You Still Have Time: Chicagoland Fun Before Fall Hits
The first day of autumn is September 22, which means that you still have time to squeeze in some adventures before the chillier weather hits in Chicago. Take advantage of the last few weeks of summer and explore the windy city with gusto.
Up, Up and Away
Take a day or night tour with Chicago Helicopter Experience and see the city in a completely newfangled way. Bring your significant other or your entire family, and fly along Chicago’s lakefront, past museum campus, and indulge in stunning views of the city’s most iconic buildings like the John Hancock Tower — the building that houses 360 CHICAGO observation deck and Chicago’s highest moving platform, TILT. Splurge for the champagne toast if you're on a date or flying with friends, and don't forget to sign the wall when you've finished your flight. Professional photos and merchandise are also available.
Sweat it Out
Few gym memberships or day visits are cooler or more motivating than Brooklyn Boulders in Chicago. Take an Intro to Climbing class if you’re a newbie or a Learn to Lead class if you’re an expert. Personal training, community events and even outdoor travel adventures (BKB Wild Expeditions) are available. Develop strength and a killer body, build friendships and learn a new skill all at the same time.
See a Show
Chicago always has excellent theater, no matter what time of year, but it's really fun to see a show in the summer months. “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” is playing through August 26 and “Little Shop of Horrors” is running through October 28 at Drury Lane Theatre Oakbrook Terrace. “Shrew’d” is available through August 19 at First Folio Theater in Oak Brook. “Murder for Two” is open through August 26, Pinkalicious is offered through August 19, and “Sweet Charity” will go through October 28 at Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire. Finally, check out The Chicago Theatre and Broadway in Chicago for a list of performances in music, art, comedy, and more.
Ride American Eagle, BATMAN the Ride, Demon, Goliath, Raging Bull, SUPERMAN Ultimate Flight, Viper, and X Flight at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee and scream yourself silly. New to the park is The Big Easy-inspired Mardi Gras Festival and Parade. Stay late and point your nose to the sky to see nightly fireworks, catch purple, green and gold beads during a parade with stilt walkers, jesters and the Gator King and nosh on New Orleans-themed food and drinks.
While in Gurnee, stay at the newly opened Great Wolf Lodge, jam packed with electrifying water park attractions, family-friendly activities, character appearances, a fitness center and dining options to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. Highlights include the family raft ride, Double Whirlwind; the tandem tube ride, Alberta Falls; and the Chinook Cove activiy pool.
See the Chicago Dogs — new members of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball — play a baseball game at Impact Field in Rosemont and avoid the crowds of a Cubs or Sox game. The inaugural season lasts through the beginning of September and includes a fun Fan Zone with games and mascot sightings. You’ll be able to see the game up close and, of course, eat all the hot dogs, peanuts and nachos you can stomach. An outing with The Chicago Dogs is perfect for families, large groups and suburbanites that are looking for an easy and fun time close to home.
If you feel like your Instagram could use a little more color, visit Chicago’s coolest pop up, Happy Place, a joyful collection of art installations, hands-on immersive rooms, and jubilant surprises that are sure to light up your experience. Pop over to 1004 N. Elston Ave. in Chicago before September 3 and see for yourself what everyone has been chatting and posting about and don’t miss the gift shop where you can purchase happy little things for your home or office.
A Quick Weekend Away
If you’re looking for more of a weekend experience, consider a visit to nearby Door County, Wisconsin where you’ll find a plethora of shopping, charming eateries, and waterfront happenings to keep you satiated. Highlights include cherry picking at Schartner’s Farm, boating in Sister Bay, lavender shopping and bistro dining at Fragrant Isle Lavender Farm and Shop, skipping rocks at School House Beach, hiking at Whitefish Dunes State Park, and biking in Peninsula State Park. Also, don’t miss eating at the famous Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant and Butik where you can see grazing goats on the roof (yes, you read that right). If you have a pup at home, bring her — Wisconsin is dog friendly.