The Chicago Spring Bucket List

Things to do this spring in Chicago

While I don’t know how to exactly interpret this Chicago weather (which for me feels more out of whack than usual), spring has sprung which means we can look forward to the finer and prettier things in life (and pretend we don’t notice the gloomy skies and the huge temperature drops throughout the day).

I think springtime is a turning point for many people in Chicago. We’re stuck battling bitter winters year after year almost losing full faith in the idea that it will end. When spring finally comes, it means we can feel the heat of the sun on our skin, see the beautiful flowers bloom, put away our winter coats and boots, gear up for packed trains for baseball season and finally live life again (because let’s be honest, it’s hard to get ourselves to do anything when the entire city feels frozen and even just the smallest glimpse of warm weather puts us all in a better mood).

I’ve committed this year to trying more things and having more experiences and stories to tell. An easy way for me to do this is by creating mini bucket lists. They don’t necessarily have to be things I’ve never done but things that I’m excited about and that I think you guys will enjoy too. I put one together last year for the winter season so I wanted to try it again for the spring. Keep reading for my list and let me know if you add any of these to your list this season or if I’m missing anything!

Farmer’s Market

What better way to celebrate the season than with fresh flowers, fresh fruit and fresh herbs? Two years ago I spent a hot and slow Saturday morning at a Farmer’s Market in downtown Evanston where I took home a fresh bunch of basil and a fresh bouquet of flowers. I loved getting out of bed early and taking a stroll through the outdoor market – I found it relaxing even with the scorching summer weather. I’m hoping this year I’ll make it over to the Farmer’s Market earlier in the season and more often.

Patios & Rooftops

Warmer weather means eating and drinking al fresco. Some locations on my list this season include Big Star (for yummy tacos and margaritas), the J. Parker (for crafty cocktails and beautiful views of the city), Cindy’s Rooftop (for more views) and Drumbar (for when I’m feeling extra fancy).

Afternoon Tea at The Drake Hotel

Speaking of feeling fancy, I’ve always wanted to experience Afternoon Tea at The Drake because who wouldn’t want to spend hours drinking tea and eating pastries?

Walking Tour

Learn more about Chicago’s architectural history through one of the walking tours hosted by the Chicago Architecture Foundation. You can choose to take a tour of specific historic buildings or get a tour of a few buildings within a theme. I’m interested in heading out to the suburbs for a tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s home in Oak Park. 

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

For those rainy spring days, spend some time in one of Chicago’s many museums. The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago is the first one on my list!

Green Mill Cocktail Lounge

I love listening to live music and Green Mill is definitely the place to be (or so I’ve heard). This jazz club features live music every night and is the perfect go-to when you’re not sure how you want to spend your night. 

Self-Guided Donut Crawl

Gourmet donuts are a big thing in Chicago so the best way to try them all is by creating a self-guided donut crawl. Right? Some places I plan to hit up are Firecakes (their peanut butter cup donut is AMAZING), BomboBar, Do-Rite Donuts and Beaver’s Coffee + Donuts.

Lincoln Park Conservatory

If you’re strolling through Lincoln Park, stop by the Lincoln Park Conservatory to catch their beautiful flowers and blooms for an and easy and free spring activity. I’ve only seen pictures and I’m dying to go!

Lincoln Park Zoo

And then head to the Lincoln Park Zoo for another free city adventure. Spring is the easiest time do these types of outdoor activities because there’s always a cool breeze. I’ve gone to the Lincoln Park Zoo during the summer, and although it’s fun and exciting at first, the heat eventually shakes that off and you end up frustrated and hungry (or at least I do).

The 606

I’ve been on The 606 trail once while exploring the Wicker Park / Bucktown area of the city but I don’t really count that as actually experiencing it. As I’m getting back into exercising more often (which I attribute to the change in season) I want to make a trip out to the trail for a quick run or jog. I’ll even be happy just walking along the trail for an hour or two with good company or a great playlist. Who wants to join me? 

The Chicago Spring Bucket List for 2017


Sheena Lakhani is the founder and editor behind Sheena & the City.

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