Summer Activities in Chicago

Looking for something to do this summer while you’re living in Chicago? Once summer finally hits the city, everyone is looking for fun ways to soak up the sun — because we all know it doesn’t last long. There are plenty of ways to make the most of the warm weather, and we’ve put together a great list you can use to guarantee you and your friends are never bored.

6 Great Things to Do in Chicago This Summer

Whether you’re trying to avoid the crowds this summer or you want to hit up some of the more popular activities, summer in Chicago has something for everyone.

1. Relax on a Rooftop

Rooftop bars are a staple of Chicago living, and once it’s warm, there’s nothing better than taking in the view of the Chicago skyline while soaking up the sunshine. Better yet, find a friend who has access to a rooftop pool — or find a bar with one. Where to go: Cindy’s, Cabana Club, Devereaux

2. Spend a Day at the Beach

You don’t have to head south to find a beach to enjoy. The coast of Lake Michigan offers several great spots to relax, watch the waves, and get a tan. The beaches are only open for about three months of the year, so you might as well take advantage of them while you can! Where to go: Oak Street Beach, Rainbow Beach and Park, North Avenue Beach

3. Set Shore on Lake Michigan

From party boats to boat parties, it’s easy to find your way out to a good time on the lake. If you have a boat in your friend circle, you’re already halfway there. And if you can’t, there are yachts and charter boats where you can buy tickets to join in the fun. You can head out for the afternoon, or join in the wild party aptly named “Playpen.” The Chicago Scene boat party lasts three days and includes hundreds of people anchoring their boats in a line in late July.

4. Check Out a Baseball Game

Baseball season officially starts in April, but you can hit up a game any time during the summer. Chicago has two MLB teams you can go and support, the Cubs to the north and the White Sox to the south. Check out a Sox game on Wednesdays for Dollar Dog night, or Fridays to watch a firework show after the game. Take a look through the promotional schedule for the Cubs to find what gear you can grab ahead of the first pitch. Not a fan of baseball? Head to one of the many bars in Wrigleyville during a Cubs game to find great nightlife without having to sit through all nine innings. Where to go: White Sox tickets, Cubs tickets, Murphy’s Bleachers, The Irish Oak

5. Jam Out at Chicago’s Music Festivals

Chicago might unofficially be the music festival capital of the world. Whether you like hip-hop, country, electronic, or specifically bands that you can say “I was listening to them years ago — there’s a festival for you. Lollapalooza is probably the most well known of the bunch and features more than 170 bands over four days. Not into crowds of 100,000 people? Check out the Logan Square Arts Festival for a more relaxes concert style as well as local Chicago artists and makers. Where to go: Lollapalooza, Pitchfork Music Festival, Country LakeShake, Logan Square Arts Festival, The Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash  

6. Take a Walk Through the Park

Even though you’re in the third largest city in the country, that doesn’t mean that everything is taken over by concrete. Within the Chicago city limits, there are over 570 parks to explore. If you’re looking for something relaxing to do for an afternoon, hit up your local park and take a walk or find a shady spot to read a book. Where to go: Grant Park, The 606, Lincoln Park, Garfield Park, Jackson Park

Kim Hill