SpotHero Summer Picks: Our Top 9 Things to do in Chicago This Summer

If there’s one thing Chicagoans are ready for, it’s beach days and rooftop patios! Here are 9 of SpotHero’s favorite things to do in Chicago this summer!

Spend a day at the beach

Dates: Beaches are open daily, lifeguards are on duty from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

Location: Chicago Lakefront

Price: Free!

Chicago has 26 miles of beautiful beachfront, so what are you waiting for? Spend a day enjoying sun and surf, or just taking in the scenery. There’s truly a beach for everyone, but if you’re not sure where to start, you can check out the links to learn more about a few of Chicago’s most popular beaches: Oak Street Beach, Ohio Street Beach, and North Avenue Beach. Check for swim conditions or any updates here.

C2E2: Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo

Dates: August 5-7

Location: McCormick Place

Price: In person tickets start at $40, digital packages are also available. Full details here.

Head over to McCormick Place for the C2E2, Chicago’s premiere event for cosplay, anime, and pop culture. Enjoy a variety of events, panels, and just general merriment and ful. For a full lineup and additional details, click here.

LH Rooftop Bar

Dates: Open daily 11 a.m. – midnight

Location:85 E Wacker Dr

Price: Food and drinks a la carte

This bustling outdoor bar is on the top of the historic LondonHouse hotel and can be quite a scene on a nice day. LH has an extensive menu of food and drinks, but the real draw is the spectacular view of downtown Chicago and the river that you can enjoy from this spot. Just be sure to wear sunscreen, it can get toasty on a sunny day! You can learn more here.

Taste of Chicago

Dates: June 11, June 18, June 25, July 8-10

Locations: Austin, Pullman, Little Village, and Grant Park 

Price: Free admission, restaurants are a la carte

“Taste” is back with a twist: this year Taste of Chicago is expanding to neighborhoods across the city, with weekend events in Austin, Pullman and Little Village for three weekends in June, before taking over Grant Park July 8-10. Indulge in old favorites or discover something new at Chicago’s largest outdoor food festival. You can learn more about The Taste of Chicago locations and vendors here.

Printers Row Lit Fest

Dates: September 10-11, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Location: South Dearborn Street, from Ida B. Wells to Polk Street 

Price: Free

The historic neighborhood of Printers Row lives up to its name during this festival, now in its 37th year. Browse for books from independent bookstores, enjoy Q&As with authors, and check out panels and activities. You can learn more here.

Windy City Smokeout

Dates: August 4-7

Location: 1901 W Madison St.

Price: Tickets start at $44.95. For price details click here.

Bands, barbecue, and beer meet in this outdoor festival that is a celebration of summer. Enjoy a day or even a weekend of fun and food at Chicago’s biggest country music festival.

Explore the Chicago Riverwalk

Hours: Open daily 6 a.m. – 11 p.m.


Price: Free

This scenic walk stretches 1.25 miles along the Downtown Chicago riverfront and is home to greenspace and public art. Plus, in summer the riverwalk plays host to several bars, grills, and cafes to really take advantage of the unique space. You can learn more about vendors here.

Take someone out to the ballgame

Dates: The last home game for the Cubs is October 2, the last home game for the White Sox is October 5. You can click here for the Cubs full schedule, and here for the White Sox.

Locations: Wrigley Field and Guaranteed Rate Field

Cost: Ticket price varies based on opponent

Nothing says summer quite like a day at the ballpark. Head to Guaranteed Rate Field or Wrigley Field to catch the White Sox or the Cubs in action! Check out below for parking near Wrigley Field.

Head out of town

Have your sights set on a destination outside Chicago? Don’t worry, we won’t hold it against you. If you’re flying out of town, just remember to reserve your airport parking spot in advance.



Happy Summer!