Chicagoans are beyond ready to hit the sunny streets clad in sandals and SPF 30. But, not all of us are meticulous planners who already have every weekend of summer 2011 accounted for. (Though if you are, hats off.) Bookmark our list to keep track of 29 of the best events and ideas for having summer fun in Chicago. If you ever find yourself plan-less, we've got you. (This makes a great list for out-of-town guests, too!) And if you know of a great event we missed, tell us in our comments. We want to be there!
1) Randolph Street Market Festival, June 25-26, and once at the end of every month at Plumber's Hall. A street fair centered around shopping? Psssh, too easy.
4) Old Town Art Fair in Lincoln Park, June 11-12. If you ask us, strolling in the summer air while simultaneously supporting local and Midwestern artists seems like a fine way to spend a weekend. This one is great for a day with the fam, too!
6) Go to the pool already! Chicago has several public parks with swimming pools. Each has designated swim times based on age, family status, etc. So, you don't have to share your lap lane with a four-year-old in arm-floaties, unless you want to.
9) Taste of Randolph on Randolph Street, June 17-19. Bring your sun-starved, your hungry, your booze-craving masses yearning to eat cheap. Randolph Street's restos move into the street to bring you teeny tastes of their best. Delish.
13) Green Music Fest in West Town, June 25-26. West Town's pride and joy, Green Music fest is always a summer street-fair must. Boasting one of the best music lineups of the summer, a $5 donation will get you in to see Yo La Tengo, Les Savy Fav, and The Thermals. Hi.
15) Fireworks at Navy Pier, July 4. The fireworks go off at Navy Pier all summer, but never on a grander scale than on the 4th. Picnic blankets and cameras are musts.
21) Bon Iver at the Chicago Theatre, July 24. As if warm weather wasn't gift enough, we also get Justin Vernon. There is a huge sell-out risk with this one, so grabbing your tickets in June is the perfect insurance policy.
24) Befriend someone with a boat. A little excursion on the lake doesn't sound half-bad, does it? Email us, wink wink.
26) People watch in Wicker Park. A blanket, a book, maybe a dog or two. This is bliss.
27) Body Worlds & the Cycle of Life at the Museum of Science and Industry, March 18-September 5. Museum exhibits are activities you save for a rainy day. We'll have rainy days this summer (eye roll), so keep this one in mind.
29) Chicago Jazz Festival, September 1-4. Not all amazing music is played by ratty T-shirt-clad hipsters. Expand your sonic horizons and enjoy one of the festivals Chicago is known for.