Squirrely Summertime Chicago Bucket List Adventures

In this post: Art Institute of Chicago, Magnolia Bakery, Fairgrounds Coffee and Tea

Day 2 of my Squirrel in the City adventures this weekend took me downtown to the Art Institute of Chicago with my neighbor Jakara! Now here’s the thing you’ll need to know about me, I can hang with just about anything for a couple hours, but after those couple hours I’m all like where are we going to eat? Where are the nearest cupcakes? How soon can we go get some coffee? Where else are we going? Yes, I’m that girl, no shame in my game.

Art isn’t really my thing. I can appreciate it to an extent, but not nearly the way Jakara can, which I totally appreciate about her. Even so, I was totally game to go down to the Art Institute because it just seemed like a great place to explore that I had never been, so you know – why not? Jakara is one of my friends I talked about in my last post where she knows the city, she’s a great co-pilot and can completely navigate us to where we need to go – and for that, I appreciate the crap out of her! We didn’t really have a plan other than to go see the art, so we were kind of just flying by the seat of our pants, which is always a fun way to be in the city.

  • The Art Institute of Chicago – We spent about a good 2 hours checking out everything the institute had to offer – I don’t know if I’ve ever seen as many pictures and paintings of boobs and penises in one place before! For real, at one point I felt like every time I turned a corner there was either a statue or painting or sculpture of a body part staring at me! So know that in advance, and if for some reason those things offend you or you bring kids and you don’t want them to see that, there are definitely certain wings that are more populated with those things than others! If you appreciate art and different cultures of art, this is definitely the place for you! There were tons of people stopping to read the descriptions of the pieces – I’d imagine it would take you hours and hours to get through everything if you stopped and read each one, but if that’s your thing you’ll be in Heaven!
  • Park Cafe and Magnolia Bakery – after walking around looking at art, we had worked up an appetite so we headed to Park Cafe across the way in Millennium Park for a bite to eat and then…. cupcake wandering!! I mean really, when in Chicago you must find a cupcake place to enjoy. We decided to mosey on over to Magnolia Bakery since it was a short walk away and Jakara had mentioned she had something from there while she was at their original New York location. Off we went! Inside there were tons of desserts – cupcakes, bread puddings, cheesecakes, cookies, all kinds of things. I chose a coconut cupcake, a strawberry cupcake and a red velvet mini cheesecake (hey, when in Rome!). I have to say that they were just ok, I didn’t love any of it. Call me a cupcake snob, but they were just kind of meh. Not bad, but nothing I would go back for. Cute place though!
  • Fairgrounds Coffee and Tea by Millennium Park– after cupcakes and while in the city, you must find good coffee! We *almost* had to settle for Starbucks since we though it was the only place on the way back to where we parked, but then I remembered when I was in the city 2 days prior going to Cindy’s there was a cute little coffee shop in the Chicago Athletic Club building, so we went to Fairgrounds instead! Now this was my kind of place – instead of beer on tap, they had kombucha, nitro cold brew coffee and matcha tea! How freaking cool!!

Stay tuned for my next adventures in the Windy City!!

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