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Chicago is a well known winter destination; known for it’s snowy sparkle and cozy activities, as well as the Chicago Bulls, the professional basketball team always top of the NBA expert picks once season starts come October.

But while Chicago is actively defined by its winter, what is there to do if you’re visiting during summer?

The good news is that there’s plenty!

Seven Things to Do in Chicago in the Summer

Bleachers at Wrigley Field

Chicago RF

Summer in Chicago is all about baseball, and there are few venues in the world that are as special as Wrigley Field.

The Chicago Cubs are one of the most popular teams in the league, and taking a trip to Wrigley Field is a must if you are in the city during the summer months.

There have been plenty of historic moments here, and ball has been played since the first major league game took place in 1914. 

The Bleachers are one of the most iconic tickets in all of sports. Located behind the ivy-covered outfield wall, bleacher seats offer the best chance at catching a home run ball. They were constructed in 1937 and the original scoreboard still remains.

Visit the Beach

Chicago beach RF

You probably don’t think of the beach when you think of Chicago, but heading out to the shore of Lake Michigan is a great way to spend the summer. 

If you travel up and down Lakeshore Drive in Chicago, then you will find plenty of places to pull off and visit the beach

North Avenue Beach is one of the most popular, in Lincoln Park, and you’ll find many locals wakeboarding, paddleboarding, or riding their bikes along the sand.

There’s also Leone Beach Park, which has great panoramic views and is Chicago’s largest beach. Foster Beach has the Chicago Full Moon Jam which is a cool event with live music and flame throwers. Or Belmont Harbor Dog Beach is walking distance from Wrigley.

Shop the Magnificent Mile

Michigan Avenue is a major street in the city of Chicago and within that street sits the “Magnificent Mile.” It can be a challenge to enjoy the Magnificent Mile during the wintertime, but it’s perfect in the summertime. 

Take a stroll up and down the Magnificent Mile, and you will find plenty of shopping and dining opportunities. This is one of the most famous shopping areas in the world, and is a great chance to hit popular stores, restaurants, attractions, and architecture all on one iconic street.

Water Tower Place is a great spot to stop if you’re looking for Chicago only stores all in one place.

Trip to Navy Pier

Chicago Navy Pier RF

Navy Pier sits right on Lake Michigan, and there is so much to see and do at this location. There is a massive Ferris wheel that operates in summer, and it’s a perfect way to spend an evening. 

You can also go inside of Navy Pier for some shopping or eating options, and it’s usually hosting at least one major event each weekend. 

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium in Chicago is world famous, and it’s a perfect spot to visit in the summer. There are parts of this aquarium that are outdoors, and it’s simply too hard to enjoy it all when it’s cold outside. 

Shedd is unique in that they believe in bringing people closer to animals and their ecosystems. They aim to connect you to your inner marine biologist, and are committed to conservation and protecting wild species and wild spaces.

Plenty of Parks to Explore

Chicago Bean RF

Chicago is full of skyscrapers and huge office buildings, but you can also find some terrific parks within the city. Every park tends to offer something different, but there are some historical landmarks that you can find as well. 

The “Bean” is one of the most visited places in the city every year, and you can find this at Millenium Park. Grant Park is another popular attraction, or you could spend time at the zoo at Lincoln Park. 

Don’t Forget to Eat

You have to eat when you are traveling, and Chicago offers some of the best restaurants in the entire world. Chicago is known for deep-dish pizza, but you are going to find plenty of other types of food to enjoy as well. 

Different parts of Chicago specialize in different types of food, and everything will be at your disposal. Make some reservations to your favorite spot and enjoy a night out with delicious food. 

The great thing about summer is that you can grab some pizza, head to one of the above mentioned parks or beaches, and enjoy a picnic for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


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