Chicago summer is in full swing as the city sees loosened COVID-19 mitigations and more of a return to normalcy over the last couple months.
From the Auto Show and Pokémon GO Fest to the Tacos and Tamales Fest and White Sox games, there are plenty of ways to enjoy sunny Chicago this weekend.
Here are some things to do around the city this weekend:
Take a Drive at the Chicago Auto Show
The Chicago Auto Show returns to the city this weekend for the first time in more than a year, after taking a hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Auto Show will take place this weekend through Monday, shorter than the usual nine-day run that takes place in the winter. It will also be held both indoors and outdoors for the first time since it started in Chicago in 1901, officials said.
Satisfy Cravings at Pilsen’s Tacos and Tamales Fest
The Pilsen Neighborhood Taco and Tamales Festival will give residents a chance to satisfy some cravings this weekend.
Through Sunday, people can enjoy Mexican dishes, live music and art in front of murals of renowned artists on 16th Street.
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Catch ‘Em All at the Pokémon GO Fest
A giant Pokémon GO egg can be found in Chicago’s Maggie Daley Park this weekend as part of a global, virtual event for players worldwide.
Niantic picked 20 cities to host in-person activities for the Pokémon GO Fest from Saturday at 10 a.m. to Sunday at 6 p.m., with Chicago being the biggest event, organizers said.
The event will consist of Legendary Pokémon raids live with trainers from around the world, all teaming up to catch rare Pokémon characters, which will be projected onto a 50-foot tall Egg, according to organizers.
Stroll Through the Chicago Botanic Garden
The Chicago Botanic Garden in suburban Glencoe is open this weekend from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., although the Rose Terrace closes at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
Due to COVID-19 mitigations, all visitors must pre-register to walk through the gardens and wear a mask indoors if not vaccinated against the virus. Parking on the weekends is free for members and costs $30 for non-members.
Visit a Chicago Museum
Chicago museums return to normal operational hours last weekend, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced, as part of Chicago’s move to a full reopening.
Some museums will continue to have COVID-19 protocols in place, though. The Shedd Aquarium still asks that visitors purchase tickets in advance, but will no longer require vaccinated guests to wear masks.
Catch a White Sox Game
The White Sox play game two Saturday of a three-game series against the Houston Astros at 6:15 p.m. and then again Sunday at 1:10 p.m. The team will remain at Guaranteed Rate through Wednesday for a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins.
Savor a Bite at Chicago Restaurants Indoors or Outside
Restaurants and bars across Chicago are allowed to return to full capacity in Phase 5, as well as allow for fully vaccinated guests to walk around without a face covering.
However, some establishments may opt to keep COVID-19 restrictions in place until further notice.
As Chicago expected sunny skies and warm temperatures this weekend, many could be on the hunt for places to wine and dine outdoors. The city is known for its foodie scene, filled with plenty of patios and rooftops.
Choose Chicago has offered up a list of places currently offering outdoor dining in Chicago. Here are some highlights:
Avli Taverna: 1335 W. Wrightwood Ave.
Beatrix Fulton Market: 834 W Fulton Market
Beatnik on the River: 180 N Upper Wacker Dr.
Aba: 302 N. Green St. 3rd Floor
Ema: 74 W Illinois St.
Mesler: 1401 E. 53rd St.
The Duck Inn: 2701 S. Eleanor St.
Theater on the Lake: 2401 N. Lake Shore Dr.
Beatnik on the River: 180 N. Upper Wacker Dr.
BOKA: 1729 N. Halsted St.
Formento’s: 925 W. Randolph St.
Siena Tavern: 51 W. Kinzie St.
Offshore: 1000 E Grand Ave
Wood: 3335 N. Halsted St.
Happy Camper: 1209 N. Wells St.
Tzuco: 720 N. State St.
LuxBar: 18 E. Bellevue Pl.
Browse the Frida Kahlo Exhibit in Suburban Chicago
The legendary life and notable works of artist Frida Kahlo are on display this summer in the Chicago area in the new Timeless Exhibition.
Open through Sept. 6, the Cleve Carney Museum of Art and the McAnich Arts Center at the College of DuPage in suburban Glen Ellyn is featuring 26 original pieces from the 20th century artist.
Take a Trip South to See the Caverns Opening Weekend For First Time in Over 10 Years
Caverns in southern Illinois reopened to the public for the first time in over 10 years this summer, after being closed due to an abundance of caution, officials announced.
The southern attraction reopened as another spot for residents to enjoy as the state moves into Phase 5 of its coronavirus reopening plan. Until October, the caves will be open Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Take a Swing at the Maggie Daley Park Miniature Golf Course
Maggie Daley Park’s 18-hole, Chicago-themed miniature golf course, and ribbon is open daily. In the summer, the ribbon is transformed to welcome scooter users, rollerbladers, and roller skaters. Weekend rentals are now available.
Pick Seasonal Produce at a City Farmers Market
As the city moved into Phase 5, more farmers markets across Chicago will begin welcoming residents back for the 2021 season.
Though some markets have not announced official plans for a summer reopening, others have released schedules and information concerning the upcoming kickoffs following closures last year due to the COVID pandemic.
Sail Down the Chicago River or Lake Michigan By Boat, Kayak
Take in the city’s iconic architecture while sailing along the Chicago River on one of several boat tours. The 90-minute tours run every hour and a half and cost $40 for an adult and $18 for a child.
Due to COVID-19 mitigations, the Wendella boat tours require that passengers wear a face covering while on the vessel and practice social distancing.
Enjoy the Skyline While Relaxing on Chicago’s Lakefront Beaches
Chicago beaches along Lake Michigan opened to the public with lifeguards on duty Memorial Day weekend, and have seen many residents heading over to enjoy the water.
The city’s beaches were closed during the summer of 2020 in line with COVID-19 restrictions.