Summer Lovin’: Splash’s Guide to Summer

By / Culture / May 25, 2017

A bucket list of 15 things to do, see, sip & eat during Chicago’s best season

Festival fun

• Kick off summer at Do Division next weekend, June 2-4. West Town’s street fest and sidewalk sale spans 10 blocks with family activities, live music and artisan crafts. Watch models strut in sunny styles from local boutiques and sip lemonade spiked with Prairie Organic Vodka as you shop and socialize.

• Old Town School of Folk Music celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, and the Square Roots festival commemorates the milestone July 7-9 with live music and food from Lincoln Square and Ravenswood vendors, like Bistro Campagne and Gather. A children’s pavilion features participatory drum circles and other interactive instrumental demos.

• If you don’t want to splurge on Lollapalooza tickets, music lovers know the best deal in town is at Wicker Park Fest (pictured at top) July 29-30, where a $10 donation gets you access to more than 40 bands across three stages. This year, look forward to indie acts like Doomtree, Guided By Voices, Turquoise Jeep and more.

Rooftop revelry

• Sushi boats and sake sangria make a splash at Noyane, the sleek rooftop at Conrad Chicago. Sushi here is served simply, dressed with a chef’s-blend soy and grated wasabi — when the fish is delivered fresh from Japan’s Tsukiji Market, no frills are necessary. Meat lovers get their fix with Japanese A5 wagyu served on hot stones. 101 E. Erie;

• Take your cocktailing game to new heights at Apogee, the dana hotel & spa’s just-opened rooftop bar from Benjamin Schiller and The Fifty/50 Group. Vibrant large-format libations are served in custom blown-glass vessels that serve two to six, so bring all your friends. Sweet garnishes like dehydrated starfruit, marshmallows and cotton candy (pictured, $14) are whipped up by Executive Pastry Chef Chris Teixeira. 2 W. Erie;

• Happy fifth birthday to Drumbar, Streeterville’s under-the-radar rooftop terrace for serious cocktail connoisseurs. The updated summer drink menu is inspired by the bar staff’s favorite travel spots around the world. Our favorite? The Thailand ($14), made with fresh mango puree, coconut milk, scotch and housemade sticky rice cordial. 201 E. Delaware;

• On June 13, superstar chef Gastón Acurio comes to town for a Peruvian street food-inspired soiree on Tanta’s rooftop (6-9 p.m.) with food stations, pisco sour bars and live Peruvian music. $125, 118 W. Grand;

Fabulously frozen

 Trade your morning frap for an iced salted caramel mocha ($5.50) at Cocoa + Co., made with 72 percent Valrhona chocolate. “It’s salty, sweet and insanely decadent,” says owner Kim Hack of her summer bestseller. 1651 N. Wells;

 Primehouse hosts a freeze pop and candy shop pop-up June 30-July 2 on its popular patio. Kick off Friday happy hour with a boozy strawberry rosé freeze pop; kid-friendly flavors like fizzy lemon lime and blackberry creamsicle will be available Saturday and Sunday (noon-2 p.m.). 616 N. Rush;

 There’s always a sundae on the menu at NAHA, and this summer Pastry Chef Craig Harzewski finds inspiration from his childhood spent picking cherries in upstate New York. “My three siblings and I would eat every one we could get our hands on — even though it upset our stomachs,” he laughs. At NAHA he tops cheesecake ice cream with Door County cherries, roasted pistachios and vanilla wafer cookies, all in a frozen chocolate shell ($15). 500 N. Clark;

 At RPM Italian, the gelato is freshly churned and dispensed to order with a machine imported from Italy. Milk from Kilgus Farmstead in central Illinois lends a super creamy texture for flavors like Sicilian pistachio with wild strawberries and burrata with candied tomatoes, fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil. 52 W. Illinois;

Unique yoga

 Toddlers practice animal-themed yoga poses with their parents at the Nature Boardwalk pavilion before visiting the monkeys, lions and turtles at Lincoln Park Zoo’s summer yoga series, which runs through Aug. 31. There are adult classes too, blending elements of hatha and vinyasa practices and incorporating breathing exercises and mindfulness techniques. $20, 2001 N. Clark;

• Silent yoga classes on a River North rooftop are followed by dancing and socializing with complimentary refreshments at Bender’s biweekly yoga parties beginning June 6. Trainers keep things fresh throughout the summer with music and instructions delivered through glowing wireless headphones. $22-$27, 215 W. Ohio;

• Wake up really early June 21 and BYO mat for some downward dogs and headstands, then dance like nobody’s watching to live DJs at this installment of Daybreaker. You might show up to work a little sweaty and with glow-in-the-dark face paint, but a dance party will wake you up better than the strongest cup of coffee. 5:30 a.m., Savage Smyth, 920 N. Franklin;

 360 CHICAGO hosts a gentle flow yoga class and meditation appropriate for all levels each Saturday morning on the 94th floor observation deck this summer. 9:30 a.m. $25, 875 N. Michigan;


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