From the top things families can do around town to some of the best places to explore beyond downtown, Chicago Itineraries has you covered with over 100 concierge picks and expert tips for making your visit great.
Enjoy the sun and expand your art knowledge at Millennium Park with the Millennium Art Festival and the Lurie Gardens.
For three days Michigan Avenue and Lake Street are filled with art lovers, 130 acclaimed artists along with music and food. This is the sixth year of the festival, which is known as one of the “Top 50 Art and Design Shows” by Sunshine Artist magazine. Visitors can see everything from photography to woodwork and even fashion and accessories that can help you find the best summer outfits. Millennium Art Festival will be held May 29 – 31. For more information visit amdurproductions.com/millennium-art-festival.
While you’re in the area just stroll down to the Lurie Garden for a tour of the city’s five-acre garden, which in itself is a work of art. The garden is a representation of Carl Sandburg’s “Chicago” poem that mentions the city on big shoulders and the garden features a 15-foot high shoulder hedge that protects the delicate and beautiful flowers in the garden. Tours are held Thursdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. and Sundays 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. The tours last 20 minutes and start every 15 – 20 minutes. For more information visit luriegarden.org.
Some consider wine to be the nectar of the gods, or a great compliment to certain dishes, or something to drink when you’ve gained a bit too much weight from drinking beer. Either way it’s delicious, and this weekend you have two opportunities to enjoy.
Downtown Oak Park will be celebrating local vineyards at the Uncork Illinois Wine Festival. Guests will have the chance to try 150 wines from 15 local vineyards including Alto Vineyards from Alto Pass, Sleepy Creek Vineyards from Fairmount, Wild Blossom Meadery from Chicago, and Wyldewood Cellars Winery from St. Josephs. While tasting guest will also enjoy live jazz from WDCB.
Uncork Illinois Wine Festival
Marion St. and Lake St., Oak Park, IL
May 30, 1 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Admission is free and tasting access is $20, which includes souvenir glass and 7 tasting tickets with the ability to purchase more.
For a more international selection don’t miss the Lincoln Park Wine Festival. This inaugural festival will have over 80 varietals like malbec from Argentina’s Nieto Senetiner, brunello from Italy’s Castello Banfi, and shiraz from Australia’s Yangarra Estate Vineyard. The festival will also feature live music and food.
Lincoln Park Wine Festival
Jonquil Playlot Park, 1001 W. Wrightwood Ave.
May 30 – 31, 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.
General admission is $60 which includes 12 standard tastings and a commemorative wine glass.
Every Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. and Saturday at 10:15 p.m. through Labor Day, head to Navy Pier for the spectacular Aon Summer Fireworks. Perfectly synchronized to music on Lake Michigan, this is one of the ultimate Chicago summer experiences.
Whether viewing from the dock or on board an evening cruise, fireworks is the perfect way to end a day spent at the pier.
*Schedule subject to change or cancellation
Do you feel that? It’s street festival season, so don’t miss out on one of the bests with Do-Division Street Fest and Sidewalk Sale.
Do-Division Street Fest and Sidewalk Sale is the perfect event to dip your toe in the Wicker Park/Bucktown and West Town neighborhoods if you’ve never been before. The heart of the festival lies in the two stages hosting 30 bands over the three-day festival. One band you’re not going to want to miss is Black Mountain on Friday on the East Stage at 8:30 p.m. with their ’70s rock sound. THe stages are programmed by rock venue icons Empty Bottle and Subterranean.
Along with the music check out the local businesses selling their goods during the sidewalk sale. Everything from eateries to boutiques will be selling items and many will have great deals.
Families with knee-high tykes can spend Saturday and Sunday in the festival inside the main festival known as the Family Fun Fest. The children can enjoy pony rides, inflatable obstacle courses, face painting, and more. It will surely make those without children wish they had a pair of their own.
Do-Division Street Fest and Sidewalk Sale will take place Friday, May 29 from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. and Saturday, May 30 through Sunday, May 31 from 12 p.m.– 10 p.m. on Division Street from Ashland Avenue to Leavitt Street. For more information visit do-divisionstreetfest.com.
Tags: Do-Division Fest
A true Chicago summer tradition, Navy Pier’s fireworks show is back and better than ever as Aon Summer Fireworks. With the new name comes a surprise show happening today with its first-ever preseason spectacle.
The fireworks are truly spectacular and light up the night sky high above Navy Pier all summer long. The show is accompanied by music and there are numerous vantage points along the pier to take in the experience.
Aon launches a partnership with Navy Pier that includes a five-year sponsorship of the show and a 20-year commitment of support of the Grand Ballroom.
Be sure to share the news with friends and family on social media about tonight’s show with the hashtag #SummerStartsNow. Whether viewing from the dock or on-board an evening cruise, fireworks are the perfect way to end your day at Navy Pier.
The Aon Summer Fireworks preseason show kicks off tonight, May 20, at 9:30 p.m. at Navy Pier, located at 600 E. Grand Ave. After tonight the show will continue on Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 10:15 p.m. from Memorial Day to Labor Day. For more information visit navypier.com.
The LandShark Beer Garden, located at the east end of Navy Pier, is a great place for to relax, unwind and enjoy Chicago’s lakefront. The outdoor seating is perfect for soaking up some summer rays or watching the sun set behind the city skyscrapers.
For those over 21, the LandShark Beer Garden is the place to be. The beverage menu features imports, microbrews, and domestic beers in addition to its signature drink: LandShark Lager.
Despite its designation as a beer garden, this Navy Pier locale is definitely family friendly, with various menu items ideal for youngsters and plenty of beverages of the non-alcoholic variety. With the hottest live music and the opportunity for dancing, guests of all ages can enjoy the LandShark Beer Garden. This weekend’s lineup includes: Mike Flood & Co., Back Country Roads, Bassel & The Supernaturals, The Congreagation, Mike & Joel, Safe Haven, Nicholas Barron, Samadhi Vibe, Omar Coleman, and Train Company.
So grab your friends and savor the refreshing warmth of summer and an unbeatable view of the city. And if you happen to prefer your summer fun on Wednesdays or Saturdays, you’re in luck. The LandShark Beer Garden is located right at the edge of the waterfront and is a prime front row seat to Navy Pier’s biweekly fireworks show.
Live music at the LandShark Beer Garden kicks off Friday, May 22 and runs to Monday, May 25. After that it will run every Wednesday through Sunday. The LandShark Beer Garden is located at Navy Pier at 600 E. Grand Ave. For a full schedule of live music and more information visit chicagosbestbeergarden.com.
The weather can’t seem to make up its mind, but we might have a warm weekend ahead and the best way to get it started is outdoors with fresh food.
Yes, visiting farmer’s markets helps the struggling farmer but once you try a crepe, smoothie, fresh blueberries, and pasta at Green City Market you’ll realize the farmers are helping your struggling palate. The food sold here is so good that many of Chicago’s greatest chefs and restaurants get ingredients from the market. You can even catch some of these chefs giving cooking demonstrations at the market like Sean Sanders from Browntrout.
Along with the demonstrations you can catch some live music, and, in true Chicago fashion, probably some of the best meat available in a farmers market in the entire country. Green City Market also offers programs like the Edible Gardens, a 5,000 square-foot public garden; Club Sprouts, where kids get a chance to try different sustainably grown foods; and Savor the Seasons, where market-goers can try different varieties of seasonal fruits and vegetables.
The next outdoor Green City Market is Saturday, May 23 at the south end of Lincoln Park at 1790 N. Clark. For more information visit greencitymarket.org.
Tags: Green City Market
The upcoming three-day weekend is filled with activities, but it’s important to remember the reason for the long weekend is to remember the men and women who gave everything in defending this country.
Chicago does a great job of honoring our fallen troops with one of the largest Memorial Day parades in the country. The day begins at the eternal flame at Daley plaza with a wreath laying ceremony and then continues with the parade.
During the wreath laying ceremony those with Gold Star pins and Next of Kin pins will be recognized. The pins are not awards but given to those who lost loved ones who were in the military while on active duty or combat operations.
The Chicago Memorial Day Parade starts Saturday, May 23 at 11 a.m. with the wreath laying ceremony at Daley Plaza located on Dearborn St. and Washington St. The parade will kick off at 12:00 p.m. at State St. and Lake St. For more information visit cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/memorial_day_parade.
Tags: Memorial Day Parade
With temperatures rising a little bit—yes, I know you’re probably wearing a sweater today—it’s time to get some spice in your life, and there’s no better place than a crawfish boil.
McGee’s Tavern is hosting the 26th Annual Headsucker’s Ball. Once every year over 2,500 pounds of crawfish are flown in from Louisiana for this massive, delicious crawfish boil. Along with crawfish McGee’s will be serving jambalaya, red beans and rice, and spicy gumbo. You can wash all that down with authentic Pat O’Brien’s Hurricanes.
To get some of that real Cajun feeling you can also enjoy the sounds from Hurricane Gumbo, who will be playing zydeco tunes.
If you’ve never had crawfish before it is a succulent delight. It’s easy enough to eat. All you have to do is straighten the tail of crawfish, push it in, pull it out, and take a bite of the meat. Of course, don’t forget to suck the juices out of the head.
The 26th Annual Headsucker’s Ball takes place Saturday, May 16 from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at McGee’s Tavern located at 950 W. Webster Ave. For tickets and more information visit eventbrite.com/e/headsuckers-ball-26th-annual-crawfish-boil-tickets-16485846611.
Tags: Headsucke's Ball