Sitting on the shores of Lake Michigan, one of the Great Lakes of North America, Chicago is one of the biggest cities in the United States. Located in the northwestern part of the great state of Illinois, Chicago is the third most populous city in the United States, trailing only Los Angeles and New York City in this regard. It's the biggest city in the Midwest region and the major city of the Chicago metropolitan area, also known quite simply as 'Chicagoland'. Chicago covers an area of over 234 square miles and has a population of 2.7 million, with almost 10 million living in Chicagoland. After New York City, Chicago is the most visited tourist location in the country. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.


1.Chicago

Chicago
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The city has a fascinating history behind it, with the name 'Chicago' coming from a French interpretation of the indigenous word 'Shikaawa', which was the name given to a kind of wild onion. The area was inhabited by Native Americans for many years, before European settlers founded the city in the early 19th century.

Due to its location, Chicago's economy thrived. It was a key point to connect the east and west sides of America, attracting many residents and businesses. Many European migrants heading to America heard of Chicago's reputation and were drawn to the city, and it never stopped growing through the 20th century into the modern era. Nowadays, Chicago is a prime tourist location, boasting a beautiful skyline and countless landmarks and attractions like Millennium Park, the Chicago River, the Lincoln Park Zoo, and the Magnificent Mile.

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2.Elevation of Chicago

Elevation of Chicago
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The elevation of a city like Chicago is a geographical indicator of how high that location is in relation to sea level. The elevation of Chicago is 594 feet (181 m), which is just a little higher than most other major cities. Many big cities, both in the United States and other nations, tend to be situated at elevations of 500 feet (152 m) or less as they are mostly constructed on coastal locations. Chicago is in a unique position as it is quite far inland but is still on the shoreline of a huge body of water in the form of Lake Michigan.

Illinois isn't the lowest state in America, but it is among the states with the lowest mean elevations. The mean elevation of Illinois is just 600 feet (180 m), which is the same mean elevation as Maine and Georgia. When compared with this reading, we can see that Chicago's elevation is very close to the state average. The highest point in Illinois is Charles Mound, a hill in Jo Daviess County near the Wisconsin border. Charles Mound has an elevation of 1,235 feet (376 m). The lowest point in Illinois is the confluence of the Ohio River and Mississippi River, which has an elevation of just 280 feet (85 m).

Chicago is often compared to the other major cities of the United States like New York and Los Angeles. It has a higher elevation than both, with New York having an elevation of 33 feet (10 m) and Los Angeles being situated at an elevation of 285 feet (87 m). The capital of Illinois, Springfield, has an elevation of 558 feet (170 m), while the state's second biggest city, Aurora, has an elevation of 718 feet (219 m), so the elevation of Chicago is between these two large Illinois locations.

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3.Climate and Things to Do in Chicago

Climate and Things to Do in Chicago
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The city of Chicago has a humid continental climate with four distinct seasons. The Windy City has relatively warm, humid summers, with temperatures often reaching and exceeding 90°F (32°C) during the hottest months of the year like June, July, and August. Winters in Chicago tend to be quite cold, with daily averages of just 25°F (-4°C) in January. The city can experience quite heavy snowfall in December, January, and February, and has moderate rain for much of the rest of the year.

As the second most visited city in the entire United States, it's clear that there are lots of things to do in Chicago. The city is well known for its thriving night life, with a lot of live music and high class restaurants available to enjoy all through the evenings. Chicago is also well-known for its distinctive architecture and open air public art, with various statues and sculptures waiting to be discovered all around the city. All kinds of recreational activities can be enjoyed in and around Chicago and it's even possible to go on urban kayaking tours along the Chicago River.

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Chicago Elevation



Attraction Spotlight: Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

Located on the banks of the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) has been an Oregon staple since 1906 with its meager beginnings as the City Hall Museum. The exhibitions in those days focused on natural resources. There was minimal growth until after World War II when funding and support began to come in.

The first version of OMSI was actually hosted in a private home. The city gave a plot of land to the OMSI in the mid-fifties. A group of volunteers laid the bricks and raised the roof and it opened June 7, 1958. Over a million people visit OMSI each year. It is a top science museum in the United States and is known the world around for its contributions to science. Today OMSI has a vision of transforming education through science, technology and design.

Explore a real life submarine; experience the life of a sailor. Daily tours from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. last 45 minutes. One gets to see where the men slept, ate, and lived. Look up the periscope. Discover how the sub works. Admission starts at $6.75/person; must be 3 years old to attend.

For an in-depth look at the submarine, the museum offers the Tech Tour. This tour lasts 3 hours and is for ages 12 and older. Ticket prices at $6.75/person.

Last but not least, one can now book a sleepover on the sub. The sub will hold 54 people. This 2-day activity is for grades 3-12. Topics discussed with be buoyancy, and a chance to explore. The price is $58/person. Advance reservations are required.

Next read: Portland to Eugene and Best Time to Visit Portland, Oregon & Other Travel Tips

Planetarium

Most everyone loves to gaze at the stars. At OMSI star gazing is made easier by a visit to the planetarium. Prices start at $5.75/person. The planetarium offers special exhibits and various shows throughout the year. Now showing:

. Starry Nights Live - daily shows at 12:00 and 2:00 p.m.

. Perfect Little Planet - daily shows at 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.

. Laser and Galactic Odyssey - daily shows at 1:00 and 3:00 p.m.

. Astronaut - daily shows at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.

. Laser MGMT - Friday and Saturday

. Laser Pink Floyd: The Dark Side of the Moon - Fridays and Saturdays at 9:30 p.m.

. Various Star Parties: Equinox, Meteor Showers, etc.

The Planetarium is open to field trips for students to learn about space.

The museum hosts five halls that are home to over 200 interactive exhibits.

. Celebrate Oregon Agriculture - an exhibit of photographs of Oregon's agriculture

. Our Ocean - a hands-on exhibit of sand, marine animals and art

. Renewable Energy - exhibit on how wind, water and sun work to create energy

. Eat Well, Play Well - an exhibit on nutrition and fitness

. Science on a Sphere - an exhibit of weather, animal migration and other things "worldly"

. Beginning the Journey - stages of human development

. Amazing Feats of Aging - explore the mysteries of aging

. Innovation Station - hands-on exhibit about robotics and innovative technologies

. Earthquake House - earthquake simulations

. Roots of Wisdom - traditional science meets cutting edge

Special exhibits are featured throughout the year. Journey to Space: The Exhibition will be showing through January 8, 2017.

Labs

Several labs make their home at the museum. The labs strive to promote learning through hands-on experiments that are both exciting and interesting.

. Design Lab - a combine science, technology and art

. Paleontology Lab - excavate real fossils and dinosaur bones

. Life Lab - science and animals

. Watershed Lab - create a river

. Discovery Lab - discover your family from a scientific perspective

. Chemistry Lab - chemistry experiments

. Physics Lab - experience static electricity

The Theory is the local on-site restaurant with seasonal menus, fresh, made from scratch recipes, and a farm to table philosophy. The location has spectacular river views. The setting is casual yet sophisticated. The menu boasts soups, salads, sandwiches, tacos, pizza and a kids menu. Prices are reasonable with the highest priced item at $9.50 for a sandwich and $12 for a gluten free pizza.

The restaurant is available for private parties as well. It can handle 180 for a sit down dinner and 225 for a reception. In addition, Theory can cater off-site events handling up to 2,000 guests.

The Empirical Cafe is also located inside the theater.

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is a must see destination when traveling in the Portland area. Exploration activities await kids of all ages. Explore, experience, and learn - the hallmark of every museum. By planning ahead one can take advantage of classes, camps, exhibits and overnights. Imagine the fantastic family memories one can build. Don't forget your future student - internships and fellowships await those who are keenly interested in science and industry.

Camps and Classes

OMSI offers a variety of camps and classes throughout the year. There are so many different options that is it difficult to do it justice. The camps are geared around the following subjects:

. Adventuring

. Math

. Earth & Space Science

. Life Science

. Physical Science

. Skill Building

. Technology

Campers can include children, youth, adults, and families and can be based in one of several options: Portland Metro, Desert, Coast, Mountains, and Rivers.

Types of camps include things from A-Z: animation and astronomy; biking and backpacking; cartoons and coastal adventures; cooking and concoctions; desert survival and design; farms and flight; galaxies and games; Lego robotics and Lego X-treme; seashores and star gazers; and wilderness survival. The options are almost limitless.

Theater

There is a theater on the museum campus. The shows are a combination of Hollywood blockbusters and top notch documentaries.

Admission and Parking

The museum is open seven days a week. Admission is free for members; non-member prices start at $14/adult. Senior discounts are available. The museum is located across the river from Portland State University and is just a few blocks off of I-5. Parking is available for $5. Accessible parking spaces are available nearer the door. Wheelchairs and motorized scooters are available at no cost to the customer. All requests are filled on a first come, first served basis. All venues can accommodate wheelchairs except the submarine.

The museum collaborates keenly with schools and groups to provide extended science and industry education. Activities such as field trips, camp outs, outdoor school, and travel are offered to groups of 12 or more.

Fellowships, Internships and Work Study

The museum is dedicated to learning. As a part of their programs they offer a Fellowship Program and an Internship. The Fellowship is open to professionals in academia, science and industry. The Fellowship offers advanced training that involves communications with audiences.

The Internships are for students wanting to put their education to use in real ways and gain real life experience. The terms are usually 12 weeks and are unpaid. The program is very competitive. The museum offers a variety of disciplines in which to complete one's internship. Applications are accepted fall, winter/spring and summer. Application deadlines apply.

For students who have received Federal funding for work study programs, the OMSI qualifies as a place of employment for those who are in a science education program. Check with your local financial aid office for details.

School and Group Programs

Next read: Portland, Oregon Points of Interest: 15 Best Things to Do in with Kids

1945 SE Water Ave, Portland, OR 97214, Phone: 503-797-4000

Venue Spotlight: Stan Mansion

Design by Moritz F. Straugh and built in 1921 as a Masonic temple, Stan Mansion is a beautifully restored and maintained historic building that provides an exceptional venue for special occasions, events, and functions. Located in the historic Logan Square Historic District, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Chicago, the grand mansion was built in just six months to house a chapter of the Knights Templar and remained a Masonic lodge for decades until it was purchased by Cera Stan and restored to its original splendor. Today, the mansion is a favorite wedding and event venue, combining historic elegance with modern amenities and functionality. Stan Mansion can accommodate up to 300 guests for formal and seated dinners, and up to 420 guests for cocktail receptions. Set in the heart of the Logan Square Historic District, Stan Mansion is surrounded by spectacular examples of period architecture and historic homes, as well as plenty of attractions such as Humboldt Park, the Logan Theater, the Illinois Centennial Monument, Comfort Station, Galerie F, the Logan Square Farmers Market, and the seven-acre Palmer Square Park.

Amenities

Stan Mansion offers several beautifully appointed venues for various size of events, ranging from intimate ceremonies to lavish receptions. The Grand Ballroom is located on the second floor and can accommodate up to 300 guests for a sit-down affair, and up to 400 guests for a standing cocktail reception. The Ballroom features a Royal Stage, which creates a stunning backdrop for any ceremony.

The Bar-Lounge is located next to the Grand Ballroom and offers a library-like ambiance with a custom-built bar, comfortable seating, a roaring fireplace, and two private bathrooms. This masculine, yet romantic space is perfect for small events of up to 50 guests, such as cocktail parties.

The Lower Level Ballroom can be found on the first floor and is a versatile space that is ideal for hosting smaller private events such as ceremonies and post-ceremony cocktail hours. Other areas in and around the venue include the elegantmarble-lined lobby that can also be used for cocktail gatherings and the beautifully manicured garden in front of the property for a romantic entrance or serene retreat from the party.

A beautifully appointed Bridal Suite is available for the bride and her wedding party to relax while getting ready. The suite is fully furnished with two bedrooms and two full bathrooms, an open-plan living room and dining room, and a fully equipped kitchen for catering or food prep.

Services

Rental of the venue or spaces within it include amenities and services such as a lavishly appointed two-bedroom and two-bathroom bridal suite, and a list of preferred vendors for catering, beverages, photography, décor, wedding cakes, and more, all of whom have worked with the venue before and will fit the budget and style of any occasion. Other services include set-up and clean-up of the site, liability insurance, lighting and sound equipment, and a variety of décor, including aisle markers, aisle runners, alters and arches, tables, chairs, chair covers, centerpieces, drapery and décor, a dance floor, and a photo booth.

General Information

Stan Mansion is located at 2408 N Kedzie Boulevard, and there is secure valet parking on site. The venue is wheelchair accessible and within easy access to several hotels, restaurants, bars and other entertainment and attractions.

2408 N Kedzie Blvd, Chicago, IL 60647, Phone: 773-276-0099

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Venue Spotlight: Floating World Gallery

The Floating World Gallery in Chicago is a world-renowned gallery that specializes in fine Japanese art and can be rented for special events and functions such as weddings, receptions, corporate gatherings, and more. Featuring bright, minimalist interiors with excellent lighting and original classic and contemporary Japanese art on display, the urban venue makes for a unique and romantic setting for wedding ceremonies and receptions. The Gallery can accommodate 152 guests for seated dinner and 200 guests for a standing reception, with a long gallery space flooded with natural light for intimate ceremonies, the Glass Brick Room for cocktail gatherings and mingling, and the central gallery space for dinner and dancing. The Gallery is a blank canvas which can be decorated according to guest tastes, and a quaint outdoor courtyard is perfect for beautiful photographs.

Amenities

The Floating World Gallery offers several unique spaces for intimate ceremonies and lavish receptions. The long gallery space is surrounded by large storefront windows and skylights which wash the interior with natural light and is ideal for celebrations and services. The central gallery space is bright and minimalist and features original classic and contemporary Japanese art on display and 152 feet of track lighting on dimmers, making it perfect for seated dinners and dancing. The Glass Brick Room boasts gleaming wooden floors and exposed brick walls and is suitable for cocktail parties and socializing, while the quaint and secluded outdoor courtyard is best for beautiful photo opportunities.

Services

Services included with the rental of the venue consist of banquet tables and oak folding chairs, on-site storage area, and a preferred vendor list for catering and beverage services, photography, floral arrangements, wedding cakes, and more. There is limited public parking available in the lot next door to the gallery, and there is free street parking on Halsted Street.

General Information

The Floating World Gallery is located at 1925 N Halsted Street and offers limited parking in the lot next door to the gallery and free parking on Halsted Street. There are plenty of hotels, restaurants, shops, and bars within walking distance of the Floating World Gallery, including some of the city’s top attractions such as the Chicago History Museum, the Lincoln Park Zoo, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, and the Navy Pier.

Slightly further afield are other must-sees and dos in the city, such as the Magnificent Mile, which boasts an array of beautiful architecture, luxury hotels, world-class shopping, award-winning restaurants, and lively entertainment. Take in the view from the 103rd floor of the former Sears Tower at the Sky Deck, visit the Garfield Park Conservatory and the Chicago Cultural Center, or discover some fantastic artworks at the Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) and the Richard H. Driehaus Museum.

1925 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614, Phone: 312-587-7800

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