We can all feel it in the air — it’s summer in Chicago again, and this one is made even more special by our city’s steady reopening after a largely dormant past year. Now’s the time to take to the outdoors again and experience all the action the city has to offer. Aside from our show-stopping music festivals and bustling street fairs, there’s plenty of more lowkey opportunities to soak up the summer sun and enjoy the lovely weather. Here are five outdoor summer activities that’ll light up your Chicago summer.
Cruise on the Chicago River
Summer calls for pontoon cruising on the Chicago River. Luckily, companies like Chicago Boat Rentals offer easy-to-drive pontoons that seat up to 6 or 10 people for two-hour rides on the river. With bluetooth on board for music and a welcome BYOB and BYO-snack policy, summer parties on the water are easier than ever.
Catch the Millennium Park Summer Film Series
Kick back at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion on Tuesday nights as both older classics and newer blockbusters are screened on a state-of-the-art, 40-foot LED screen. Bring a picnic blanket and some snacks, and enjoy unforgettable nights under the stars with cinematic favorites.
Sip cocktails at a Rooftop Bar
Embrace the summer weather with a drink in hand at one of Chicago’s premier rooftop bars. Choose one of our town’s iconic sky-high restaurants like Rooftop at Nobu or Cindy’s Rooftop for prime skyline views, delectable cocktails and lively atmospheres. And lucky for those at One Two Pru, we have a tenant-only rooftop bar of our very own — perfect for happy hour siestas on the eleventh floor.
View a captivating Blue Angels Air Show
This summer, Chicago has new and reimagined air show events in August in place of this year’s Chicago Air and Water Show. The U.S. Navy Blue Angels will perform a special solo demonstration along the lakefront on August 21 & 22 from 12–1pm, with practice runs on August 20 from 10am–2pm. Prime viewing locations will be along the lakefront between Oak Street and Fullerton Avenue.
Enjoy a bit of outdoor theatre
Lucky for drama-lovers, Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks is celebrating its 10th Anniversary with a return to outdoor, in-person performances via a summer parks tour! Local artists and performers will be taking the stage in “DREAM,” a new take on Shakespeare’s iconic “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” These shows are free, all-ages events that begin in August — check out dates and locations here.