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Featured Photo by Millennium Park

Exploring The Arts In The Chicago Downtown Loop Near The Chicago River

Nestled alongside the Chicago River, the Loop in Downtown Chicago is the perfect place to explore the city’s vibrant and lively arts scene. From the magnificent architecture and art museums to the beloved public art and amazing live performances, the Loop is filled with places for lovers of the arts and the average arts patrons alike. Take advantage of the excellent guide services to direct you on your arts filled adventure, or head out on your own for a day of exploration and excitement in downtown Chicago. Here are a few places to get you started on planning your visit.

5 Ways to Get Outside on the Turtle River

A great way to get your bearings and to view Chicago’s amazing architecture is by setting out on a guided tour. First, though, you should stop at the Chicago Architecture Center and explore its galleries. Here you can learn all about the city’s architectural legacy and ground-breaking world architecture through amazing interactive displays and exhibits. Then you can purchase tickets for the center’s walking, bus, or L tours or boat tours to go out and see the buildings and places firsthand. The center offers a variety of tours with different time lengths and various topics, so you can choose which tour fits your schedule and interests.

5 Ways to Get Outside on the Turtle River

Being home to one of the largest and oldest art museums in the United States, the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago has a wonderful art scene with many museums and cultural centers. The Loop is no exception to this, housing many of the great museums for viewing art exhibits and extensive art collections. One place to start is the Chicago Cultural Center. The center is one of the most visited attractions in Chicago because of the landmark’s beauty and the fact that all of the events are free to the public. Here you can view the largest Tiffany stained-glass dome in the world, dance performances, classical concerts, and art exhibits, all for free. After, a trip to the Art Institute of Chicago is perfect for viewing a large collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art. Plus you can explore the rotating exhibits from both Chicago artists and famous artists from the United States and around the world.

5 Ways to Get Outside on the Turtle River

Photo Courtesy of City Of Chicago

Public art is a very accessible type of art that comes in various forms and can be found all around Chicago, especially in the downtown Loop. A great place to start is the Millennium Park Campus where you can find the popular Cloud Gate, better known as The Bean, the Crown Fountain, the Boeing Galleries, and the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Another park with public art that you might not want to miss is the Chicago Riverwalk. The Riverwalk is home to many public art pieces including the mosaics at the front gate, the Echo Hecho Fresco, the confluence with a changing art exhibit, and many more. If you visit the Chicago Riverwalk after dusk you can also see the Art on the MART, the world’s largest digital art projection.

5 Ways to Get Outside on the Turtle River

If you’re looking to catch a show or performance in Chicago, look no further than the city’s bustling Theatre District found downtown in the Loop. Featuring Tony Award-winning shows, world premieres, and many glittering marquees, Chicago’s Theatre District is a dream for those who enjoy the performing arts. Visit the likes of the Auditorium Theatre, the Cadillac Palace Theatre, and the James M. Nederlander Theatre for the latest Broadway hits, anticipated performances, and Tony Award-winning theatre companies. Performances range from dance, musicals, plays, and symphonies to magic shows and other live events. View the upcoming theatre and performing arts events at various theatres in the Loop to find the perfect event and grab tickets for your visit.

Content Writer and Social Media Coordinator. I paint, listen to music, and play with my dogs a lot. When I’m not doing all that, I love to read and try new things.

Maeve Miller

Writer , River Travel Magazine