Goodbye Winter. It’s officially Spring! Which means the people of Chicago are rejoicing and gearing up for some warm weather. I might argue that Spring is my favorite season in Chicago because being outside is so enjoyable, and much more tolerable than the hot and humidness that Summer brings.
Once the temperature increases, the city seems even more lively and upbeat than usual. When it hits 50 degrees in Chicago you see it all – people still bundled up in their scarves and winter hats, and then there’s people walking around in shorts and flipflops. I always find this hilarious. But regardless, everyone is outside in good spirits!
After living here for almost four years now (May 1st is my move to Chicago anniversary!) I complied a list of my top 5 favorite things I like to do once Spring arrives in the Windy City!
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1. Rent a Bike
Divvy bike stations are Chicago’s bike sharing system. It’s rare to find a corner where a Divvy station does not exist. If you don’t see one, odds are you’re very close to one. I personally don’t have a bike in Chicago, so I pay the cheap fare to rent a bike when I’m running late or if I want to go for a casual 30 minute stroll. The best place to ride is down the Lakeshore path. You get stunning views of Lake Michigan and the city.
2. Lincoln Park Zoo
Chicago is one of the last cities in the US with a free zoo and it’s also one of the oldest! I could visit Lincoln Park Zoo over and over because there’s always something new to see. They have all the exhibits covered, from the lion house to the seal pool. Lincoln Park Zoo always has fun events going on, including a Food Truck Social and Adults Night Out where the park opens up after hours for craft beers and live entertainment. You can’t have a bad time at any zoo, but especially one that doesn’t cost you any money!
3. Architecture Tour
I took an architecture tour with a couple friends back in September and I loved it. You learn so much about the history of the buildings in downtown Chicago while taking a leisurely boat ride down the river. Afterward, your friends will be impressed with all the knowledge you learned about architecture and Chicago. Drinks are also available on the tour! You can hop on the Architecture Tour in River North, right along the river. Luckily, it was a beautiful, clear sky day and I was able to capture some beautiful photos of the buildings on the tour:
Chicago Architecture River Cruise – $33.60
Experience one of the world’s most beautiful cities on a 75-minute cruise on the historic Chicago River. On this architecture cruise, head down the main branch of the Chicago River, up the north branch to the East Bank Club, and then south past Willis Tower (Sears Tower) to the old Post Office Building. Take in magnificent city skyline views as you see more than 40 notable buildings, including the John Hancock Center and the Wrigley Building, and learn about their distinctive architecture from your onboard guide, an expert in architecture.
4. Shopping in Lincoln Park
Michigan Avenue isn’t the only place to go on a shopping spree! At the intersection of Armitage and Halsted in the Lincoln Park neighborhood live the cutest boutiques in the city. It is the best area to spend some dollars for your Spring wardrobe. Along with the mom and pop shops, one of my favorite stores is located here – Francesca’s Collections. There’s also bigger name storefronts, such as Lululemon and Warby Parker. There’s plenty of places to grab a bite when you get hungry, so shop til you drop!
5. Patio Sittin’ at Big Star
Be sure to get to Big Star early on a nice day, because although the patio is large, it gets crowded. Big Star has the best queso fundido I’ve ever tasted – hands down. Their tacos are also amazing. Big Star is the perfect atmosphere to hang out with friends and catch up over a couple margaritas with the sun warming your face. Big Star is in the Wicker Park neighborhood.
These five activities are my ideal Chicago Spring days. Get out there (whatever you’re comfortable in) and seize the day. What do you like to do when the weather warms up? Comment below and have a happy Spring!