Summer is here, and Chicagoans should soak up every bit of the warm weather they can because before we know it it’ll be time for snow plows and down jackets. Beach trips, outdoor festivals, and fresh foods are just some of what summer in the city has to offer. To help you make the most of these warm months, here are the 10 things you should do in Chicago this Summer.
1. Take a trip to the beach
Chicago has 24 beaches along the shores of Lake Michigan. Chicago’s beaches close on Labor Day, which is September 3, 2018. Visit North Avenue or Oak Street beach for a beach trip with a city view. Pack a picnic and spend the day in the sun, or get up early and watch the sunrise. Keep an eye out for events happening at these beaches, such as the 90’s Beach Party on North Avenue beach Sat, June 23, 2018.
2. Visit a farmers market
Spend time outdoors, support local businesses, and check an errand off your to-do list. There are Farmers Markets all around Chicago on different times and days. One we suggest is The Green City Market. This market takes place in Lincoln Park on Wednesdays and Saturdays 7am-1pm, Gallagher Way on Thursdays 4pm-8pm, and West Loop on Saturdays 8am-1pm. The green city market has over forty vendors to supply everything you need from fruits and vegetables to baked goods.
3. Visit a rooftop bar
What better way to enjoy a cocktail than with a view? While the weather permits, visit one of Chicago’s hip rooftop bars for the way to mix up your next date night or evening with friends. Our recommendation is Raised, An Urban Rooftop Bar. This bar features shareable plates, craft beer, and creative cocktails – all with a spectacular view. Raised is located at 1 W Wacker and is open Monday through Thursday 4pm-12am and Friday- Saturday 2pm- 12am.
4. See a movie in the park
The Millenium Park Film Series is a Summer staple for many across Chicago. Pack a picnic, head to Jay Pritzker Pavilion, and enjoy your favorite movie on a 40 foot LED screen. The movies start June 5th at 6:30pm with a screening of Hairspray and continue every Tuesday through August 21st.
5. See a free concert in the Park
Millenium Park has more to offer this summer if movie-going isn’t your thing. The Millenium Park concert series features a series of free concerts June 18–August 16 at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. The artists vary across several different genres, so there is sure to be something for everyone.
6. Go to a beer festival
Those who are 21+ and appreciate a cold-one should add going to a beer festival to their summer to-do list. There are many beer festivals offered across Chicago. Go to one or go to them all. We recommend the Chicago Craft Beer Festival. This festival host 70 local, regional, and national craft beers from 35 different brewers. The festival takes place at Webster and Sheffield in Lincoln Park July 21st and 22nd. Purchase tickets before making your way to the tasting session both days from 11:30am–4pm.
7. Take a boat tour
Chicago has several boat tours to offer. Coast down the Chicago River or speed around Lake Michigan. Nothing says Summer like a day on the water. Our recommendation is the Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise. Tour guides describe more than 50 buildings on this 90-minute tour of the riverfront. The Cruises dock on the south side of the Michigan Avenue Bridge and tours are given everyday between 9am and 5:30 pm.
8. Kayak the Chicago River
If a boat tour isn’t close enough to the water for you, try kayaking Chicago’s riverfront. See the Chicago buildings from a whole new level. The city has never looked so big. Several companies along the river offer guided tours as well as individual rentals.
9. Watch the Water and Air Show
Head down to the Lakefront from Fullerton to Oak Street and watch the planes soaring high above Lake Michigan waters and the boats zoom along the coast. The Chicago Air and Water Show takes place on August 20th and 21st and it’s free!
10. Walk the 606
The 606, once an elevated rail line, has been turned into a beautiful trail with greenery, murals, and art installations. Get your steps in and walk the 2.7-mile trail or hop on a bike for a traffic-free ride. To reach the 606, take the CTA Blue Line to the Logan Square stop.