It’s still summer in Chicago, but not for very long. Here’s my Summer in Chicago must go/see/do list to help you figure out what to do. I’ll let you in on a secret, us locals hibernate most of the winter and save up our energy to go non-stop in the summer! What are you waiting for? Get out there & explore this big, beautiful city!
- Go on an Architectural River Cruise. There are many options to choose from however, this link may help narrow it down.
- Walk through Millennium Park which includes Cloudgate (aka the Bean), the Lurie Gardens and Crown Fountain. And don’t forget kid-focused Maggie Daley Park right next door. More stuff to do with the kiddos.
- Catch a concert/movie at Pritzker Pavillion in Millennium Park. Bring a chair/blanket, snacks/drinks and relax under the stars.
- Take a water taxi to Chinatown. Seriously, it is the coolest (lol … literally) way to get around the city. Besides getting a different perspective, it’s a great way to avoid the traffic. Here’s my post on exploring Chinatown.
- Go to a rooftop bar. Here are a few to get you started: Cindy’s, Londonhouse & Raised. Be warned they can get very crowded so go early and during off-hours. In addition, here are more rooftops to check out.
- Check out one of the 27 farmers markets from May through October all throughout the city. Two downtown markets in the Loop: Tuesdays at the Federal Plaza & Thursdays at Daley Plaza (the longest-running farmers market in Chicago). Another good one: the Green City market near Lincoln Park Zoo. In addition, click the link to find the many others in surrounding neighborhoods.
- Rent a bike & ride along Lake Michigan’s beautiful 20+ miles of lakefront. Make sure to ride through the Museum Campus (Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium & the Planetarium). This is where you get the best view of the skyline. And don’t forget to check out Buckingham Fountain. Please be safe! Find & use the designated bike lanes.
- Jump on the ‘L’ and check out one of our 77 different neighborhoods. Here’s my post on exploring Lincoln Square. There are so many summertime neighborhood festivals & art fairs to choose from. Here are a few of my favorites: the 57th St Art Fair in Hyde Park, Midsommarfest in Andersonville & Chicago History Museum Hot Dog Fest in Old Town.
- Check out the Riverwalk. Take a stroll down the 1.25 mile stretch on the south bank of the Chicago River to the lakefront. Check out the art, go to the McCormick Bridgehouse and Chicago River Museum, grab a drink/bite or just people watch. And while you are on the Riverwalk don’t forget Art on the Mart.
- Learn how to cha cha/salsa/tango at parks throughout the city. Here is the SummerDance Chicago schedule.
- Go catch a baseball game. Jump on the ‘L’ and head North on the redline to see the Cubbies play at Wrigley Field (Addison stop) or head South to see the White Sox play at Comiskey Field (35th/Sox Park stop) or whatever they call it now.
- Enjoy one of our 24 beaches. Go to relax or rent a kayak. Adventurous? Try SUPing (stand-up paddleboard). It’s a blast & a great workout. There are a few rental companies to choose from. Here’s my pick.
- All this exploring making you hungry yet? Go get a Chicago-style hot dog, some pizza (thin or deep-dish) or a beef sandwich. Here’s some advice regarding the pizza. The deep-dish can be AMAZING but take it slow. Get a pizza to share and a nice big salad. Trust me on this. You don’t have time for a food coma to slow you down. My favorite deep dish (and I’m a thin crust kinda girl) is Pizzeria Uno/Due and Lou Malnati’s fresh out of the oven.
- If you would like someone to help guide & navigate you through the city you could always hire me for a tour. (www.ToursByLocals.com – search for Mimi in Chicago)
So much to see, so little time left. My Summer in Chicago must go/see/do list should help you narrow things down. Have fun!