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

Whether you’re coming to Chicago to visit this summer, or it’s your first time living here, or you’ve lived here your whole life but are looking for something fun to do, this is the list for you.

Downtown, duh!

If you’re ever bored in Chicago, especially if the weather is nice, just head downtown. You can go as far north as Uptown or head all the way down to River North – just pick a neighborhood and go, because they all have tons to do. It really depends what you’re in the mood for, but you can honestly just walk around and find all kinds of restaurants, museums, activities, street festivals, and classic Chicago landmarks. So get out of your apartment and hop on the L! 

Road Trip/Park Day

The other great thing about Chicago is its proximity to other fun things that don’t exist within city limits – like amusement parks and water parks. Six Flags is only about a 45-minute drive north from Evanston, and Wisconsin Dells, home to some of the greatest water parks in the country, is about three hours away. So if you have a car or can find a friend with one, consider heading out for a short road trip and a day of fun!


This one is for our 21+ friends only… Chicago is home to a TON of amazing rooftop bars. There’s nothing better than enjoying a cocktail in the summer breeze with a view of the city, so check out the rooftops! There are plenty of choices, casual to fancy and anywhere in between. And as a bonus to our fancy friends who aren’t quite 21, check out the John Hancock tower with a restaurant on the 95th floor. Nothing says summer like a bougie lunch with a view!

The Beach

Chicago is often thought of for its bitter, extensive winter months – and for good reason. But what people don’t always realize is that, in the summer, Chicago is basically a beach town! With a giant lake that acts like the ocean, there are tons of water activities to participate in like swimming, boating, tanning and even booze cruises off Navy Pier. Plus, if you don’t feel like traveling all the way downtown, there’s beautiful beach access in Evanston and many of the other northern suburbs as well!

Katrina Hicks

Northwestern '19