Spending time at home doesn’t have to mean giving up on exploring all the wonderful opportunities our area has to offer! We may all be staying at home right now — but Chicagoland is still vibrant, active, and full of incredible things to see and do.
During these unpredictable times, many of Chicagoland’s most famous cultural offerings and institutions are offering up digital resources and virtual experiences that make it easy to stay entertained and keep learning — and all from the comfort and safety of home.
Here are seven ways to keep enjoying the best of Chicagoland from a distance:
1.) Enjoy Nature With a Video Tour
Want to branch out a bit from your usual neighborhood path? There are plenty of ways to get up close and personal with nature, without leaving your couch.
- Over on YouTube, you can take a virtual tour of some of Chicagoland’s most iconic parks and greenspaces, including Millennium Park and the Morton Arboretum.
- Looking for calming nature photography? You can find stunning snapshots and videos of plants, flowers, and wildlife on social media, thanks to local resources including the Forest Preserves of Cook County and the Chicago Botanic Garden.
- EarthCam is a great way to take a live look at what’s happening around Chicagoland, including breathtaking real time views of the city skyline.
2.) Explore Our Legendary Museums, Online
Want to be a tourist for a day? Many of Chicagoland’s best museums and cultural centers are offering up free online programs and exhibits. Here are just a few of the places with virtual learning opportunities:
- Google Arts & Culture can let you experience virtual tours and online exhibits from some of Chicagoland’s best museums, including the National Museum of Mexican Art, the IIT Institute of Design, the Adler Planetarium, and the DuSable Museum of African American History
- The Art Institute of Chicago has an extensive collection of digital art and online experiences
- The Chicago History Museum offers a variety of digital resources and exhibitions
- The Museum of Science and Industry has hands-on science activities, perfect for people of all ages
3.) Read a Book About Chicagoland
Diving into a great book can help you relax and unwind, while broadening your horizons and helping you slip into another world. Looking for a read that can help you celebrate Chicagoland?
- Culture Trip offers a list of the “9 Best Books Set in Chicago”
- Chicagoist names “The 13 Best Chicago-Centric Books”
- ChooseChicago has “7 Great Books Set in Chicago” to add to your list
- Curbed recently named “10 Essential Books About Chicago”
4.) Discover Blogs and Social Channels That Celebrate the Area
Looking to discover more about Chicagoland from the comfort of home? There are countless resources out there that can help you tour your dream neighborhood, right now.
- Here at Baird & Warner, Chicagoland has been our home since 1855. We know it like no one else. Our innovative search features let you look through listings available around Chicagoland. Want to learn more about a neighborhood? You can explore communities around the region with our neighborhood guides, available here.
- Looking to find a new feed? CBS Chicago has a list spotlighting some of its “Best Local Bloggers”
- Want to get to know what makes our region so special? Eater and Thrillist are great resources for getting to know Chicagoland’s culinary scene. Curbed Chicago spotlights the region’s architecture, while Midwest Living is a great spot to find Illinois trip ideas, design inspiration, and other fun features.
5.) Live-Stream a Show or Workshop
Theaters across Chicagoland may be dark at the moment, but some of the city’s most legendary performers are offering up opportunities to laugh, learn, and engage online.
- The training center at The Second City is hosting online workshops and classes, including courses like “Comedy From Your Couch” and “Online Stand-Up”
- The Steppenwolf Theatre is launching a series of free online workshops, and is debuting a theater-centric podcast in April 2020
- The Chicago Symphony Orchestra offers “Sounds and Stories,” featuring radio broadcasts and videos of past performances
- Lyric Opera of Chicago has videos, playlists, and more behind-the-scenes content available on social media
- Chicago Shakespeare Theater is offering up fun activities, resources, videos, and lesson plans with its online “Shakes@Home” program
6.) Connect With Our Famous Architecture
From the city to the suburbs, Chicagoland is known for its incredible architecture. Here are some ways to learn more about our area’s rich history of design and construction:
- The Frank Lloyd Wright Trust has videos and digital resources that can help you explore this legendary designer’s most famous works, including many of the residences that are still standing around Oak Park
- The Chicago Architecture Center has online exhibits and resources that can help you learn and explore from home
7.) Spend Some Time With Chicagoland’s Cutest Animals
Looking to get to know some of the cutest members of the Chicagoland community?
- Shedd Aquarium is active on social media, posting videos, updates, and more — including some snapshots of its seriously adorable penguins.
- Lincoln Park Zoo is posting live video feeds of its amazing animal residents throughout the day, as well as cute behind-the-scenes photos and updates
- Brookfield Zoo is hosting regular live chats on Facebook, featuring informative talks from zookeepers and drop-ins from animals that help with #BringingTheZooToYou
How Are You Making the Most of Your Time at Home?
This is the time to remember what’s truly important — health, family, and the bonds that tie us together. Whether it’s now serving as a school, office, playground, or simply a safe space, our home has never been more important. We know this is as well as anyone. At Baird & Warner, Chicagoland has been our home since 1855.
We are here for you, no matter what. We understand that you still have important real estate decisions to make, and our mission is to make achieving those goals easier. We will continue to provide the most updated information and guide you through this extraordinary time with a calm and steady hand. We know how resilient our Chicagoland community is — and we’re confident we’ll get through this together, stronger than ever.