This year, Chicago is enjoying a near perfect summer: Not too hot, not too humid, not much rain – mainly temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s and mostly sunny days! And now it’s August, the most summery time of the year. Chicago is the perfect place to be during summer. If you don’t live in Chicagoland, visit us soon!
Native Chicagoans know summer is a short season. So if you’re a resident, every weekend of your calendar, and even some week nights or days off for a staycation, could be jam-packed with activities to make the most of it!
Get out there and socialize and get your exercise walking around, bicycling, dancing. Now is that rare time of year Northerners can actually absorb enough Vitamin D from sunshine. All this while gleaning the most out of life. Nighttime in Chicago is just as alive as daytime. There’s nothing like a perfect summer night when you can comfortably wear your sleeveless shirts outdoors all night until dawn.
Here is a list of FREE events and activities, most involving live music, food and drink. This will keep you busy for the rest of summer:
Through mid-August – The Grant Park Music Festival (classical) takes place in Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavilion (through August 18) which also hosts the Millennium Park Summer Music Series (through August 21). This is like downtown Chicago’s answer to fancy Ravinia picnics for city folk; bring your food and drinks and relax on the lawn or grab the seats up front, while available.
Through September 4 – Navy Pier’s Miller Lite Beer Garden: Free live music with available food and drink (don’t bring your own alcoholic beverages; the police patrol Navy Pier heavily, and your drinks will be confiscated, along with your cooler). Fireworks happen every Wednesday and Saturday night. There are also free exercise classes, performances, special rotating exhibits, carnival rides and lots of beauty and good food to be enjoyed at the Pier. It’s Chicago’s #1 tourist destination. Join the crowd, at any time of year, to find out what the excitement is all about.
Through September 14, Wednesday through Sunday – If the idea of dancing under the stars to unique live music appeals to you, SummerDance is the place for you! It happens mainly at the Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park but also at other locations throughout the city. Music from all over the world is featured, including dance lessons. Food and beverages (including alcohol) are available as well as chairs (but come early for those). If you haven’t been to SummerDance yet, make this summer the one!
Through September 26, Tuesday evenings – The Museum of Contemporary Art features Tuesdays on the Terrace with free live jazz shows plus museum admittance. Food and drink are available, but I recommend you bring your own. The lines are long for drinks and snacks which are pricey. The MCA also has farmers markets during the summer and fascinating productions year-round.
Through October 26 – Don’t miss Movies in the Parks; there are many movies happening throughout the city all summer and into autumn. While you’re at it, check out the schedule for varied, fascinating events produced by the City of Chicago at Night out in the Parks which take place throughout the year.
There are also many smaller festivals sprinkled throughout Chicago neighborhoods, far too numerous to mention here, but here’s a link to find them all and be where the action is.
Check out the links I’ve included above, making it easy to plan your calendar; and come autumn, instead of regretting that you didn’t make the most of summertime, you can look back with wonderful memories at the summer of ‘17.