Chicago Botanic Garden

Chicago Botanic Garden (Photos courtesy of each winner.)

Make It Better’s Best of 2016 drew more than 168,000 votes across 11 categories. Share your thoughts with us on social media using the hashtag #Bestof2016.

Best Live Music Venue (Suburbs)  |  Most Beautiful Place to Hear Live Music


Ravinia is the go-to destination for live music under the stars. 418 Sheridan Road, Highland Park

Ravinia Festival

Best Live Music Venue (Chicago)

Grant Park

Grant Park hosts some of the city’s largest concerts, including Lollapalooza and the Chicago Jazz Festival. 337 E. Randolph St., Chicago

Best Live Theater (Suburbs)

Oil Lamp Theater

Quality theater aside, you’ll always find complimentary freshly baked cookies in the Oil Lamp lobby. 1723 Glenview Road, Glenview

Best Live Theater (Chicago)

Broadway in Chicago

Broadway in Chicago always brings the best of the best to town, including “Hamilton” this September.

Broadway in Chicago

Best Children’s Theater

Chicago Children’s Theatre

Kids love the theater too, and Chicago Children’s Theatre offers great shows for young audiences. 1016 N. Dearborn St., Chicago

Chicago Children's Theatre

Best Museum, Cultural Institution for Children

Kohl Children’s Museum

The museum’s interactive, hands-on exhibits are fun and educational (a win-win for kids and parents). 2100 Patriot Blvd., Glenview

Kohl Children's Museum

Best Museum, Art Museum  |  Best Place to Go on a Rainy Day

The Art Institute of Chicago 

Some of the world’s best (and most famous) pieces are housed on Michigan Avenue. 111 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago

Best Museum, Science Outing

Museum of Science and Industry

Around 1.5 million people visit MSI — the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere — every year. 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago

Museum of Science and Industry

Best Museum, Environment Exploration  |  Best Place to Go on a Sunny Day

Chicago Botanic Garden

The Garden features 26 gardens and four natural areas on 385 acres with nine islands and six miles of lake shoreline. 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe

Best Family Outing  |  Best Chicago Sports Experience, Men’s Team

Cubs Game / Chicago Cubs

Fans both young and old love to root, root, root for the Cubbies. 1060 W. Addison St., Chicago

Wrigley Field

Best Comedy Venue

The Second City

This winner has introduced us to some of the best comedians in the world. Chicago Mainstage: 1616 N. Wells St., Chicago

Best Zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo

This zoo is open 365 days a year — many filled with adults-only and family-friendly events — and admission is always free. 2001 N. Clark St., Chicago

Lincoln Park Zoo

Best Chicago Sports Experience, Women’s Team

Chicago Sky

Don’t miss 2015 WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne and the Chicago Sky at Allstate Arena this summer. 6920 N. Mannheim Road, Rosemont

Favorite Music Outing

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

The CSO performs more than 100 concerts each year at the Symphony Center and Ravinia, and the ensemble has more Grammy Awards than any other. 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago

Place We’re Most Excited to Visit (Editor’s Pick)

Navy Pier

This institution is celebrating 100 years.

Back to Best of 2016

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