Have you been looking for an excuse to visit Chicago, but just can’t seem to justify the trip? Among the several amazing features the city possesses from the food, sightseeing and arts perspective, here are a few more for your list to give you that excuse you’ve been waiting for. Make 2015 the year you visit Chicago!
Maggie Daley Park
407-461 S. Columbus Drive
Chicago, IL 60603
Date: Spring of 2015
A new park in Chicago? Well, in a way. Maggie Daley Park is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2015 and will contain what is now known as Daley Bicentennial Plaza, Cancer Survivors Garden and Peanut Park. One of the goals of the current builders of the park is to make a landscape that is attractive during all of Chicago’s extreme seasons. The park is supposed to become as much a destination as Millenium Park for tourists as well as provide an atmosphere that the area residents can use. Come see what you think in the spring!
ITU World Triathalon Grand Final and World Championships
Date: Sept. 15-20, 2015
What better reason to plan a visit to Chicago than to experience the Olympics of Triathalons? The 2015 World Championships will be held in Chicago during September 15-20 and will feature the top elite racers from around the world as well as around 8,000 amateur athletes competing for their own titles at the same venue. Even if you’re not a racer yourself, it’s impossible to attend such an event without being inspired and getting caught up cheering on the athletes. Admission is free to the public. Check out the website for more information and inspiration to plan your trip.
Lakeview Polar Bear Club Polar Plunge
Oak Street Beach
Chicago, IL 60611
Date: Jan. 24, 2015
You may have heard about the group of crazy Chicagoans who jump into Lake Michigan every year, but have you ever seen the Lakeview Polar Bear Club in action? Make this your year to join the likes of Jimmy Fallon and Chicago’s own Mayor Emanuel. On January 24, 2015 at precisely noon (they ask that you arrive by 11 a.m.), the 14th annual Polar Plunge will take place. One thing you may not have known is that all proceeds from the donations raised by the Plunge are donated to a family in need. The Lakeview Polar Bear Club chooses a different family each year who is dealing with a personal crisis.
Grant Park Classical Music Festival
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
201 E. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60601
Date: June 1 – Aug. 27, 2015
Every summer for 10 weeks, free classical concerts are given to those who want to listen in Chicago’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion. The outdoor festival is free and open to all from June 1, 2015 to August 27, 2015. Food and drink (including alcohol) are welcome in the Pavilion during the concerts. You can create your own picnic or purchase from concessions that are made available to you. There’s even an annual picnic contest! Concerts will be held rain or shine. Feel free to bring an umbrella if you think you may get misted on.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Balbo and Columbus (Parade Start)
Date: March 14, 2015
You may have heard about the crazy south side Chicagoans and how they dye their river green for St. Patrick’s Day. Make Saturday, March 14, 2015 your year to witness the event. The parade starts at noon, but getting to your place along the route early (and by public transportation) is definitely recommended. You can even view the actual dying of the river at 10 a.m. before the parade is underway. There is no drinking allowed during the parade, so check out the route and determine where you might want to go before or after for revelry.
Meredith Lyons is an actor, competitive fighter and fitness instructor in Chicago who also owns an amazing cat named Jake. Meredith has been writing on Examiner as the Chicago Martial Arts Examiner since 2008. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.