things to do at the airport

At Chicago O’Hare Airport, a plethora of activities await to make your layover enjoyable and relaxing.

From culinary delights and artistic displays to shopping sprees and wellness options, the airport offers a vibrant palette of experiences. Explore and make the most of your time at this international gateway.


Chicago O’Hare Airport presents a diverse range of dining options across all terminals. From quick fast food to gourmet experiences, every culinary preference is catered to here.

Popular spots like Tortas Frontera in Terminal 1, Wicker Park Sushi in Terminal 2, and Publican Tavern in Terminal 3 are just a glimpse into the variety available.

For a detailed guide on dining establishments across the terminals, peruse through our comprehensive Chicago O’Hare Airport Restaurants guide.

Chicago airport
By Cameron Lee


Whether you’re looking for fashion, gadgets, books, or Chicago souvenirs, O’Hare has a plethora of shopping options.

Explore Terminal 1 for luxury brands like Coach and Montblanc, or visit Terminal 3 for a diverse retail experience, including MAC Cosmetics and Hudson News. The airport’s website offers a detailed directory of shops and their locations.

Chicago airport
By Robb Schreiber

3.Admire the Art and Architecture

O’Hare Airport is home to captivating public art installations. “Sky’s the Limit,” a mesmerizing neon sculpture, is located in the underground walkway between Concourses B and C in Terminal 1.

“On the Fly,” a kinetic sculpture, delights travelers in Terminal 2. These installations offer a visual respite and are located in easily accessible areas within the airport.


4.Relax in a Lounge

For a quiet and luxurious layover, consider accessing one of O’Hare’s exclusive lounges, such as the Admirals Club in Terminals 1, 2, and 3, or the United Club located in Terminals 1 and 2.

These lounges offer comfortable seating, refreshments, Wi-Fi, and more. Access may depend on your airline, membership status, or you may pay for entry.

Chicago airport
By Christopher Clark

5.Get a Massage or Spa Treatment

If you’re feeling stressed, head to Terminal Getaway Spa, located in Terminals 3, for a range of spa services.

Whether you’re in need of a quick massage, a manicure, or a full pampering session, Terminal Getaway Spa offers a relaxing environment to rejuvenate before your flight.

Chicago airport
By Cameron Lee

6.Work Out at the Hilton Fitness Center

For those with a longer layover, purchasing a day pass to the Hilton Fitness Center can be a great option.

Located near the airport, the center offers gym equipment, a pool, and showers. It’s a convenient way to stay active and refreshed during your travels.

Chicago airport
By Jacob Morgan

7.Enjoy the Kids Play Areas

If you’re traveling with children, the “Kids on the Fly” play area in Terminal 2 is a lifesaver. This interactive play space is designed to entertain and engage children, allowing them to burn off energy before the flight.

It’s located near Gate F1 and is easily accessible for families.

Chicago airport
By Sylvia Lin

8.Watch Planes

O’Hare provides numerous vantage points for plane watching. Find a comfortable spot near the large windows in any terminal, and enjoy the view of planes taking off and landing.

It’s a relaxing and engaging way to pass the time, especially for aviation enthusiasts.

Chicago airport
By Dmitriy Margolin

9.Work or Browse the Internet

Stay connected with O’Hare’s complimentary Wi-Fi available throughout the terminals.

Whether you need to catch up on work or simply browse the internet, you’ll find designated workspaces and seating areas with charging stations for your convenience.

10.Visit the Travelers Aid

Located in Terminal 2, the Travelers Aid is a helpful resource for visitors. Here, you can get information about Chicago, receive travel assistance, and find support for any travel-related issues.

It’s a welcoming spot for travelers in need of guidance.

11.Charge Your Devices

Keep your devices powered up by utilizing the numerous charging stations available throughout O’Hare. You’ll find these stations in every terminal, conveniently located near seating areas, ensuring you stay connected during your travels.

12.Catch Some Sleep

If you need some rest, O’Hare offers designated quiet areas and minute suites available for rent. These are located in various terminals and provide a comfortable space to nap or relax before your flight.

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