Things to Do in Chicago

Lakefront trail at Museum Campus

Some of Chicago’s most popular destinations include the shops on Michigan Avenue and its world-renowned museums and libraries, including major institutions like the Art Institute, the Field Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Science and Industry, and the Newberry Library.

But also many smaller museums likely to be of interest to conference attendees. The Chicago History Museum, theMuseum of Contemporary Art (MCA), the International Museum of Surgical Science, the newly opened American Writers Museum, and the National Museum of Mexican Art are particularly recommended; and the National Hellenic Museum is located steps from the conference venue and hotel at 333. S Halsted. Additionally, the nonprofit Gene Siskel Film Center downtown shows independent, limited-release, new and classic films daily.

Also of local interest, the UIC campus sits atop the former site of Hull House, the monumental social reformer Jane Addams’s former settlement house. The Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, located in the extant Hull Home and Residents’ Dining Halls that adjoin the conference meeting rooms venue, offers public tours Wednesdays and Sundays from 1-2pm and self-guided tours at other operating hours (Tuesday to Friday 10am-4pm and Sunday 12pm-4pm). A memorial marker at the site of the Haymarket Affair, the event that inspired International Workers Day, is located a few blocks northeast of the conference hotel at 175 N Desplaines St.

Hull Fouse Nationalities Map
Hull House “Nationalities Map No. 1” (1895)

During summer in Chicago, locals head to one of the many festivals held in neighborhoods around the city or to the city parks and lakefront. There are free public beaches up and down the lakeshore in easy reach of the conference location as well as a continuous 18.5 mile lakeshore path for running and biking. Amenities like boat and kayak rentals and designated open water swimming sites (including at Ohio Street beach downtown and at scenic Promontory Point, near 57th St Beach, on the South Side) are also available.

The outdoor Pritzker Pavilion in Millenium Park offers summer concerts featuring free general admission seating options.

Pritzker Night
Pritzker Pavilion, Millenium Park

For a comprehensive, interactive calendar of Chicago cultural events, see


There are numerous transit options for getting around town. In addition to CTA trains and buses, the Divvy bike-share program is available almost everywhere you want to go, including at Halsted and Polk Streets near the UIC SCE meeting room site and one block from the conference hotel at Green and Madison Streets. Bikes are available for $3 per trip (for thirty minute rides) or $15/24-hour period (for rides up to 3 hours each), with incremental add-on pricing for longer trips.