The new year is in full swing, and boy is it off to a good start! From a new bluesy museum to temporary intrigues just passing through and a record-breaking coaster waiting for your screams of terrified delight, we’ll keep you looped in on all the must-knows in Chicago for 2019. Read on for our favorite exhibits, installations, activities and more to hit the scene this year.

photo: The Field Museum via Martin Baumgaertner

NEW EXHIBITS AND MUSEUMS

New Home for SUE at The Field Museum
SUE, the world’s biggest, best-preserved, and most complete T. rex, is back on display and better than ever. The world’s most famous dino is also now up to date with the latest scientific research and is in a new interactive, 5,100-square-foot private suite that shows what SUE’s world was like. A narrated light show highlights specific bones on SUE’s skeleton, revealing everything from healed broken ribs to a jaw infection that might have ultimately killed the dinosaur.

Now on display
The Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr., Museum Campus
Online: fieldmuseum.org

Hamilton: The Exhibition
Thanks to the success of the wildly popular musical Hamilton, Chicago has a new attraction coming its way. Northerly Island will welcome Hamilton: The Exhibition, an interactive, one-of-a-kind exhibition that will provide a historical journey into the creation of our country through the lends of one of the Founding Fathers of our country.

Opening Apr. 6
Northerly Island, Near Southside
Online: hamiltonexhibition.com

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Chicago Blues Museum
As the proud birthplace of the modern blues, Chicago will open the city’s new Chicago Blues Museum that will celebrate pioneering artists and generations of musicians that influenced the blues scene and continue to carry on its traditions. Located near Millennium Park, the new museum will contain numerous interactive displays, tributes to local legends and Chicago blues memorabilia, as well as a performance lounge and restaurant.

Opening Apr. 8
Millennium Park, Grant Park
Online: chicagobluesexperience.com

Imagine the Moon at Adler Planetarium
Alder Planetarium is kicking off the new year with a brand new sky show, Imagine the Moon, which takes a closer look at humanity’s relationship with Earth’s nearest neighbor.

Opening Jan. 18
Adler Planetarium,
Online: adlerplanetarium.org

photo: The Beach Chicago via Noah Kalina

JUST PASSING THROUGH

The Beach Chicago
Created by New York-based designers, Snarkitecture, The Beach Chicago is an immersive art installation, which consists of a large, open room filled with more than one million antimicrobial and recyclable plastic balls, along with deck chairs, lifeguard chairs, umbrellas and signage that mimic the sensation of a day at the beach. Visit between January 19-February 3. Hours vary, so check website.

Jan. 19-Feb. 3
Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., Navy Pier
Online: navypier.org

Art on theMart
Merchandise Mart’s Art on theMart is the world’s largest digital art projection, appearing on the Mart’s nearly three-acre exterior facade.

Running March-December
Merchandise Mart, 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, River North
Online: artonthemart.com

Forts: Build Your Own Adventure
Enter a world of play and creation as Filament Theatre transforms into a playspace for children and parents to build new worlds. Using cardboard boxes, sheets, clotheslines and more, families build adventures of their own devising. With theatrical design elements of sound and lights working together to support creative play, families are swept away in the adventure! Instructions available in both Spanish & Polish.

Jan. 6-Mar. 10
Filament Theatre, 4041 N. Milwaukee Ave., Portage Park
Online: filamenttheatre.org

Trolls at Morton Arboretum
Something special has emerged from the woods, meadows and vast open spaces at The Morton Arboretum’s grounds. . . unusual creatures, each made of reclaimed wood and measuring 15- to 20-feet-tall. Danish artist Thomas Dambo and crews of woodworkers and volunteers constructed the mammoth mythical creatures of Troll Hunt, which are trying to make sense of the human world and make us think about our impacts on the planet

Open though June 21
Morton Arboretum, 4100 IL Rte. 53, Lisle
Online: mortonarb.org

photo: Altitude Trampoline Park

PLAYSPACES AND KID-LOVED ACTIVITIES

Altitude Trampoline Park
Altitude Trampoline Park, a cutting-edge trampoline playspace and activity center has moved into West Fulton Market, making it Chicago’s first-and-only trampoline park. Altitude Chicago will feature state-of-the-art trampoline entertainment as well as a variety of activities such as Wipe-Out, Basketball, Dodgeball, Rock Wall, Foam Pit, Trapeze, Kids Court for toddlers and a parent lounge for adults. Keep them top-of-mind for birthday parties, corporate team outings, school events, social groups, sports teams or just plain jumping around!

Open as of December 2018
Altitude Chicago, 404 N. Armour St., West Fulton Market
Online: altitudechicago.com

Maxx Force Roller Coaster at Six Flags
Oh boy! Six Flags is about to get a whole lot more exciting. This summer they will unveil the fastest launch roller coaster in North America, reaching speeds of 78 miles per hour in under two seconds. This incredible record-breaker features the fastest inversion and tallest double inversion of any other coaster in the world.

Opening Summer 2019
Six Flags Great America, 1 Great America Pkwy, Gurnee
Online: sixflags.com/greatamerica

photo: Jon L. via YELP

HOTELS

The Hoxton Hotel
Located in the booming Fulton Market District, the branch of London-based Hoxton hotels will open its doors under developer Shapack Partners. The new hotel designed to echo the building’s industrial past will stand 11 stories tall with 182 rooms, two levels of office space, ground-floor retail and a luxurious rooftop terrace. In addition, Boka Restaurant Group will open both a restaurant and bar in the hotel.

Opening Spring 2019
200 N. Green St., West Loop
Online: thehoxton.com

Hyatt House Hotel/Hyatt Place
The old Cook County Hospital is undergoing a transformation into a dual branded Hyatt Hotel that will operate as the first hotel in Fulton Market district to cater to extended-stay corporate travelers. The 14-story, 167,000-square foot, 200-room development will include an indoor pool, fitness center, bar/lounge and a green roof.

Opening Summer 2019
105 N. May St., West Loop
Online: skender.com

photo: Time Out Market Chicago rendering

RESTAURANTS

Time Out Market Chicago
Fulton Market District has quickly become a go-to foodie destination and now they’re about to welcome their first food hall. The three-story structure will include 16 food counters, three bars, a demo kitchen, event and retail space and a rooftop deck.

Opening in 2019
916 W. Fulton Market, West Loop
Online: timeoutmarket.com/chicago

—Maria Chambers