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TOP 26 THINGS TO DO IN CHICAGO IN AUGUST - BY A CHICAGOAN!

JUL 2022
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TOP 26 THINGS TO DO IN CHICAGO IN AUGUST - BY A CHICAGOAN!

Awesome attractions and experiences that will keep you riveted throughout the month!


Looking for awesome things to do in Chicago this August?

Whether you’re a Chicagoan planning a day out, or you’re a tourist looking to experience the best of our city, you’re in for a real treat!

Planning a day out in Chicago in August 2022

August is one of the best months to visit and/or enjoy a day out in Chicago. It’s the final full month of summer; the weather is warm and mostly sunny, and you can check out all kinds of activities both indoors and outdoors.

From family-friendly activities to attractions for adults, from stuff you can do by yourself to group activities…

Here are all the amazing things that you can do in Chicago in August 2022.

Relax and unwind at our beaches

Escape the heat at Chicago's beaches all through August!Image by Timon Studler on Unsplash.


We have over 20 publicly accessible beaches along the shores of Lake Michigan, offering opportunities for sunbathing, swimming, surfing, beach volleyball and so much more! A great choice if you’re looking for things to do in Chicago with teens.

In fact, August is one of the best times for swimming and surfing as Lake Michigan’s often cold water is the warmest this month.


Here’s my shortlist of the best beaches in Chicago for you to visit in August:

  • North Avenue Beach and Oak Street beach offer awesome views, especially of the city’s skyline; on the flip side they’re both very popular and can become crowded.

  • Ohio Street Beach is located close to a number of major Chicago attractions.

  • Loyola Beach in Rogers Park is a little more secluded; a great place to unwind far from the maddening crowds.

You can enjoy some very exciting special events from our beaches; more on that in a while. 


Website: Visit the beaches page on the Park District website

Walk or bike across our trails

Tone up those calves by trekking our trails this August!Image by Robert V. Ruggiero on Unsplash.


Gaze at breathtaking natural beauty and breathe in lungfuls of fresh air. From lush forests to rolling prairies, from gushing waterfalls to serene wetlands - there’s no shortage of hiking trails in and around Chicago.

Grab the essentials - sunscreen,water and snacks, a few friends - and catch a refreshing break from city life during the waning days of summer this August.

Oh, and trekking across trails also happens to be a great way to celebrate your birthday in Chicago right now!


Here’s my shortlist of 5 Chicago trails for you to trek this August:

The Lakefront Trail

Over 18 miles long, beginning at Ardmore Avenue and ending at 71st Street, the Lakefront Trail is one of the best ways to enjoy and explore our gorgeous lakefront. 

Great for taking a brisk walk, and you can always take a swim break at one of the several beaches that are accessible along the trail.


Pro tip: There’s always some cyclists on the trail who think they’re in the Tour de France; keep an eye out for them.


Website: Visit the website


Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps


Contact: Visit the contact page

The 606

This is an elevated trail running through several north-western Chicago neighborhoods featuring art installations, look-out points, an observatory and a number of street-level parks.

Exploring the 606 is one of my personal favorite things to do in Chicago.


Pro tip: If you’re looking to do a bit of sports during your trek, stop at Walsh Park; it’s got facilities like an athletic field and basketball hoops.


Website: Visit their website


Email: info@the606.org

The North Branch Trail

This 20-mile trail goes from Caldwell Woods in Chicago to the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe. It winds along the Chicago River, past Old Orchard and Skokie Lagoon, and through forests in Morton Grove and Winnetka.

As it’s a paved trail, it’s a cyclists’ favorite but you can walk it as well.


Website: Visit its webpage on the Cook County Forest Preserves website

Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve

Nearly 2500 acres of prairies, savannas, and woodlands await you at Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve, which is located west of our city in southern DuPage County

11 miles of limestone and turf covered trails, great for cycling and running (and even horses).

A key attraction is undoubtedly the waterfall.


Website: Visit the webpage


Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps


Email: forest@dupageforest.org


Phone: (630) 933-7248

Indiana Dunes National Park

It’s a bit of a drive from Chicago, but totally worth it!

Over 50 miles of trail through “rugged dunes, mysterious wetlands, sunny prairies, meandering rivers and peaceful forests” - are you really gonna turn that down?

A trek through here will be a hit with your teens and tweens.


Activity: Challenge your kids and friends to do the 3 dunes challenge - racing up and down the 3 tallest dunes in the Park.


Website: Visit its webpage on the National Parks Service website


Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps


Enquiry form: Visit the Contact Us page


Phone: (219) 395-1882

Explore our parks

You'll be amazed at the kinds of flora and fauna available in our parks!Image by Kate Darmody on Unsplash.


Looking to escape the city bustle and admire nature, while avoiding the strain of a hike? A good idea, especially during the muggy days that are so typical of August in Chicago.


Well, the city is dotted with a number of parks, ranging from huge swathes of green to tiny neighborhood playgrounds where you can have a refreshing afternoon, try your hand out at a few games, and maybe even have a small picnic!


Here are my 5 favorite parks in Chicago in August:

Millennium Park

Millennium Park is a well-known destination for people from all over the Midwest…all over the United States, really.

Folks can’t get enough of watching their reflections on The Bean, and marveling at the digital displays at the Crown Fountain.

During the summer, there are lots and lots of free evening concerts in the Park, especially at the Pritzker Pavilion.


Pro tip: If you’re looking for peace and quiet, seek out Lurie Garden in the southeast corner of the Park that is always in bloom.


Activity: See if you can find a Route 66 sign near the Bean.


Website: Visit their website


Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps


Contact: Visit the contact page

Lincoln Park

Stretching 6.5 miles along Lake Michigan, Lincoln Park offers plenty of green spaces for a quiet sitdown or a picnic, walking paths, baseball fields, golf courses and a skate park.

The Lakefront Trail is nearby.

Within the park you’ll also find:

  • Lincoln Park Zoo, home to over 200 animal species ranging from African penguins to two-toed sloths and western lowland gorillas; its entry fee is the princely sum of 0 dollars and 0 cents.

  • Lincoln Park Conservatory with diverse kinds of plants including ferns, orchids and palms.

  • Other attractions like the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool, the Benjamin Franklin Monument, and the Hans Christian Andersen Monument.


Pro tip: If you visit Lincoln Park Zoo, make sure you get an audience with Pilipili, the first lion cub to be born there in 20 years (Pilipili was born in March).


Website: Visit its webpage on the Chicago Park District website


Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Garfield Park

Whether it’s a pleasant jog or a quiet afternoon of fishing, or it’s sports like baseball, basketball, boxing and tennis, Garfield Park has what you’re looking for.

Its centerpiece is of course the Gold Dome Field House, which overlooks Garfield Park Lagoon.

A prime attraction at Garfield Park is the Garfield Park Conservatory, featuring over 120,000 plants from 600 species.


Website: Visit its webpage on the Chicago Park District website


Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps

Grant Park

Known as Chicago's “front yard”, Grant Park offers plenty of things to do during the summer, like wandering through its gardens, admiring the many art installations, hanging out at the coffee shops, marveling at the Buckingham Fountain and so on.

It’s got massive playground areas, and is a great place to take your kids to.

Many summer festivals, like Taste of Chicago, Lollapalooza, the Grant Park Music Festival, and Switch on Summer, take place here.


Website: Visit their webpage on the Chicago Park District website


Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps


Enquiry form: Visit the contact page


Email: play@chicagoparkdistrict.com


Phone: (312) 742-3918

Burnham Park

Burnham Park is located just south of Grant Park, along the Lakefront, and offers breathtaking views of the lake. With pleasant temperatures, cool breezes and fresh air this is a great place to go for a morning run.

Some other things you can do here are relaxing at the beaches, fishing at Northerly Island, admiring nature at the McCormick Bird & Butterfly Sanctuary, and swimming in the lake.

Plus of course there’s the Promontory Point, a haunt of photographers and nature lovers.


Pro tip: If you’re looking for a park that’s comparatively less crowded and thronged by tourists, Burnham Park is where you should be!


Website: Visit their webpage on the Chicago Park District website


Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps


Enquiry form: Visit the contact page


Email: play@chicagoparkdistrict.com


Phone: (312) 742-3918

Attend concerts, festivals and special events

Chicago has festivals of all kinds lined up in August!Image by Tim Toomey on Unsplash.


Experiencing August in Chicago would remain incomplete without attending some of the numerous concerts, festivals and other special events that bring people out onto the streets and parks of our city.

Chicago has some of the most unique summer festivals and events in the world!


Whether you’re looking to enjoy awesome programs on stage, or to meet new people, or just to have a great time with friends and family,

Here are some of the August festivals in Chicago that I like the best:

Sundays on State

Yeah!

On popular demand, our award winning event Sundays on State is back.

The Chicago event that sees State Street closed to vehicular traffic, to be replaced by on-stage and off-stage events, with opportunities to enjoy art and culture, food and drinks, shopping and recreational activities…and to meet with folks from every neighborhood in Chicago!

Entry is completely FREE.

To learn more about last year’s event, you can refer to some of our blog posts on Sundays on State.


Dates: August 7th and August 21st, 11am to 6pm.


Website: Visit its webpage on the Loop Alliance website

Grant Park Music Festival

On almost every day till August 20th, Grant Park will resound with the symphonies of Haydn, Mendelssohn, Mozart and Verdi, and classical Broadway arrangements in the form of the Grant Park Music Festival.

This is a one of a kind event - the only free outdoors classical music festival in the United States, and it’s been a Chicago fixture for over 9 decades.

Attend even if you have no idea who Haydn is, or what a soprano does - this may very well be the event that gets you interested in classical music.


Dates: Till August 20th. For details, check the schedule.


Website: Visit their website

Chicago Air & Water Show

Our Air & Water Show is the oldest and the largest free air and water show in the United States.

If you’ve never seen or heard about this before, the Air & Water Show features civilian and military pilots performing breathtaking stunts like aerobatic shows, free fall demos, air and marine rescues and so on, along Lake Michigan’s shores.

Most of the activity takes place at North Beach and you can view it along the lakefront, from Fullerton to Oak Street.


Dates: August 20th and August 21st, (Saturday and Sunday).


Website: Visit its webpage on the city government website

Art on theMART

Spellbinding displays of contemporary artwork by local, national and global artists across the 2.5 acre facade of theMART (a massive commercial building in downtown Chicago), through an array of 34 digital projectors - that’s what Art on theMART is all about.

This year, works by Jonas Denzel (“explore”), Shkunna Stewart and Wills Glasspiegel (“Billiken”) and Nick Cave (“Ba Boom Boom Pa Pop Pop”) are on display.


Dates: Every evening, from 9 onwards.


Website: Visit its website


Here are some other activities in downtown Chicago that you can check out!

Teatro ZinZanni

A “unique celebration of cirque, comedy and cabaret in an intimate live experience” is how Teatro ZinZanni describes itself.

A fine example of an immersive theatrical performance, with no two shows ever being the same.

And the multi-course meal, including a soup or salad, entrée and dessert doesn’t hurt either!


Please note: The experience includes multiple adult themes and may not be suitable for young children.


Website: Visit its website

Go on a cruise/tour

Really explore Chicago through some well-chosen cruises and tours in August!Image by Solstice Hannan on Unsplash.


Catch breathtaking views of Chicago from iconic skyscrapers to Lake Michigan, and learn amazing facts about our city.

August is an especially good time for lake and river cruises as the cool breeze can prove very freshening on muggy days.

From elegant dining cruises to walking tours and even some completely offbeat and unique experiences - here are my top favorite cruises and tours of Chicago in August.

Architecture River Cruise

Hosted by the Chicago Architecture Foundation, this cruise will see you board Chicago’s First Lady for a 90-minute cruise down the Chicago River, with docents (guides) from the Foundation regaling you with tales of the legendary figures that built the city and revealing the many and diverse architectural styles that can be found throughout Chicago.

You can choose between indoor and outdoor seating, and there will be a full-service bar and snack bar to quench your thirst for beverages and food.


Website: Visit its webpage on the Architecture Foundation's website

Lake Cruise

If going for a relaxing cruise on the waters of Lake Michigan and gazing at the impressive Chicago skyline is more your thing, go for a lake cruise.

From dining cruises to sightseeing tours and even speedboat thrill rides, there are all kinds of options for you to choose from.

Chicago Kayak Tour

Looking for a river tour that’s a little more physically challenging than architecture and dining cruises?

Look for a kayak tour along the River or on Lake Michigan.

Row/paddle your heart out as you go past Chicago attractions like Goose Island.


Pro tip: As you’ve probably realized, this is going to get you wet so remember to wear appropriate clothing and carry a water-resistant case for your phone.

Chicago Gangsters and Ghosts Tours

You’ll find yourself latching onto your guide’s every word (and possibly holding onto someone’s arm if you’re the jumpy type) on this very interesting tour of Chicago.

Walk past Chicago landmarks and hear tales both of this world and the next.

The exact route may vary depending on your guide, but most of the tours (especially nocturnal ones) end at the Congress Plaza Hotel, one of Chicago’s most haunted buildings.


Website: Visit its website

Chicago Detours

Chicago Detours is a tours company in Chicago that offers both public and private tours for “curious people”.

They can arrange customized tours based on your preferences - and these preferences could be anything from Chicago Jazz and Blues to Badass Women in Chicago (for Women’s History Month).


Website: Visit its website

Other fun Chicago activities that are loads of fun

From checking out a neon popup experience to going on a learning tour of museums to having an exciting adventure at an escape room, there are so many other thrilling Chicago activities that you can do with family, friends and other loved ones.


Here are some other August Chicago attractions that are worth getting a taste of!

Neon Summer Popup at Jack’s Big City Ranch

The popup features numerous exciting games and activities - a kind of playground for adults - at Jack’s Big City Playground.

It’s where you’ll find our only outdoor Go-Kart track, a mini golf course, ax throwing lanes, mechanical bulls and of course a full bar.


Website: Visit its website


Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps


Phone: (312) 850-8188

Fox in a Box escape room (yeah, that’s us)

Never heard of an escape room before?

Well, it’s a themed game where your aim is to accomplish a certain mission inside an especially decorated and set up space, within 60 minutes.

You proceed by solving puzzles and executing tasks to unearth clues on the way forward.

This is one Chicago activity that you can take part in, with family (including kids), friends, colleagues, students and so on!

Ready to select your escape games?


Website: Visit the homepage


Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps


Email: info@foxinaboxchicago.com


Phone: (312) 878-7899

Visit a museum

Chicago has some of the best museums in the world. We also have quite a lot of museums, with institutions dedicated to niche areas.

Some of the museums that always seem to make it to my itinerary are:

  • The Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) which features all kinds of interesting exhibits from a recreated 1910-era Chicago street to a model coal mine to a tornado.

  • The Field Museum with exhibits on North American wildlife, evolution, ancient cultures and geography and a lot more. Remember to visit SUE the T. Rex, and Máximo the Titanosaur!

  • The Adler Planetarium, America’s first planetarium with displays on topics like Astronomy in Culture, Chicago’s Night Sky, and a Space Visualization Lab.

  • The Art Institute that has over 300,000 permanent exhibits.

  • The American Writers’ Museum, the only museum of this kind in the world, featuring not just poetry, prose and plays but also song lyrics, journalism pieces, comic books, humor and more.

  • The Museum of illusions, displaying some of the most popular illusions, both big and small, in the world.


Pro tip: You can easily walk between the Field Museum, Art Institute and Adler Planetarium while keeping your car parked at the same location.


Pro tip: Any chess enthusiasts in your group? A guy runs speed chess games just south of the Art Institute in summer.

Sample Chicago cuisine

Food is a pretty big part of Chicago culture, and we are proud of Chicago cuisine which has its own unique tastes and some of which you may not find elsewhere.

Some Chicago foods you must sample this August are:

  • Our famous deep dish pizza, the best places for which are Giordano's and Malnati’s.

  • The Chicago-style hotdogs, which you should get from Devil Dawgs.

  • “Farm to table” food and experimental cuisine (they’re always tinkering with their menu) at Lula Cafe.

  • Chicago style ribs at Twin Anchors, an establishment that was a favorite of Frank Sinatra.

  • A satisfying dessert of chocolate cake shakes at Portillo’s.

Watch a game and/or visit stadiums

We Chicagoans are well-known for our love of sports, especially baseball and basketball. Which is why it’s no surprise that catching a baseball game is a pretty popular thing to do in Chicago in August.

There doesn’t even have to be a game going on; just visiting one of these venues where legends past and present have played would be enough to get the nerves tingling.

Explore our famous street art

Our city is home to a thriving community of artists, many of whom select public walls and structures as their canvas.

You’ll find exploring our treasure of street art uniquely enjoyable. Some of our street art, like the Moose Bubblegum Bubble by Jacob Watts and the Greetings From Chicago Mural have become Chicago attractions in their own right.

The B_Line, the Loop, Pilsen and West Town are some Chicago areas with a lot of street art.

What’s the weather in Chicago like, in August?

An idea of what weather you can expect this August.Image by Erol Ahmed on Unsplash.


In a nutshell, the August weather in Chicago is warm, with moderately high temperatures, low wind speeds, high humidity and frequent but moderate rainfall.

OK, now let’s break that down.


Is Chicago hot in August? While you won’t face the peak summer temperatures of July, be prepared for higher temperatures, especially during the day and early evenings. Mornings and nights are relatively cool.


Is Chicago windy in August? No. Wind speeds are low and Chicago remains fairly calm.


Is Chicago humid in August? Yes, it is, especially during the first half of the month.


Is Chicago rainy in August? Yes, You can expect between 10 to 13 days with some rainfall, but heavy rainfall is much rarer (2 to 3 days).


Is Chicago snowy in August? Absolutely not.

How should we pack, and what precautions should we take?

Light summer clothes will do for most of the day, but carry along a waterproof jacket to deal with sudden drops in temperature or bouts of rainfall.

The light wind and high humidity make it hotter than it really is. So, remember to carry sun protection - sunscreen and hats - and keep yourself hydrated.


Pro tip: Wear comfortable walking shoes as you’ll find yourself walking a lot.

Passes and offers you should know about

These will prove especially useful if you’re a tourist and plan on packing as many Chicago attractions into your itinerary as possible.

The Chicago CityPASS

This is a booklet of tickets that gets you into:

  • The Field Museum.

  • The Shedd Aquarium.

  • Skydeck Chicago.

  • The Adler Planetarium OR the Art Institute (you have to choose one).

  • 360 Chicago OR MSI (again, you have to choose one).

Apart from the basic admission, it also gets you unique privileges like priority entry (so you don’t have to wait in line), free access to exhibits (that are otherwise paid access) and shows.


Once you visit one of the attractions, you have nine days to visit the rest; and you have a year from the date of purchase to start using your Chicago CityPASS.


You can purchase yours from the CityPASS website.

The Chicago C3

This offers you the chance to pick any 3 from 7 top Chicago destinations and activities:

  • 360 Chicago.

  • The Art Institute.

  • The Centennial Wheel at Navy Pier.

  • MSI.

  • The Shedd Aquarium.

  • Shoreline Sightseeing Architecture River Tour.

  • Skydeck Chicago.

Once you visit one of the attractions, you have nine days to visit the rest; and you have a year from the date of purchase to start using your Chicago CityPASS.


You can purchase yours from the CityPASS website.

The Go City Chicago All-Inclusive Pass

This is an entry card that gives you entry to a large number of Chicago attractions.

What you need to choose is how many days you’ll visit all those places in - you can choose between 1-day, 2-day, 3-day, and 5-day passes.


You can purchase yours from the Go City website.

The Go City Chicago Explorer Pass

This flips the all-inclusive concept on its head.

With the Explorer Pass, you can choose how many attractions you want to visit (between 2 to 7) and you have 60 days from the date of first use to visit them all.


Pro tip: if you’re a Chicago native looking for a good deal on various city attractions, or you've only recently settled in our city and are looking to explore, this is a great option for you.


You can purchase yours from the Go City website.

Things to do in Chicago in August - key takeaways

Your key takeaways on how to best plan your Chicago August itinerary.Image by Benjamin Rascoe on Unsplash.


From relaxing at our beaches to trekking through trails, from attending festivals and special events to going on a cruise, taking part in immersive experiences and dining out - there are literally loads of exciting things to do in Chicago that will keep you excited and occupied all through August.

With the weather on the sunnier side, a trifle muggy and prone to rain (but not that heavy), some sun protections, water resistant clothing and a layer (to insulate you from sudden temperature plunges) should be enough.

And you have 4 passes to choose from, that will get you easy, priority and discounted entry to some of our most well-known attractions.


Now it’s your turn to decide.

Which attractions are you planning to visit this August? Are you making it a solo adventure, a date, or a day out with family and friends?

Tell us, on Twitter and/or on Facebook.


And finally, if you found this post useful, bookmark Chicago’s best escape room and travel blog to easily access future content!


Featured image by Skyler Gerald on Unsplash.




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TOP 26 THINGS TO DO IN CHICAGO IN AUGUST - BY A CHICAGOAN!

Awesome attractions and experiences that will keep you riveted throughout the month!


Looking for awesome things to do in Chicago this August?

Whether you’re a Chicagoan planning a day out, or you’re a tourist looking to experience the best of our city, you’re in for a real treat!

Planning a day out in Chicago in August 2022

August is one of the best months to visit and/or enjoy a day out in Chicago. It’s the final full month of summer; the weather is warm and mostly sunny, and you can check out all kinds of activities both indoors and outdoors.

From family-friendly activities to attractions for adults, from stuff you can do by yourself to group activities…

Here are all the amazing things that you can do in Chicago in August 2022.

Relax and unwind at our beaches

Escape the heat at Chicago's beaches all through August!Image by Timon Studler on Unsplash.


We have over 20 publicly accessible beaches along the shores of Lake Michigan, offering opportunities for sunbathing, swimming, surfing, beach volleyball and so much more! A great choice if you’re looking for things to do in Chicago with teens.

In fact, August is one of the best times for swimming and surfing as Lake Michigan’s often cold water is the warmest this month.


Here’s my shortlist of the best beaches in Chicago for you to visit in August:

  • North Avenue Beach and Oak Street beach offer awesome views, especially of the city’s skyline; on the flip side they’re both very popular and can become crowded.

  • Ohio Street Beach is located close to a number of major Chicago attractions.

  • Loyola Beach in Rogers Park is a little more secluded; a great place to unwind far from the maddening crowds.

You can enjoy some very exciting special events from our beaches; more on that in a while. 


Website: Visit the beaches page on the Park District website

Walk or bike across our trails