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    CHICAGO SUMMER ESSENTIALS

    Immerse yourself in Chicago's summer splendor with these parks, beaches, events, tours and rooftops.

Spring and summer in Chicago is a time to get outside and immerse yourself in the city's splendor. Your warm-weather bucket list awaits, with fountains for splashing, frozen treats for refreshment, festivals galore and so much more.

 

BEELINE IT TO A PARK

Tower Bridge at Maggie Daley Park Chicago

The Chicago Park District oversees 580 parks, with something for everyone. Let the kids climb like monkeys at the sprawling Maggie Daley Park (pictured above), work up a sweat with a bike ride or jog along The 606 or take in lakefront views and visit the moonscape-like 31st Street Beach Playground. Grab a picnic blanket and find a spot near Dorothy in Oz Park or find skyline magnificence along the new Chicago Riverwalk.

 

JAM OUT

Windy City Smokeout

Chicago overflows with outdoor music options — many of them free — this time of year. Find a welcoming patch of grass and enjoy the free concert season at Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. Or slather on the sunscreen and take part in one of the city's biggest music events such as the mega summer all-star Lollapalooza; carefully-curated neighborhood fests Riot Fest and Pitchfork; family-friendly folk concerts at Square Roots Festival; annual multi-day freebie Chicago Blues Festival; and the rollicking country jam Windy City Smokeout (pictured above).

 

GET YOUR FEST ON

Pride Parade 2013-2

Summer weekends in Chicago are stocked with street fairs and festivals. Just about every neighborhood hosts one, and you'll be guaranteed to find stand-out food and drink. Some highlights: Ribfest in North Center, where you can sample dozens of different barbecued ribs; Taste of Chicago, which spotlights the city's world-class restaurant scene; the Renegade Craft Fair, which takes over Division Street with wares from hundreds of artisans; and Pride Fest, celebrating Chicago's vibrant LGBTQ culture.

 

BEACH-Y KEEN

north avenue beach

Chicago is blessed with miles and miles of lakefront beaches. Build a sandcastle empire at Foster Beach, cool off with an horchata paleta (a rice milk-popsicle) at North Avenue Beach (pictured above) or simply enjoy the view (and catch a beach volleyball game) at Oak Street Beach while having lunch and a cocktail at the cafe. Thrill-seeker? Rent a jet ski, kayak, paddleboard or fly board at Chicago Water Sport Rentals at 31st Street Harbor.

 

KEEP YOUR COOL

Kids playing in Crown Fountain in Millennium Park, Chicago

Cool down in the spraying water of Crown Fountain in Millennium Park (pictured above), an interactive video sculpture that attracts splashers of all ages. Or take the family on a water-skimming Seadog Speedboat Sightseeing tour. See the sights along Navy Pier, where you can duck inside the Chicago Children's MuseumChicago Shakespeare Theater, or numerous air-conditioned bars and restaurants. 

 

GET INTO THE ROOFTOP SCENE

Oracle cocktail at Apogee

Chicago's skyline boasts several new rooftop patios, perfect for sipping away a sunny afternoon with creative concoctions such as the above "Oracle" from Apogee at dana hotel & spa. LondonHouse Chicago wows with the city's first tri-level rooftop lounge overlooking the Chicago River. Set in a 1920s-era Art Deco skyscraper, Aire at the Hyatt Centric The Loop Chicago mixes urban rooftop lounging with handcrafted cocktails and open-air panoramic views, while the Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel's Raised Bar offers fire pits, seating for 160 and 14 taps with local beers.

 

TOUR-TASTIC

Segway Tour Buckingham Fountain

Hop aboard a Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise to soak up the sun while learning about the city's historic buildings — just one of many tour boat options. Immerse yourself in neighborhood culinary treasures by taking a walking Tastebud Food Tour of Old Town. Or see the city on two wheels via a bike or Segway tour with Bike and Roll Chicago or Bobby's Bike Hike.

 

 

Photos courtesy Choose Chicago, Adam Alexander, Clayton Hauck, Ranvestel Photographic

 

Related Listings

Navy Pier
600 E. Grand Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 595-5300

Chicago Children's Museum
700 E. Grand Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 527-1000

Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel
One W. Wacker Dr.
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 372-7200

Chicago Water Sport Rentals at 31st Street Harbor
3155 S. Lake Shore Dr.
Chicago, IL 60653
(312) 924-7994

Hyatt Centric The Loop Chicago
100 W. Monroe St.
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 236-1234

Maggie Daley Park
337 E. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 742-3918

LondonHouse Chicago, Curio Collection by Hilton
85 E. Wacker Dr.
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 357-1200

Millennium Park
201 E. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 744-6050

Seadog Cruises
Navy Pier
Chicago, IL 60611
(888) 345-3880

Chicago Architecture Foundation
224 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 922-3432

Chicago Shakespeare Theater
800 E. Grand Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 595-5600

Bike and Roll Chicago
239 E. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 729-1000

Chicago Riverwalk
376 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60601

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