Things to do in Chicago
Appreciate the street art in Pilsen
Any graffiti enthusiast must take a trip out to the Mexican neighborhood Pilsen, where the walls and doorways are daubed in some of the most extravagant and elaborate street art in North America. Get to 16th Street for the highest concentration of florid portraits and three-dimensional scenes.
Go canine crazy at Puptown
If an afternoon spent playing with adorable puppies sounds like a dream come true, take a trip out to Margate Park (tel: +1 312 532 0665; www.chicagoparkdistrict.com). It has a 16,000ft (4877m) area that is fenced and home to what the locals affectionately call 'Puptown'. Pack some treats.
Go to the Hemingway Museum
Most of us associate Hemingway with Florida's Key West or the Spanish flatlands, but he was actually born just outside of Chicago. Fittingly, his birthplace is also home to a museum (www.ehfop.org) dedicated to the great man, with over 2,000 artifacts from his life. There are also regular workshops, conferences and lectures.
Love your food at Green City Market
If fresh local food gets you out of bed in the morning, then set your alarm for a visit to Green City Market (tel: +1 773 880 1266; www.greencitymarket.org). Since 1998 it's been open all year round - November through April it's undercover - and as well as the finest meat, dairy, fruit, veg, flowers and baked goods, you'll also find chef demonstrations and tastings.
Take a supernatural trip to the other side
Each Friday night, underneath the city's Excalibur nightclub, local necromancer Neil Tobing takes audiences into the eerie belly of Chicago's supernatural underworld. Excalibur itself is famously haunted, though Tobin's one-man show (tel: +1 800 979 3370; www.supernaturalchicago.com) doesn't promise you a powwow with the undead.