The end of summer is near (crying). Schools will be back in session shortly and the first official day of Fall is around the corner on September 23rd. As sad as this thought may be, we all know that summer weather will be sticking around for a bit longer. We can still squeeze a little Indian Summer into the Fall, and most Chicagoans plan on just that. If the Air and Water Show last weekend was any indication, temperatures aren’t falling any time soon. There are plenty of ways to take advantage of the last few weeks of summer from more music festivals to the much anticipated return of Happy Hour in the city. My favorite activities blend a bit of indoor comfort with outdoor late summer sun, and luckily there are many ways to achieve that balance. Here are a few ideas of what to do and what to wear while we await the cooler temperatures, changing leaves and inevitable new wardrobe.
What’s more Chicago than Jazz at the Shedd Aquarium? Not only do you have the chance to see the aquarium in an adults only, after work setting you get music, fireworks and one of the best views of the skyline the city has to offer. Being able to retreat into the A/C helps in terms of outfit planning but you can still step outside to soak up a little of the remaining early evening sun and take in some great local jazz bands. Since you’re at the aquarium, a fun take on mixed patterns matches the entertaining atmosphere. There’s only a few dates left on the calendar so grab tickets before it’s over for the summer.
Chicagoans love a good rooftop bar and one my favorites is the new space atop Wicker Park restaurant Taxim. Unlike the crowded spaces in River North, this is a Mediterranean oasis above 6 Corners that is spacious and relaxing. It’s perfectly shaded (read: cool) since it is situated between two taller buildings, but what it’s lacking in a view it makes up for in ambience. There’s even an extensive herb garden that the restaurant below utilizes. Channel the Greek Islands by wearing a floaty romper and easy sandals, perfect for island hopping….or people watching on Milwaukee Ave below. Snag a glass of Greek wine and an appetizer and sit near the railing for the best view.
The recently renovated Chicago Riverwalk is a sight to be seen. The walkways below the bridges of the Chicago River have been completely revamped and are now home to bright, clean seating areas and a new crop of businesses. One of the best transplants to the riverfront is City Winery. The original in the West Loop has brought menu favorites to a bustling waterfront patio. Choose from a variety of tapped wines showcasing the winery’s commitment to local and sustainable products and take a seat by the river to watch kayakers and yachts alike float down towards Lake Michigan. It’s the perfect spot to grab gelato or sorbet to pair with that wine (we won’t judge). A jumpsuit and wide brim hat work a modern day Sofia Loren vibe that matches the scenery.
This is not technically an indoor/outdoor activity, but when you are on a canopied electric boat, does it really matter? The lake breeze is enough to make this versatile boat tour the perfect opportunity to take in sunset over the city. Rent a boat with captain on board along your 5 closest friends and cruise around the river and lake with drink in hand. There’s no better way to see the city than looking up from the river. Since you aren’t actually getting in the water, dress up and head out into the city after the leisurely ride. Breezy wide leg pants and a cropped top fit the bill.
However you want to spend the remainder of Summer, make it count. There are endless opportunities to get out and enjoy what little time we have left before the days get shorter and clothing gets layered. Take advantage of warmer temperatures and the plethora of Summer activities the city has to offer. Don’t say you weren’t warned when when October rolls around 😉