Chicago Coronavirus

Things to Do in Chicago This Weekend Amid Summer-Like Warmth

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From fireworks to architecture tour, activities and venues across the Chicago area have begun reopening just in time for summer-like weather to hit the city.

The weekend is expected to look partly cloudy with temperatures reaching the mid to upper 80s on both Saturday and Sunday.

Take a look at things to do in and around Chicago this weekend:

Catch a Navy Pier Fireworks Show

In celebration of reopening, Navy Pier hosts a 10-minute fireworks show every Saturday throughout the month of May.

Viewers can enjoy the show at any open area on Navy Pier at 9 p.m. Saturday.

Watch the Buckingham Fountain Switch on For Summer

Grant Park's iconic Buckingham Fountain will be switched on for the spring and summer season this weekend, the Chicago Park District announced.

In a virtual "Switch on Summer" event Saturday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, ComEd CEO Joe Dominguez and others will gather to see the Buckingham Fountain turn on for the first time in over a year.

Starting at 2 p.m., Chicagoans can watch a free livestream of the event here, where a sweepstakes winner will have the chance to switch on the fountain.

Visit a Farmers Market

As the city continues its reopening plan, farmers markets across Chicago have begun welcoming residents back for the 2021 season.

Though some markets have not announced official plans for a summer reopening, others have released schedules and information for spring kickoffs following closures last year due to the COVID pandemic.

For a list of Chicago farmers markets, click here.

Drive Through a Dino Safari

Fox Valley Mall has been transformed into Pangea National Park this month, featuring more than 40 life-size dinosaurs, organizers say.

From the Triceratops to the T. Rex, Dino Safari takes guests through a journey, learning about how dinosaurs evolved over time, where they lived and what their lives looked like.

The company recommends reserving tickets in advance, which begin at $49.95 per vehicle. Tickets can be purchased here.

Enjoy a Unique Art Exhibit

This summer, Chicago is welcoming a variety of new, unique art exhibitions to the city, including "Michelangelo Sistine Chapel Exhibition" and "Immersive Van Gogh."

Aside of special special exhibits, the city's renowned art museums are now open as well, such as the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. MCA will also kick off Tuesdays on the Terrance on June 1, a concert series in the heart of the city.

Take a Trip to Outer Space with Art on theMart

For those who would rather stay outdoors to view art, the 2021 season of Art on theMart runs through July 4, featuring the new "Astrographics" digital production in partnership with the Adler Planetarium.

The 16-minute digital light performance explores outer space, featuring an array of planets, stars and more sights, according to a release. Art on theMart officials said the show will display how humans imagine their universe over time.

Take a Swing at Maggie Daley Park's Miniature Golf Course

Maggie Daley Park’s 18-hole, Chicago-themed miniature golf course, and ribbon is open daily. In the summer, the ribbon is transformed to welcome scooter users, rollerbladers, and roller skaters. Weekend rentals are now available.

For details about Maggie Daley Park activities, visit

Enjoy a Bite to Eat Outdoors at One of the City's Al Fresco Dining Spaces

As the city warms over the next few months, Chicagoans will likely be on the hunt for places to wine and dine outdoors. The city is known for its foodie scene, filled with plenty of patios and rooftops.

Choose Chicago has offered up a list of places currently offering outdoor dining in Chicago. Here are some highlights:

Avli Taverna: 1335 W. Wrightwood Ave.
Beatrix Fulton Market: 834 W Fulton Market
Aba: 302 N. Green St. 3rd Floor
Mesler: 1401 E. 53rd St.
The Duck Inn: 2701 S. Eleanor St.
Theater on the Lake: 2401 N. Lake Shore Dr.
Beatnik on the River: 180 N. Upper Wacker Dr.
BOKA: 1729 N. Halsted St.
Formento's: 925 W. Randolph St.
Siena Tavern: 51 W. Kinzie St.
Wood: 3335 N. Halsted St.
Happy Camper: 1209 N. Wells St.
Tzuco: 720 N. State St.
LuxBar: 18 E. Bellevue Pl.

For more, click here.

Enjoy a Live Performance

Pivot Arts Festival is featuring the show Utopian Performance Tour, bringing a small, masked group through a gallery-like exhibition of video installations and live works.

Ticket are available here.

Grab a Bite at West Loop's Aba Rooftop Restaurant

Chicago's popular Aba restaurant is a go-to summer spot for many Chicagoans with its rooftop and outdoor lounge, which is why it's no surprise the eatery's reservation options are almost entirely booked several weeks in advance.

According to the Mediterranean-style restaurant's Tock page, reservations for the rooftop and outdoor lounge are few and far between, with only the occasional late-night option available through June 16.

For tips on how to score a reservation, click here.

Sail Through a Chicago Architecture Tour

Take in the city's iconic architecture while sailing along the Chicago River on one of several boat tours. The 90-minute tours run every hour and a half and cost $40 for an adult and $18 for a child.

Due to COVID-19 mitigations, the Wendella boat tours require that passengers wear a face covering while on the vessel and practice social distancing.

Purchase tickets here.

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