Summertime around the world means a full roster of concerts, music festivals, and other live music performances. In Chicago, there’s no better summer-long, family-friendly music celebration than the Ravinia Festival. Ravinia Festival ... moreMartin Theatre (Highland Park)
201 Saint Johns Avenue
Highland Park, IL 60035
Party Earth Review Founded in 1968 as one of Chicago’s first blues clubs, Kingston Mines has stood witness to more than a few big players in the industry wailing about how their woman left them. Playbills from past performances, old photos of legendary singers, and vintage murals of African American history dot the room, while mismatched ... more
2548 North Halsted
Chicago, IL 60614
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
Movies / Outdoor Event
Zoovies at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago is a free outdoor movie series that takes place on select Tuesdays throughout the summer months. The family-friendly screenings are held on the zoo’s South Lawn. Although admission to Zoovies ... moreLincoln Park Zoo
2001 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60614
Party Earth Review Set between the swanky shops of Rush Street and the wild bar scene of Division Street, The Cedar Hotel – a crime-riddled boarding house in the 1920s – now provides a bit of both worlds with its unique combination of historical architecture and energetic sports vibe. Popular with a party crowd of post-grads and sports fans ... more
1112 North State Street
Chicago, IL 60610
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 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
When Alexander the Great seized Egypt on his mission to conquer the Persian Empire in 332 B.C., he was one in a long line of Greeks who were dazzled by Egypt and its ancient culture. The legendary Greek historian Herodotus had remarked in the ... moreThe Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60603
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
The annual Chicago SummerDance takes place from June to September at Grant Park, which is transformed into an urban dance space. Throughout the summer series, more than 40 live bands will play as people of all ages swing and sway outdoors ... moreGrant Park / Millennium Park
Between South Michigan Avenue to Lake Michigan and East Roosevelt Road to East Randolph Street.
Party Earth Review Opened in 1988 as a small upstart, Goose Island has grown into the quintessential Chicago brewery, producing dozens of award-winning beers recognized by almost every Chicagoan and hops-loving tourist alike. Set inside a large warehouse, a full restaurant and bar gives patrons the chance to tank up on grub and suds before ... more
1800 North Clybourn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60614
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: