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6 Awesome Chicago Gift Souvenir Ideas

Thanks for coming by – if you love Chicago as much as I do and live here or plan to visit – feel free to answer any ONE (or all) of the questions below. Leave your answer in the comment section.

1. What are your favorite restaurants in the city? And why?

2. If you’re a traveler – what landmarks or attractions do you always visit when you come here? And why?

3. What do you MOST love about Chicago?

First let me say this isn’t an official list made by a gift expert, but my own opinion on what I think those traveling to Chitown would love. From the usual mugs and t-shirts to a few more original ideas are all included in my list. And most can be found and purchased online. Hope you enjoy my picks – if so, let me know via my social media channels. As always do spread the word, if you find this article helpful, fun or informative – please share on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest pretty please. (and Thank you!) 🙂

1. Chicago Divvy Gift Pass –

Divvy is an exclusive Chicago bike rental program that lets you rent a bike by the hour or for a 24 hour period and use it to attend an outdoor concert, make it to a Summer festival, take a stroll through downtown, ride in Grant park, etc. The stations are located plentifully throughout the city and they’re easy to spot as the bikes are baby blue in color and usually lined up in busy areas. A Divvy gift pass would make a great souvenir idea for your current or next trip to Chicago or to give to a friend. For complete details on how renting a bike through Divvy works, please their website.

2. Chicago Themed Shirt –

There are a ton of awesome and cute Chicago themed t shirts on eBay, our fave online shop. For women, men and kids – from the funny to the artsy and to sports related tees – they have quite the collection to browse and choose from. We quite liked the Chicago skyline shirt pictured below that comes from eBay seller Ann Arbor T Shirt Company, but there are plenty other designs to choose from. Have a look at either link above.

 chicago skyline t shirt

3. Chicago Souvenir Mug –

We went again to (eBay) and did a search for Chicago themed gift mugs and tons came up. Tons. eBay has a fantastic collection of gift mugs for the Chicagoan in you or to give as a souvenir gift. From steins to collectibles and landmark themed mugs to the popular Starbucks Chicago collector mugs. Most of these Starbucks cups I think are discontinued so they’re hard to find at store level, but there are quite a few vintage models on eBay. From the many that are available (non-Starbucks related), we like this Windy City mug. So very cute! 🙂

4. Chicago Dabble Activity Gift Card –

Sometimes an activity makes for a great gift idea. Some people love to do as opposed to shop. If this describes you or your giftee, then we think a gift certificate from Dabble should fit the bill. Dabble is a marketplace of classes and workshops – all kinds – so very many to choose from, it takes a bit of time to browse through all the offerings. They have a Chicago portal, so when you choose this as your city at the top of the Dabble website, all classes are here local. Want to learn how to salsa or make a mean Mojito drink, or sew, knit etc – it’s all here. The gift card page can be seen at this link and you can order cards in different denominations starting at $20 – all the way up to $200. What a fun and unique Chicago souvenir idea. *Sidenote: I just noticed I tend to mention Dabble a lot on this site and probably will continue to do so, that it might seem I work for them. I do not. I just think what they do and offer is great, so am spreading the good word.

5. Chicago Attractions Pass, The Go Chicago Card –

The Go Chicago Card is a multi-attraction pass that allows you to visit up to 25 city attractions at one inclusive price. This pass will SAVE you tons of money and is a great gift idea for anyone coming to visit. These are just some of the attractions you’ll get to visit for FREE with the Go Chicago Card: Shedd Aquarium, SkyDeck Chicago, The Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, Chicago Children’s Museum, the Museum of Science and Industry, Brookfield Zoo, Art Institute of Chicago and so much more. You can grab the Go Chicago pass online here via this link, then just enjoy as many attractions as you can.

6. Chicago Themed Shot Glass –

The old stand by, this one is one many collect and since its inexpensive, is great for gift giving as well. Some peeps like to collect a shot glass from every city or state they visit along with magnets. If you want a cool Chicago themed shot glass, we found a great collection of them online via eBay. See a few below and or just head straight to eBay and browse around to see what catches your fancy. You can narrow down your search by price, category, new or used, collectible, etc. Shot glasses almost always make for a nice souvenir.


Disclosure: I’m an eBay affiliate, so I might make a small commission if you buy through my links above. If so, I thank you and appreciate your patronage.

About the author /


Musings from Chicago is a blog dedicated to all things about the Windy City - from fashion and travel to tech and dining. We try to cover a little bit of what interest us and hopefully interests you as well. :) We love to interact, so please follow on Twitter and or fan us on Facebook.

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51 Comments

    • Missy

      Hi, Betsy:

      That’s my fave too – isn’t it cute? (and a great gift idea)

      Thanks for coming by. 🙂

  1. shannon

    I love the idea of giving the attraction pass! It would make it super easy on people going to visit – great idea 🙂

    • Missy

      Hi, Shannon:

      Let me know what blog you came from, so I can leave a recip comment? The Chicago attraction pass is fantastic for seeing a lot of our wonderful landmarks and attractions – all at once and at one price.

      Thank you for the visit.

      • Missy

        Never mind Shannon – I see your blog now.

  2. Lisa/Syncopated Mama

    A great list of fun things to get to commemorate a visit to Chicago. It’s a wonderful city – one of my favorites! You’re lucky to live there!

    • Missy

      Hi, Lisa:

      Glad you found the comment box – thanks so much for coming by and the kind words on my article.

  3. Laura

    Chicago was one of my favorite cities to visit, we did a road trip there after high school graduation and I will never forget it! I wish I would of got some of those shot glasses while there, what a fun memory!

    • Missy

      Hey, Laura:

      Glad you enjoyed your visit to Chitown after high school graduation – and there’s still plenty of time to snag a shot glass online via eBay. Should you want to relive your fun time here.

      Thanks for coming by and leaving a comment.

  4. Stacy

    I traveled to Chicago years ago for a training workshop when I was managing at UPS. I loved Shedd Aquarium and Navy Pier. Just standing out there looking over Lake Michigan was such a treat for this Texas Gal who usually sees acres and acres of fields. Beautiful city!

  5. Haley @ Haley’s Vintage

    I have only been once to Chicago. It was such brief trip, because we meet a friend and flew out of there. The airport was humongous! I remember loving the skyline as we drove in. My hubby and I want to make a weekend trip up there.

    • Missy

      Hi, Haley:

      Glad you enjoyed our skyline, it’s beautiful – day or night. Do come back and visit with the hubby. You’ll have a great time – and thanks for coming by the blog.

  6. Erin

    Great info. My sister lives in the Chicago area. I’ll direct her to your blog!

    • Missy

      Hey, Erin:

      Thank you – look forward to the referral. Appreciate it.

  7. Pam

    Love the idea of Dabble! I live in nearby Indianapolis, so we get up to Chicago at least once a year – so many fun things to do!!! In fact last year, my daughter’s class went to the Museum of Science and Industry for a field trip – it was tons of fun.

    • Missy

      Hi, Pam:

      Dabble is great, mostly because of its sheer variety of offerings. Looking for something unique to do? I would definitely give Dabble a try. Thanks for coming by – and glad your daughters class enjoyed the Museum of Science and Industry. It’s a great museum. 🙂

  8. Suzanna @ One Hoolie Mama

    I’ve never been to Chicago, but I must admit, I do enjoy picking up souvenir shot glasses from the cities I do visit.

    • Missy

      I do too. I have a few shot glasses from a few different cities, my fave are the ones I picked up in New Orleans a few years ago. They do make great souvenirs.

  9. Shelah

    We love visiting Chicago. Next time we go I am getting the Go Card!

    • Missy

      Awesome Shelah:

      The Go Card is a great way to save big money when coming to see a series of local attractions. It’s a great money saver!

  10. Leila

    I am born and raised MN but have never been to Chicago!! My word!! These are super cool gifts, but it would be even cooler if I could somehow get my butt up there myself and get them!!

    • Missy

      Leila: Yes! it would, but you can get some of them online too. Probably most of them via their respective website. Minnesota sounds awesome too, I’ve never been – but I’m sure it’s lovely.

      Thanks for coming by.

  11. Jennifer Corter

    I’ve been wanting to visit Chicago for so long! But these are great ideas for the Chicago lover in your life! Perhaps someday I’ll get to the Windy City!

    • Missy

      Thank you Jennifer. Appreciate it.

  12. Shannon

    Oh I’ve always wanted to visit Chicago! I’ve actually only ever been to the airport! Not good enough! I’m in Texas so it’s a bit far but I sure hope to make it to stay longer sometime soon. This list would be really helpful!

    • Missy

      Shannon:

      I’ve heard this before a few times, where just an airport stay is as close as some have made it here. I say, hey there’s always next time. And hope you do make it one day!!!

  13. Crystal Green

    I’ve never been to Chicago, but I’ve always heard it’s a hopping place to go to. These would make great gift ideas for someone who is a fellow Chicago lover or even as a nice souvenir to have.

    • Missy

      Hi, Crystal:

      Thanks for the kind words and glad you like my gift picks.

  14. bex stark

    I love Chicago and visit often! I would love to receive an attraction pass.

  15. Monica

    I have a lot of family that lives in Chicago. It’s a great city. I really like the t-shirts and mugs!

  16. Linda

    I love the shirt too! What a good list of items for a Chicago visit. I love the city pass, we try and do that in every place we visit, it almost always saves lots of money. I’ve never heard of Dabble before, I’m going to have to look them up. Thanks for the great list!

  17. Rachel

    I think I would take the blue bikes for 24 hours and the Dabble certificate. Sounds like Chicago has plenty to do and see. Oh and I will take that attractions pass as well. Hello from Australia.

    Rachel

  18. Julie S.

    These are fun ideas. I like to collect refrigerator magnets so I would have to get that as a souvenir.

  19. Talent hounds

    I loved visiting Chicago! I think my favourite thing about the city was the architecture and the overall layout. We rented kayaks and paddled down the Chicago river which was beautiful and fabulous to be able to get exercise and be outdoors in the middle of the city! I also loved the pizza!

  20. Ronni @ The Screenwriter’s Wife

    I have only ever been to the Chicago airport. I know, I’m a loser. 🙁 Hey – my husband happens to be at the Chicago airport RIGHT NOW as I’m typing this? Coincidence??? 🙂

    • Missy

      Hi, Ronni:

      Yes! I would say that is a big coincidence, hope he enjoys his stay. And no you’re not a loser for only making it to the airport. The airport itself is beautiful.

  21. TJ

    Thank You for making this list. I’ve never been to Chicago but I’m planning to go next year. Now I know some cool things to look out for.

  22. Brittney Minor

    I have never been to Chicago. I hope to make it there someday!

  23. Heather

    I loved the shirt, wish I saw that when I was in Chicago not too long ago. I wish I had more time while I was there but I mostly just ate food.

  24. Lerie

    I have never set foot on US soil! I hope to one day and Chicago will be the first place I go! 😛

    • Missy

      Nice! Hope you make it here and if you do – enjoy yourself; there’s plenty to see and do. Thanks for coming by my little blog.

  25. Miranda

    I have never been to Chicago, although I might be going next year sometime so I will keep these in mind. Personally, I love mugs!

    • Missy

      Thanks for coming by Miranda – I love city mugs too and magnets. Easy and cheap to collect, especially the magnets. Thanks again for the visit.

  26. Erin @ American Mom in England

    I haven’t been to Chicago in years, with the exception of airports! Someday we’ll make a trip the US, where I get to show of my favourite spots to my hubby & son!

  27. Catrina

    I’ve heard about the bike rental in Chicago. First time I saw it was in Miami. Pretty awesome…. Now if only it would come to Milwaukee.

  28. Margaret in MN

    I’m with Erin (American Mom in England) above: it’s been way too long since I’ve been to Chicago! (Hint: hubby and I were there the first year of our marriage. We’re now going on 20!)

    Thank you for this great list, and for your sweet comment over at my blog, too. Blessings!

  29. ChristyK

    I’ve never been to Chicago but I’ve always been intrigued about it. And if I ever go, the one souvenir I would love to have would be a t-shirt! 😛

  30. Rebecca

    I have never been to Chicago, well unless you count my brief layover at O’Hare. My husband and I have a tradition where whenever we travel to a new place we have to find a unique shot glass to bring home for our collection. Over our 15 years together we have quite the collection.

  31. Marie

    We go through Chicago frequently as we live just north of there, but I’ve never heard of Dabble. That sounds like a great idea!

  32. Lisa

    I’ll be sure to share this with my sister, she has an upcoming business trip to Chicago. Great list!

  33. Phil

    I visited Chicago around 10 years ago and am thinking of returning in 2016.
    I didn’t know about the bike rentals, might come in handy!
    Thanks

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