Are you planning a visit to Chicago in August? Get ready for a thrilling summer experience in the Windy City! As a resident, I'm excited to share the best things to do, places to visit, and events to attend during this vibrant month.
From outdoor activities to cultural festivals, Chicago has something for everyone. So, let's dive in and explore the wonders of Chicago in August.
Weather: Embrace the Summer Heat
The weather in Chicago during August is perfect for enjoying outdoor activities. You can expect warm temperatures with an average high of 81°F (27°C).
Mornings start pleasantly in the low 70s, and the temperature rises throughout the day, peaking in the early afternoon.
Evenings remain comfortable, with temperatures around the high 70s to low 80s. While the city experiences occasional rainfall, it typically doesn't dampen the spirit of summer.
What to Pack: Be Prepared for Anything
When packing for your trip to Chicago in August, it's important to be prepared for the unpredictable weather. Here are some essentials to include in your suitcase:
- Light and breathable clothing: Pack comfortable t-shirts, shorts, and skirts to beat the summer heat.
- A light waterproof jacket: Be prepared for occasional rain showers by carrying a waterproof jacket or umbrella.
- Comfortable walking shoes: Chicago is a walkable city, so bring comfortable shoes for exploring.
- Sunglasses and a hat: Protect yourself from the sun's rays and stay cool with stylish sunglasses and a hat.
- Sunscreen: Don't forget to apply sunscreen before heading out to protect your skin from the summer sun.
- Reusable water bottle: Stay hydrated during your adventures by carrying a reusable water bottle.
- Mosquito repellent: If you plan to spend time outdoors in the evening, protect yourself from pesky mosquitoes with repellent.
Remember, Chicago is a vibrant city with plenty of shops and stores, so if you forget anything, you can easily find what you need during your stay.
Top 10 Activities and Attractions in August
1. Explore the Magnificent Mile
Head to the Magnificent Mile, Chicago's premier shopping district, for a day of retail therapy. This upscale stretch of Michigan Avenue offers many shops, luxury boutiques, department stores, and flagship stores.
Don't miss the opportunity to visit the iconic Water Tower Place and the historic Chicago Water Tower.
2. Enjoy the Navy Pier
A visit to Chicago is incomplete without experiencing the Navy Pier. This iconic landmark offers a variety of attractions, including rides, restaurants, theaters, and breathtaking views of Lake Michigan.
Enjoy a ride on the Ferris wheel, catch a show at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, or take a stroll along the pier.
3. Discover Millennium Park
Millennium Park is a must-visit destination in Chicago, known for its stunning architecture and iconic sculptures.
Take a selfie with "The Bean" (Cloud Gate), a reflective sculpture symbolizing the city, or enjoy a free concert at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion.
Don't forget to explore the beautiful Lurie Garden and Crown Fountain while you're there.
4. Experience the Art Institute of Chicago
Art enthusiasts shouldn't miss the chance to visit the Art Institute of Chicago, one of the country's oldest and largest art museums.
Marvel at world-renowned masterpieces, including Grant Wood's "American Gothic" and Vincent van Gogh's "The Bedroom." The museum's collection spans thousands of years and offers something for every art lover.
5. Attend a Chicago Cubs Game
Immerse yourself in the electric atmosphere of Wrigley Field and cheer on the Chicago Cubs, one of the city's beloved baseball teams.
Grab a hot dog, sip on a cold beer, and join the cheering crowd as you watch America's favorite pastime. Whether you're a baseball fan or not, a Cubs game is an experience you won't forget.
6. Enjoy a Chicago River Architecture Cruise
Discover the stunning architecture of Chicago on a river cruise along the Chicago River. Learn about the city's iconic buildings, such as the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower), the Wrigley Building, and the Tribune Tower.
This guided tour offers a unique perspective of the city's skyline and is a must-do for architecture enthusiasts.
7. Explore the Museum Campus
Embark on a journey of discovery at the Museum Campus, a cultural hub in Chicago that houses three world-class museums.
Visit the Field Museum of Natural History to learn about dinosaurs and ancient civilizations, explore the Shedd Aquarium to marvel at marine life, and delve into the wonders of the universe at the Adler Planetarium. It's a day of educational fun for all ages.
8. Indulge in Deep Dish Pizza
No visit to Chicago is complete without trying the city's famous deep-dish pizza. Head to one of the many pizzerias in the city and savor a mouthwatering slice of cheesy, saucy goodness.
From Giordano's to Lou Malnati's, you'll find plenty of options to satisfy your pizza cravings.
9. Catch a Show at The Chicago Theatre
Immerse yourself in Chicago's vibrant performing arts scene by attending a show at The Chicago Theatre.
This iconic venue hosts a variety of performances, including Broadway shows, concerts, and comedy acts. Step inside and be captivated by this renowned theater's stunning architecture and history.
10. Wander through Lincoln Park Zoo
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and visit the Lincoln Park Zoo, one of the oldest zoos in the country.
Explore the beautifully landscaped grounds and encounter diverse animals, from lions and giraffes to penguins and reptiles.
Best of all, admission to the zoo is free, making it a budget-friendly activity for the whole family.
Free Things to Do in Chicago in August
In addition to the top attractions, Chicago offers a plethora of free activities and events in August. Here are some highlights:
- Chicago Air and Water Show: Marvel at breathtaking aerial performances by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the U.S. Army Parachute Team at this annual event along the lakefront. Date: August 19-20. Location: North Avenue Beach.
- Millennium Park Summer Music Series: Enjoy free concerts featuring a variety of musical genres at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. Date: Every Monday and Thursday throughout August. Location: 201 E Randolph St.
- Chicago Summer Dance: Wear your dancing shoes and join free dance lessons and live music events in Grant Park. Date: Every Friday-Sunday throughout August. Location: Spirit of Music Garden, Grant Park.
- Chicago Jazz Festival: Immerse yourself in the sounds of jazz at this free festival featuring renowned local and international artists. Date: August 31 - September 3. Location: Millennium Park.
- Chicago Summer Film Series: Bring a blanket and enjoy outdoor movie screenings at Millennium Park. Date: Every Tuesday throughout August. Location: Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park.
These are just a few examples of Chicago's many free events and activities during August. Watch for street festivals, art exhibitions, and neighborhood block parties that taste the city's vibrant culture.
Nighttime Activities in Chicago
As the sun sets, Chicago comes alive with a vibrant nightlife scene. Here are some nighttime activities to add to your itinerary:
- Chicago Architecture Night Cruise: Admire the city's stunning architecture illuminated against the night sky on a guided river cruise. Location: Chicago Riverwalk.
- Comedy Clubs: Laugh at one of Chicago's renowned comedy clubs, such as The Second City or Zanies Comedy Club. Location: Various.
- Rooftop Bars: Enjoy panoramic city views while sipping on cocktails at one of Chicago's many rooftop bars, such as Cindy's or The J. Parker. Location: Various.
- Live Music Venues: Immerse yourself in Chicago's live music scene by catching a concert at venues like the House of Blues or the Metro. Location: Various.
- Late-Night Eats: Indulge in delicious late-night eats at iconic Chicago spots like Portillo's or The Wiener's Circle. Location: Various.
Whether you're looking for a night of laughter, live music, or simply enjoying the city lights, Chicago offers a range of options to suit every taste.
Family-Friendly Activities in Chicago
Visiting Chicago with your family? Don't worry; there are plenty of family-friendly activities to keep everyone entertained. Here are some recommendations:
- Shedd Aquarium: Explore the wonders of the underwater world at the Shedd Aquarium, home to thousands of marine animals. Location: 1200 S Lake Shore Dr.
- Museum of Science and Industry: Ignite your curiosity at the Museum of Science and Industry, where interactive exhibits and hands-on activities await. Location: 5700 S Lake Shore Dr.
- Lincoln Park Conservatory: Stroll through the beautiful Lincoln Park Conservatory and admire the lush plant life. Location: 2391 N Stockton Dr.
- Maggie Daley Park: Let the kids run wild at Maggie Daley Park, featuring a playground, climbing wall, and skating ribbon. Location: 337 E Randolph St.
- Chicago Children's Museum: Spark your child's imagination at the Chicago Children's Museum, where they can engage in hands-on learning experiences. Location: Navy Pier, 700 E Grand Ave.
These family-friendly attractions offer a perfect blend of education and entertainment, ensuring a memorable experience for the whole family.
FAQs about Chicago in August
1. What is the average temperature in Chicago in August?
In August, the average high temperature in Chicago ranges from 79°F (26°C) to 85°F (29°C). Mornings and evenings are typically cooler, with low- to mid-70s temperatures.
2. Can you swim in Lake Michigan in August?
Yes, Lake Michigan is comfortably warm for swimming in August. The designated swimming areas at Chicago's beaches are open and staffed by lifeguards from 11 AM to 7 PM.
3. Are there any free events in Chicago in August?
Yes, Chicago offers a variety of free events in August, such as the Chicago Air and Water Show, Millennium Park Summer Music Series, and Chicago SummerDance.
4. Is it crowded in Chicago in August?
August is a popular time to visit Chicago, so you can expect crowds, particularly at major attractions and popular events. Arriving early and planning can help avoid long lines and crowded spaces.
5. What should I wear in Chicago in August?
It's best to dress in light and breathable clothing, such as t-shirts, shorts, and dresses in August. Don't forget to bring a light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings and a hat and sunscreen for sun protection.
Conclusion: Embrace the Summer Vibes of Chicago in August
Chicago in August offers an abundance of exciting activities, cultural events, and beautiful sights to explore. From strolling along the Magnificent Mile to indulging in deep-dish pizza, there's something for everyone in the Windy City.
Enjoy the warm weather, immerse yourself in the city's vibrant culture, and create unforgettable memories in Chicago this August.
So, pack your bags, embrace the summer vibes, and prepare for an incredible adventure in the heart of the Midwest.