Our Favorite Ways to Spend the Holiday Season Around Chicago, IL

Chicago. This vibrant and bustling Midwestern Metropolis is the scene for the arts among literature, film, theatre, comedy, gastronomy, music- all between its renowned skyline and storied neighborhoods. Today, Chicago continues to draw millions of tourists from over the world, and with so much occurring at every part of the year, it’s easy to understand why. Whether a visitor drafting travel plans, returning home to visit friends and family, or a local looking for something to do near home, Chicago has something for everyone. Read on for some of our favorite holiday season festivals and events here around the Windy City.

Christkindlmarket

The Christkindlmarket is a festive and beautiful attraction of Chicago’s holiday season, an outdoor market and fair celebrating the Holidays and the Chicago area’s strong German-American heritage. At Christkindlmarket, visitors can experience Christmas and the holiday season in a way that reflects Central European tradition, including Christmas trees, live choirs, dance groups, live music, Santa encounters, as well as a wide range of crafts and delicious food such as wines, beers, cookies, kolachkes, strudels, sausages, toys, and handmade souvenirs. The Christkindlmarket is a great opportunity to take photos and enjoy Chicago’s holiday spirit for parties of all sizes and ages.

Ice Skating at Millennium Park

Ice Skating is a timeless wintertime tradition, and Chicago is no exception to this- also subject to frosty temperatures here on the Great Lakes so lace up your skates and enjoy ice skating with the whole party just next to the iconic Cloud Gate at Millennium Park!

Every day from mid-November through late February, travelers can reserve a free spot for ice skating on one of the city’s many free skating rinks. This is a great way to enjoy this holiday season tradition while in some of Chicago’s most memorable locations, on the ice with friends, family, and neighbors alike. Bring everyone to the ice at Millennium Park, and enjoy skating a little while.

Navy Pier’s Light up the Lake

To add to the fun and action at Chicago’s bustling Navy Pier, every holiday season, the pier dives deep into the holiday spirit with the ‘Light up the Lake’ series! From late November to January, lights adorn the pier, interior, and exterior, light sculptures are brought to tower over visitors, an ice rink is installed, a holiday beer garden joins the fun and Santa comes with his own gift marketplace. This is a great option for groups of varying interests and ages, with the sheer variety of activities to explore! In addition to all of these great holiday events, there is also the Ferris wheel that operates year-round providing pleasant views over the Chicago waterfront, other thrilling rides, a kiddie train, and a number of delicious eateries! (We recommend the giant, soft pretzels!) Bring the whole group to Navy Pier and enjoy one of Chicago’s favorite spots during the holiday season.

https://navypier.org/light-up-the-lake/

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Our Favorite Festivals Around Chicago, IL

Chicago. This vibrant and bustling Midwestern Metropolis is the scene for the arts among literature, film, theatre, comedy, gastronomy, music- all between its renowned skyline and storied neighborhoods. Today, Chicago continues to draw millions of tourists from over the world, and with so much occurring at every part of the year, it’s easy to understand why. Whether a visitor drafting travel plans, returning home to visit friends and family, or a local looking for something to do near home, Chicago has something for everyone. Read on for some of our favorite autumn festivals and events here around the Windy City.

Riot Fest

Riot Fest is one of Chicago’s more exciting attractions, drawing massive crowds to Douglass Park since 2005. On this September weekend, Chicagoans gather outdoors and enjoy music across multiple genres, from rock, punk, hip hop, indie, and with bigger and bigger names each year. Some of these famous faces that have performed at Riot Fest include Run the Jewels, Machine Gun Kelly, Dropkick Murphys, Blink-182, Wu-Tang Clan, Paramore, Queens of the Stone Age, and Tenacious D. Reunions and return performances are also common here, so major fans of particular bands and artists can watch the lineup announcements throughout the year with high hopes. For an electric experience in Chicago’s outdoors, come to Riot Fest. 

https://riotfest.org

Christkindlmarket

The Christkindlmarket is a festive and beautiful attraction of Chicago’s autumntime, an outdoor market and fair celebrating the holidays, and the Chicago area’s strong German-American heritage. At Christkindlmarket, visitors can experience Christmas and the holiday season in a way that reflects Central European tradition, including Christmas trees, live choirs, dance groups, live music, Santa encounters, as well as a wide range of crafts and delicious food such as wines, beers, cookies, kolachkes, strudels, sausages, toys, and handmade souvenirs. The Christkindlmarket is a great opportunity to take photos and enjoy Chicago’s holiday spirit for parties of all sizes and ages.

Arts In The Dark

The Arts In The Dark is a dazzling nighttime display of the city’s arts, including dance teams, costume parades, floats, puppets, live music, and truly unique and innovative displays every year. The Arts in the Dark Parade draws Chicagoans, friends, family, and neighbors alike all along State Street to enjoy this Chicago evening celebrating expression in every form. Ballet teams with a unique routine that accommodates the march’s path, Folclorico dance teams covered in lights and creative two-hand puppets are just some of the fun appearances at the Arts In The Dark festival. For a pleasant experience enjoying the arts and Chicago’s sense of community, come to the Arts In The Dark.

Lincoln Square Ravenswood Apple Fest

Lincoln Square Apple Fest is a family-friendly, (and delicious!) way to appreciate the autumn harvest and get to see a different side of Chicago, where this bustling city unwinds for a weekend to enjoy live music, literature, games, crafts, and the literal fruits of the season. Among apple pies, apple fritters, myriad ciders, and apple dishes of every form come to Lincoln Square Apple Fest, for a slower-paced and wholesome weekend. 

http://www.lincolnsquare.org/apple-fest

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5 Fun Things to Do with Kids in Chicago

If you’re looking for your next great family adventure, or someplace different to take the kids, we have you covered. Spending a day out with the kids is a great way to recapture your own childlike curiosity and love of play, so we’ve included plenty of options that will make the adults as happy as the kids. Below are some of the best, most unique, and most beloved things to do with your kids in Chicago.

The Forge: Lemont Quarries

A relatively new amusement park in the suburbs of Chicago. The Forge is great for summer. There are ropes courses that tower high into the sky, ziplines, and rock walls. And all of these activities overlook the beautiful quarry. There are several levels available depending on the age of those in your group and your ability, but there is definitely something for everyone. The Forge will offer you and your kids a wonderful afternoon of thrills and adventures.

Maggie Daley Park

A public park near the Lake Michigan shoreline, Maggie Daley Park is a beloved spot for the family to stop and play. You and the kids can rent micro scooters or rollerblades to tour the beautiful park or stop in for a round of mini golf. There is also a fantastic playground with large slides and plenty of equipment to climb on. This is a park to visit even in the winter when they open an outdoor ice skating rink.

Shedd Aquarium

Thousands of marine animals call Shedd Aquarium home. This large, beautiful aquarium will bring the magical, underwater world right to you and your kids. Beyond the traditional exhibits (which are anything but ordinary), you can also take part in feeding stingrays, meet penguins during the “Penguin Encounters”, or head to Shedd’s 4-D Experience to feel as though you’ve become a part of the sea itself as you look through 3-D glasses and your chair vibrates with the waves, and you feel the air move around you.

Lincoln Park Zoo

A trip to the zoo is always a family favorite. Kids will love watching experts train the seals, taking a ride on the Lionel Adventure Train, or joining zoo volunteers and staff at the Edible Gardens. You can choose to wander the zoo yourselves, marveling at all the animals, or take part in one of several daily activities offered by the zoo. Whatever adventure you choose, the kids are sure to have fun while learning about the world around them.

Chicago Children’s Museum

Located at Navy Pier, one of Chicago’s most famous and beloved landmarks, the Chicago Children’s Museum is a place that should definitely be added to the list of family outings. They offer interactive exhibits and special programs designed to help children grow and learn while having a wonderful time. The museum features an Art Studio, “Kids Town” (where the kids get to run the show or, rather, the town), a Tinkering Lab (where they can learn to create and build), a Dinosaur Expedition, and more.

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Aquariums around Chicago, IL

For those returning home, tourists and the adventurous locals alike, Chicago has a bounty of aquatic life experiences as it does in virtually every other field. Read on for some of our favourite aquariums around the Windy City.

Shedd Aquarium

Since 1930, the Shedd Aquarium has been a proud addition to Chicago’s community, inspiring generations with over 32,000 animals in over 1,500 species housed in more than 5 million US gallons. ‘Aquarium’ might be a bit too terse in describing the scope of attractions and activity at the Shedd Aquarium, with missions in responsible education at all speeds, conservation and interactive experiences in bountiful variety. For this reason, both visitors and locals might find themselves coming again and again, with good reason. 

First is the ‘Underwater Beauty’, an homage to the captivating range of colours and form among the residents of this exhibit. Here, ochre sea stars, mantis shrimp, flowerhat, and white-spotted jellies, and the unique weedy seadragon inhabit tanks small and big for a range of close encounters along this exhibit. 

Next is the Wild Reef exhibit, where visitors enter the world of the Philippine Coral Reef, complete with live coral and an eccentric cast. These include the sandbar shark, zebra shark, blacktip reef shark, green sawfish, humphead wrasse, spotted ray, crown-of-thorns sea star, spotted wobbegong, honeycomb moray, moon jelly, and porcupinefish. The Caribbean Reef is a tank housing exotic inclusions such as the cownose ray, green sea turtle, bonnethead shark, and the gorgeous parrotfish. Stop for a while with this group, or even participate in a diver’s Q&A session during a daily feeding. The ‘At Home on the Great Lakes’ is a throwback exhibit featuring local wildlife, while the river and ocean exhibits dedicate their space to the denizens of said habitats, including the piranha, lungfish, flashlight fish, and the giant Pacific octopus. 

In addition to this, there are also the slightly-above-water experiences of the ‘Amazon Rising’ and ‘Islands and Lakes’ exhibits, the interactive stingray touch pool, and the Polar Play Pool. Lovable mammals such as the beluga whale, Pacific white-sided dolphin, sea otter, and California sea lion also take the stage at the Abbott Oceanarium. Some more personal and interactive experiences for the more adventurous visitor include feeding a stingray, getting in the water with a beluga, and playing with penguins, all available by appointment.

https://www.sheddaquarium.org

Lincoln Park Zoo

Also resident to Chicago is the Lincoln Park Zoo’s own blossoming aquatic community, with a collection of reptiles, amphibians, and fish residing in their own unique habitats. Some of these rare sights hidden at the Lincoln Park Zoo include the Oriente knight anole, green tree frog, Jamaican iguana, white-blotched river stingray, spectacled caiman, Lake Malawi cichlid, and the famously cheerful axolotl. Indeed, the Lincoln Park Zoo also boasts its own variety of interactive opportunities, including a face-to-face meeting with African penguins, and lessons to the public about seal training and how the zoo cares and maintains the wildlife.  

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5 Quirky Date Night Destinations in Chicago

Date night doesn’t have to be the same each time. While we all love cuddling up at the movies or trying new restaurants or embracing a bit of high culture at museums, every once in a while, date night needs to be shaken up. Each city has a hidden world of strange, quirky, and delightful things to do. Try any one of these on your next date night and embrace the weird, whimsical part of life.

Woolly Mammoth Antiques & Oddities

A tour through Woolly Mammoth Antiques & Oddities is nothing like your typical trip to the Antique Shop or Flea Market. The shop is a wonderfully curated collection of whimsical, eclectic items. You can wander through the shop laughing at its oddities, including taxidermied squirrels, antique medical equipment, art of all styles and more. Stepping into the shop may feel like stepping into an entirely different world – a quirky one made for exploring. 

AIRE Ancient Baths

A hidden gem of Chicago that will remind you of the ancient baths found throughout Europe. But this bathhouse/spa was built from a restored factory that dates back to 1902. Among the industrial architecture of early 20th-century Chicago you’ll relax in the same way the Ancient Romans, Greeks, and Ottomans did. This is not your traditional spa experience and makes for a unique, restorative evening out. Try the Wine Bath Experience for Two. 

Great Train Story Diorama

Rediscover your childlike wonder and joy at the Museum of Science and Industry. You and your date can tour through 1,400 feet of model train railroad tracks, an entire world in miniature size. The entire diorama represents more than 2,000 miles of the United States from Chicago to Seattle. The details are remarkable and something which you and your date can marvel at for hours.

Turtle Racing at Big Joe’s

Fancy a little competition at a local watering-hole? Try the darts or play a round of pool at Big Joe’s – or cheer on a few adorable creatures during Table-top Turtle Derby. Big Joe’s offers a night out like any other, where you can cheer on a little turtle as it “runs” its heart out. It may be quirky and unusual but that’s why we love it.

Curling

It may be one of the strangest winter sports – played with large stones and brooms – but is also fabulously fun. Head to Kaiser Tiger, Whiskey Business, or Upstairs at the Gwen to try your hand at curling. Your date can slide the stone, while you frantically sweep in front of it to clear the ice and make it slide faster. The best part is when one of you, inevitably, slips and falls on the ice. Several places in Chicago offer adult leagues where you can curl, drink, and have an opportunity to perfect your skills while switching up the typical date night. 

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Our favourite ways to spend summer in Chicago, IL

A city that truly needs no introduction, if you’ve chosen Chicago as your destination for this summer, you’ve chosen well. Every year, over fifty million tourists come from far for the myriad of experiences offered among its skyscrapers. Foodies, theatre kids, musicians or sports fans ( or if you / your group are all of the above ), there’s so much to see for everyone in Chicago. Read on for some of our highlights of The Windy City.

Navy Pier

Located in the Streeterville neighbourhood on Lake Michigan, Navy Pier is one of Chicago’s leading attractions. Families and the young at heart can enjoy the chair swing, drop tower, Amazing Chicago exhibits, or the Chicago Children’s museum. Those looking for a photo-op or a moment away from the commotion can retreat to the Crystal Gardens, or go up to the Offshore Rooftop & Bar. Hop on the famous Centennial Wheel for a better view of Chicago, or take any of the numerous boat tours for those who want a sightseeing experience for the whole group. There are at least thirty different eateries for foodies- sit down in Giordanos for a hearty deep dish pizza, or lounge for a while with a Chicago Hot Dog in the Beer Garden with live music. If you come during a weekend, you can also catch one of the Summer Firework Shows, from Memorial Day to Labour Day.

Museum Campus 

South of Navy Pier on Lake Chicago is Museum Campus, a trio of the Field Museum of Natural History, Adler Planetarium and the Shedd Aquarium. All three sit quite close to each other and can be seen one after the other- the Shedd Aquarium is a five-minute walk from the Field Museum, while Adler Planetarium and Northerly Island is a ten-minute walk from Shedd Aquarium. At Shedd Aquarium you can meet a Beluga Whale, play with a Penguin, or if you prefer hands-off- watch Piranhas, Anacondas or the Giant Pacific Octopus from a distance. At the Field Museum of Natural History, walk-through exhibits about Evolution, Ancient Egypt, The Ancient Americas, and confront Sue, the largest T.Rex skeleton ever discovered. Finish your tour of the Museum Campus at Adler Planetarium, where you can take a tour through the stars with some of the most powerful telescopes available to the public. 

The Taste of Chicago 

This is quite literally the world’s largest food festival, so foodie or not- you cannot miss The Taste of Chicago. Every July, the diversity of Chicago’s gastronomy and contenders from far compete for the hearts ( and stomachs ) of over a million people. Options range from Local staples such as the Italian Beef or the Maxwell Street Polish to a diverse selection of Australian Meat Pies, Korean Tacos, Jerk Chicken and Chengdu Beef Noodles. 

Grant Park Music Festival

For fans of Classical Music, enjoy performances outdoors at famous Millennium Park all summer long, courtesy of the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra. Notable musicians who have participated in the Grant Park Music Festival include Richard Stoltzman, Dave Brubeck, Helen Morgan and Albert Spalding. 

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5 Great Places to Have a Picnic in Chicago, IL

When the weather cooperates, we all love to get outside and explore the world around us. There is nothing more refreshing and soothing to the soul than a picnic in the sun, surrounded by the beauty of nature. Every city in the United States has incredible locations for picnicking. Below are 5 Great Places to Picnic in Chicago.

Ping Tom Memorial Park

One of the more unique parks in the city of Chicago, Ping Tom Memorial is located on the Chicago River and across the street from the entrance to Chicago’s Chinatown. This is a gorgeous park for a picnic, especially if you’re picking up treats from Chinatown first. The park features Chinese-style landscaping, making it an exciting change of view for this Midwestern city.

Washington Park

A large park in South Chicago, with everything you’d want for an afternoon in the sun. Take a stroll along dozens of trails through the park, marvel at the foliage in the Arboretum (a living museum of different trees), and then take a break near the lake and enjoy the views. Washington Park is an oasis in a large city. A picnic in this park is like stepping out of the city without having to travel too far.

Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool in Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park is a famous Chicago site, and is quite large, with many areas to enjoy. However, it can be crowded in several areas of the park, because it is a tourist attraction, so I suggest stopping at Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool. Enjoy a relaxing meal next to the tranquility of the lily pool. Step into the shade of the nearby pavilion or spread a blanket on the large rocks overlooking the water. This is a perfect vista for family picnics or quiet, romantic afternoons.

Jackson Park

Jackson Park is located next to the Museum of Science and Industry in the heart of downtown Chicago. But, it is also a well-sized park, with plenty of space to roam and, more importantly, plenty of options for that perfect picnic spot. Try the Garden of the Phoenix (a Japanese Garden located on the small Wooded Island in the middle of Jackson Park). 57th Street Beach or 63rd Street Beach also make fantastic places to picnic if you’re looking for broad views of the lake, a chance to swim, and a sandy beach picnic.

Humboldt Park

Located just outside downtown Chicago, Humboldt is a picturesque suburban park with its own beach, large lagoons, and winding trails to explore. Grab a blanket and walk to the garden located on the small island of this park for a true, stunning escape from the city.

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Fun Summer Things To Do In Chicago, IL

Summer is finally here!  The kids are out of school, and backyard barbecues are taking place all over the nation.  After the year we had in 2020, and most people having chosen not to take a vacation, you can almost rest assured that families will be out in full force this year.

With this in mind, we thought we would offer a few great vacation ideas to help you plan, as well as some places that would be great for just a few days away.  We all need time to recharge and some well-deserved play in the sunshine.

Here are some of the best places to check out this summer!

Field Museum

1400 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605

The Field Museum of Natural History is a natural history museum and is one of the largest such museums in the world. The museum maintains its status as a premier natural history museum through the size and quality of its educational and scientific programs, as well as due to its extensive scientific specimen and artifact collections. The diverse, high-quality permanent exhibitions, which attract up to two million visitors annually, range from the earliest fossils to past and current cultures worldwide to interactive programming demonstrating today’s urgent conservation needs.

Navy Pier

600 East Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611

Navy Pier is a 3,300-foot-long pier on the shoreline of Lake Michigan, located in the Streeterville neighborhood of the Near North Side community area. Navy Pier encompasses over 50 acres of parks, gardens, shops, restaurants, family attractions, and exhibition facilities and is one of the top destinations in the Midwestern United States, drawing nearly two million visitors annually. It is one of the most visited attractions in the entire Midwest and is Chicago’s second most visited tourist attraction.

Millennium Park

121 N LaSalle Street, Chicago, IL 60602

The park was intended to celebrate the third millennium and is a prominent civic center near the city’s Lake Michigan shoreline that covers a 24.5-acre section of northwestern Grant Park. The area was previously occupied by parkland, Illinois Central’s rail yards, and parking lots. The park, which is bounded by Michigan Avenue, Randolph Street, Columbus Drive, and East Monroe Drive, features a variety of public art. As of 2009, Millennium Park trailed only Navy Pier as a Chicago tourist attraction, and by 2017 it had become the number one tourist attraction in the Midwestern United States.

Lincoln Park Zoo

2001 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60614

Lincoln Park Zoo is a 35-acre zoo located in Lincoln Park. The zoo was founded in 1868, making it among the oldest zoos in North America. It is also one of a few free admission zoos in the United States. The zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Lincoln Park Zoo is home to a wide variety of animals. The zoo’s exhibits include big cats, polar bears, penguins, gorillas, reptiles, monkeys, and other species totaling about 1,100 animals from some 200 species. Also located in Lincoln Park Zoo is a burr oak tree that dates to 1830, three years before the city was founded.

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Best Hikes Near #Chicago

Summer is nearly upon us, which means you’re probably starting to think about ways to enjoy The Great Outdoors! Hiking is one of the most rewarding summer activities – you explore new areas, get in touch with nature, and get great exercise. While the lack of mountains in Northern Illinois may not make it a famous hiking destination, we’ve got a list of awesome hikes you can do if you’re in the Greater Chicago area.

Chicago Lakefront Trail

This one is for beginner hikers or those who don’t have the time or means to travel outside the city. It’s a popular walking, jogging, and biking path along Lake Michigan. You’ll enjoy stunning views of the lake and skyline while passing through various parks and beaches along the way.

While the trail is flat and paved, you can make it as strenuous as you want – there are over 18 miles of trail! Other great trails within the city of Chicago include:

·   Lincoln Park Trail: This 5+ mile loop trail is more wooded and includes a section of the Chicago Lake Trail.

·   The 606: This nearly 3 miles path is on a reclaimed elevated rail line.

If you want to get out of the city for better scenery and more challenging hikes, read on!

Waterfall Glen

Located about an hour outside the city in Darien, Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve is a beautiful natural area that is home to over 700 native plant species in both prairie and woodland settings. There are 11 miles of trails here, which you can also cross-country ski on in the winter. And the slightly hilly terrain adds manageable challenge. In the spring and summer, the park is a perfect place to spot birds and wildflowers.

You can view the trail map to plan your route here. Make sure not to miss the cascading Rocky Glen Waterfall or the view from the Sawmill Creek bluff overlook.

Indiana Dunes State Park

For a different kind of scenery, drive across the state line to Indiana Dunes State Park (about one hour from Chicago). This wild and primitive landscape features rugged dunes towering 200 feet over Lake Michigan. Hiking trails wind through both the woods and the dune landscape, with overlooks towards the lake. And if you work up a sweat hiking, you can head down to the beach to cool off after!

Starved Rock State Park

You only need to drive an hour and a half outside of Chicago to feel like you’re a world away. Starved Rock State Park in LaSalle County is a stunning wilderness area on the Illinois River. It has many steep bluff and canyons, which have breathtaking waterfalls pouring over their sides in the Spring or after a heavy rain.

Hiking along the bottom of the canyons will get you up close the waterfalls. If you want a view from on high, take the trail to the Lover’s Leap Overlook. This truly is one of Illinois’s most beautiful parks, so if you’re looking to snap some beautiful photos on your hike, this is your spot.

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Things to Do for the Fourth of July in Chicago

Everyone’s favorite summer holiday is quickly approaching! Nothing says July 4th like BBQs, pool days, parades, and of course – fireworks! While last year most firework shows and celebrations had to be called off due to the pandemic, this year, some celebrations are able to return. Read on to see what’s happening around Chicago this Independence Day and gather up some ideas for your Fourth of July weekend.

Fireworks

Great news! The city of Chicago is bringing firework shows back this year to celebrate the holiday, which means you can spend your Independence Day night watching a stunning (free) firework display off of Navy Pier! You can even make a day of it and spend the whole day at Navy Pier, as most of its attractions have reopened. These include the country’s largest rooftop bar and lots of waterfront restaurants. There’s also a beer garden which will be hosting Live on the Lake!, a series of musical performances every Sunday. You can catch the bands performing from 2 to 8 pm before the fireworks go off.

Booze Cruise

Want to keep the party going until Monday? Hop on the Red, White, and Booze Cruise at 1 pm on July 5th. You’ll enjoy city views from a spacious 3-story yacht on the breezy outer decks or hit the air-conditioned dance floor indoors to groove to Top 40 hits spun by a DJ. Your ticket includes giveaways and a drink at the afterparty (there’s a full bar where you can get more drinks, too.)

African/Caribbean International Festival of Life

This 18th annual festival of Afro-Caribbean culture returns this year to Washington Park. The festival takes place from July 2nd through July 5th from noon to 10 pm daily. Enjoy international food, arts and crafts, and the event’s main attraction – two concert stages featuring lots of hip-hop, reggae, gospel, and soul performers. Four-day passes are just $30 and you can buy them and learn more here.

Enjoy the Water

Spending time along the water is always nice on a sweltering July day, and between Lake Michigan and the Chicago River, this city has plenty of it! Get on the river by renting a kayak, a cute little retro-style electric boat, or even chartering an Island Party Boat with booze and a captain. Or just wander along the river, enjoying all the shops and restaurants along Chicago’s Riverwalk. If you’d prefer expansive views of the lake, walk or bike the 20-mile stretch of trail along Chicago’s lakefront.

Take a Swim

Simply enjoying the view of the water not enough for you on a hot day? Then you’re going to want to hit one of Chicago’s downtown beaches and take a dip in Lake Michigan. A few great ones to visit on the 4th include:

·   Oak Street Beach – conveniently located near the Magnificent Mile, this beach is known for its volleyball courts.

·   North Avenue Beach – this popular peninsula of sand jutting out into the lake is right near the Lincoln Park Zoo, which would make a great combined day of fun with kids.

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