Chicago Traveler Blog

Chicago Traveler Blog

What to do when it's hot in Chicago - warm weather activities in the Windy City

5/27/14 | by

Chicago welcomes thousands of visitors each year for a city that offers delicious eats and historic attractions. Between the amazing museums in Chicago, skyscrapers, and local parks like Hyde Park, there is plenty to enjoy in the Windy City. When visiting the destination in the warmer months, it can make for a hot climate that is difficult to stay cool in. To survive the high temperatures and enjoy exploring the area, there are a few activities to enjoy during the day without breaking too much of a sweat.

Tour Hyde Park

Grab an ice cream cone and take a walk through Hyde Park for a chance to enjoy one of the most popular neighborhoods in Chicago where you'll be shaded by the beautiful trees overhead. Located on the south area of the downtown region, Hyde Park features both the University of Chicago and the Oriental museum. This architecturally rich neighborhood also includes the Robie House, President Obama's home, as well as the Smart Museum of Art on the University of Chicago campus.

Visit 55th street to have your choice of several restaurants and cozy coffee shops before shopping for books at the stores available on 57th street.

Go Sailing

For spectacular views of the city and to stay cool on the water, rent a sailboat or take a lesson for an exciting hobby to do as a family. Rentals are often available from dusk to dawn for an incredible day spent right next to downtown Chicago.

For sailing enthusiasts, races are often held throughout the week in the summer for courses that are both challenging and exciting to watch.

Or rather, why not cruise in style on one of Chicago’s classiest boat tours. Learn about the history and enjoy Chicago’s unbeatable skyline. For a list of boat tours in the Windy City visit

Kayak on the Water

Cool off and enjoy some physical activity while spending time in the Windy City by trying your hand at kayaking for an adventurous experience that is right on the river. It's easy to rent a kayak or even take a kayak tour to explore the history and architecture of the city. Enjoy the freedom of being on the water in a single kayak if you feel confident with your own strength. Double kayaks are also available to pair up with a spouse or a friend for a fun bonding experience.

Visit the Drive-In

See a movie screening in a vintage setting by visiting the Cascade drive-in for an outdoor experience where you can stay cool in your car or lounge in patio chairs. Movie showings feature the latest releases with fair prices that average at $9 per adult. On Tuesday, each car only costs $14, which includes admission for each passenger. The movies are often family-friendly and rotate each week during the summer season. For foodies who want to snack during the film, a newly built picnic area with barbecues makes it easy to bring your own food and cook up a fresh summer meal.

Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool

This lily pool is a romantic location at Lincoln Park where you're free to take photos or relax near the water. The quiet and cool environment makes for a serene spot that is located right off of Main street and is often deserted. The area is beautifully designed and well-maintained for a romantic spot that makes for a nice break from Lincoln Park.

See the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Perform

Known as the world's greatest orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra features notable musicians with names that include Maxim Vengerov, Itzhak Perlman, and Leon Fleisher. It makes for a stunning outdoor performance at Ravinia for a family-friendly event that welcomes all ages. Attendees can choose between seats in the pavilion or additional seating available on the lawn. For a full list of theater events use

Attend a Game at Wrigley Field

Celebrate summer with a good old fashioned baseball game spent cheering on the Cubs at Wrigley Field. You can enjoy hearing the roar of the crowd or fill up on traditional hot dogs and waffle sticks. Don't forget to purchase a tall glass of lemonade to stay cool while in the heat. Find Chicago Cubs tickets here.

Visit the Osaka Garden

Located in Jackson Park, Osaka Garden is a beautiful retreat with a lush environment that makes for a perfect place to have a picnic. With the shaded trees and water, it's a hidden gem that will allow you to stay comfortable outdoors. This location is also enjoyed for the butterflies and dragonflies that flourish in the environment, as well as the beautiful koi fish swimming by. Try taking a book to read on one of the grassy knolls or visit the rock waterfall where the sounds are soothing.

The Osaka Garden is a spot that is only known by locals, making for a quiet location that is rarely busy or crowded. Entrance is free to all visitors.