Chicago’s scorching heat, frigid temperatures, or pouring rain should not ruin your day. That is because there are plenty of indoor activities adults in Chicago can take part in.
From having a peaceful retreat at Aire Ancient Baths to satisfying your sweet tooth at the Museum of Ice Cream, we have it all in this post. That being said, make yourself comfy and go through each of them to identify which one best suits your needs.
1. Have a Peaceful Retreat at Aire Ancient Baths
Aire Ancient Baths offer a stunning singular spa experience for adults in Chicago. Their design is inspired by the ancient bathhouses built by the Greeks and Romans. This means if you want to go back in time and experience how ancient Romans and Greeks used to spend their free time, then taking a dip at Aire Ancient Baths should be the first on your to-do list.
The space in which Aire Ancient Baths are built is all-inspiring. It is an old factory in River West, and it has several baths that are kept at different temperatures. This is to make sure everyone gets exactly what best suits their needs.
Besides, Aire Ancient Baths feel like a hidden bunker, which you can use to escape work-related stresses. Once you are here, you will be able to indulge in spa-like treatments or, as it is commonly known, “rituals”.
❑ 800W Superior St, Chicago, 60642
2. Visit the Art Institute of Chicago
What’s not to love about the Art Institute of Chicago? The first thing you will come across on your visit to this monumental place is a pair of bronze lions. These bronze lions are so iconic that they will leave you yearning for more.
Immediately you get inside the Art Institute of Chicago, you will be amazed by the sheer number of artworks it houses. To be precise, this place is home to a permanent collection of over 300,000 artworks.
But the astonishingly high number of artworks is not the only thing to marvel at when you visit the Art Institute of Chicago. We bet you will also be thrilled by how they are displayed, which is in a sprawling complex of halls and galleries.
The artworks in this institute feature virtually everything, ranging from Japanese prints to ancient sculptures by the Greeks. Additionally, you will come across such classic paintings as “American Gothic” and “Nightwalks”, which were the works of Grant Wood and Edward Hopper respectively.
The Art Institute of Chicago is not all about the classics. It also houses lots of contemporary art. All you need to do to see them is visit the Modern Wing, which is a Renzo piano-designed addition. The Modern Wing not only displays the design collection and architecture of the museum but also shows the art of both the 20th and 21st centuries.
❑ Cross street: Adams St
❑ 111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago
3. Enjoy a Movie at the Music Box Theatre
Chicago also boasts many different movie theaters that you can go to, especially if you are a movie lover. To enjoy your movie experience to the fullest, consider going to the Music Box Theatre. Designed to meet the needs of anyone who enjoys documentaries, vintage movies, foreign cinema, and independent films, the Music Box Theatre is the real deal for adults in Chicago.
Furthermore, the Music Box Theatre features a lounge where you can have a drink before proceeding to the smaller screening room or the ornate main theater. When it is cold outside or you are having a pretty boring afternoon, then visiting this two-screen cinema should be a frontier for you. And that is because every moment in this place is always memorable.
Another reason to like the Music Box Theatre is that the concession stand tops its popcorn with real butter. This further makes the entire experience amazing.
❑ Cross street: Between Grace St and Waveland Ave
❑ 3733 N Southport Ave, Chicago, 60613
4. Enjoy a Selection of VR Games at Redline VR
The opening hours of Redline VR include 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. from Monday to Thursday; 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays; 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturdays, and 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays. It is safe to say that Redline VR is one of the most reliable places to visit in Chicago. The pricing is fairly affordable too, as it charges $10 for 10 minutes or $45 for one hour.
Ideally, you will be wowed by the high number of virtual reality games offered here. This ensures that a trip to Redline VR remains one of the most exciting activities for adults living in Chicago. Escape rooms are worth talking about too when showing how exciting Redline VR is.
These rooms are in a location that is within walking distance of the Red Line. To book a headset, simply go to the VR arcade. You can book a headset by the hour.
Once you have a headset, choose from a library of games available here. These games have such popular titles as “Drunkn Bar Fight” and “Beat Saber”. Alternatively, you can choose to enter a VR escape room.
You can do this with your friends where you will be required to force your way out of the prison or race to disarm a nuclear warhead. We bet you will also be happy to note that drinks are served at Redline VR as well. These drinks include a wide range of virtual reality cocktails.
❑ 4702 N Ravenswood Ave, Chicago, 60640
5. Interact with Nature at Garfield Park Conservatory
Opened in 1908, Garfield Park Conservatory is one of the places to be when you have missed nature yet outside weather conditions are no longer accommodating. When it was first opened more than a century ago, Garfield Park Conservatory was popularly described as “landscape art under glass”. It is not just one of the largest across the globe but also its architecture is revolutionary, which makes it awe-inspiring.
The building features a haystack shape, but that is not the only wowing factor about it. It also has walls that feature stratified stonework. Well, this has made Jens Jensen, a landscape architect, consider the Fern Room, in particular, one of his greatest achievements.
The “prairie waterfall” is beyond amazing. If you are wondering what a prairie waterfall is, then this is a water and stone element within a glass structure. The Garfield Park Conservatory occupies an area of 1.6 acres.
Here, there are around 120,000 plants that represent roughly 600 species of plants. Flowers blossom four times a year to show a change in seasons. The conservatory is open 365 days annually and entry is free.
❑ Cross street: Fulton Blvd
❑ 300 N Central Park Ave, Chicago
6. Watch Celestial Bodies at the Adler Planetarium
To be honest, the Adler Planetarium is not one of the easiest places to get to since you have to move to the outermost tip of the Museum Campus. But, given that it focuses on otherworldly experiences, the potentially daunting journey is worth it.
At the Adler, astrophysics and astronomy come together in ways you have never seen before. There are permanent exhibitions that will leave you yearning for more.
One of these is “Mission Moon”, which documents the history of U.S. space exploration. The other is “The Universe: A Walk Through Time”. This exhibition tries to explain how the galaxy was started.
Besides, a visit to the Adler Planetarium provides you with an opportunity to look through the telescope, which is in the Doane Observatory. Plus, you can go for Chicago skyline views found outside of the museum on Northerly Island.
The opening hours at the Adler Planetarium include 9.30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays and 9.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. on weekends. During summer, the planetarium opens from 9.30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
❑ 1300 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, 60605
❑ Transport is by bus: 12, 130, 146
7. Learn More About Animal Behavior at the Shedd Aquarium
Going to the Shedd Aquarium is a worthwhile decision because you get to learn and have fun at the same time. Once you have come out of this place, you will learn a lot about animal behavior.
There are seven permanent exhibits in this aquarium. One of these is Amazon Rising. Which has stingrays, an anaconda, and colorful fish. Another is Wild Reef, which has stingrays, live coral, and sharks. Plus, there is the Abott Oceanarium, which features sea lions, sea otters, dolphins, and beluga whales.
With so much to explore, it is easy to spend the entire day at the Shedd Aquarium. Needless to say, if you love watching aquatic life, then this is the place for you. The opening hours here include 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday to Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
What’s more, the fees at the Shedd Aquarium are fair. Adults who are residents of Chicago pay $19.95 while the other group pays $39.95. Shedd also features Jazzin’ where you can enjoy live jazz music while sipping your favorite cocktail.
❑ 1200 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, 60605
❑ Transport is by bus: 12, 130, 146
8. Practice Rock Climbing at First Ascent
In Chicago, you can still break some sweat without setting foot outside. All you need to do is visit First Ascent. Here, you will be able to practice bouldering or rock climbing in an indoor climbing gym.
What’s even better about First Ascent is that you do not need to wear a belay or harness. This means if you are a beginner, you will be able to start bouldering immediately. Of course, after you have undergone a brief orientation session to help you master all the basic skills about wall scaling.
Fitness enthusiasts willing to try out something new or simply love rock climbing should make going to First Ascent a priority. The experience this place provides is unforgettable and will leave you feeling complete.
❑ Block 37
❑ 108 N State St, Chicago, 60602
9. Book a Ping-Pong Table at SPiN
The popularity of the sport of ping pong is rising steadily, and SPiN seems to know this. That is why, here, there are lots of paddles, tables, and balls to pick and enjoy the game. With an area of 18,000 sq. ft., River North ping-pong club is the place to spend your afternoon.
All you need to do is rent a table by the hour. Once you have a table, you can choose to play either with a professional or a friend. What’s even better, the employees at SPiN keep the floor clear of bouncing orbs, which allows you to focus on hitting the balls.
Once you are done playing, you can wait a little longer to enjoy a few drinks. You can also indulge in a menu of exciting snacks. SPiN features a farm-to-table kitchen that delivers beef ribs.
These beef ribs come with pumpkin brittle, mole sauce, and more. At SPiN, there are mixologists as well. They create original handcrafted cocktails like Salt Lick Susan with rye whiskey and mezcal.
If you love indoor games, then SPiN is the place to be. Its opening hours are from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., which makes it a perfect hangout place during the weekend.
❑ Cross street: W Kinzie St
❑ 344 N State St, Chicago
10. Tour the Museum of Ice Cream to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
All things ice cream is found in the Museum of Ice Cream. Therefore, this is the place to be if you want to satisfy your sweet tooth. It offers a multi-room interactive experience to make sure you are thrilled to the fullest.
After getting into the Museum of Ice Cream, all you have to do is choose an ice-themed nickname. This can be something like “Mintdonna”, “Oprah Winfreeze”, or “BaChoc Obama”. From here, you will enter a pink recreation of an El car.
The pink recreation will lead you to a collection of experiential rooms. These rooms include an exhibit on the history of local ice cream ventures, a science-heavy ice cream lab, and a mini-golf course. There is also a sprinkle pool, which this museum is super well known for.
Besides, all tickets at the Museum of Ice Cream come with unlimited treats that are from the Museum’s five ice cream stations. If you visit the Museum of Ice Cream and you are incredibly hungry, you can choose to go to an ice cream speakeasy and buy treats. Here, you will get everything including cocktails.
❑ 435 N Michigan Ave, Chicago
11. Play Video Games at Logan Arcade
Logan Arcade comes in handy when spending time outdoors is no longer an option. It provides both the residents and visitors of Chicago with plenty of video games to enjoy the whole afternoon.
It features wonderfully restored pinball tables as well as arcade cabinets. These tables and cabinets, in return, feature blinking and beeping menagerie. The result is an exciting place that you will not want to leave once you set foot in it.
Logan Arcade also has a bar where you can grab a cocktail or beer. Once you have your drink, you can go ahead and enjoy the games this place has to offer. These include “Q-Bert” and "Ms. Pac-Man”.
Logan Arcade also provides you with a chance to experience the “Killer Queen” cabinet. This 10-player game is insanely popular and we are sure you will enjoy every bit of it.
❑ Cross street: N Western Ave
❑ 2410 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago, 60647
Adults in Chicago can enjoy a wide range of indoor activities. For instance, there are all kinds of museums, including the Museum of Ice Cream, where you can satisfy your sweet tooth. There are also several indoor games like ping pong.
Plus, you can opt for something more intense like rock climbing or bouldering. Simply put, whatever indoor activity you choose, Chicago has it.