Things To Do In Chicago During Summer – May 4, 2023 • No Comments 30+ Best Things to Do in Chicago Summer 2023 (from a local)
Looking for things to do in Chicago this summer? Below are the best things to do in Chicago in the summer from a local.
Things To Do In Chicago During Summer
Summer is one of the best times of year to visit Chicago – and the most popular! Locals and visitors alike enjoy being outdoors and enjoying the weather. In addition to the top tourist attractions that you can see year-round, there are more fun events, activities, and things to do in Chicago during the summer.
Guide To Summer Fun In Chicago
I suggest you bookmark this blog post as I will be updating it regularly with new events and activities happening this summer.
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Chicago summers are usually warm, although you may need a light sweater on colder days or nights. Here are some things to pack when visiting Chicago for the first time in the summer:
• Comfortable walking shoes – Chicago is a very walkable city, so you will be walking a lot
Weekend Guide To Chicago In The Summer
• Reusable water bottle – It can get hot and humid, so it’s important to stay hydrated
Don’t worry if you forget to bring something important. There are many pharmacies near popular tourist attractions if you need to pick something up.
Chicago has great architecture and the best way to enjoy it is on an architecture river cruise.
If you enjoy being on the water, cruising the lake is one of the best summer activities in Chicago. While you won’t be able to see the buildings up close like you would on an architectural river cruise, you can still enjoy the view of the skyline. Summer is the best time for a sea trip as the cool breeze on the water is refreshing on a hot day. If you are short on time, you can take a combination river and lake cruise. Cruises depart from Navy Pier or the Michigan Avenue Bridge.
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The Chicago Riverwalk is one of Chicago’s best places for boats and people. Along the way there are also restaurants, bars, shops and places to sit and rest. You can also take a water taxi here.
Where: On the south bank of the Chicago River in downtown Chicago from Lake Michigan to west of Franklin Street. A map of points of interest on the Riverwalk can be found here.
Art on the MART is the world’s largest permanent digital art projection, featuring contemporary artwork on the 2.5-acre MART River.
Where: The Merchandise Mart, 222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago, IL 60654. Spectators can watch the show from the Jetty section of the Chicago Riverwalk on Walker Drive between Wells Street and Franklin Street.
Fun Things To Do In Chicago During The Summer
A kayaking tour is a great outdoor activity in Chicago for those looking for something a little more active.
Keep in mind that you can get a little wet on a kayaking trip, so bring a waterproof case for your phone and waterproof or quick-drying clothing.
Enjoy rooftop concerts with the Concerts Under the Stars series, celebrating famous artists. Upcoming concerts under the stars this summer include:
Buckingham Fountain, a well-known Chicago landmark in the center of Grant Park, is one of the largest fountains in the world.
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When the water is turned on, it creates a large water screen with a central jet that shoots water 50 feet into the air for 20 minutes every hour. From dusk, the main water show is accompanied by a spectacular light and music show.
If you’ve seen photos of Chicago on social media, chances are you’ve seen photos of Cloud Gate (aka The Bean), the famous mirror image in Millennium Park.
Although Bean is very touristy, you should not miss it. It’s a great photo spot and a must on any Chicago bucket list.
On hot summer days, kids (and some adults) love splashing in the waters of the Crown Fountain (also in Millennium Park).
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If you’re visiting Chicago with kids, head to Maggie Daley Park, a large public park connected to Millennium Park. The park has playgrounds for children of different ages, a climbing wall, tennis courts, pickleball courts and an 18-hole miniature golf course.
Navy Pier may be a tourist trap, but it’s a must-see if you’re visiting Chicago with kids or kids. Navy Pier has fun attractions, including a giant Ferris wheel (click here to buy a Fast Pass ticket and skip the long line), rides and games, restaurants, shops, and the Chicago Children’s Museum.
Navy Pier hosts a free fireworks display on Wednesday and Saturday nights from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.
Through September 10, 2023, Pixar Putt will be home to Pixar Putt, an 18-hole pop-up miniature golf course featuring characters from some of Pixar’s best-loved films, including Toy Story, The Incredibles, Monsters, Inc. and more. Finding Nemo, Coco, A Bug’s Life, Wall-E, Inside Out.
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As mentioned above, during the summer, Navy Pier hosts a free fireworks display every Wednesday night (9 p.m.) and Saturday night (10 p.m.). While you can watch the fireworks from Navy Pier, you can also watch them from several locations along the lake, as well as some restaurants and bars.
My favorite place to see fireworks is on a fireworks lake or river cruise that stops passengers on the water to enjoy the show.
Join visitors and locals shopping (or window-shopping) on the Magnificent Mile. The Magnificent Mile (or Mag Mile) is an elevated section of Michigan Avenue that runs from Oak Street to the Chicago River. While some Michigan Avenue shopping is expensive, window shopping is completely free. Landmarks along the Mag Mile include the 360 Observation Deck, the historic Chicago Water Tower, and the Tribune Tower.
Chicago’s Lakefront Trail is an 18-mile hiking trail along Lake Michigan. Locals and visitors walk, run and bike along the lake shore in the summer and especially on weekends. Walking or biking all or part of the trail is a great way to see the Chicago skyline, people watch, and exercise. Here is a map of the trail and access points.
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Most people don’t think of Chicago as a beach destination, but Chicago has many beaches on Lake Michigan. Oak Street Beach and Ohio Street Beach are close to major tourist attractions. Located near Lincoln Park, North Avenue Beach is a party beach with great views of the Chicago skyline.
If you’re thinking about entering the water to cool off, you can check out the swimming conditions here.
Chicago is full of street art and new murals are popping up all the time. 33 E. One of Chicago’s most famous murals is Jacob Watts’ “Moose Bubblegum Bubble” (pictured above), located on Congress. It is part of the Wabash Arts Corridor within walking distance of Millennium Park, the Art Institute of Chicago and other popular tourist attractions. More detailed mural walks on the loop can be found here.
Another famous mural is the Greetings from Chicago Mural at 2226 N Milwaukee Ave in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. You can see this mural and other street art in Logan Square and Wicker Park on this street art tour.
Things To See In Chicago This Summer
Chicago is known for its love of sports teams, so if you’re visiting in the summer, you might want to catch a baseball game. For those who don’t know, historic Wrigley Field is home to one of the city’s baseball teams, the Cubs. Whether you’re a fan of the Cubs, baseball in general, or just enjoy the fun atmosphere, a day at the 100-year-old ballpark is a must-see for locals and tourists alike. You don’t have to like baseball to enjoy a Cubs game – it’s fun to just enjoy the atmosphere. You can find their schedule here.
The Museum of Contemporary Art organizes popular Tuesdays on the terrace in the summer. Enjoy free music at MCA’s Ann and John Kern Terrace Garden, featuring performers from Chicago’s internationally renowned jazz community. For the first time, Tuesdays on the Terrace is moving beyond the jazz focus to encompass a wider range of styles and genres with Chicago roots. This year’s lineup spans hip-hop, house, blues, bomba and more, while retaining a host of jazz acts. Snacks and a full bar of soft drinks, wine and cocktails are available for purchase on the upper terrace.
In the summer, listen to live jazz music at the Shedd Aquarium. The popular midweek Jazzin’ in the Shed series combines jazz music, city skylines, fireworks and animals. Relax with a drink on the airy terrace, enjoy the unbeatable view of the city or take a stroll in the aquarium.
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