Top 10 Things to Do This Summer in Chicago
The summer sun, blue skies, and balmy days awaken the Windy City. Warm temperatures usher in outdoor restaurant seating, busy beaches, and summer festivals. Residents know winter is just around the corner and enjoy every second of the season. Check out these top Chicago attractions before the first fall frost.
#1- The Beaches
Nothing says summer like sand between your toes. Luckily Chicago has miles of sandy lakefront beaches. Access from beaches like Foster, Ohio Street, or Oak Street Beach. North Avenue Beach is popular for its volleyball courts. If sand isn’t your thing, rent watercraft near the harbor and speed along the lake.
Don’t miss the all-star lineup at one of the United States’ best-known music festivals. This massive event draws big names in the music industry to Grant Park for four days of stellar performances. Over 160,000 people attend Lollapalooza each year.
#3- Movies in the Park
Bring your picnic blanket to the free summer film series. The Millennium Park Movies take place June through August on Tuesdays and includes classic movies with new blockbusters. See Chicago Park District for the schedules and line-up.
#4- Millennium Park concerts
Looking for more free things to do in Chicago? Jam to the entertainers featured at the summer concert series at Millennium Park. The free series takes place over two months, and you can BYOB. Artists span from rock ‘n’ roll to Latin to country.
#5- Boat tours
If you haven’t checked this off your Chicago things to do bucket list, why not this summer? Enjoy the architectural wonders of Chicago from the Chicago River or Lake Michigan. It will give you a whole new appreciation for the city.
#6- Stroll the art
Chicago is synonymous with pizza, architecture, baseball, and art. Public art is everywhere you look in Chicago. Take the time to appreciate the public artworks in the loop or visit an artistic district like the Wabash Arts Corridor. Better yet, look for a neighborhood street art fair to see what’s been created by local craftspeople.
#7- Navy Pier
There’s no better time of year to enjoy the Navy Pier than summer. Spread across 50 acres, take in the turquoise waters and shimmering skyline from the Centennial Wheel. Relax at the waterfront beer garden or one of the outdoor restaurants. Listen to live music and get a margarita to go for a picnic.
#8- Taste of Chicago
With all the world-class dining in our city, it can be hard time-wise and on your budget to hit all the places you’d like to go. Enter the Taste of Chicago, which spotlights the city’s famous restaurant scene. Go for the classic or try something new.
#9- Get outside
Chicago has over 8,000 acres of green spaces offering a plethora of activities. There are bicycle corridors and hiking trails in parks across the city. The Maggie Daley Park near downtown has climbing walls, a play garden, and mini-golf. The Lincoln Park Zoo is a thrill for kids of all ages. Grant Park is a hub of downtown attractions, while Oz Park’s whimsical theme is something different. If you want to venture further afield, Illinois has other natural options to enjoy the outdoors.
#10- Chicago Cubs
What’s a Chicago summer without catching a game at historic Wrigley Field or Guaranteed Rate Field? Don’t miss the Crosstown Classic matchup game, whether you’re supporting the Chicago Cubs or the White Sox.
Alas, summer does not last forever. Soak in the sun at these Chicago summer events and enjoy all the Windy City has to offer.
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Contributed to Your Home blog by Casey McKenna-Monroe
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