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7 Things to Do in Winter Park Before a Romantic Dinner at Ruth’s Chris


Whether it’s your first date or 30th anniversary, Ruth’s Chris is the perfect destination for a savory, romantic dining experience. In fact, if you’re celebrating a special occasion, feel free to notify our host so that we can offer a complimentary dessert and make your table setup extra special.

But what about the rest of your day? If you’re in the downtown Chicago area and want to make your one-day getaway particularly memorable, consider any of these local destinations/activities before enjoying our food and signature cocktails.

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Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

The MCA is an artist-activated and audience-engaged contemporary art museum. The museum boldly interweaves exhibitions, performances, collections, and programs designed to excite, challenge, and illuminate its visitors while offering insight into the creative process itself.

Founded in 1967 as a Kunsthalle - or non-collecting - art gallery, the MCA is now one of the world’s largest museums dedicated to art. Since its inception, it has been their self-proclaimed mission to exhibit new and experimental work in all media, paired with ambitious education programs.

In 1974, the MCA expanded its mission to include collecting and preserving contemporary art for future generations with the inauguration of a permanent collection that has grown to include more than 2,000 works.

After 29 years in a storefront on Ontario Street, the museum moved to its current location in 1996 - allowing its collection, exhibitions, and programming room to evolve to meet the needs of 21st-century art and audiences.

Chicago Riverwalk

The Chicago Riverwalk is 1.25 mile long path along the Main Branch of the Chicago River. It was completed in 2016 under the leadership and vision of former Mayor Rahm Emanuel to transform the Chicago River into a recreational destination while weaving the life of the River into the urban fabric of the city. 

Since its opening, the Riverwalk has been a bustling hub of activity, offering a variety of venues and spaces for residents and visitors to eat, drink and play.  In 2019, the Riverwalk expanded to include the Community Marketplace showcasing local, minority and women owned businesses from neighborhoods around the city.

While along the Riverwalk, feel free to visit the City Winery, Herald Square Monument, and the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum.

Click here for a detailed history of this exciting, innovative addition to the area.

Millennium Park

Millennium Park is a state-of-the-art collection of architecture, landscape design and art that provides the backdrop for hundreds of free cultural programs -  including concerts, exhibitions, tours, and family activities. 
Self-described as “a new kind of town square,” Millennium Park is a lively, spectacular gathering spot where city residents and visitors can gather together.

Millennium Park was first conceived in late 1997 with then-Mayor Richard M. Daley’s vision of turning the area into a new public space for Chicago residents. The original plan called for a 16-acre park and outdoor music venue in the traditional Beaux Arts style of Grant Park. 

However, thanks to private sector contributions and the involvement of world-renowned architect Frank Gehry, the project ultimately evolved into an ambitious undertaking featuring a collection of world-renowned artists, architects, planners, landscape architects and designers.

Today, the 24.5-acre Millennium Park represents a crowning achievement of public-private partnership for the benefit of the public and city at large.

Chicago Architecture Center

Formerly known as the Chicago Architecture Foundation, the Chicago Architecture Center is a nonprofit cultural organization with tours, exhibitions, programs and events for all ages. It’s self-proclaimed mission is “to inspire people to discover why design matters”

Immerse yourselves in a variety of exhibits, tours, and programs and events that offer exclusive insight into Chicago’s architectural treasures.

Wendella Boat Tours & Cruises

Since 1935, Wendella has provided visitors and locals alike with premier Chicago River & Lake Michigan tours and cruises. By fusing the nostalgia for Chicago’s rich history with more modern additions, you are sure to experience beautiful, scenic, enjoyable day out on the water.

Click here for a full listing of schedule and ticket information.

The Richard H. Driehaus Museum

The Richard H. Driehaus Museum explores the art, architecture, and design of the late 19th century to the present. Its permanent collection and temporary exhibitions are presented in an immersive experience within the restored Nickerson Mansion, completed in 1883. Vibrant educational and cultural programs and exhibitions place the Gilded Age in context while illuminating the history, culture, and urban fabric of Chicago.

The exquisite building was actually saved twice - first by a collective of over 100 Chicago citizens in 1919, and then by philanthropist Richard H. Driehaus - who sponsored its restoration from 2003-2008.

For current and upcoming exhibitions, click here. For a listing of upcoming programs and events, click here.

Milton Lee Olive Park

Milton Lee Olive Park is a prime example of the brilliant modernist landscape architecture of Daniel Urban Kiley (1912-2004) - who designed more than 1,000 projects across the world in his lifetime - including 3 in Chicago.

It is the former site of The Central District Filtration Plant, which is now known as the Jardine Water Purification Plant. The largest water management facility in the United States, The plant, which is the largest water management facility in the United States, was constructed on a man-made landmass jutting out into Lake Michigan from the Chicago shoreline.

Constructed in 1965, Milton Lee Olive Park is a ten-acre public park that serves as a gateway to the plant. The main body of the park’s landscape consists of five stepped, aerating, circular fountains of varying circumference - connected by diagonal walks.

The fountains at Milton Lee Olive Park are capable of spouting water one hundred-feet high – a phenomenon that, when the fountains are in full-use, can be viewed from the nearby high-rise buildings along Lake Shore Drive. 

The park also features a special statue, Hymn to Water, by Milton Horn, as well as a monument to Milton Lee Olive, III (1946-1965) - the first African American recipient of the Medal of Honor in the Vietnam War.

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