Fun Stuff To Do In Chicago/Oak Brook While You’re Here For EF Connect 2023

Attending Everflow Connect 2023? Check out this Chicago native's picks for cool things to do and see in the area!
Jordan Barney
May 31, 2023

Starting to get hyped for Everflow Connect 2023? Us, too! 

As a Chicagoland native of fifteen years, I thought I’d put together a list of recommendations for things to do and places to see while you’re here. Between Oak Brook, Chicago, and the towns surrounding, there is something for everyone.

BTW, I can’t wait to see you in person at Everflow Connect 2023, on June 13th & 14th at the Hilton Chicago Oak Brook!

I took this picture myself as the sun rose over Lake Michigan at around 4:45 am!

Here are my top fifteen recommendations for activities while you’re in town for the conference:

1. Take A Nature Walk At Morton Arboretum

Get your fill of nature with a side of gorgeous sculptures at the Morton Arboretum in the neighboring town of Lisle.

2. Explore The Expansive Brookfield Zoo

Brookfield Zoo covers a massive 216 acres and holds over 450 species of animals. It’s the perfect afternoon trip for animal lovers who don’t want to venture too far from the conference center!

3. Portillo’s For Classic Chicago Hot Dogs & Italian Beef

Portillo’s is a Chicago food must-try! They are famous for their “Chicago” hot dogs, but personally, I LOVE their Italian beef sandwiches. Don’t forget to get a slice of their chocolate cake for dessert!

4. Lou Malnati’s For Chicago Deep Dish

Chicago “deep dish” is legendary and there are so many restaurants you can go to for it. However, my personal favorite is Lou Malnati’s. Family-owned and operated since the 1940s, both Lou’s deep dish and thin crust pizzas are out of this world!

5. Frank Lloyd Wright Studio & Historic District

Check out the famous architect’s home and studio! Take a walk around the Frank Lloyd Wright Historic District in Oak Park while listening to the Simon & Garfunkel song named after Wright.

6. Ernest Hemingway’s Birthplace Home & Museum

College English Lit majors to the front! Oak Park is the hometown to many legends (including Betty White!); but, perhaps most famously, it’s the birthplace of writer Ernest Hemingway. His childhood home has been turned into a quaint museum dedicated to his life and writings.

7. Pilsen Neighborhood’s ICONIC Tacos & National Museum Of Mexican Art

The southside neighborhood of Pilsen abounds with beautiful street murals and some of the best Mexican food you’ll find in the Midwest. One of my favorite suggestions to visitors who don’t want to get caught up in a tourist's version of Chicago is to do a day trip to Pilsen. 

Do what I like to call a “taco crawl” along 18th Street to try some of the best tacos you’ll ever be lucky enough to taste. The carnitas tacos at Carnitas Uruapan are phenomenal! Once you’ve stuffed yourself, pop into the National Museum of Mexican Art just down the block (with FREE admission!) to cool off and see some gorgeous and eclectic pieces!

8. Millennium Park & The Bean

Of course, I’ve got to include The Bean! This modern art sculpture is located in Millennium Park which includes a large outdoor auditorium and peaceful gardens you can walk through.

9. The Art Institute Of Chicago

Just a five minute walk from Millennium Park and The Bean, The Art Institute of Chicago is a must-see museum for all art-lovers. It will be featuring a Van Gogh exhibit throughout the week of the conference. And, if you are arriving early, you might be able to catch the Salvador Dali exhibit going until June 12th!

10. Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium, & The Field Museum

Chicago’s world-famous planetarium, aquarium, and field museum are all conveniently located right next to each other on the edge of Lake Michigan. If you are adventurous and hungry for knowledge, you can try to do all three in a day, but be sure to wear comfortable shoes!

11. Wrigleyville & Wrigley Field 

You can’t get more Chicago than seeing a Cubs game at the iconic Wrigley Field. But if you’re like me and only think of Tom Hanks and Sleepless In Seattle when you think of Wrigley Field, there is still fun stuff to do in the surrounding neighborhood of Wrigleyville. The area is always buzzing with life and overflowing with sports bars, shops, and restaurants.

12. Northalsted Neighborhood During Pride Month

EF Connect is happening in June which is Pride Month! Northalsted, also known as Boystown, is a notoriously queer neighborhood with a long and rich history. During June, the whole neighborhood will be overflowing with Pride flags and will likely be host to an abundance of fun events. And, if you’re a night owl, there are night clubs to go dancing until the early hours of the morning!

13. Museum Of Science And Industry

The Museum of Science and Industry is the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere! For those fascinated by invention, this could be one of the more entertaining ways to spend an afternoon while escaping from the humid summer heat.

14. Montrose Beach & The Bird Sanctuary

At Montrose Beach, you’ll have city views and multiple lookout points. While you’re there, you’ll also get a fair dose of nature with small hiking trails, a bird sanctuary, and expansive views of Lake Michigan.

15. The Green Mill Jazz Club

Around since 1907, the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge has had a wild history. A regular haunt of Al Capone and highly popular during the Prohibition Era, this jazz club has hosted musicians like Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday. Sit in Capone’s favorite booth and see some amazing performances while sipping on a cocktail. (There is also a barbeque joint connected to the lounge, which I highly recommend!) 

I hope you found something that caught your eye on this list. If you need any more tips for your stay in Chicagoland, don’t hesitate to reach out.

We can’t wait to see you at Everflow Connect 2023! If you haven’t secured your tickets yet, request them here.

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