Last week, summer (and the unbearable heat) seemed like it would never end. As August draws near, fall is suddenly looming like never before. Time to check off all those must-do’s before it’s too late. So get out and work your way through this list before this summer kicks the bucket.
See a Movie in the Park: If you haven’t caught a flick yet, gather up your blanket and some snacks (and maybe some vino) for a good time in Chicago’s public parks. Among the highlights left for this year: “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” in Wicker Park on Aug. 15; “Sixteen Candles” at the Chicago History Museum on Aug. 17; “The Wizard of Oz” in (where else?) Oz Park on Aug. 25; and locally-filmed “The Dilemma” at Seward Park on Sept. 2.
Hit up a Festival: Street fests are the epitome of Chicago summers – great music, good food and outdoor drinking. Though some of the best (Midsommarfest, Pride, Wicker Park Fest, etc.) have already passed, there are plenty of good fests still on the calendar. Top bets include Wrigleyville Summerfest (Aug. 13-14), Northalsted Market Days (Aug. 13-14), the Bucktown Arts Fest (Aug. 27-28) and the Chicago Jazz Festival (Sep. 1-4).
Check out "The Horse" at The Field Museum: This comprehensive exhibit has been a highlight at The Field Museum since February. Visitors can see photos, watch videos and enjoy interactive features all about the evolution of various breeds of horses, particularly how these majestic animals have affected humans throughout history. The exhibit closes on August 14, so don’t miss your chance to check it out. 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr.; 312-544-9526
Watch a Fireworks Show: It wouldn’t be summer without some fireworks. The folks at Navy Pier know this classic summertime attraction shouldn’t be confined to Independence Day. Catch an amazing (and free) display every Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. and Saturday at 10:15 p.m. through Sept. 3. 600 E. Grand Ave.; 312-595-7437
Visit the Chicago Air and Water Show: Fortunately for you slackers, one of the best Chicago summer events is yet to come this season. See stunts from the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, civilian aircrafts and parachute teams all weekend long. The Chicago Air and Water Show is scheduled for Aug. 20-21 and is best viewed from the North Avenue and Oak Street beaches.
Catch a Show at Ravinia: Just a short Metra trip away, the Ravinia Festival hosts A-list acts all summer long. Though you’ve missed spectacular performances from Jennifer Hudson, Robert Plant and Maroon 5, there are still some highlights left on this festival calendar. Don’t miss Rufus Wainwright performing with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on Aug. 14, Chicago on Aug. 27 and 28, Guster and Jack's Mannequin on Sept. 3 and Carrie Underwood on Sept. 4. 200 Ravinia Park Rd., Highland Park; 847-266-5100
Sip Cocktails on a Rooftop Lounge: There are only a few months out of the year where rooftop drinking is enjoyable, so it’s a shame to pass up this opportunity. Plan a hot date with your sweetie or take a pal – either way, it’ll be totally worth the typically overpriced sky-high cocktails. Need some suggestions? Our picks include ROOF at The Wit, C-View and Vertigo Sky Lounge. ROOF: 201 N. State St.; 312-239-9501 C-View: 166 E. Superior St.; 312-523-0923 Vertigo Sky Lounge: 2 W. Erie St.; 312-202-6060