On a day in April, hip-hop and R&B fans gear up for the annual Morning Riot Anniversary Party. The Morning Riot show on WGCI is Chicago’s home for hip-hop and R&B. To celebrate this hip-hop Chicago staple, fans come out for ... moreTransit Nightclub
1431 West Lake Street
Chicago, IL 60607
Party Earth Review A crossroads between sporty Wrigleyville and flamboyant Boystown to the north and preppie Lincoln Park to the south, the Clark and Belmont intersection was for years associated with counterculture, marked by sketchy businesses, dilapidated buildings, and the teenage runaways that loitered in front of them. Gentrification ... more
Intersection of Clark Street and Belmont Avenue
Chicago, IL 60657
Film Festival / Movies
Every year in April, Chicago Latin Americans and other Second City cinephiles head to the Chicago Latino Film Festival. The Chicago Latino Film Festival was founded in 1985 and is organized by the International Latino Cultural Center (ILCC ... moreThroughout the city
Party Earth Review Self-dubbed Chicago’s “lakefront playground,” Navy Pier is one of the city’s busiest tourist destinations, entertaining nearly nine million visitors a year with a plethora of amusement park rides, theaters, boat cruises, and beer gardens. Jutting out a half mile into Lake Michigan, the Pier is busiest during the summer ... more
600 East Grand 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 treats like bacon fat popcorn, cheddar ale soup, and a lengthy list of freshly brewed beers, Revolution Brewing does little to incite rebellion – and a whole lot to fill the belly. The warehouse-turned-brewpub is easy to spot, both due to its size and the Communist Russia-era logo of a raised fist clutching ... more
2323 North Milwaukee Avenue
Chicago, IL 60647
Zanies Comedy Club
1548 North Wells Street
Chicago, IL 60610
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
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 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 1960s were important years for artists and friends Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987) and Marisol (Marisol Escobar, American, b. France, 1930), and marked a formative period in the development of their individual careers. Warhol began using ... moreMuseum of Contemporary Art Chicago
220 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
Party Earth Review With a list of alums that includes everyone from Bill Murray and Jon Belushi to Steve Carell and Tina Fey, Second City is undeniably one of the most influential comedy theaters in the country. Founded in 1959 by a small group of University of Chicago students, the prolific club and its nightly menu of comics, laughs, and ... more
1616 North Wells Street
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: