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Why do we put up with Chicago winters? That's easy: Because the summers are the best. Sure they're fleeting, but it's not officially over until September 22. Here, all the things you must do to get the most out of summer ’16 in Chicago.  


1. Scope out some of Lake Michigan’s lesser known beaches

Did someone say road trip? These gorgeous beaches are just a few hours away from the city—perfect for a weekend getaway.


2. Hit up Millennium Park’s free concert series

Pack a picnic basket and groove out to the remaining concert series bands, including the alt-rock group Tortoise + Homme.

Cocoa + Co

3. Eat all the ice cream.

You can get through this list of Chicago’s Best Ice Cream dishes before the season’s over. We believe in you.

The Florentine

4. Ditto for the Rosé

Rosé just doesn’t taste the same during any other time of year. Get your fill with the “Rosé You Can See” cocktail at The Florentine.

Chicago Shakes

5. Get cultured at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Head to Navy Pier and make up for all those times you got through English class using Cliff Notes.

The 606

6. Spend a day on the 606 trail

Strap on your rollerblades and hit up that dive bar in Logan Square you’ve been meaning to try. Here, we even made you an itinerary.

Event Brite

7. Get your grub on at the Chicago Gourmet Festival

It’s going down September 23-25th at Millenium Park and includes all your favorite celebrity chefs. Yes, we’re talking Rick Bayless and Stephanie Izard.

RELATED: 6 Cookbooks for When You Can’t Get a Reservation in the City


8. Watch a movie under the stars

Parks all over the city host movie nights, playing both classics like Ju imanji and newbies like Inside Out. Find out what?s playing near you here.


9. Go out with your crew on a weeknight

It’s hard enough to go out on a Saturday night in the winter. Get some extra get-togethers in with a weeknight hang. Viagra Triangle, anyone?

RELATED: Things You Only Understand If You Live in Chicago


10. Try a new rooftop bar for some Sunday Funday

Take in the glory that is Lake Michigan at Cindy’s.


11. Take advantage of the (often free!) outdoor workouts

Rooftop yoga, Shred at the park, you’ve got options for getting your sweat on.

Chicago Park District

12. Take a dip in the pool

It’s Chicago Park District for the win (again) with actually-pretty-awesome public swimming pools. We love the one at Hamlin Park in Roscoe Village.

Bleacher Report

13. Go to a Cubs or White Sox game

Beer, brats and baseball on a Sunday afternoon. It’s tradition.

Oyster Fest Chicago

14. Indulge on aphrodisiacs at Oyster Fest

River North’s Oyster Fest is in its 28th year and it’s as delicious as ever. This year it’s going down the weekend of September 30th.

Kailey Lindman

15. Cool down with frozen cocktails

Want to feel accomplished? Consider this your bucket list.

Chicago Park District Parking

16. Explore a new park

We’ve said it twice now, the Chicago Park District has got it going on. Trust us, you’ll miss all that green space come February.

Chicago Renegade Craft Fair

17. Buy some original art at the Chicago Renegade Craft Fair

Local artists take over Wicker Park the weekend of September 10th, offering their one-of-a-kind wares for ultra-reasonable prices at the Chicago Renegade Craft Fair.

Gene’s Sausage Shop

18. Spend an afternoon at a new beer garden

We are a city that loves our beer. Soak in the last of the summer breeze while sipping on a locally brewed radler. Gene’s Sausage Shop in Andersonville has beer and brats. Win-win.

RELATED: The 7 Best Patios for Drinking Outside in Chicago

Riot Fest

19. Relive your youth at Riot Fest

Yes, music festivals are…a lot. But there’s nothing like singing along to a little Taking Back Sunday to bring you back to the (angsty) summers of years gone by.


20. Set out on a bike adventure (near or far)

Head down to Pilsen or make the trek to Three Floyds Brewery and really earn that first beer.


21. Laugh your face off at Chicago Fringe Fest

The Chicago Fringe Fest goes through mid-September and features a heavy-hitting roster of all-star comedians.


22. Explore a new neighborhood

The best thing about Chicago is you’ll never run out of new things to do, new places to see. Pull out your map of Chicago (Google Maps counts) and pick out a ‘hood you’ve yet to set foot in.


23. Play volleyball at North Avenue Beach

Get inspired by the 2016 U.S. Olympics Team (Kerri Walsh forever) and spike, set, bump that ball.


24. Revel in the glory of fresh produce at Chicago’s Farmers Markets

We don’t need to remind you that soon you’ll be Instacarting all your groceries directly to your door.

RELATED: 18 Pasta Dishes to Eat in Chicago Before You Die

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