Things to Do in Chicago and New York City

Posted May 29, 2017 by shooting in Travel / 35 Comments

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BEA – Book Expo America – and ALA – American Library Association – are both fast approaching. If you don’t know, both of these are book conventions so that authors and publishers can showcase upcoming books. BEA caters more to booksellers and the like, though bloggers can attend, and ALA is obviously more library focused, though again, bloggers can attend. I’ve been lucky to attend BEA a few times and I really hope to make it back there again, but this year, I’m going to the summer ALA (there is one in the winter too) because it’s taking place in Chicago and that’s about five or so hours driving for me and my sister. We love Chicago, so we’re excited.

Going to BEA or ALA? Find out what ELSE to do in Chicago and NYC! #BEA17 #ALAAC17 Click To Tweet

If you’re attending BEA in NYC (May 31 to June 2) or ALA like me in Chicago (June 22-27) then you might find yourself with some free time in between all that bookish-ness. I’d like to introduce you to the CityPass which allows you to check out a mix of entertainment and attractions in top cities for a discounted rate.

Save 53% on Chicago’s 5 best attractions with CityPASS. Shop Now!

Let’s start with Chicago, as that’s where I’ll be soon enough. CityPass allows you to choose five attractions in the city for a really discounted rate. These include Shedd Aquarium, Skydeck Chicago, and The Field Museum. Your fourth option is a choice between either the Museum of Science and Industry OR 360 Chicago. Your fifth option is a choice between either Adler Planetarium OR Art Institute of Chicago. Using the CityPass to visit also gives you VIP and/or Fast Pass entry into most of these places too! It’s well worth it. This would be a great idea if you want to mix ALA with some sightseeing or you have to bring along your family and need them occupied while you mingle with the book crowd.

Save 40% or more on New York’s 6 best attractions with CityPASS. Shop Now!

Now if you happen to be attending BEA or Book Con, which takes place right after BEA, then the CityPass works in NYC as well. Yes, I know BEA is fast approaching, but you can order this online, so there’s still plenty of time!

NYC gives you more options. There is a pass for 6 great New York locations, or you can get a pass to see just 3 things, which might be good if you are visiting for a limited time during the conference. I’ll break down what’s included.

If you want the 3 attraction pass, you get to choose 3 from this list:

The Empire State Building Experience

Top of the Rock Observation Deck

American Museum of Natural History

9/11 Memorial and Museum

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises

Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum

Guggenheim Museum

Hornblower Sightseeing Cruises

Now if you want to do all 6, things break down like this –

The Empire State Building Experience (included)

American Museum of Natural History (included)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (included)

Top of the Rock Observation Deck OR Guggenheim Museum

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island ORย Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises

9/11 Memorial and Museum ORย Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum

What to do in major cities this summer? Look into a CityPass for Chicago, NYC, & More! Click To Tweet

When you visit the website, you’re able to click on all these options and learn more so it’s easier to figure out which attractions would be right for you, your family, or group of friends. Now I know you might not be attending BEA or ALA, but if you’re going to Chicago or NYC for a different reason, this would still work for you! And if you’re visiting another top city in the U.S./CAN be sure to see if there are options on CityPass! There’s attractions in Seattle, Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, San Francisco,ย Tampa Bay, and Toronto.

35 responses to “Things to Do in Chicago and New York City

  1. I’m only about an hour and a half from Chicago! It’s definitely one of my favorite cities. Not sure I’ll make it to the conference, but will be using the city pass this summer.

  2. I would love to make it to BEA or ALA one day, I can imagine I’ll be well into my twilight years and will have to place in on my bucket list though. We have smaller book events in Australia but not even close to the spectacular festivals in the US. I can’t wait to follow your travels Lauren, so exciting!

  3. Sam

    I spent part of my life in Brooklyn and most of the rest of it within 40 mins of the city, so I have a great relationship with NYC. I have been to Chicago (last year for BEA/BookCon, 2013 for Lollapalooza), but because I was there for events, I really missed out on seeing the city. Your list is awesome. I totally feel like I missed out.
    Sam @ WLABB

  4. I have never been to either city, and I don’t think I will be going until my kids are older. Reading your post made me want to drop everything and go.

  5. I have been to Chicago but it’s been awhile. I have never been to New York and want to go! I love the idea of using City Pass to see a bunch of stuff! I will definitely keep it in mind if I ever travel to those places!

  6. RO

    Dang it, I’ve never even heard of these shows, and know you are going to have a blast. I need to try to plan to attend one in NY if possible next year. Both places are so busy and filled with people, so hopefully you should find lots to do. Of course, let’s not forget all the goodies. We want pics, pics and more pics! Hugs…and thanks for the tips!

  7. Great post! I love Chicago and the Field Museum is a favorite. I haven’t been to the Shedd Aquarium yet though. Nice to know about the City Pass! Thanks for sharing!!

  8. I think I used the CityPass on my first trip to Chicago and WOW we did a lot. I didn’t know that it was offered in NYC, but the last (and only) trip we went on was not long enough to do all those things!


  9. I love Chicago! I attended the ALA there a few years back, but I also toured the city and was enchanted! Is Chicago 360 the view from Willis Tower (aka Sears Tower)? If so, that was amazing! My husband and I have photos from the clear plexi-glass overhang of the city below. We could see the storms from far away fast approaching and then got totally rained on by the time we came down and out.

    I’ve done the Empire State Bld and Intrepid and both are so worth the time!

    As a side note, I think you have an easier time getting books and ARCs at the ALA than the BEA. BEA sounds like a lot of hassle with little returns to me from my conversations with other bloggers. I’ve been to 4 ALAs and had a selection of sooooo many books to bring home. Too many!

    Wonderful post! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. I went for the first time in the US in December for a conference but scientific conference and I visited NY, it was nice. I want to go to a book conference!

  11. Jen

    I wish I could go to any of these places and events! The Book Expo, the memorials, the cities. Someday I am going to do a major road trip back East!

  12. Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog

    I wish I was going to either!!Really great post on what to do there. I love both cities!

  13. I looooove Chicago! I am super excited to be going back- I am glad I will see you there! ๐Ÿ˜€ I like New York too, but it’s just somewhere I can go anytime, theoretically (yes, I realize this is quite lucky hah) so I tend to only go when there’s something I NEED to do- but I really should do the sightseeing stuff, honestly! (Well, and see Hamilton, but I think you need to actually sell your kidneys or something for that, so.)

    The Chicago City Pass thing sounds fabulous! I wish I was going to be there longer, that would be so much fun! Maybe next time. The New York one is something I MUST do someday though! Thanks so much for sharing this!!

  14. I’ve gone to NYC several times now but still haven’t made it to most of the sights other than the Met + the 9/11 Memorial (from outside). I need to get on that! I’d love to visit Chicago sometime too! I’ll have to look into a CityPass–that’s such a great idea! :]

  15. I’ve been to New York City before and really enjoyed the trip. I have never been to the Book Expo though that sounds like a thrill. I am afraid I would spend too much money though – like hundreds! I would have to leave my wallet at home lol I hope you have a good time at this event!


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