Great location in Chicago, very beautiful and well maintained garden with a variety of interesitng plants. Great way to relax and get away from the city, without really leaving it. Quiet and serene, great for a walk, or to sit and read. It's indoors, so you can even go in the winter. They also host festivals and markets, and many informational programs. A great facility in the city that offers something interesting for everyone.
PROS: great escape from the city
This one isn't as interesting as some of the other Chicago tour cruises, but still nice as it lets you see Chicago's great skyline from the lake. It is a bit pricy, but you get to see some great architecture. Very touristy, but still worthwhile for Chicagoans, but tickets sell out so get them in advance. Best when the weather is warm, but also quite interesting to do when it's colder or windy out. Great views, relaxing trip, something to do along with the other cruise tours.
Good tour of the Chicago shoreline along Lake Michigan, if touristy. Even if you are from Chicago, though, it is a different perspective on the city's great skyline. Pricey, but most lake tours are. The tour guide tells interesting stories about the sights as you move up and down the lake, and it is a relaxing trip. Definitely go when the weather is nice.
PROS: interesting tour
Yes, you can canoe and kayak in Chicago. It may not compare to a fresh rapids area, but it is a very unique thing to do in Chicago. You can go quite a bit far north, and the water is much nicer with more sealife up there. It is of course great exercise, and a great thing to do with friends. All equipment is provided, and they charge $14/hour, and they only charge for the first 4 hours. Pricey, maybe, but worth it when the weather's nice, for the exercise, the sightseeing, and to tell people you kayaked in Chicago. Definitely a unique service.
PROS: very fun to do
CONS: pricey if you do it often
Leisure traveler will have a lot of fun at The Savvy Travaler. Great location right on Michigan Avenue, with maps, travel and location specific books, travel accessories and bags, and various guides - almost anything you need to get equipped for a trip. It doesn't have as much large luggage as, for example, a department store, but for all the other things that make travel easier and more fun, they have. Even if you're not planning a trip, it's fun to browse to see all the cool gadgets being developed. While a bit on the pricey side, most everything is durable and high quality.
PROS: great selection of stuff for travelers
Arguably the most pristine place in the area - very well maintained, a little bit of solace in a busy city. It is outdoors, and wonderful when the weather is nice. Numerous interesting sculpture to look at as you walk through, or bike or rollerblade, or just sit on the grass and read. It is bigger than it looks, and you can spend hours here on a nice day. Be sure to check out the display of flags from around the world. Great place to check out by yourself or with a friend or two, or to get in some exercise.
PROS: great, well maintained park
Holes and Knolls is a run of the mill mini golf course, and a bit of a trip to get to from the city. It is fun for a casual mini golfer, and if anything its advantage is that it does not get very crowded, and is cheap. Probably not somewhere you would plan and make at trip to, but if you are in the area and want a casual game of mini golf it works. Not much replayability, but a friendly place that is good for families, if not for people more into mini golf. Relaxed and easygoing, even during peak times and in the summer.
A very good mini golf course that has been around for about 30 years, and looks and feels like it, which adds to the novelty that makes or breaks mini golf. Two courses are offered, both are pretty cool though standard mini golf type holes. Batting cages and a restaurant in the same area so you can mix it up a bit. Location is good and not hard to get to, but it can get crowded in the evenings and on weekends. Worth checking out for a retro golf course feel, go with a friend or a big group and they can accommodate you.
PROS: good course
Great location in Lincoln Park for a visit on the weekends or after work. Open all year as it is heated, a plus over most mini golf courses and driving ranges. The mini golf is aimed at kids, so it is nothing special for a more skilled player, but something to keep kids occupied while you focus on the driving range. The range is good, plenty of room and you can be a total novice and not look stupid. Prices are acceptable given the location, and of course they offer clubs to borrow if you don't have a set.
PROS: good location and course
The Playground Theatre is an acceptable comedy club in Chicago, though definitely no comparison to Comedy Sportz or Second City. Playground features a lot of comedians in training, and has a more amateurish feel, but it is interesting ot see new comedians in action and see what new material they are trying, especially if you yourself are interested in performing comedy. The environment is like any other comedy club, and the staff is friendly. Not too expensive, BYOB, so if you want to see what it is like for an aspiring comedian, check out a show here, but be sure to visit the more professional venues to see what Chicago's best comedians can do.
PROS: interesting, cheap
CONS: mostly amateurs