Summer in the city? Sweet.

By Courtney Linehan

I’m gonna miss summer in Chicago.

Chicago is one of the greatest places to spend your summer. If you’re a suburbanite heading home for break and dreading the idea of moving back in with mom and dad, just think of all the amazing opportunities you’ll have to hop on the train and be downtown quicker than it’d take to walk from Green Street to the Six Pack. Here are my Top Ten things you everyone should do in the city this summer:

  • 10. Go to a Cubs game. I’m a Sox fan, so it’s painful even putting this on the list. But I’d be denying the truth if I pretended the rest of you didn’t love sitting in the bleachers and getting drunk. The great thing about Wrigley Field, and even I can appreciate this, is that it’s easily accessible via public transportation and is close to where pretty much every recent Illinois grad lives after they leave Champaign: Lincoln Park.
  • 9. Attend a neighborhood festival. Chicago has dozens of neighborhoods, and many of them hold stree festivals on summer weekends. These events are often free or have extremely cheap cover charges and feature great food, brews, bands and craft vendors. Check the City’s Web site for the festival nearest you.
  • 8. Visit Lincoln Park Zoo. Lincoln Park Zoo features free admission, and any college kid has got to like that. It also boasts an awesome location in the heart of the city. Throw in the great childhood memories that will come flooding back from your youthful trips to the zoo, and this trip is a can’t miss.
  • 7. Go to the Gay Pride Parade. OK, admittedly, I’ve never been to this event. But I wrote a preview story for it last year, and it sounded like a blast. Everyone I know who’s been says that this is one of the greatest neighborhood-wide parties on the city’s summer calendar, and that people of any sexual orientation can have a great time watching the parade, taking in the crowd and supporting the LGBT community.
  • 6. Soak up the sun at Oak Street Beach. My suggestion is to hit the lake early on a Sunday morning. Pack a frisbee, a cooler and a lot of sunblock, spread out your towels and get ready to live it up Chicago style. Oak Street Beach is one of the city’s greatest traditions. You can’t beat this classic.
  • 5. Attend an outdoor concert. They happen all over Chicago, from Navy Pier to Grant Park to the suburbs. Outdoor concerts have a fun summer atmosphere, are often free to the public and feature great bands, both unknown and Top 40.
  • 4. Hit up a free museum day. Many of Chicago’s museums offer free admission one day a week or during certain off-peak hours. Those that don’t almost universally offer reduced student rates. Classes may be out of session, but that’s no excuse to skip the culture.
  • 3. Catch a Saturday night Sox game. I don’t think there’s anything better in Chicago than seeing the Sox play on a Saturday night and sticking around for the fireworks show afterward. It’s magic.
  • 2. Rock out at Lallapalooza. Lalla is one of the new traditions in Chicago, and it’s fantastic. The all-day, multiple-day, multiple-stage concert series takes over Grant park, but in a good way. There’s something for everyone at Lallapalooza.
  • 1. Eat your way through Taste of Chicago. Need I even say why everyone should try the taste? Here are my suggestions: a taste of Toasted Ravioli, cheesecake on a stick, a bag of cherries, share some alligator and splurge on a full-size Rainbow Cone in a waffle cone. Yum.