Summer is right around the corner and I couldn’t be more excited.
Growing up, summer was always my favorite season–and not because I didn’t have school, but because summer meant fun! And what better way to have some fun in the sun than spending some time in the ‘Windy City’. Now I know what you’re thinking, why would you want to waste summer in a windy city? But don’t worry– Chicago turns into the ‘Sunny-Blue-Sky City’ come summertime, a perfect contrast to visiting Chicago in winter.
So what’s so great about visiting Chicago in the summer you ask? I’ll tell you. Here are some of the best things to do downtown during the coming hot summer months.
1. Enjoy Free Festivals
Chicago becomes festival central come summertime. Almost every week there will be some sort of festival going on, with the most famous including Taste of Chicago, the Chicago Jazz Festival and the Chicago Blues Festival. The best part about it is, almost all the festivals are free! Although buying food and beer still costs money and that can add up quickly, spending time people watching and enjoying the music is always free.
2. Visit Navy Pier
Gimmicky and touristy, but all in good fun, Nay Pier is a must visit if you find yourself in Chicago during summer. From entertaining shows or riding the giant ferris wheel to taking a cruise on Lake Michigan, there’s always something to do at Chicago’s lakefront playground. It’s a great place for family fun during the day, and a fun place for adults at night with the seasonal Landshark Beer Garden.
3. Catch a Game
Beer, brats and baseball. Can you think of anything better than those three B’s in summer? (Okay maybe add beaches in there too.)
While you’re in town try catching a Cubs or White Sox game– or better yet, take part in some Crosstown rivalry fun by watching the two teams play each other. Of course everyone has their own idea as to who the real better team is, so choose carefully which side you’re on!
4. Stroll Through Parks
Even though we’re known for towering skyscrapers, Chicago has plenty of beautiful green parks. Famous for Buckingham Fountain, Grant Park provides a great place to relax along the lakefront. Lincoln Park is another choice for a fun day out at the zoo.
If fun architecture and free concerts are more your style, head over to Millennium Park–and don’t forget to snap a pic at Chicago’s iconic Bean! But don’t feel you have to limit your visit to these three parks, these just are a few of the more well-known parks downtown.
5. Take a Tour
One of the best ways to explore any city is by taking a tour, and Chicago has some great ones. There are plenty of city walking tours or Segway tours, but the best kind of tours are the ones that involve food. And if they don’t have food, they better be by boat. Lake Michigan cruises, Chicago River architecture tours, Shoreline Sightseeing, there are plenty of options.
Even if you don’t want to pay for a tour, you can always opt to take the Water Taxi and create your own. It’s an awesome way to see the city from the water for those on a budget!