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Layover Ideas Chicago Midway Airport MDW

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Top 5 Layover Ideas for Chicago Midway Airport

If you find yourself with a long layover at Chicago Midway Airport, don't fret! There's plenty to do and see within a 12-hour window. Here are our top 5 recommendations for making the most of your layover.

1. Battle of Midway Memorial – Midway Airport

Start your layover adventure without even leaving the airport. Located in the A Concourse of Midway Airport, the Battle of Midway Memorial retells the story of the heroic efforts of the men and women who led America to victory at the Battle of Midway on June 4, 1942. The memorial features computer-generated three-dimensional PHSColograms featuring the ships, plane heroes and drama of this critical World War II battle. Don't forget to look up and see the SBD Dauntless Dive-Bomber suspended from the ceiling of Concourse A.

2. North Avenue Beach

At just a short distance from the airport, North Avenue Beach is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. Whether you want to relax and sunbathe, play beach volleyball, roller-blade, or cycle along the shoreline, there's something for everyone. If you have a little extra time, consider visiting the Lincoln Park Zoo located just across the street.

3. Lincoln Park

Home to some of the city's trendiest shops, bars, and theaters, Lincoln Park is a must-visit. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through scenic ponds and walking paths, all while enjoying beautiful views of Chicago's stunning skyline. If you're a fan of theater, be sure to check out the Steppenwolf Theatre Company.

4. Grant Park

Regardless of the season, Grant Park offers a variety of relaxing activities. From ice-skating in the winter to admiring blooming roses in the summer, there's always something to do. The park also offers free concerts during the summer and is home to Grant Park's Buckingham Fountain with its 133 water jets - a true marvel to see.

5. John Hancock Center

For a breathtaking view of the city, head to the John Hancock Center. A quick 40-second elevator ride will set you 100 stories above Chicago, with views reaching up to 80 miles distant. The building also offers food and drink in the restaurant and lounge, and informational exhibits are on display in four different languages.

Helpful Tips & Resources

Need help navigating your way through an unfamiliar airport? Look no further than iFly.com for expert tips and advice. Here are some helpful tips to help you travel stress-free through MDW Airport:

  • Don't let heavy bags slow you down! Make use of our airport's complimentary baggage carts, available for all travelers in the baggage claim area.
  • If you have some time before your departure, relax, grab a bite at one of MDW's restaurants, peruse the shops, or jump on the free internet and surf galore!
  • If you are flying in business or first class (or are a member), check out where the airline club lounges are located.
  • Once you have passed through security, you can use the airport map to find your gate, as well as the various restaurants and shops that are available on your route.
  • Surf to your heart's content. Jump on Chicago Midway airport's internet (free!)
  • For those (dreaded) early-morning flights, consider one of the airport hotels on or near MDW to spend the night prior to your flight. In many cases your parking for the trip's duration is free!
  • Have a flight arriving and want a fast way to get to your destination? Here are a few taxi and limo airport service providers that service the airport.

Nearby Attractions for an Extended Layover

If you're lucky enough to have 12 to 48 hours to spend in Chicago during your layover, there's an array of exciting attractions within reasonable proximity to the airport. Here are some recommendations to make the most of your extended layover.

1. The Art Institute of Chicago

One of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States, the Art Institute of Chicago is a must-visit. The museum houses an impressive collection of over 300,000 works of art, including noteworthy pieces from famous artists such as Van Gogh, Monet, and Picasso. Whether you're an art enthusiast or not, the Art Institute of Chicago is sure to impress.

2. Navy Pier

Stretching along the Lake Michigan shoreline, Navy Pier is an iconic Chicago landmark offering a variety of attractions. From the Centennial Wheel and fun-filled amusement park rides to the Chicago Children's Museum and the Crystal Gardens, there's something for everyone. Plus, the pier offers a range of dining options and a vibrant nightlife scene.

3. Millennium Park

Just a short distance from the Art Institute, Millennium Park is home to the famous Cloud Gate sculpture, also known as "The Bean". This park is a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll, a picnic, or even a concert at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. In the winter, you can also enjoy ice-skating at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink.

4. The Magnificent Mile

If you're in the mood for some shopping, head to the Magnificent Mile. This bustling commercial district offers a mix of high-end stores, trendy restaurants, luxury hotels, and entertainment venues. Don't forget to check out the historic Water Tower, one of the few structures that survived the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

5. Shedd Aquarium

Located on the Museum Campus, Shedd Aquarium is home to over 32,000 aquatic animals. From colorful fish and playful penguins to majestic beluga whales, there's a whole underwater world to explore. The aquarium also offers interactive exhibits, animal encounters, and behind-the-scenes tours for a truly immersive experience.

Updated on: November 22, 2023