The Les Turner ALS Walk4Life is an annual charity event held in September on Chicago’s Lakefront, beginning at Soldier Field. Home to the Chicago Bears, Soldier Field is in the Loop neighborhood of Chicago with direct access to Lake ... moreSoldier Field
1410 Museum Campus Drive
Chicago, IL 60605
Party Earth Review Held the last weekend of the month from February to December, Randolph Street Market is a European-style bazaar with more than two hundred vendors – all hand-picked by festival organizers – hawking an array of antiques, handmade items, and vintage goods. Both an indoor and outdoor event, the market features ... more
1350 West Randolph Street
Chicago, IL 60607
On September 18-21, denizens in the Second City flock to Gallery Weekend Chicago 2014 to see some of the best art the city has to offer. The 2014 Gallery Weekend Chicago coincides with EXPO Chicago and invites a talented group of international ... moreThroughout the city
Party Earth Review Navigating a short stretch between Lincoln Park and Lakeview, the Chicago Beer Experience leads adventurous groups of friends and die-hard beer lovers along a half-mile hops-fueled adventure. Beginning in Lakeview at Vaughan's, a cozy Irish pub, the tour runs most Fridays through Sundays (regardless of the weather) and ... more
2917 North Sheffield Avenue
Chicago, IL 60657
The Chicago World Music Festival is the biggest and longest-running world music festival in the country. Since 1999, various venues in the city, including the Chicago Cultural Center, welcome musicians from all over the world to perform at ... moreThroughout the city
Party Earth Review Part upscale bar, part restaurant, part club, and part bountiful beer garden, Zella is either the greatest thing since sliced bread or is suffering from multiple-personality disorder – either way, patrons come in droves to drink, flirt, and drink some more. A deceivingly small entrance in the simple brick façade leads ... more
1983 North Clybourn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60614
Expo / Conference / Convention
Art lovers and collectors check out the latest gallery favorites at the annual Expo Chicago. Held on four days in September, the 2014 Expo Chicago takes place at Navy Pier in Chicago. The Expo Chicago is an international expo of contemporary ... moreNavy Pier
600 East Grand Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
Party Earth Review Spanning from the Chicago River at the south end to Oak Street at the north, the Magnificent Mile (“Mag Mile”) is a popular stretch of North Michigan Avenue constantly abuzz with fashionistas, foreigners, families, and finance types out shopping, strolling, or snapping photographs of some of the city’s most famous architecture ... more
400–1000 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago IL 60611
Every September in Park Forest, IL, hundreds of art and music lovers converge at the Park Forest Art Fair. The 2014 Park Forest Art Fair takes place over the span of a weekend and features the varying works from a talented group of juried ... moreMain Street Between Western Avenue & Orchard Drive (Park Forest, IL) Park Forest, IL 60466
Party Earth Review With lots of glowing flat-screens beckoning to Cubs fans, daily specials luring the budget-minded, and a big seasonal beer garden perfect for open air drinking, Vines on Clark fits right into the Wrigleyville bar scene without being (entirely) about baseball. A long wooden bar with a mirrored back lines the right side ... more
3554 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60657
Contemporary artist Bunky Echo-Hawk‘s live painting events, colorful skateboard decks, and his design partnership with Nike all debunk stereotypes about Native Americans today. And by merging Native American images with pop culture references ... moreThe Field Museum
1400 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605
Party Earth Review Unlike its often status-conscious namesake neighborhood, Lincoln Park itself is a serene escape from the bustling city, providing access to a host of sandy beaches, cultural events, outdoor theater, water activities, and wide open spaces. Spanning nearly six miles, the park runs through the neighborhoods of Lincoln Park ... more
2045 Lincoln Park West
(address of Lincoln Park Cultural Center)
Chicago, IL 60610
The Windy City is a metropolis that is deeply affected by the weather, but regardless of the season, there are plenty of things to do in Chicago year round.
The nightlife scene is mostly indoors in the winter and the city itself is also a subdued beast locked in a deep freeze during the day. This is not to imply that everyone goes into hibernation (certainly not the shirtless Bears fans at Soldier Field) but crowds at most outdoor locales are comparatively scant.
As soon as the April / May thaw arrives, however, residents shake off their cabin fever and make any excuse to soak up the sun. Runners, bikers, and all-around outdoor lovers blanket the city’s nineteen miles of uninterrupted lakefront paths, and popular Lake Michigan beaches like ritzy Oak Street and rowdy North Avenue become a sea of skimpy swimwear and volleyball tournaments.
The city’s network of more than 550 parks – including Grant / Millennium, Lincoln, and Northerly Island – swell with things to do like softball games, sunbathers, dog walkers, and barbecue gods on any warm day. The carnival rides, events, and major promenade at Navy Pier are an obvious choice for first-time visitors, though the area’s cornucopia of cafés and theaters appeals to long-time residents as well.
Even before the thermometer inches past fifty, people head out in the morning to popular brunch spots and fantastic shopping districts to snatch up everything from haute couture along the landmark Magnificent Mile to quirky and trendy wares in Wicker Park.
And even though there are no traditional happy hours in Chicago, no summer would be complete without a day at one of its ballparks, whether in Bridgeport’s Sox country or sitting in the sun behind the ivy walls at historic Wrigley.
Amazing drink deals? Unpretentious crowds? Karaoke with friends? Dancing all night? Then check out these suggestions from Emma: