Summer has arrived in Chicago, and it’s the best time of year to visit! Locals and visitors alike love taking full advantage of the warm weather, and there’s no shortage of fun events and activities to fill these balmy summer days and evenings.
This summer, Chicagoans are making up for lost time, seizing every opportunity to enjoy all the seasonal events we missed out on over the past two years. There are outdoor music festivals, art exhibitions, baseball games, and so many more amazing activities.
Here’s a guide for summer in Chicago 2022 with some of the most fun things to do, both indoors and out!
Chicago’s Top Summer Attractions
Navy Pier Fireworks
Every Saturday and Wednesday through September 3rd, 2022, marvel at the dazzling fireworks spectacle put on all summer long at Chicago’s famous Navy Pier. Take in the show from any of the beaches along the lake, from the pier itself, or book a romantic dinner cruise to see them from the water in style.
For the most stunning vantage point, head to the 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck to catch the fireworks from 94 floors up!
The boys of summer are in full swing as the Cubbies take to the diamond this summer in front of their loyal fans at Wrigley Field. Even if you’re not into baseball, Wrigley Field is designated as an historic landmark, and is one of the two oldest operating Major League parks in the country. Can you guess the other one?
Get your Cubs tickets now!
The 606 Trail
Situated in the lush Logan Square neighborhood, the 606 Trail is Chicago’s answer to the High Line. At almost three miles long, the beautiful elevated park used to be a railroad track for the city’s famous “L” Train. Walk, skate, or ride your bike, and discover art installations, murals, and other community engagement projects. The 606 is also a great place to bring a picnic!
Chicago River Architecture Cruise
The incredible story of Chicago might best be told through its captivating architecture. These guided cruises are the perfect way to relax, take in the sights, and learn some of the amazing history behind the city’s most iconic buildings.
Reserve your Architecture Cruise in advance, and skip the line.
The Forge: Lemont Quarries Adventure Park
If adventure is what you’re after, head just 22 miles outside of Chicago to The Forge: Lemont Quarries where you’ll find outdoor activities for the whole family. No matter your age or fitness level, there’s something for everyone at The Forge, including climbing, zip lining, competitive activities like laser tag, hiking, kayaking and so much more. There are even several amazing dining options to refuel during your adventure!
Check out all the fun you can have at The Forge, and book your adventure now!
The Forge also features a full summer schedule of concerts, live music, and events too.
360 CHICAGO Observation Deck
Take in breathtaking panoramic views of the whole city from 1,000 feet above the famed Magnificent Mile at the 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck at the top of the former John Hancock Center. If excitement is what you’re after, step into TILT, the world’s highest thrill ride.
Get your tickets now for 360 CHICAGO and skip the line!
Summer 2022 Events in Chicago
Immersive Art Experiences – Van Gogh and Frida Kahlo
Due to popular demand, these two massive indoor digital presentations of the most iconic paintings by Vincent Van Gogh and Frida Kahlo have been extended through July 24rd, 2022. Step into a world of entrancing animated brushstrokes of famous works like Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” and Frida Kahlo’s awe-inspiring self portraits, all presented at an astonishing scale and accompanied by a moving musical score.
Blast off for some family fun with your favorite Pixar characters in this interactive, 18-hole mini-golf experience popping up all summer long at the Navy Pier. Putt your way through the worlds of Toy Story, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, and the rest of the Pixar animated universe.
You can only get tickets online, so click to purchase your tickets here.
Prince: The Immersive Experience
Dearly beloved, you are invited to get lost in a multi-sensory celebration devoted to the work of the artist known as Prince. Voyage into a purple cosmos through ten immersive spaces, and explore the life, the music, and the genius of Prince.
Chicago Summer Concerts in 2022
Millennium Park Summer Music Series
Starting June 20th, 2022 at Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion, enjoy music from around the world and right here in Chitown, featuring artists both emerging and established. This summer’s series kicks off with a concert from none other than Femi Kuti, the world-renowned Afrobeat saxophone player from Nigeria. Other notable acts this summer include Abigail Washburn, Roy Kinsey, and Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy.
Free concerts happen every Monday and Thursday beginning at 6:30pm through August 18th, 2022. Check out the full summer concert line-up here.
Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago
Live Jazz at the Museum of Contemporary Art
Every Tuesday through August 31st, 2022, experience the MCA’s signature summer jazz program, Tuesdays on the Terrace, featuring free performances from some of Chicago’s internationally acclaimed jazz musicians. Enjoy two sets of live music at the Anne and John Kern Terrace Garden starting at 5:30pm every Tuesday this summer. See the full concert schedule here.
Grant Park Classical Music Festival
Who doesn't love a good festival in Chicago in the summer? Grant Park is home to the only free outdoor classical music festival in the country. Featuring the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, along with a bevy of guest musicians and conductors, performances take place every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday evenings.
There’s so much to do this summer in Chicago! We hope this Chicago Summer Guide 2022 is helpful as you and your loved ones get out into the warm weather and take in all the city has to offer. Why not start your summer fun with an unrivaled view from 1,000 feet over the city at the 360 Observation Deck?