Things to Do this Summer in the Loop

Now that Memorial Day has passed it’s officially summer in Chicago. The beaches are open, the farmers markets are in full swing, and the weekend street festivals have begun.

This is the best time to be in the Windy City and we’ve got some of the hottest things to do this summer right downtown. Check out our favorite events and start planning your summer bucket list.

The Loop’s alleys turn into party central during the summer with Activate, an event series from the Chicago Loop Alliance. Once a month they turn an alley a playground, complete with entertainment, fun and games like ping pong and skateboarding, and food and drink. The events are free and the lineup is different each month. You can check their website for complete details.

Taste of Chicago is the granddaddy of Chicago’s street festivals, and it takes place in Grant Park, Chicago’s front yard. This five day fest is an outdoor celebration of the city’s thriving culinary scene, with tent after tent of local restaurants offering their favorites. It’s also an epic music fest, and this year’s headliners include Passion Pit and The O’Jays. The festival is free with varying prices for the individual food items. The concerts are free as well, but if you want closer seats you can buy tickets.

There’s something going on every day in Millennium Park in the summer. They’ve got early morning workouts, free tours of Lurie Gardens, and live concerts almost every day. The Chicago Gospel Music Festival, The Chicago Blues Festival, and the Chicago Jazz Festival all take place here. The Grant Park Music Festival is a series of classical music concerts. If you can’t make the evening concert, they have public rehearsals at lunchtime.

Now that the Chicago Riverwalk is nearly complete you’ll definitely want to add that to your itinerary. It’s lined with restaurants, from Lillie’s Park Grill and Cafe, where you can pick up an iconic Chicago dog, to City Winery, featuring their own wines served in Riedel glassware. You definitely won’t want to miss the party at Island Party Hut, known for their tiki cocktails and steel drum jams.

There are so many things to do this summer in Chicago and we’ve barely scratched the surface. Don’t miss out on any of the fun – make sure you’re following us on Twitter and Facebook.

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