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Quick, Before It Gets Too Cold: Chicago Highlights

I hate to say it, but it seems as if we are approaching that time of year where Chicago decides to take a more permanent turn towards the cold. This realization has led me to cling to my activities this past summer, to grasp every ounce of freezing-less travel time I have left. So before we are all hunkered down with our warm mugs and winter coats, I have compiled a list of Chicago pastimes to hit until the weather gets to the best of our explorative spirits! 

Lakefront Trail 

Whether you walk a half-mile or the full 18, an appearance on the Lakefront Trail is an absolute must. Bonus points if you have a bike on campus because they have a trail for that too! 

Chicago Riverwalk

Another place to stroll, the Chicago Riverwalk, has to be my absolute favorite place in the summer. Even in fall, it still has its bonuses. There is always a place to sit and grab a bite while you watch boats and various Chicago pups pass by. 

Buckingham Fountain

While it’s still flowing, and if you haven’t seen it yet, the Buckingham Fountain is a fantastic Chicago landmark to get a peek of before the season turns. Especially because last year, even if you were on campus, you didn’t get the chance to see it because COVID-19 forced the fountain to be on pause since 2020. 

Jeni’s Ice Cream 

Short are the days left this year where a trip to an ice cream shop still somewhat makes sense (although I argue that ice cream always makes sense), and yes, I know you can pick up Jeni’s pint, but it is just NOT the same as going to Jeni’s ice cream location. My favorite Jeni’s place is a tie between the Wrigleyville location and Well’s street. However, my favorite flavor is no tie at all — the Wildberry Lavender in a waffle cone outpaces all other Jeni’s flavors by far. 

JoJo’s Pumpkin Patch 

While we are on the topic of sweet treats that start with the letter J, JoJo’s Shake Bar always seems to meet the moment of the season. You might have seen on Tik Tok, last winter, JoJo’s shake bar knocked it out of the park with a Candyland-themed outdoor experience. This fall, they have done the same and created an adorable pumpkin patch right in the middle of downtown.  

Chicago Botanic Gardens

I argue the CBG is the best way to start my day, and what I love about CBG the most is it blends with the season. Each time you go, you will find something different in bloom and have a newfound appreciation for the space of greenery in an often urban environment we find ourselves in. And who wouldn’t want to see all those colorful leaves in fall?

Ahead is our Chicago Winter, which I love for many reasons — more on that later! But while we can, it’s a good idea to soak up what’s left from summer sun activities.

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Mary Slowinski

Northwestern '24

Mary is currently a sophomore at Northwestern University studying Learning and Organizational Change in the School of Education and Social Policy.
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