If you have read any of our previous blogs, at this point, we're sure you get that Chicago loves its summers. So much so that we have multiple fests almost every weekend, concerts galore, and attractions that will blow your mind. But what we haven’t covered yet is our visuals, those visuals that you can head out on a weekend or weeknight to enjoy, all with Chicago's iconic skyline as your backdrop. These are not just limited to fireworks, outdoor visuals in Chicago are so much more, and we plan on sharing those unique spots to hit.
Here are some quick tips before we dive in. First up, and this is probably the most important, is to get to each one early. So allow extra time to find the best spot and miss the rush. Also you may want to bring an emergency umbrella, as you never know with Chicago weather. Finally, pack a small cooler with drinks and snacks to enjoy the show. Be warned though, alcohol is not promoted at any of these spots and cops will make you pour out what you have. So without further ado, here are PPM’s top 4 visuals to enjoy this summer.
Summer Fireworks at Navy Pier
(Wednesdays & Saturdays, May 23 – September 5) Enjoy a dazzling display of fireworks choreographed to music while overlooking Chicago’s magnificent skyline. Navy Pier’s Polk Bros. Park & Dock St. (South Promenade) | Wed 9:30p.m., Sat 10:15p.m | navypeir.com
Movies in the Parks
(June 11 – September 5) Chicago Park District’s series provides outdoor film entertainment in more than 150 neighborhood parks across the city. Families and couples may bring picnic baskets, blankets, and lawn chairs to watch current and classic film favorites. And again this year, the Chicago OnScreen Local Film showcase returns, featuring indie flicks from local artists. Various local parks | Movies begin at dusk | chicagoparkdistrict.com
Theater on the Lake
(Wednesdays – Sundays, June 17 – August 16) This is the 63rd season of Theater on the Lake, the annual summer-long festival that showcases the best of the off-Loop theater community in a park setting. While the historic Theater on the Lake building at Fullerton and Lake Shore Drive is undergoing renovation, the festival will travel to three different park locations across the city. Don't miss it. Locations TBA | Wed – Sat 7:30p.m., Sun 6:30p.m. | $10 | chicagoparkdistrict.com
Millennium Park Summer Film Series
(Tuesdays, June 23 – August 25) Take a seat at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion or spread out a blanket on the Great Lawn to relax and watch your favorite films on a state-of-the-art, 40-foot LED screen. Films include Back to the Future (June 23), Almost Famous (July 28), The Aviator (August 11), Dirty Dancing (August 18), The Breakfast Club (September 1), and more. Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion 7:30p.m. | millenniumpark.org