One of the best things about IRCE’s host city is how much there is to see and do – and how convenient it is from McCormick Place. Below are some options for a team building outing with colleagues, a special reward for a client, or just a chance for you to stretch your legs and get some fresh air.

1. Navy Pier

The vibe at Navy Pier will make you feel like a kid again, but there is some adult culture too, including the Crystal Gardens botanical park and recently opened Chakaia Booker: Four Sculptures exhibit. Play it safe and pre-book your Centennial Wheel tickets. Options include a VIP gondola trip ($50 each for a group of four), a Fast Pass to avoid the lines and a combo ticket that includes admission to the Art Institute. Plus, don’t miss the free fireworks on June 6 from 9:30-9:40 p.m.

2. Lakefront Trail

One of Chicago’s most beautiful assets is the Lakefront Trail that stretches along Lake Michigan for 18-miles between Ardmore Street to the North and 71st Street to the South. You can run, walk, bike, or rollerblade between the water and Chicago’s four major lakefront parks.

3. Lincoln Park Zoo

Now celebrating its 150th birthday, Lincoln Park Zoo calls itself “a world of wildlife in the shadow of skyscrapers.” Entry to the zoo itself is free, and there are fun options for teambuilding outings including a $60 penguin encounter that gives you get a personal intro to the African birds.

4. Wrigley Field

On June 5 and 6, the Cubs play the Phillies at 7:05 p.m. at home in iconic Wrigley Field. Tickets start at just $13 for upper reserved seats. Putting it on the corporate card? The front row of the Bullpen is $179. Study up on food options here. (The White Sox play the Milwaukee Brewers June 1-3.)

5. The Magnificent Mile

While you’re in town for an ecommerce show, it would just be irresponsible not to check out the brick-and-mortar options in one of the country’s best shopping cities. The Magnificent Mile boasts more than 460 retailers, including major department stores and three vertical shopping centers. It also includes some of the city’s best restaurants.

6. Cloud Gate at Millennium Park

Spreading out over 25 acres, Millennium Park is celebrated for its gardens, architecture and public art. Better known as “The Bean”, shiny silver Cloud Gate is made up of 168 stainless steel plates welded together – but you won’t be able to see the seams. If you’ve got time, stick around after IRCE for the Chicago Blues Festival June 8-10.

7. Architectural River Cruise

Chicago is a fantastic walking city, but after a full day at IRCE it will feel good to put up your feet and let someone else do the talking. Named by TripAdvisor as one of the 10 best tours in the country, the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s river cruise will show you some 50 buildings along the Chicago River. (Drinks and snacks are available onboard.)

8. Shedd Aquarium

Where in the world would you like to go while you’re in Chicago? Explore a Caribbean Reef, Polar Play Zone, Amazon Rising, or At Home in the Great Lakes – all while you’re making 32,000 aquatic new friends at the Shedd Aquarium. Extraordinary Experiences on offer include feeding the sharks or petting beluga whales.

9. Sky-High Views

As you look down on the crowds from two of the country’s tallest towers, you may see weather that is different than down below. From the 103rd floor at Willis Tower, you can look out over four states. (Warning: you may even feel a slight sway if visiting on a blustery day, don’t forget you are in the “Windy City”.) You can book VIP breakfasts and lunches, too. Formerly known as the John Hancock Observatory, the 360 Chicago Observation Deck tilts you outward 1,000 feet above the Miracle Mile!

10. Art Institute of Chicago + Museum of Science and Industry

One of the premier art institutions in the world, the Art Institute of Chicago features some 300,000 works of art, ranging from ancient to modern. The Art Institute is open until 8 p.m. on Thursdays, giving you plenty of time for an evening visit after IRCE closes. Techie types won’t want to miss the Museum of Science and Industry.

Looking for suggestions on other museums, restaurants, cocktail bars, live music venues, or family-friendly fun? Visit Chicago’s official tourism site –

And don’t forget to pop by to see Miva at IRCE 2018. Miva’s visionary ecommerce strategists  at the booth to help you craft the ultimate omnichannel sales presence for your ecommerce business. Reserve your time with a Miva Solutions Architect for a for a one-on-one strategy session.

About The Author

Elisa Williams

Elisa Williams is a journalist and communications strategist who combines storytelling with solid research and analysis. A contributing author to the Miva Blog, Elisa has written for a wide array of consumer, business and technology publications, including Newsweek, Real Simple, Computer Life and Inc. Her marketing and content development work includes supporting technology companies that specialize in ecommerce, financial services and big data.

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