Things to Do this Summer in Chicago

Things to Do this Summer in Chicago

If you’re spending time in Chicago this summer, you’re in for a real treat. Not only does the whole city light up with energy, but the weather is incredible—consider it the perfect balance of heat, sun, and breeze. (It is the “Windy City” after all!)

And since it’s such a beautiful and lively city in the summertime, you’ll want to spend time outdoors as much as possible. Not sure where to start? Don’t worry—here is a cheat sheet to Chicago’s top spots in the summer so you can come prepared with a lengthy bucket list of things to do. And if you can’t get to all of them, it just means you’ll need to come back again soon!

Go to Navy Pier

Navy Pier is super fun in the summer, as there are so many outdoor attractions to choose from for people of all ages. You can ride the iconic Ferris wheel, hop into a restaurant or beer garden, or even see public installations of artwork to get in touch with Chicago’s rich cultural side.

For instance, Loop is open to the public until May 12, in Polk Bros Park, where you can hop inside a cylinder that’s two meters in diameter for an illuminated, retro-futuristic exhibition. You’ll see fairytales come to life in song and visual expression as you “loop” around. It’s a great way to get in touch with your inner child or share in memories with your kids.

And since this exhibition is closing prior to summer, you can still mark Iván Navarro: This Land is Your Land on your calendars for July. Composed of three water towers with neon-lit interiors, it’s a beautiful display that uses mirrors, the power of words, and other images to grasp viewers’ attention and imagination.

Spend Time on the Riverwalk

The Riverwalk is a great destination for runs, bike rides, leisurely walks, casual and fine dining (RPM, a multilevel steak and seafood restaurant, is arriving this summer!), and more. Right outside in the fresh air and along the water, it offers fantastic views of the city and is a lively spot that people flock to. You can even take an architectural boat cruise along the Riverwalk to snap photos of your favorite buildings and sights.

Take a Walking Tour

We get it—it can be hard to take a walking tour when it’s below zero degrees! The good news is the weather is gorgeous in the summertime, and it’s the perfect season to buy tickets to your favorite walking tours. You can take architecture walking tours or food tours, where you can enjoy deep-dish pizza, a Chicago hot dog, and noteworthy foods and desserts from hidden gems in various neighborhoods.

Have Fun in Millennium Park

Millennium Park is fantastic year-round, but in the summer, there are opportunities for dance, live music, picnics, art exhibits and festivals, and more. Check the calendar for the happenings going on all summer long. Between orchestral symphonies, movies in the park, dance performances, and more, Millennium Park offers culture, artistic expression, and fun for those of all ages.

Need a place to stay when visiting Chicago? Book your reservation now.