What is the Chicago Bucket List?


What is the Chicago Bucket List? The Chicago Bucket List is the accumulation of ideas on things to do before you leave Chicago for good. It’s based on the hypothetical scenario: If you had to leave Chicago in six months and were never to come back, what would you make sure you did before you go? I don’t plan on leaving Chicago, but I plan to take on this bucket list as my own spring and summer personal project.

One of the things I’ve noticed from being a native Chicagoan is that sometimes I don’t go out and try new things to the extent that I want to unless someone else suggests it to me. People who have moved to Chicago see the city differently and are much more willing to try out new places or experiences than some things that native Chicagoans do. On the flip side, my friends and I here from the city have our habits and traditions some of which transplants either don’t know about it or have never had the chance to try before. Hence, the Chicago Bucket List will be a conglomeration of both native and transplant ideas on what Chicago really is all about. My hope is to experience the best of what Chicago has to offer without emptying out the piggy bank to achieve it.

I am a graduate Finance student at Loyola University, native Chicagoan and local foodie. I love trying new things and aspire to have an encyclopedic knowledge on all things Chicago. I am from northwest side Albany Park and in one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the country. I appreciate the support and feedback on my personal project and hope you will enjoy reading more about The Chicago Bucket List.

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14 Responses to “What is the Chicago Bucket List?”

  1. Kurt says:

    Garfield Park Conservatory
    Lincoln Park Zoo
    North Avenue Beach
    Bike ride to Botanical Garden
    Cocktail at the top of the Hancock
    Dim Sum with 10 or more people
    Barbecue at the Lakefront
    Polish Smorgasbord
    Mexican food in Pilsen or Little Village
    Italian food in Heart of Italy (26th and Oakley)
    Korean BBQ at 3:00 am
    Rooftop BBQ with bags tournament
    Water Park (such as Mystic Waters in DesPlaines)
    Ohio Street Beach at sunset and Montrose Street Beach at sunrise (or vice/versa)
    Oak Street beach at 11:00 then walk to Division Street bars at 1:00
    Picnic at LaBagh Woods then walk along traintracks with a 40.
    Dirty Martini at the Intercontinental Hotel Lobby

  2. Andre says:

    Visit The Sears Tower
    Wings at High Dive & Wings Around The World
    Drive Michigan Ave & Lake Shore Drive late at night
    Ride my bike down the bike trail by the lake from Hyde Park to North Ave Beach
    Drink at Moonshine/Brunch at Moonshine
    Breakdance at The Funky Buddha Lounge
    Eat a Steak Sweet @ Home of The Hoagy
    Sit on the Rocks and make out @57th Street beach
    Play B-Ball on the South Side
    Cubs game on a sunny Friday afternoon @ Wrigley
    Take a yacht out on Lake Michigan
    Green Mill
    Harold’s Chicken/Uncle Remus Chicken
    Drinks @ Hopleaf
    Taste of Chicago

  3. Brandi says:

    I would say my Chicago Bucket List is the following:

    Overnight stay at the Field Museum
    Dance at the Sears Tower in the cubes
    Dinner at Joe’s Stone Crab
    Camping and hiking at Starve Rock
    Speed down Lakeshore drive at 3am
    Bike the Drive and not pay for it
    Egg Daley’s house at 4am
    Pull the biggest prank by calling in an awning company and replacing all the Macy crap and returning it to Marshall Field’s
    Have an actual bar hop, make all the ladies dress in poodle skirts and all the men to dress like greasers and then go from bar to bar
    BBQ at the beach in the middle of winter with a heated tent to serve all my friends
    Join the Polar Bear Club of Chicago and jump in the lake at least once during the winter
    Ride in the express elevator at the Sears Tower and jump when it got to the right floor
    Run around Northwestern Hospital in a hospital bed race
    Chiditerod! Need I say more?
    Skydive onto Wrigley Field during a Cubs Game at night
    Prank call the Presidents Chicago home
    Tour the Goose Island Brewery
    Have pizza from every Chicago pizzeria
    Give more crap back to the servers at Dick’s Last Resort that they hire me as a server and I refuse
    Wine and dine at the most expensive place in Chicago and then whine and cry about the bill
    Ride the short bus of Chicago’s CTA fleet
    Do my duty as a civil servant as a juror of a murder trial and be the last man to hold out and then say I was just kidding lets hang’em
    Paint a mural on the basketball court at Foster beach that is so beautiful the people stop playing basketball there
    Watch the Cubs win the world series at home
    Watch the Bears lose to the Packers again
    Watch the Sox get sold to an owner that moves them to Alaska
    Watch the Hawks win the Stanley Cup (This might be the year!)
    And in closing of my bucket list, I would pull the same pranks that the Blues brothers did in Chicago and feel proud of myself!

  4. An Phan says:

    Thank’s for your suggestions I will get to them as soon as I can!!!

  5. Becky says:

    I just started making my own bucket list, and then discovered this blog! I’ll try to put down some new ideas that haven’t been posted yet, although I have been getting a lot of great ideas from these past few entries!

    -Spend an entire day at the beach picnic-ing, reading books, and buying silly tropical drinks at Castaways
    -Go to the Lincoln Park Zoo AND buy some popcorn and soda from the vendor carts
    -A round of mini-golf at Grant Park
    -Attend an Adults Only night at the Planetarium (third Thursday of every month)
    -Visit the Farmer’s Markets and make dinner from the produce I buy
    -Geocaching around the city
    -Indian Food on Devon
    -Ghost Tour
    -Ride every color of train from beginning to end
    -Get sprayed by the Crown Fountain!
    -Participate in the No Pants day (by Improv Everywhere)
    -MP3 Flash Mob at Navy Pier
    -Get dressed up for the Lyric Opera
    -See one of the Chicago specific fashion shows

    Things to do during the colder months:
    -ice skating at Millennium Park
    -Ride the Holiday Train
    -Tree Lighting
    -Thanksgiving Parade

  6. An Phan says:

    These are great ideas, I will make sure to get them up tonight!

  7. Desi says:

    a shorter to do for only 2 weeks:
    Chipotle, Chipotle Chipotle, I Love Chipotle
    Cheese Cake Factory Mushroom Burger
    that Mexican Restaurant I forgot the name, but I still know the way. Hopefully its still there!

    mh, I guess I should do something else than eat and drink
    check out some neighborhoods
    just walk around and find new places

  8. Ryan Lavender says:

    1. Fly all your college friends out to Chicago.

    2. Get a speed boat and rob the Hyde Park Bank

    3. Buy a video camera and a helicopter and a trampoline. We setup a race with the speedboat and head to Foster Beach. Once there we shoot slow motion videos of us doing Michael Jordon jams with our tongues hanging out.

    4. Go to Mount Carmel Cemetery – Burial Place of Al Capone and play poker all night with everyone else’s money til the sun comes up.

    5. Get some herb and pizza and hot dogs and go stare at the “Cloud Gate” sculpture in Millennium Park for a few hours.

    6. Wait for the Police to show up and go down in a blaze of glory.

  9. Lori says:

    An, I just stumbled upon this website recently and just wanted to tell you what a great idea it is and I hope more people read this to see what they’re missing in our great city. Managing an apartment company in Chicago and our historic neighborhoods in the North, http://www.resideliving.com, we frequently are suggesting things to do for our tenants. We have many tenants that come from other cities, and now I have another website to point them to for great things to do, see, and eat in Chicago. Thanks and keep up the great work!

  10. An Phan says:

    Thank you so much!

  11. Leah says:

    I just found your site & am loving the suggestions! I’m originally from the land of 60630 but now call 60654 home. I never ever do any of these things unless people come in from out of town. I’m definitely gonna try a few of these. Great site!!!!!!!!

  12. Frank Jones says:

    I want to know the story of the image that keeps accompanying the FB ad showing what appears to be a girl in a bikini and a chimpanzee. What’s up with that?

  13. Mary says:

    Check out the Chicago Oven and Pizza Grinder on Clark Street-the best

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