Chicago Newcomer’s Guide

Moving to Chicago

chicago newcomers guide

Chicago is the third largest city in America, filled with world class museums, towering skyscrapers, beautiful parks, and a bustling business district. Today, most of the world’s industrial power comes from Chicago. The big thing is that Chicago invests in itself time and time again. It continues to improve on its infrastructure while fixing the educational system and providing many of the nation’s best higher educational universities. Chicago has become so grand that many of the world’s largest companies have begun relocating their headquarters. It does cost considerably more to live in Chicago, but one thing to remember is that it costs more to live in other American cities like New York if you want the same advantages that Chicago provides.

Climate in Chicago

Before relocating to Chicago, consider the weather. The summers are hot, sunny and humid, and often are known to bring thunderstorms. The fall air is crisp, cool with lots of blue sky and sunshine. Spring often brings moderate temperatures with frosty nights. However, the winters are cold and all of these seasons are accompanied at times by harsh winds. They don’t call it the windy city for nothing.

One great thing about moving to Chicago is that the O’Hare International Airport is only 45 minutes from downtown. This allows you the opportunity to fly to any major city at your convenience. Another advantage to living in Chicago is that it is located right on the shore of Lake Michigan so you can spend countless hours with your family on the lake. The perfect time for activities is between the months of April to October.

Looking for the Best Way to Get Acquainted with Chicago? Pull a Ferris!

Ferris Bueller's Chicago
A great way to get acquainted with the City of Chicago is by experiencing all the places Ferris did in the famous movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. While the attractions Chicago has to offer are almost overwhelming we have to admit Ferris made a great day by visiting:

  1. The Sears Tower (now Willis Tower) Observatory
  2. The Art Institute of Chicago (Find the painting: Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte) and stare deeply at this famous paining just as Cameron did.
  3. Splurge at someplace fun, Ferris and friends dined at Che Quis a fictious restaurant, but great alternatives are The Berghoff or Gibson’s Steak House.
  4. Catch a Cub’s game at Wrigley Field, America’s most beloved ball park.

Thank you Chicago Movers, my girlfriend and I played hookie one day and re-traced Ferriss Bueller’s footsteps and had a blast! Brendan Bolger owner of Chicago Cupcake

Where to Live and Your Neighbors

Since Chicago is an ethnically diverse city filled with various cultures like Mexican, Poles, (two of the largest groups in the city), they also have many others like African American, Irish, German, Chinese, Swedish, Italian, Russian and Greek. Moving here will give you a diverse neighborhood indeed, but it gives you a chance to learn new cultures. It is important to choose the right neighborhood. As with many big cities, there are neighborhoods with a lot of violence. Chicago is no exception. Chicago has over 210 neighborhoods. The smart thing to do is to choose a school for your children first, before you locate your home, especially if you choose a public school because boundaries apply when registering students.

You have to decide on the commute to school and work. This is another reason for the safe neighborhood. If you decide not to commute, then you can explore various neighborhoods. Recommended neighborhoods are Lakeview homes. Here, family and young professionals live. A short four mile stretch from the Loop, Lakeview includes Wrigleyville and Wrigleyfield. This of course is home to the famous Chicago Cubs baseball team. This is the perfect place for nighttime fun with its many restaurants and bars.

Near Lake Michigan is where Lakeview is situated. It offers outdoor activities such as a golf course, bike and running paths, and access to Lincoln Park. Trees line the streets and small buildings. This is a beautiful place to call home with its 2-3 bedroom brick homes or the high rises near Lake Michigan. Just two miles from downtown Chicago is Lincoln Park. Children from every age live in this area. Families choose to live here because of the good public and private schools close by. Lincoln Park is thought of as the big garden in the middle of urban civilization. Inside it has the largest free zoo in the nation. It also has a farm, the Nature Museum, the Shore of Lake Michigan, bike and running trails, and many playgrounds. Housing options vary from vintage homes, towering high-rises, to mid-range condos.

Lincoln Square is another area where families and young professionals choose to live. Here, you’ll find large single family homes, bricked stone homes and even 2-3 bedroom flats. Lincoln Square is rich in outdoor activity. There are three main parks that surround the community, East River Park, Winnemac, and Welles Park. Lincoln Park is thought of as a small village. Near the Lincoln Park community area is the Roscoe Village neighborhood. The Roscoe Street is the most active in the Village due to the businesses and residencies. Here, you can find both modern or vintage 2 and 3 bedroom flats.

Finding Work

If you’re moving to Chicago and you need to find work, consider networking. Networking in Chicago is booming. Events are always taking place in Chicago and many networking groups meet in Chicago suburbs. There may even be one going on where you live. There are a couple of different types of networking groups in Chicago. For example; women, minorities, and people with various professions, have networks all their own. The more groups you join the more established you will be. The people who organize the networks help job seekers without getting paid for their activities. Know exactly what company you want to work for, be polite, specific and friendly. All of this you should know ahead of time before attending a networking meeting. Finding a job in this economy is hard so networking may be the way to go.


Right now, Chicago only has 15 public schools that have tuition based programs in the entire city. This is a 38 week; full day educational program offered for children ages 3 and 4. In order to reserve a spot you must begin the application process between October and January the previous academic year. School boundaries apply to students Kindergarten for public schools.

Hopefully this gives you some insight in the process of relocating to Chicago. With a little patience and research it can be done. You can find a save and friendly neighborhood, a good job and finally sit back and enjoy your new home and maybe make some new friends.

I received several affordable quotes in minutes, the movers were very helpful and accommodating

Tim - Chicago, IL

Chicago Movers were professional, friendly and handled my belongings with great care, thank you!

Cynthia - Oakbrook, IL

It turned out hiring a mover wasn't much more expensive than renting a truck and doing it myself

Marcus - Evanston, IL