5 Things to Do in the…South Loop!

The Museum of Contemporary Photography in the South Loop offers free admission and thought-provoking shows.

From blues and rock to museums and history, there’s so much to do in the South Loop!

  • Discover the roots of the Chicago Blues: Not only is the South Loop home to some of Chicago’s most vibrant blues clubs, but you can also take a free walking tour and learn about the history of the blues from none other than the legendary musician Buddy Guy. Download a free audio walking tour narrated by Guy and listen to it as you guide yourself around multiple historic musical locations in and nearby the South Loop, including Buddy Guy’s Legends, the historic Chess Studios, and jazz club the Velvet Lounge. Use the tour to check in on Foursquare to help earn your Chicago Blues Foursquare Badge.
  • Stroll where Chicago’s most fashionable families lived: Head to the Prairie Avenue District, a historic section of the South Loop located at 1800-1900 S. Prairie Ave. to see some of the homes of Chicago’s founding fathers. Homes here used to belong to the Armour, Field, Kimball, and Pullman families. Though some of the homes were demolished, you can still see several prime examples, as well as tour two homes: the Glessner House (1800 S. Prairie Ave.) and the Clarke House (1827 S. Indiana Ave.).
  • Explore Jewish culture: The Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies is Chicago’s Jewish education and cultural center. Open Sunday-Thursday, all admission is free to this eclectic museum offering exhibits on Jewish culture and history that change regularly. It also has an auditorium and hosts events including performances and lectures geared towards the public around the year.
  • View the world through a lens: The Museum of Contemporary Photography is a not-to-be missed museum that is thriving in the South Loop. Another museum offering free admission year-round, the MoCP is the only museum in the Midwest with an exclusive commitment to the medium of photography. There’s always a wide range of exhibits on display that inspire conversation and contemplation on modern image-making’s role in the art world. Come by and see how photographers are still making magic in the contemporary art scene. The museum is open 7 days a week at 600 S. Michigan Ave.
  • Rock out at Reggie’s: Reggie’s isn’t just a music venue: it’s two. And it’s not just two music venues, it’s two venues and a music store. Reggie’s Rock Club hosts larger shows, while Reggie’s Music Joint has a small stage, a bar, and a kitchen. Reggie’s Music Store has an array of music and t-shirts for purchase to please any musical taste. Head to the same address for all three: 2105 S. State St. and enjoy a variety of events including rock shows, bar events, sporting events viewing parties, and more.

For more information on neighborhood, including detailed attractions, shopping, and dining listings, check out our printable neighborhood guide and interactive Google map. For even more self-guided Urban Excursions, click here!


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