clud­ing a new all-weather Fer­ris wheel that soars a tow­er­ing 196 feet. 600 E. Grand Ave., 800-595-7437; navyp­ier.com

THALIA HALL

A Pilsen land­mark, this re­fur­bished com­plex boasts the hot spots Dusek’s, Punch House, and Tack Room, as well as an epony­mous con­cert hall that em­braces the neigh­bor­hood’s bo­hemian spirit with an ar­ray of en­ter­tain­ment, from Janeane Garo­falo to George Clin­ton & Par­lia­ment Funkadelic. 1807 S. All­port St., 312526-3851; thali­a­hallchicago.com

UNITED CEN­TER

The na­tion’s largest arena, this West Side land­mark is home to the Bulls and Blackhawks and hosts more than 200 events each year, from con­certs by the likes of Madonna and U2 to Dis­ney on Ice and the Men’s NCAA Bas­ket­ball Tour­na­ment. From July 21 through Septem­ber 3, the fa­cil­ity’s park­ing lot hosts Luzia, the lastest over-the-top spec­ta­cle from Cirque du Soleil. 1901 W. Madi­son St., 312-455-4500; unit­ed­cen­ter.com

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