[ Attractions & Activities ]

16 Ways to Play During Spring in Chicago

Chicago is great to visit any season, especially during spring when the city awakens after a long, brisk winter. Watch the city bloom and soak in the sun as you spend the day or evening outdoors. Unsure of what to do when spending spring in Chicago? Learn the best activities and events by reading below.

Spring in Chicago
Experience top attractions, dining, an shopping on the Magnificent Mile.

1) Magnificent Mile

The Magnificent Mile boasts incredible shopping, dining, accommodations, and entertainment choices that fit any budget. Whether you’re searching for affordable fashion or designer boutiques, you can find it all strolling down North Michigan Avenue. This scenic district enables visitors to see attractions such as the Chicago Sports Museum, the Historic Water Tower, art galleries, theaters, bars, gourmet food, and beyond! At the end of the day, stroll along the Chicago River and grab a bite at any of the dozens of eateries nearby. Also, you can find more than 70 hotels on or near the district.

2) Millennium Park

This gorgeous urban park features the Cloud Gate sculpture (“the Bean”), so if you want that iconic Chicago picture, you know where to go. Other sightseeing spots include Pritzker Pavilion, the beautiful Lurie Garden, and glorious works of art like the Crown Fountain. Moreover, the park hosts numerous events throughout the year, so be on the lookout for concerts, free events like yoga practice, and food festivals.

3) 360 CHICAGO

360 CHICAGO enables guests to gaze at the city from 1,000 feet up in the air. Located on the 94th floor of the John Hancock Center, visitors can see stunning perspectives of Chicago and Lake Michigan. Take the 40-second ride in one of the country’s fastest elevators to the observation deck for the best views! Open daily from 9 am to 11 pm, experience one of the city’s best attractions when spending 3 days in Chicago. You can also see four neighboring states in the distance, as well as ride TILT, a one-of-a-kind tilting ride with awe-inspiring views.

4) Navy Pier

Don’t skip out on the Navy Pier! With so many attractions such as the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, the iconic Centennial Wheel, theme park rides, and the Chicago Children’s Museum, guests of all ages will love this entertainment center. You can also capture views of the river as well, the city skyline, play a round of mini-golf, catch a movie in the Navy Pier IMAX at the AMC, and much more. Look out for concerts, free events, and seasonal events as well!

Dare to try the Skydeck?

5) Skydeck Chicago

Situated on the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower, visitors can experience unparalleled views at 1,353 feet up in the air! See Chicago from a unique perspective up in the Skydeck, open 365 days a year. This thrilling attraction presents top-rated exhibits, theater presentations, and more! Moreover, guests can step out on The Ledge’s glass boxes, which extend approximately 4.3 feet from the deck. Overall, guests can see four states, 50 miles, and 360-degree views.

6) The Field Museum

Head to the Field Museum to view a wide breadth and selection of objects and artifacts, as well as fascinating exhibitions. Connect with scientific discoveries and pieces of natural history with exhibits such as SUE, the most complete T-Rex skeleton, the famous Tsavo Lions, gorgeous gemstones and minerals, Ancient Egyptian artifacts, and much more! Note that the museum is open every day except for Christmas Day from 9 am to 5 pm. With over 100 years of curating experience, you don’t want to miss out on the Field Museum when you have 3 days in Chicago.

7) Chicago Evening Segway Tour

See Chicago from a unique, thrilling perspective. The Chicago Evening Segway Tour takes riders to iconic locations like Grant Park, Lake Michigan Lakefront, Buckingham Fountain, and the Museum Campus with an expert guide narrating along the way. This two-hour small group tour through the Windy City will take your breath away as you behold the sunset over the city skyline.

Other segway tours:

8) Farmer’s Markets

Warmer weather calls for perusing around local farmer’s markets. Thankfully, Chicago hosts many throughout its neighborhoods. Some popular markets include:

  • Division Street Farmer’s Market
  • South Loop Farmer’s Market
  • Logan Square Farmer’s Market
  • Lincoln Square Farmer’s Market
  • Andersonville Farmer’s Market
  • & Many More
Lincoln Park Zoo / Facebook

9) Lincoln Park Zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo allows you to escape the urban jungle for a park encompassing tropical rainforests, dry-thorn forests, spacious savannas, and beyond. Located just minutes north of Chicago, the zoo features gorillas, giraffes, red wolves, and many more species of animals. Further, the zoo’s Children’s Petting Zoo is a big hit with little ones (and adults).

10) Rooftop Bars

Spending spring in Chicago calls for sipping cocktails on cool, crisp evenings. Check out any of these popular rooftop bars:

  • Cindy’s
  • London House Rooftop Bar
  • RAISED
  • VU Rooftop Bar
  • Cerise Rooftop
  • Waydown
  • & Many More
See the river turn green for St. Patrick’s Day!

11) Spring Festivals

From celebrating Irish heritage and culture to local cuisine and wine, there’s plenty to do in the Windy City this spring.

  • St. Patrick’s Day
  • R&B Spring Fest
  • Chicago Wine Fest
  • Macy’s Flower Show
  • Good Food Festival
  • I Heart Halal
  • Mayfest
  • Chicago Science Fest
  • & Many More

12) Beaches

Enjoy spending spring in Chicago on the shores of Lake Michigan at any of these family-friendly beaches:

  • Rainbow Beach and Park
  • Oak Street Beach
  • North Avenue Beach
  • Margaret T. Burroughs Beach
  • 57th Street Beach
  • & Many More

13) Grant Park

Referred to as “Chicago’s Front Yard”, Grant Park showcases 312.98 acres within the city’s central business district in the Loop Community area, perfect when spending spring in Chicago. This public park features Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain, Maggie Daley Park, the Museum Campus, and the Art Institute of Chicago. Eat your lunch by the Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain, built in 1927, to enjoy lovely views and passersby. Further, guests can enjoy magnificent gardens, tennis courts, baseball diamonds, and more. Also home to huge food and music festivals like The Taste of Chicago, The Grant Park Music Festival, and Lollapalooza, there is always something going on throughout the year.

Other major parks include:

  • Burnham Park
  • Oz Park
  • Valley Forge Park
  • Washington Park
  • Calumet Park
  • North Park Village Nature Center
Spring in Chicago
Take a trip on the Tall Ship Windy!

14) Tall Ship Windy

One of the best ways to see Lake Michigan and the Chicago city skyline, Tall Ship Windy takes guests on a leisurely cruise on the water. Sailing from the Navy Pier, guests can anticipate breathtaking views on the 148-foot traditional four-masted gaff topsail schooner. With three spacious decks with seating, passengers can sit back, relax, and take in the views on this 75-minute tour.

Other cruises include:

15) Architecture Tours

Whether you prefer to travel on foot, by boat, bike, or bus, Chicago presents many options for taking in the city’s unique, historic architecture. For instance, Chicago Detours’ Best Architecture Walking Tour Since Sliced Bread takes guests around the city for a 1.5 hour tour of design, cultural, and structural highlights.

See spots such as Aqua Tower, Chicago’s underground, Maggie Daley Park, and the Michigan Avenue Bridge. Another top-rated sightseeing tour is the Shoreline Sightseeing Boat Tour! Navigate leisurely around Lake Michigan or see the city’s iconic architecture, complete with narrated guides, glorious views, and snacks and drinks available for purchase. Each tour is 40 to 75 minutes long depending on the experience you choose. For a quality spring in Chicago day, consider taking an architecture tour.

16) More Chicago Tours

Visiting Chicago? Or have you always wanted to take a unique tour around the Windy City? Choose from any of these well-reviewed tours:

Relish Spring in Chicago

Now that you know the best ways to spend spring in the Windy City, what will you do first?

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