Whether you’re a lifelong Chicagoan or are moving to Chicago in 2022, you’ll be hard pressed to find a city that celebrates summer life more than the Windy City. From outdoor festivals to world class museums, you can make every summer day and night in Chicago extraordinary.
1. Enjoy an outdoor festival
Sure, Chicago hosts big festivals like Lollapalooza and Riot Fest every summer. But did you know that just about every neighborhood and suburb hosts their own festivals throughout the summer? Each event is a celebration of the area’s unique culture, food, and music. From May through September, you can find an amazing street fest pretty much every weekend.
You can check out a local festival guide for a full list of happenings over the summer. But if you’d like to take our word for it, here are a few of Move-tastic!’s favorite outdoor summer events:
- Summer fireworks at Navy Pier
- Chicago Memorial Day Parade
- Chicago Pride Parade & Festival
- Blues Fest
- Taste of Randolph
- Millennium Park Summer Film Series
- Ribfest Chicago
And those are just a few handpicked favorites. Get out there and explore as many events as you can—and let us know which ones we should add to our next list!
2. Hit the beach
Chicago’s lakefront is—in our opinion—perfect. From the Illinois/Indiana border all the way up to the northern edge of Illinois, Chicago and its suburbs boast absolutely breathtaking beaches.
The best beaches are, of course, in the eye of the beachgoer. If you want an amazing view of the Chicago skyline, check out Oak Street Beach or Margaret T. Burroughs Beach. Volleyball players should flock to the lakefront at Montrose or North Avenue. And if you want to launch a non-motorized boat, scoot down to the South Side and hit the water at 12th Street Beach or 53rd Street Beach.
Chicago’s gorgeous public beaches are free to everyone and open for swimming Memorial Day through Labor Day each year. However, keep in mind that a few beaches here and there are private. Just be sure to read the signs around the beach before you set up your umbrella and wade into Lake Michigan to make sure it’s a public beach.
3. Take in the architecture
Chicago is home to some amazing architecture. From the beautiful Cultural Center to the Skydeck at the infamous Sears Tower (sorry—true Chicagoans will never call it the Willis Tower), each building in Chicago tells a story of the city’s history.
One of the best ways to see the jaw-dropping architecture is to simply walk around. Check out the marble wonders throughout downtown, or the cathedrals nestled within the city’s neighborhoods. If you want a more educational experience, hop on an architectural tour that takes you up and down the Chicago River. And if you want a bird’s eye view, grab lunch or dinner on a downtown rooftop and take in every carefully-placed brick and sculpted marble detail the city has to offer.
4. Let the public art inspire you
Not all world class cities proudly display public works from internationally renowned artists. But Chicago does! Here are a few that you can check out just by walking around:
- Untitled, Pablo Picasso, 1967. You can climb up and slide down parts of this 50-foot-tall marvel at the Richard J. Daley Civic Center Plaza at 50 W. Washington Street in Chicago.
- Flamingo, Alexander Calder, 1974. One of the most dramatic scenes in the city, this 53-foot-tall sculpture is placed right in front of the Federal Center Plaza at the corner of Dearborn and Adams in Chicago’s downtown. It’s even painted in the artist’s very own “Calder Red”.
- The Four Seasons, Marc Chagall, 1974.It’s rare in most places to see a 70-foot-long stone and glass mural just bopping through a city. But you can take in this stunning Chagall work at Chase Tower located at Dearborn and Monroe downtown.
- Miró’s Chicago, Joan Miró, 1981. Another artist who wanted to pay tribute to the City of Chicago, Miró crafted this 39-foot-tall wonder that you can check out at the Cook County Administration Building at 69 W. Washington in the Loop.
And those are just a few examples. Chicago and its suburbs are brimming with awe-inspiring sculptures and artwork at every turn. Be sure to take a good look around, or you might miss one!
5. Cool off inside the city’s museums
Need a break from the summer heat? Chicago’s museums would love to invite you in to cool off and take in some indoor sights. From natural history to exploring space and everything in between, the museums in Chicago are among the best in the world.
Chicago is extremely rich in history—and is residents are proud to be a part of it. In addition to the city’s large and famous museums, many neighborhoods have smaller museums that focus on their niche within the city. Check those out for more local culture!
Chicago’s favorite movers can help you get settled so you can enjoy the summer weather!
You want a smooth, efficient move so you can get back outside and enjoy everything Chicago has to offer. And Move-tastic! can help you get settled in quickly.