Chicago Spring Break Crawl: Lincoln Park Zoo, Shedd Aquarium and More

Spirit of Chicago Cruise Lake Michigan
Eat all you can aboard the Spirit of Chicago sightseeing yacht as it glides across Lake Michigan. Photo: Spirit of Chicago.

Spring fever rages in Chicago where the perennially pent-up-by-winter shed a dozen pounds -- literally and psychically -- just by shrugging off their Gore-Tex and shedding Sorels.

Get the All-Inclusive Treatment: Spirit of Chicago
Pay one price for a bundled food or drink experience

Combine a sightseeing tour with an all-you-can-eat meal aboard Spirit of Chicago. The Navy Pier-based, 600-capacity yacht makes dining tours several times weekly. Gorge on salads and chicken at lunch (from $49.90) and sirloin and talapia at dinner (from $72.90) between selfies and panoramas of the skyline.

Worship Water: Shedd Aquarium
A fun water-centric activity

Go behind the scenes at the Shedd Aquarium's 400,000-gallon shark tank to feed the sharks and rays in the safe company of a marine biologist and learn how the sea stars and other prey avoid the predators.

It's 5 o'clock Somewhere -Here: 3 Dots and a Dash
Where to get a great tropical drink

Channel the spirit of Trader Vic at subterranean 3 Dots and a Dash, where umbrella drinks like the Tropical Itch ($13) and Jungle Bird ($13) come in tacky-trophy souvenir glasses.

Closer than Disney World:Lincoln Park Zoo
A great activity for kids and families

Take your mini Picasso to the Lincoln Park Zoo for its first-ever Animal Art painting party on March 29 when African lion Sahar will pose. Supplies and instruction included. Duck into the reptile house and African exhibit for further climactic escape.

Catch Some Rays:I/O Urban Roofscape
A place to eat or drink outdoors

Indoors under the retractable glass roof or out beside the firepits or reflecting pool, drink in the urban surrounds at the new 15,000-square-foot I/O Urban Roofscape in the Godfrey Hotel. Margaritas ($10) and mint juleps ($10) meet salads and burgers ($6-$16) on the menu.


Planning a Caribbean spring break instead? Check out our island finder >>


Chicago-based freelancer Elaine Glusac prefers spring Cubs games when fair-weather fans no-show and post-season hopes are perennially alive. She also travel-writes for the New York Times, National Geographic Traveler and many others.
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