Things to Do in Chicago

Attractions near the Palmer House
Other Attractions in and Around Chicago

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Major Attractions Near the Palmer House

Alder Planetarium

1300 S Lake Shore Dr • 312.922.7827 •

Visit America’s first planetarium, featuring immersive sky shows, numerous exhibitions and special events such as lectures and viewing parties. The museum’s extensive collection contains antique astronomical instruments such as sundials, telescopes, astrolabes and more, with artifacts dating back to the twelfth century.


Art Institute of Chicago

111 S. Michigan Ave • 312.443.3600 •

Located just a few blocks from the Palmer House Hotel, the Art Institute of Chicago is the second largest art museum in the country, with approximately 300,000 works of art in its permanent collection. The museum is perhaps most well known for its large impressionist collection, featuring works by Monet, Renoir, Seurat and Van Gough. Other highlights include American Gothic by Grant Wood, Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks, Pablo Picasso’s The Old Guitarist and America Windows by Marc Chagall. Also be sure to see the stunning Modern Wing, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect, Renzo Piano.


Chicago Architecture Foundation

224 S Michigan Ave • 312.922.3432 •

The Windy City has an outstanding architectural history, with many prominent buildings in a variety of styles. The Chicago Architecture Foundation is the leading organization devoted to celebrating and promoting the city as a center of architectural innovation. They offer a number of great tours, exhibitions and programming. From a river cruise to Lunch Talks, there’s something for everyone!


Chicago Cultural Center

78 E Washington St • 312.744.6630 •

The Chicago Cultural Center was built in 1897 as Chicago’s first central public library. This stunning landmark building features two   large-stained glass domes. In addition to the fabulous   architecture, visitors can enjoy free music, dance,  theater, films, lectures, arts exhibitions and family events.


Driehaus Museum

40 E Erie St • 312.482.8933 •

Inside one of the few remaining examples of the palatial homes from the Gilded Age, are numerous galleries featuring stunning period pieces from the Driehaus Collection. Highlights from the museum include important works by revered designers such as Herter Brothers and Louis Comfort Tiffany, as well as surviving furnishings from the 19th-century home. Founder Richard H. Driehaus, supported a massive restoration of the historic mansion from 2003-2008 and continues to uphold the highest ideals of preservation and conservation. 


Field Museum

1400 S Lake Shore Dr • 312.922.8410 •

Part of the lakefront Museum Campus, the Field Museum is conveniently located next to the Shedd Aquarium and Alder Planetarium. The museum uses an interdisciplinary approach to educating visitors about the world in which we live, by combining the fields of Anthropology, Botany, Geology, Paleontology and Zoology. Two of the upcoming exhibitions are Bunky Ech-Hawk: Modern Warrior and Opening the Vaults: Wonders of the 1893 World’s Fair.


Grant Park

337 E Randolph St • 312.742.3918 •

Grant Park is just minutes from the conference hotel, with 319 acres of public space containing performance venues, gardens, artwork, sporting and harbor facilities. In addition to hosting several large annual events such as Lollapalooza and Taste of Chicago, the park is also home to Buckingham Fountain, the Petrillo Music Shell, Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Cloud Gate (aka The Bean), Lurie Garden and Crown Fountain, designed by Jaume Plensa. Visit the Grant Park website for seasonal events.


Museum of Contemporary Art

220 E Chicago Ave • 312.280.2660 •

Since opening its doors in 1967, the Museum of Contemporary Art has been an innovative and compelling center of contemporary art where the public can directly experience the work and ideas of living artists, and understand the historical, social and cultural context of the art of our time. The permanent collection features outstanding examples of visual art from 1945 to the present, and focuses heavily on surrealism, minimalism, conceptual photography, and work by Chicago-based artists.


Navy Pier

600 E Grand Ave • 312.595.7437 •

Chicago’s Navy Pier is the Midwest’s #1 tourist and leisure destination, with over 8.6 million visitors each year. Attractions include a 15-story tall Ferris wheel, IMAX theater, Chicago Children’s Museum, Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows and Chicago Shakespeare Theater. There are also a number of different pleasure boats docked along the pier, which offer visitors everything from elegant dinner cruises to thrilling speed boat rides on Lake Michigan.


Shedd Aquarium

1200 S Lake Shore Dr • 312.939.2438 •

There are over 32,500 amazing animals at the Shedd Aquarium, from otters and penguins to sea cucumbers and frogs. Check out all eight exhibitions, including the Aquatic Show, where you can get up-close with sea lions, dolphins and beluga whales. There’s even a special place for kids called the Polar Play Zone, with touch pools and other hands-on activities.


Willis Tower/Skydeck Chicago

233 S Wacker Dr • 877.SKYDECK •

Formerly known as the Sears Tower, this is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere at 1,729 feet. Enjoy breathtaking views of the city from the Skydeck (located on the 103rd floor) and if you are brave enough, step out onto The Ledge’s glass boxes that extend 4.3 feet from the building. Visitors to the Skydeck can also explore an interactive exhibition and watch a 9-minute video about Chicago’s rise to the top of the architectural world.



Blue Man Group

3133 N Halsted Ave • 773.348.4000 •


Chicago History Museum

1601 N Clark St • 312.642.4600 •


DuSable Museum of African American History

740 E 56th Pl • 773.947.0600 •


Frank Lloyd wright Architecture

Various locations • 312.994.4000 •


Goodman Theater

170 N Dearborn St • 312.443.3800 •


International Museum of Surgical Science

1524 N Lake Shore Dr • 312.642.6502 •


Joffrey Ballet

50 E Congress Parkway • 312.922.2100 ext. 0 •


John Hancock Observatory

875 N Michigan Ave, Ste 2605 • 1.888.875.VIEW •


Lincoln Park Zoo

2001 N Clark St • 312.742.2000 •


Lookingglass Theatre Company

821 N Michigan Ave • 312.337.0665 •


Lyric Opera of Chicago

20 N Upper Wacker Dr • 312.332.2244 •


Museum of Contemporary Photography

600 S Michigan Ave • 312.663.5554 •


Museum of Science and Industry

5700 Lake Shore Dr • 773.684.1414 •


National Museum of Mexican Art

1852 W 19th St • 312.738.1503 •


Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

2430 N Cannon Dr • 773.755.5100 •


The Second City

1616 N Wells St • 312.337.3992 •


Steppenwolf Theatre Company

1650 N Halsted Ave • 312.335.1650 •


Wrigley Field

1060 W Addison St • 773.404.2827 •

The Glass Art Society reserves the right to deny applications for Technical Display, advertising participation, GAS membership or the conference from anyone for any reason.