Millennium Park and the Art Institute of Chicago

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Absorbing some of the city’s culture while visiting is always high on our list of things to do. While in the Windy City we hit two must-see locations in one afternoon, thanks to the fact they are only steps away from each other.

First we explored the Art Institute of Chicago, the second largest art museum in the U.S. (only to NYC’s Metropolitan Museum of Art), which features a strong American collection, including iconic works from Edward Hopper, Grant Wood, and Georgia O’Keefe, and a comprehensive contemporary art collection. There are always tons of worthwhile exhibitions on, including a special Matisse exhibit on now until June 20, 2010, which focuses on his work from 1913-1917. Admission for adults is $18 (it includes the exhibits), but for those willing to brace the crowds, you’ll get in free on Thursday’s from 5-8 p.m.

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Photography courtesy millenniumpark.org

After you absorb yourself with work featured in the museum, walk over to Millennium Park, which is filled with sculpture and architecture from world-renowned artists, including the ever-popular Cloud Gate sculpture by Anish Kapoor, the outdoor concert pavilion designed by Frank Gehry and the modern Crown Fountain, designed by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa. The ideal time to take advantage of what the park has to offer is in the spring or summer. Definitely plan to take in the Grant Park Music Festival if you can. The free festival features ongoing classical music performances open to the public, starting June 16 with Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and runs until the end of August.

WHERE TO FIND:
Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Ave., Chicago IL, 60603-6404; (312) 443-3600
artic.edu

Millenium Park
201 East Randolph St., Chicago IL, 60602
milleniumpark.org