Top 5 things to do in Chicago on black Friday weekend beyond shopping

With a peaceful protest planned for today (11 am. to ?, Friday, November 27) from the Chicago River to Water Tower Place, you may want to put aside your shopping plans along the Mag Mile for another day (or shop on State Street, if you must).

There’s so much more to do in Chicago than shopping on the Mag Mile or having “tea” at the American Girl store.

Here’s 5 ideas that should serve you well for today and throughout the season.



On exhibit at The Greeks—Agamemnon to Alexander the Great. Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

A new exhibition opened this week at the Field Museum. The impressive exhibit, “The Greeks—Agamemnon to Alexander the Great,” takes visitors on an exceptional journey through 5,000 years of Greek history and culture. Encounter Mycenaean rulers and priestesses, warriors and princesses of Archaic Greece, and heroes and athletes of Classical Athens and Sparta through more than 500 priceless treasures. Many of these works, from 21 Greek museums, have never have been displayed outside of Greece. Now through April 10, 2016



Macy’s 2015 windows. Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

Marshall Field’s holiday windows have been a Chicago tradition for over 100 years. Macy’s who bought-out Field’s a few years back has done a remarkable job of retaining this Chicago tradition. This year’s windows showcase Earth and the planets and are both beautiful and educational. Additional windows pay homage to Snoopy and friends. The holiday windows run along State Street from Randolph to Washington (also around the corner on Washington).



Music plays while skaters glide along the pristine ice. Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

Millennium Park is decked out in its holiday best, especially now that the city’s beautiful Christmas tree reigns over the park with twinkling multi-colored lights. The ice rink is located right next to the big tree just off Michigan Avenue between Washington and Madison. Bring your own skates…or rent them.


Ice skating ribbon at Maggie Daley Park. Photo: Chicago Tribune

Ice skating ribbon at Maggie Daley Park. Photo: Artist rendering 2014, Chicago Tribune

Maggie Daley Park offers a host of year round activities—so think of visiting the park beyond the “fair weather” days. The playground areas are still open and the ice ribbon which meanders throughout the south area of the park will definitely put you in the holiday spirit…and you can even bring THE DOG (leashed and on paths). The park is at Randolph and Columbus. It can be easily accessed from the Millennium Park Bridge that crosses over Columbus Drive.


The new lobby at the Chicago Cultural Center. Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

The new lobby at the Chicago Cultural Center. Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

The 3-month long Chicago Architecture Biennial (through January 3, 2016) is more than halfway over. If you want to see what all the excitement is about, head to the Chicago Cultural Center to see their related exhibitions, both inside and outside. Daily tours of the exhibition take place at 10 am. Self-guided tours are available during building hours. 78 E. Washington

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