Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

A Guide to Spring in Evanston and Chicago

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Northwestern chapter.

Spring is a beautiful time in Chicago and Evanston, filled with gorgeous weather, blooming nature, and genuine happiness felt anywhere you go. There is so much these cities can offer during this season, especially if you want to get outside and soak up all of the vitamin D we missed during the cold and grim winter months. Here is a little guide as to what you can do during this sunshine-filled spring in both Evanston and Chicago.


Visit the Umbrella Arts Festival

Join the Evanston ASPA (Asian, South Asian, Pacific Islander American) on Saturday, May 11 from 12 to 4 p.m. in Fountain Square to celebrate Asian American art, history, music, dance, food, and culture! This festival is free and open to everyone.

Enjoy some fun on-the-water activities

Beginning May 4, anyone can come to the Northwestern Sailing Center behind the Segal Visitors Center to rent and enjoy Hobie catamarans, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards! Payment is in cash or credit card and is on an hourly basis. Northwestern students are eligible for a discount with a valid Wildcard.

Eat a meal on fun patios

The spring weather is always accompanied by the opening of many patios where you can enjoy the great outdoors and some delicious food and drinks. In Evanston, some restaurants with great patios and outdoor spaces are Cupitol (an incredibly cute cafe and restaurant, especially known for their delicious breakfast), Five and Dime (delicious shareables with a great view of Evanston), Comida Cantina on Central (a creative Mexican and Latin American restaurant in a gorgeous contemporary space), and Good to Go (mouth-watering Jamaican fare and live music every Friday and Saturday). You really can’t go wrong with any of these options.


Kayak in the Chicago River

Check out Urban Kayak for guided kayak tours and rentals (for more advanced kayakers). All tours and rentals are available in both the Chicago Riverwalk and the lakefront locations. Kayaking in the city is becoming more popular, so make sure to pre-book the experiences!

Go to a baseball game

Check out the Chicago Cubs and White Sox at Wrigley Field and Guaranteed Rate Field! Their seasons don’t end until next fall, so definitely take advantage of these great teams and not-so-bad ticket prices. 

Visit the zoo

As one of the only zoos in the country with free admission, the Lincoln Park Zoo has quite an amazing reputation. From aardvarks to crocodiles to polar bears, there is truly something interesting for everyone in this 35-acre zoo. Along with multiple cafes, a farm, and a beautiful walking path, the Lincoln Park Zoo is a great place for a nice, relaxing weekend day. It is also accessible by public transport!

Enjoy a nice walk or bike ride 

The Chicago lakefront trail combines the fun of lively Chicago on one side and the serenity of Lake Michigan on the other. This 18-mile stretch following the shoreline of Lake Shore Drive is perfect for a bike ride, run, or nice walk on any day. There are beaches and parks on either side of the trail, as well as restaurants if you get hungry along the way. In the middle of the lakefront trail, there is also an offshoot to reach the museum campus (encompassing Soldier Field, the Adler Planetarium, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Field Museum) and Navy Pier!

Check out Chicago’s outdoor dining scene

In Chicago, some restaurants with great patios and outdoor seating are Las Fuentes (a homey family-owned Mexican restaurant), Trivoli Tavern (an upscale Italian restaurant tucked away in an old cobblestone courtyard), Recess Chicago (lively patio with elevated American food and inventive drinks), and Pizzeria Portofino (a cute Italian restaurant with an amazing view of the Chicago river).

Sophie Green

Northwestern '27

Hi! My name is Sophie and I am a first-year at Northwestern University. In my free time I love to play volleyball, listen to music, and explore new places.