Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Cicero, IL

  • Published 2023/07/30

Cicero is a fairly small town located in Cook County, on the western side of Chicago in Illinois.

Despite its size, this town boasts its rich history and heritage, hosting a number of celebrations and events dedicated to its community’s diversity.

There are also several historical landmarks that you can find scattered throughout the town, making it a must-visit for history buffs and enthusiasts.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or a vacation packed with adventure, this humble town can give you just what you need!

Here are the best things to do in Cicero, Illinois.

Visit the Hawthorne Works Tower

Exterior of Hawthorne Works Tower

MrHarman, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hawthorne Works Tower is a historical landmark of Cicero, originally a part of the Hawthorne Works factory, which was previously one of the largest manufacturing plants in the country.

The factory was initially built in 1905 and was responsible for the production of telephone equipment and other consumer products.

The Hawthorne Works Tower, standing at an impressive 227 feet, was built in 1927 and was meant to be part of the expansion that the factory was undergoing.

This tower was built to symbolize the influence and power that the Hawthorne Works held at the time.

After the factory closed in circa-1983, the tower was nearly demolished due to its lack of upkeep, however, the Hawthorne Works Museum was established by local community members to preserve the tower and its history.

To this present day, this tower attracts visitors from across the country, and are allowed to explore this structure through guided tours.

Learn about the industrial history of Cicero by visiting the Hawthorne Works Tower!

Bring your Skateboard to Laramie Park Skatepark

Laramie Park Skatepark is a go-to for skateboarders and skate enthusiasts for Cicero’s residents and visitors alike.

Spanning over 4,000 square feet in size, this skatepark is equipped with ledges, pads, rails, and other obstacles for a pleasant skating experience.

Since it was founded in 2016, this park has had regular visitors who are working on learning new tricks and polishing their skills.

Whether you’re skating for the first time or have a few tricks up your sleeve, this skatepark can cater to varying skill levels.

You can even sit back and watch the local skaters who will be more than happy to entertain you with their tricks.

This skatepark is free and open to the public, so be sure to bring your skates or skateboard with you and stop by Laramie Park Skatepark!

Learn about Cicero’s History at the Cicero Public Library

Exterior of the Cicero Public Library


If you’re interested in learning more about the history of Cicero, then you might want to take a trip to the Cicero Public Library!

Located within the heart of town, this library houses an extensive collection of historical references and information on Cicero.

This institution has been a part of the community for over 100 years and its collection continued to grow over time, now housing over 100,000 books, artifacts, and other historical resources.

You can also sign up and join their programs and events that cater to anyone of all ages, including kids!

From workshops to indoor recreational activities and everything in between, this library provides an educational yet exciting experience for its visitors.

Visit the Cicero Public Library when you get the chance!

Enjoy the Outdoors at Columbus Park

Columbus Park is 6 minutes north of the town’s center and is a wonderful place to relax and unwind outdoors.

This park is one of the few parks in the nation to become a National Historic Landmark, given its masterful artistic layout and landscape architecture.

Columbus Park is also known for its amenities where you can indulge in a number of recreational activities, whether it’s indoor or outdoor.

You can bring the kids to the swimming pool where they can beat the heat and enjoy the water slides.

Their nature trail also allows for biking, jogging, or even a simple stroll where you can surround yourself with nature.

You even have the option to play a round of golf with their 9-hole golf course.

This park is almost 141 acres in size, making it spacious enough to cater to large groups of people.

Explore the beauty of Columbus Park in Cicero!

Admire St. Mary of Częstochowa

Exterior of St. Mary of Częstochowa

Tdl1060, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One monument that will capture your attention on your way around Cicero is a historic church, completed in 1918, known as St. Mary of Częstochowa.

Its historical and cultural significance make it a popular tourist destination in town.

Along with its beautiful, opulent neo-Gothic exterior, this church serves the worshippers and religious sector in Cicero.

Its vestigial structure stands at an impressive 200 feet in a classic Polish-Cathedral style and honors the history of Illinois.

Its interior decor will have you mesmerized too, featuring stunning stained-glass windows and an artful decorative structure that complements the peace and serenity within the walls of the church.

Don’t miss the chance to visit St. Mary of Częstochowa while exploring Cicero!

Join the Summer in the Park Series

Summer in the Park is an annual event that takes place at Cicero Community Park that brings nothing short of fun and excitement!

This popular event is hosted by the town’s park district and features much entertainment and adventure for both tourists and residents alike.

Given the park’s vast capacity, this event handles up to hundreds of people.

One of their main attractions is the Wild West Rodeo where you have the chance to ride a mechanical bull!

They also host concerts where various bands take the stage and feature a range of genres including pop, indie, rock, and jazz.

You can also wind down and watch a movie at night that is showcased on their outdoor large screen.

Throughout this event, you can find food vendors, play games, participate in arts and crafts, and do other fun activities suitable for all ages.

Try and drop by the Summer in the Park Series if you’re in town between July to August in Cicero!

Go Ice Skating at Bobby Hull Community Ice Rink

Daytime view of Bobby Hull Community Ice Rink

Dschinkel1, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Bobby Hull Community Ice Rink is one of the prime skating rinks of Cicero, open year-round and ready to serve avid and aspiring ice skaters of the town.

This recreational facility was installed to provide the community with a fun sport and various activities regardless of the season.

Named after former professional ice hockey player Bobby Hull, this rink is also dedicated to making ice skating an accessible sport by hosting programs, lessons, and games for its residents.

First-time ice skaters can also rent the equipment and gear as they get on the ice for the first time.

You also have the option to indulge in various ice sports, such as ice hockey and sled hockey.

In case you get hungry, you can stop by their snack bar for a quick break.

Bobby Hull recently passed in the year 2023, but his legacy remains with the Bobby Hull Community Ice Rink in Cicero.

Dance the Night Away at The Luxur

The Luxur is one of the most popular nightclubs in Cicero where you can experience the thriving nightlife of this town.

Located just a mile from the heart of town, this club is the ideal place to dance to the beat with your friends.

On certain nights, they also bring in featured DJs and artists to entertain you with their live music.

They play a variety of music genres, including dance-pop, reggae, Latin, and other popular, contemporary hits!

Make lasting memories with your friends at The Luxur!

Take a Trip through West Cermak Road

Buildings along West Cermak Road


West Cermak Road is a vast thoroughfare in town that connects Cicero to neighboring districts.

This artery is where most of the local businesses are located, and given Cicero’s diverse population, there’s no shortage of authentic shops and restaurants.

Featuring Mexican, Italian, and even Polish cuisines, there’s much to see and explore along this road.

You may even spot the notable Hawthorne Works Tower from this road, along with other historical landmarks within the surrounding area.

The mixture of diversity along West Cermak Road makes it a vibrant, distinctive element of the town that separates it from the rest.

Watch a Horse Race at Hawthorne Race Course & PointsBet Sportsbook

Hawthorne Race Course & PointsBet Sportsbook is one of the oldest sports venues in the state, having been established in 1891.

This horse racing track is credited with hosting some of the most iconic and well-known horse races in the country’s history, including The Illinois Derby and The Hawthorne Gold Cup.

Sports fans from across the country flock to this race course to watch, but they’re best known for its betting kiosks where spectators can cast their bets on their favorite horse.

Guests also have the option to book private lounge rooms for those who want a more private, intimate experience with sports betting.

Horse races are often held from March through December, so try and stop by Hawthorne Race Course & PointsBet Sportsbook if you’re in town!

Other Things to Do Nearby

Wave at the Sea Creatures at Shedd Aquarium

Exterior of Shedd Aquarium

Jason Patrick Ross /

Shedd Aquarium is known as one of the largest indoor aquariums in the world and is home to more than 32,000 sea creatures.

Located in Chicago, just east of Cicero, this aquarium is sure to mesmerize both kids and adults with the many exhibits they have on aquatic and marine life.

Shedd Aquarium is also a popular aquarium in Chicago and is regularly visited by tourists from all over the world.

Interior of Shedd Aquarium

James Kirkikis /

This institution is best known for Oceanarium, their underwater viewing area where guests can watch the magnificent sea creatures swim overhead in their tanks up close.

From sharks to dolphins to turtles and everything in between, this aquarium has almost all of the sea creatures you can think of!

Bring the whole family to Shedd Aquarium for a day of fun and learning!

Sea creatures in Shedd Aquarium

besnich /

Admire the Artworks at The Art Institute of Chicago

Exterior of The Art Institute of Chicago

MaxyM /

The Art Institute of Chicago is hailed as the #1 museum in all of Chicago and is internationally recognized due to its impressive art collection.

Home to over 300,000 masterpieces, this museum was founded in 1879 and its collection has been growing ever since.

From contemporary art pieces to art that can be traced back to ancient Greece, there’s so much to explore and admire in this vast institution.

Interior of The Art Institute of Chicago

James Kirkikis /

Some of their popular exhibits include works from Salvador Dali and Van Gogh.

You can also sign up for educational programs that give you the hands-on art experience to complete your vacation.

Make sure to go on a guided tour to efficiently explore the beauty of The Art Institute of Chicago!

Art piece in The Art Institute of Chicago

Bumble Dee /

Take Pictures of Buckingham Fountain

Daytime view of Buckingham Fountain

Kate Scott /

Buckingham Fountain is another notable landmark that sits in Chicago, just minutes away from Cicero.

Also known as the Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain, this structure is one of the largest of its kind in the world.

This fountain was designed by architect Edward H. Bennett in 1927 and dedicated to Clarence Buckingham in 1929, who funded the project.

The waters of Buckingham Fountain

cnkdaniel /

You can find this structure in Grant Park which often operates during the summer season, where water jets shoot water to a height of 150 feet in the air.

At night, alluring lights illuminate the water, providing you with a majestic and mesmerizing image.

Buckingham Fountain is a must-see beautiful installation that you can use as a backdrop for your photos or simply admire while visiting Chicago.

Aerial view of Buckingham Fountain

Robert Sarnowski /

See the Biodiversity at Oak Park Conservatory

Exterior of Oak Park Conservatory

IvoShandor, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In the neighboring city of Oak Park, you can find the Oak Park Conservatory, a remarkable botanical garden, just northwest of Cicero.

Housed in a historic structure that dates back to 1929, guests who visit can find a wide array of species of plants, including tropical plants, succulents, and other flora and fauna.

This greenhouse contains over three main rooms with its own collection of rare plants and flowers that you wouldn’t want to miss.

Oak Park Conservatory also offers programs and events throughout the year, such as festivals, live music entertainment, and even art exhibitions.

Nature lovers, aspiring botanists, and plant enthusiasts are sure to have an enjoyable time at this conservatory where they can be completely surrounded by the beauty of nature.

Learn about Natural History at the Field Museum

Exterior of the Field Museum

Sergii Figurnyi /

The Field Museum focuses on the natural history of Chicago, Illinois, and is packed with rich history and heritage that history buffs will appreciate.

Situated just outside Cicero in the neighboring city of Chicago, this natural history museum is one of the most prominent and largest of its kind.

Its exteriors exhibit the neoclassical decorations during the time it was built in 1829.

It houses over 40 million specimens and artifacts that can take your breath away!

Interior of the Field Museum

Creativity lover /

Dinosaur lovers are sure to be mesmerized by Sue – the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton to have ever been discovered.

Other interesting exhibits include their Ancient Egypt collection, Grainger Hall of Gems, and the Evolving Planet exhibit.

The Field Museum provides its guests with an experience like no other, so try and visit this wonderful institution while you’re on vacation!

People in the Field Museum

mark reinstein /

Final Thoughts

Cicero is home to a number of museums and historical landmarks that are sure to provide history buffs and enthusiasts with much enjoyment.

Its location near Chicago also allows for more exploration outside of town where you can indulge in more fun activities.

Look no further and make an itinerary with all the best things to do in this lovely town.

Book your next vacation to Cicero, Illinois!

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