Well Chicago, it may only be February, but we’re already starting to see sunny skies with temperatures reaching as high as 70 degrees. With weather this beautiful, we’re all thinking the same thing: Spring is just around the corner. Overwhelmed by all the possibilities? Fear not! We’ve got the top 10 things to do in Chicago that are guaranteed to make your Spring one to remember.
#1 Spend a Day at the Beach
Chicago might not have access to the ocean, but we’ve got the next best thing, Lake Michigan. There’s no better way to spend a sunny day than relaxing in the sand. Kick back on a blanket at Oak Street Beach or head down to North Ave. Beach for some beverages at the boathouse and a round of volleyball. If you’re brave enough, you might even take a dip in the lake.
#2 Bike on the 606 Trail
The 606 trail is a gorgeous park with tons of architectural and landscaping features, so it’s hard to believe that it was once an old suburban rail road. Take advantage of this cool piece of nature in the middle of the city by biking, walking, or enjoying its event spaces. Best of all, the trail passes through Logan Square, Humboldt park, Bucktown, and Wicker Park, so it’s a great way to explore new Neighborhoods in Chicago.
#3 Kayak the Chicago river
If you don’t own a yacht, or don’t know anyone that owns a yacht, kayaking is a great alternative to getting out on the water. Best of all, rental kayaks are pretty cheap (rates are about $20 an hour). If you’re really looking to save your money, consider volunteering for kayak river clean ups. It’s free and a great way to give back to the community.
#4 Stroll through Chicago’s scenic gardens
Warmer weather calls for a relaxing walk through the flowers. Lucky for you, Chicago is home to dozens of gardens and parks. For a “zen” afternoon, check out the Japanese gardens in Jackson Park. The Lincoln Park Conservatory and the Lurie Garden also feature a variety of flowers from all over the world.
#5 See a Concert
Whether you’re looking to rock out at a music festival or just chill in a smaller venue, Chicago has the concert for you. Artists like Ariana Grande, The Weeknd, Bon Jovi, Bastille, John Mayer, Lady Gaga, and more are all taking the stage in Chicago this Spring. Soldier Field also hosts “Spring Awakening”, a giant electronic music festival, so it EDM is your scene, you won’t want to miss this.
#6 Celebrate St. Paddy’s Day
No one does the St. Patrick’s day quite like Chicago. From the green dyed river to the citywide parade, there’s so much to see. Most people start the festivities early, so head down to the parade before noon. If you’re feeling extra Irish, grab a bite to eat at some of Chicago’s best Irish Pubs: Chief O’Neill’s Pub, Cork & Kerry, and The Irish Oak to name a few.
Unless you live under a rock, you’re probably aware that the Chicago Cubs just won the World Series breaking their 108 year losing streak. We’re guessing Cubs tickets won’t be too cheap this season, but there are plenty of cost effective alternatives. Consider checking out a Sox game or view a Cubs game from the rooftop seats outside Wrigley Field. The Clark street bars are also an awesome way to watch a game without breaking the bank.
If you can’t wait till summer to get your foodie fix at Taste of Chicago, then check out these food festivals going on this Spring. From bacon-fest to donut-fest to pizza summit and beer-fest, you name it, Chicago has a festival for it. Some of these events are open to the public while others require tickets at a closed venue. Either way, you won’t want to miss these tasty events that feature food, drinks, live music, and more!
#9 Enjoy the arts
If you’re feeling extra “cultured”, be sure to check out Chicago’s art festivals this Spring. These events range from indoor pop up shops to rows of tents lined down the block. There’s plenty of opportunities to discover local artists and maybe even buy new artwork for your apartment. Some of our favorite art festivals include Handmade Chicago, Randolph street market fest, and the Chicago Art and design show which takes place at Navy Pier.
Chicago is known for its comedic talent, so why not celebrate the end of winter hibernation with a comedy show? Second City is an absolute must see for top-notch sketch comedy. If you’ve been there and done that, the Improv Olympics hosts shows that are 100% unscripted (so they’re all different) and only $5. For stand up comedy, be sure to check out nightly shows at the Laugh Factory or The Playground Theater in Lakeview. Finally, celebrate with comedy fans all over the city at Chicago’s Improv Festival that takes place in late March through early April.
Images Courtesy of Clean Pix, The 606, Meet up, Time out, Choose Chicago, Chicago Mag, Chicago Visitor, EDM Chicago, and Chicago Metromix