June is bustin’ out all over.
It’s June and that can only mean one thing– the gateway to summer is here! Memorial Day Weekend has come and gone, giving Chicago its first taste of summer festivities. There’s plenty more where that came from. From innovative new art exhibits to bottomless brunches, here are some of the best things to do this June in the Windy City.
1. Celebrate Pride Month!
First of all, this month is dedicated to celebrating our wonderful LGBTQ+ community. Pride Month is celebrated each year in June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. Today the country celebrates with pride parades, picnics, parties, concerts, and much more. Though Chicago’s official LGBTQ+ Pride Parade will instead go ahead in October this year, there is still so much to do. Take time this June to explore all the amazing things the local LGBTQ+ community has done and continues to do throughout the month, and support them!
The Nailed It! At-Home Experience is back with an ocean twist. This summer’s challenge is inspired by the new episode of the Double Trouble season where you can have fun creating fondant-covered marine animals. All the ingredients to bake and decorate your treats will be sent straight to your home along with all the necessary instructions Then, you collaborate in the kitchen with another baker over Zoom in the live experience that takes place on June 26. Once inside, your host will give you a limited amount of time to create a marine-inspired masterpiece together. There are only a limited amount of kits left for purchase and sales end on June 7th, so you’ll want to purchase now to take part in this fun and summery challenge.
Nothing puts a spring in your step like a solid brunch and there are some fantastic brunch spots all over Chicago. River North’s celestial Secret Garden Pop-Up, however, is one place you can be sure of a good time. Running through to the end of June, spring vibes and a bottomless mimosa brunch can be found in the leafy lounge setup of Blue Violet every weekend. The cocktail bar combines cascading greenery, stylish interior, and spring-themed cocktails but all the floral fun isn’t reserved just for weekend revelers. There is a Secret Garden Spring Pop-Up happy hour that will run from 5 pm to 7 pm Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays until the end of June!
You can also look at our top 20 best breakfast & brunch spots in Chicago article for our top choices!
Experience a magical June here in Chicago thanks to the amazing indoor and outdoor venues the city has to offer. Of all the performances taking place around the city, few things can better the spectacle provided by a sublime Candlelight Concert. Flickering candles and melodic sounds combine phenomenally to create magnetic atmospheres and some of Chicago’s most unique venues are no hosting concerts that include:
- Candlelight Open-Air: Favorite Anime Themes at Artifact Events Courtyard
- Candlelight Open Air: Miles Davis Classic Quintet at The Hidden Courtyard at Salvage One
- Candlelight Indoor: Sam Cooke, Curtis Mayfield & More at Epiphany Center for the Arts
- Candlelight Indoor: From Bach to The Beatles at Stan Mansion
- Candlelight Indoor: Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong at Stan Mansion
An experience we’ve had our eyes on for months will finally make a splash in Chicago this June. The Little Mermaid cocktail extravaganza finally arrives in Chicago on the 24th June. You’re invited to take a plunge beneath the waves, leaving the city streets in your wake, and enter a submersive theatrical cocktail experience where three bespoke nautical cocktails await. Secure a spot at Secure a spot at The Little Mermaid Cocktail Experience here before tickets sell out!.
Another experience offering an evening unlike any other you’ve had before is the Dinining in the Dark with The Secret Society. Taking place several days a week through July this confidential culinary experience is far from the mundane dining experience you’re used to. Eminent psychologists have been advocating dining in the dark as the ultimate gastronomic experience for years. At this Dinining in the Dark with The Secret Society a fusion of exceptional dishes and eerie enigma offer a night you won’t forget.
If Dining in the Dark with the Secret Society is the pinnacle of gastronomic experiences, Brews n ‘Baahhs’ is the pinnacle of wholesome afternoons. We’ve been through a lot the past year and if there’s one way to relax and let your mind unwind it’s with a pasture full of adorable billy kids followed up by a selection of craft beer.
Brews n ‘Baahhs’ invites you to escape to the idyllic setting of GlennArt Farm for an hour hanging out with their playful and adorable goats before doubling down on those warm fuzzy feelings with a flight of craft beers on the rooftop of One Lake Brewing. This could just be the GOAT when it comes to relaxing experiences so get your tickets now.
Chicago’s latest exhibit, Artopia, is offering guests a multi-dimensional, hands-free journey utilizing digital displays and interactive technology within a West Loop warehouse. Sound-reactive LEDs, large-scale light art, holographic fan technology, and interactive projection mapping provide futuristic synergy whilst 8 large-scale sculptures and 20 murals harmonize the authentic with the avant-garde. Tickets start at just $30 for the one-hour-long journey through Artopia.
There are also Paint & Sip experiences at Artopia every Tuesday where you can get creative with a cocktail in one hand and spray paint in the other. Meanwhile, every Friday Artopia After Dark: Burlesque, Cocktails & More takes over the 32,000 square ft exhibit with special cabaret-style shows, burlesque performances, and live DJs in Artopia Lounge’s cabaret setting.
- Get your tickets for a self-guided tour through Artopia here.
- Get your tickets for the Paint & Sip experiences here.
- Get your tickets for the Artopia After Dark shows here.
While Artopia is an innovative and future-forward experience, Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibit showcases the awe and wonder of arguably one of mankind’s greatest artistic achievements while. Imagine having the chance to stop and admire the stunning frescos the famous Italian artist painted across the historical Sistine Chapel from an up-close, life-sized, and never-before-seen perspective right here in Chicago, without the price point of a flight to Italy.
Another mind-blowing exhibition to have just opened, most people have likely already heard about. The Morton Arboretum has finally unveiled its massive new arbor-inspired exhibition at the end of May after it was forced to postpone its original April opening date due to pandemic-related shipping delays holding up the arrival of exhibition materials. Entitled Human + Nature, the stunning new exhibition features five massive natural sculptures from renowned South African artist, Daniel Popper. Read more about it here!
If you’re keen to lose yourself to Marvelmania and snag a selfie with a real-life superhero, there is nowhere better on Earth right now to do that than at The World’s Largest Interactive Super Marvel Exhibit.
Chicago is no far friend from nature. With its lush parks, riverside excursions, the Lakefront, and incredible hiking trails, the city is teeming with opportunities to get back in touch with Mother Nature. For a more intimate experience, Chicago has numerous secret gardens hidden across the city. Read our full article on 10 of the best spots around the city to stop and smell the roses here.
This self-guided food adventure is the perfect way to explore Chicago’s best neighborhoods and avoid the crowds! Starting with a picnic basket, have fun solving personally curated clues and riddles sent to your smartphone that’ll take you on a journey to collect your special gourmet picnic food bit by bit. Each clue you solve will lead you closer to your next picnic food pickup and even closer to your final stunning secret picnic spot. You can expect a 3-4 hour all-inclusive stress-free date with this fantastic picnic experience. Grab tickets and select the date here and everything will be planned for you.
If you’re prepared to head outside of the city and into the wilderness we’ve chosen the 7 most amazing natural spectacles in Illinois. Although our state may not boast wonders with the universal magnitude of the Grand Canyon or Yosemite National Park, Illinois is teeming with diverse ecological landscapes and natural spectacles that will take your breath away. Here are 7 natural wonders of Illinois that you can visit while international travel is still off the cards.
- Garden Of The Gods: Saline County
- Cave-In-Rock: Hardin County
- Wildcat Canyon In Starved Rock State Park: La Salle County
- Cache River State Natural Area: Johnson County
- The Pomona Natural Bridge: Jackson County
- Cascade Falls In Matthiessen State Park: La Salle County
- Bork Falls In Ferne Clyffe State Park: Johnson County
Art on the MART returned in April and fired up all 34 digital projectors for a Spring 2021 Program in collaboration with Adler Planetarium. It is the last month you can catch the world premiere of ‘Astrographics’ projected across the 25-story-tall face of the Merchandise Mart before they change to the summer showings. For us, it’s the best show they’ve put on to date.
Produced by the Adler Planetarium, the scientific visualizations are based on real data showing the scale of the universe and “transports the viewer from Earth to other planets and stars, then out to deeper and more speculative realms.” The 30-minute shows that run nightly at 8:30 pm and 9:00 pm. You can read the full article here.
A truly unique evening can be had combining kayaking with the Art on the MART projections. The Riverwalk and Lakefront locations opened for their spring and summer seasons at the beginning of May whilst Monroe Harbour kayaking and paddleboarding officially opened on May 21. Whether you’re down by Chicago Riverwalk flanked either side by the city’s famous highrise architecture or taking in the skyline from the protected waters of Monroe Harbour, kayaking in Chicago is a truly unforgettable activity.
With the sun beginning to shine, there is no better time to head up to 360 Chicago and take in the unparalleled views of our sensational skyline. You can now savor a half bottle of bubbly as you take in the spectacular views of the city the John Hancock Observatory 1,000 feet (304 meters) above the Magnificent Mile. Upgrade to the TILT option to access the brand new attraction of outward tilting glass 1,000 feet above the Magnificent Mile. Time it right and you might even be able to catch a firework show in May!Admission for 2 with a bottle of prosecco starts at $70.
If vertigo-inducing experiences are your thing, high up Sears Tower, more formally known as the Willis Tower, a glass ledge breaches the building’s dimensions and stands 4ft outside of the walls of the 103rd floor. Looking down you’ll see a 1,353 ft drop staring back up at you as you sit in a tiny glass box protruding outside of what was once the world’s tallest building.
After undergoing a multimillion-dollar renovation the iconic experience has now reopened boasting even more reason to head up to the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower. The 45,000-square-foot space is now, according to the Skydeck general manager Randy Stancik, “part Chicago museum, part selfie museum, part architectural river tour, and part children’s museum.” Acting as the entrance to the Skydeck, an interactive museum featuring lighting, sounds, and visuals now offers a journey through Chicago’s history on the level below the observation deck.
For real thrill-seekers, you might be interested in taking it a step further and testing your skydiving skills in one of Chicago’s state-of-the-art indoor skydiving centers. With an iFly Indoor Skydiving Center in Lincoln Park and another iFly Indoor Skydiving Center in Rosemont, there are two conveniently located cutting-edge centers to choose from. Kids and adults can both experience the same sensation you’d get 12,000 feet up in the sky and if you feel you have what it takes, you can test your vertigo above Chicago’s iconic skyline at Skydive Chicago, one of the world’s largest skydiving resorts
Back down at a non-nauseating height another fantastic activity for thrill-seekers in Chicago can be found down at Kanya Lounge’s exclusive 2-story adult playground. Five Axe Throwing Lanes allow you to test your inner lumberjack and blow off some steam while a Rage Room Experience offers 3 unique custom-made rage rooms providing the ultimate stress reliever after the torrid months we’ve had. Either way, signature cocktails and bucket of beers can be enjoyed in the bar and lounge area while you’re at it.
If it’s E-Sports rather than extreme sports that are more your type of activity you’ll find no place better than Midlane E-Sports in Logan Square. Chicago’s newest Esports venue provides both the group gratification of days gone by and the luxuries of modern technology. With high-end gaming computers, the latest consoles, tournaments, viewing parties, social gatherings, and a service bar it is the perfect gaming hideout for gamers of all genres. Drinks and Game Night at Midlane! tickets offer exclusive gaming sessions with specialty-themed cocktails for just $22.
On the topic of new venues, The Sanctuary is a brand-new arts and entertainment venue located on the artsy edge of the West Loop. The quaint, romantic 1885 Landmark features vaulted ceilings, stained glass windows, vintage chandeliers, and a built-in stage. Complemented by a private Niche Bar and Lounge The Sanctuary offers an idyllic place to unwind after work with live music and drinks deals. Tickets with drinks for 2 start at $75.
Of all the live music taking place in Chicago, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to jazz. There are so many wonderful places to see live jazz in its rawest form here in Chicago. Le Piano, however, offers one of the most intimate and romantic experiences.
In the middle of Le Piano sits a magnificent grand piano where some of Chicago’s most talented pianists and jazz performers come to play. Here you will find a mind-blowing musical experience merging dinner, drinks, and intimate performances. Exclusive packages offer deals such as Immersive Live Jazz & Dinner for Two or Immersive Live Jazz & Cocktails. Dine and drink as live music softly resonate around you in this cozy, romantic, and magical venue.
Talking of magic, if you head down to West Loop’s Grand Cabaret After Dark this month you’ll find a vintage evening of jazz and magic in Chicago’s newest speakeasy. Featuring live jazz music of classics and contemporary songs by the E-Line Organ Trio, and some mysterious magic by Mr. Jim Bergstrom! A delectable dinner and BYOB drinks rules ensure an all-round night of mystery and marvel.
While many of us have missed live music, adventure activities, and everything in between this past year, I think we can all admit it feels amazing to be able to watch new flicks at the movie theaters once again. We’ve been so resigned to binge-watching at home that cinematic experiences on enormous screens are now even more exhilarating than ever before. Whether it’s a rainy afternoon, a special date night, or a family outing, the movies are always a good time, and boy have we missed them. You can buy tickets to all the best comedies, action flicks, and everything in between showing at AMC movie theaters here.
[Featured image from Shutterstock]