After the long and brutal winter of 2014, you’re probably ready to get outdoors and explore what Chicago has to offer this summer. From festivals like the Old Town Art Fair to exploring Chicago’s famed lakefront, the city is teeming with attractions this summer. Visitors and residents alike have the happy problem of deciding which event to see. The following five attractions are worth a look, and are only a fraction of what’s available in Chicago this summer.
Listen To Music At The Chicago Blues Festival In Grant Park
337 E. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60602
Dates: June 13-15, 2014
Get your summer in Chicago started with the Chicago Blues Festival in Grant Park and listen to music with 500,000 other blues fans. This year’s lineup includes Bettye Lavette, Aaron Neville, Nikki Hill and Dr. John. Dress in layers, pack the sunscreen and get ready to relax while you listen to live performances. Food vendors will also be on site, so you can have a great picnic while enjoying the festival. The 31st annual event runs June 13 through 15, 2014, and admission is free. While parking is available, you can also take public transportation to Grant Park.
Learn About The 1893 World’s Fair At The Field Museum
1400 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605
Date: Now through Sept. 7, 2014
After reading Erik Larson’s “Devil in the White City,” you might be eager to learn more about the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. If that’s the case, then make sure to check out “Opening the Vaults: Wonders of the 1893 World’s Fair” at the Field Museum through Sept. 7, 2014. Check out photos and memorabilia from the fair, and learn more about what it was like in the so-called “White City.” After exploring the exhibit, make some time to visit the Field Museum’s permanent exhibits, including Inside Ancient Egypt, the Lions of Tsavo and Plants of the World. If you are visiting with children, then include a visit to the museum’s Crown Family PlayLab.
Find New Artwork At The Old Town Art Fair
Lincoln Ave. and Wisconsin St.
Chicago, IL 60614
Date: June 14-15, 2014
Whether you’re looking for that perfect gift to get someone or just want a new photograph or painting in your home, consider heading to the Old Town Art Fair to find something unique. Held June 14 and 15, 2014, in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood, the juried fair features more than 250 different artists from around the country. Choose from paintings, photographs, mixed media, ceramics, jewelry and more. Food, beer and wine are also available for sale, and a $7 donation is requested.
Head To Lollapalooza 2014
337 E. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60602
Dates: Aug. 1-3, 2014
If you’re looking for a multi-day event later in the summer, consider heading to Lollapalooza at Grant Park for three days of fun and music. Kicking off August 1, 2014, the annual event features an extensive lineup of musical acts, with this year’s lineup including Eminem, Outkast, Nas, Kings of Leon and Lorde. It’s not all music at Lollapalooza, as the festival includes fare from local restaurants, a farmers market and Kidzapalooza, which features child-friendly activities. If you’re headed to Lollapalooza, you can leave your car at home and take public transportation or ride your bike. Don’t forget to pack for rain or shine when attending Lolla.
Walk Along The Lakefront Trail
Chicago Park District
Ardmore St. to 71st St.
When the weather cooperates, a summer day in Chicago along Lake Michigan is a sight to be seen, and the best way to take in the sights is by walking along the Lakefront Trail. Stretching approximately 19 miles, the trail joins the north and south sides of Chicago and gives walkers, runners and bicyclists a stunning view of both Chicago and the lake. Park just about anywhere along the way and walk for a few blocks; if you’re feeling ambitious, you can cover the entire trail. Many Chicago landmarks are along or near the trail, including the Museum of Science and Industry and Navy Pier, and there are plenty of spots to grab a bite to eat and people-watch.
What else is there to do in the Chicago area this summer? To get your summer started, make time for the Taste of Chicago, Grant Park Music Festival, Chicago Air and Water Show, the Gold Coast Art Fair at Grant Park, the numerous neighborhood festivals throughout the city and suburbs, Jimmy Buffett, Wendella boat tours and too many other events to even begin to mention. What’s your favorite must-see event in Chicago this summer?
Megan Horst-Hatch is a runner, reader, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in “-er.” She is also the president of Megan Writes, LLC. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.