It is no secret that Chicago is one of America’s best sports town. The Windy City boasts a host of historic professional teams, including the MLB’s White Sox and Cubs, the NBA’s Bulls, the NHL’s Blackhawks, and the NFL’s Bears. Chicago is also a haven for collegiate athletics with a myriad of colleges and universities that call the area home. As the geographical center of the ‘Big 10’ college athletic conference, the city is home to the popular Big Ten Experience, paying homage to the conference’s storied history and tradition of excellence.
If you are a sports fan, no trip to Chicago is complete without visiting this free interactive museum. Read on for all that you need to know to plan an epic trip to this exciting sports experience:
BIG TEN EXPERIENCE DETAILS
Sports enthusiasts will delight in this vast collection of conference artifacts and interactive exhibits. As arguably the most popular college athletic conference, the Big 10 has so much lore and history to explore. Conveniently located at the conference’s headquarters in Rosemont, this experience will acquaint visitors with both the academic and athletic achievements of the Big 10. The museum’s operating hours are 8am to 6pm Monday through Friday and 11am to 6pm on the weekends. Admission to the museum is always free.
The 13 interactive exhibits showcase the conference’s history all the way back to 1896 through present times. The Big Ten Theater delivers an immersive video and audio experience that showcases the power of this venerable conference. Touch-screen monitors located throughout the museum encourage interaction and allow visitors to customize their visit. Because the museum relies on a digital format, the content is always fresh and up to date.
WHERE TO STAY
If you are looking to be close to the Big Ten Experience, you would be wise to consider one of the many luxury hotels near O’Hare airport. The Hyatt Regency O’Hare Chicago features expertly appointed guestrooms, an on-site restaurant, and a complimentary 24-hour airport shuttle. Or choose the Renaissance Chicago O’Hare Suites Hotel with its all-suites guestrooms, indoor pool, and bar. The Aloft Chicago O-Hare is the epitome of modern class with its cocktail bar, trendy gathering spaces, and contemporary guestrooms. Any of these hotels will put you in close proximity to Rosemont and the Big Ten Experience.
Alternatively, check out Airbnb and rent out a home in Chicago. If you end up having too much fun, or you make a huge mess, you can always hire a house cleaning service to make it presentable again before you check out.
WHERE TO EAT
There is a wide array of restaurants located in close proximity to the Big Ten Experience in Parkway Bank Park, making it easy to pick up a bite to eat either before or after your tour the museum. The classy Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse serves up sizzling skewers of meat with all of the mouth-watering sides and a massive salad bar.
For something more casual, the Hofbräuhaus Chicago is an ideal family-friendly restaurant and brewery. This unique dining experience is modeled after the famous 400-year-old venue in Munich, Germany. Guests will enjoy a host of authentic German specialties such as jumbo pretzels, potato pancakes, smoked pork loin, sausages, and apple strudel. If you have a sweet tooth, be sure not to mess the delightful and massive treats at the nearby Sugar Factory.