Rarely do people take the time to explore their own city. You live there, why would you do all the stuff that tourists do? That's what I thought, too, but visiting those crowded, expensive sites can be really fun, at least once and while.
Just this past Friday, I decided to spend an afternoon with my friend at Navy Pier, one of Chicago's most famous tourist attractions. My friend and I opted for one of the many boat tours offered on the pier, and we chose the Seadog speedboat cruises. Large speedboats that rush riders up and down the Chicago skyline on the waves of Lake Michigan. It was only 30 minutes, but it gave us a fun ride on the water and some facts about the city. The ride was short and sweet, not too eventful. If you're looking for something a little more entertaining, I recommend the Extreme, which is faster than the other boats and gives people more of a rollercoaster like experience.
After disembarking from the boat, we thought to ourselves, "we've never been on the historic Ferris wheel." So we decided to brave the line (and the price) and go for it. It was only $6 and lasted about 5 or 6 minutes...but it wasn't really worth it. I have to be honest here. Yes, it is an experience, and I can say that I've ridden it, but it was slow and not all that exciting. It's probably not something I would do again.
Overall, the afternoon was enjoyable. It can be rewarding to visit the places where hoards of tourists frequent--there's obviously a reason they all go to these sites. So if you're willing to deal with the crowds and the prices, I would recommend taking a day to be a tourist.