Chicago travel in April includes some highlights: melting snow, warmer days, baseball season, and more people out and about. Even though crowds are continuing to increase this month, hotel rates remain reasonable. View our guide on April travels to the Windy City for more weather information, clothing, and events to attend.
Weather in April
April in Chicago offers mild days with an average high of 59°F (15°C). At this temperature, snow is melting quickly, and nearly all precipitation is rainfall. While this is not the wettest month you can expect between 9 and 12 days of rain.
The saying “April showers bring May flowers” is correct to describe Chicago in April weather because of the rain.
- Early April: 51°F (11°C)
- Mid-April: 56°F (13°C)
- Late April: 62°F (17°C)
The month starts with a high of 51°F and ends at a warm 62°F. You will love visiting Chicago in April as the temperatures are warm enough to do outdoor activities like walking, yet the breeze keeps you cool even in the sun.
Morning / Daytime / Evening Temperatures
Typical temperature progression during the day in April (average temperatures):
- Very early morning (6 AM): 45°F
- Morning: (8 AM): 47°F
- Afternoon (3 PM): 55°F
- Late Evening: (9 PM): 48°F
The temperatures stay in the high forties during the early morning, then shift into the highest temperature around 3 pm. Expect the average low to drop into the forties again in the evenings.
Quote from a local: It is really hit or miss in April. We have been outside in shorts and parkas in the same week during the month. Pants, jackets, layers. Always prepare for rain. However, early spring is an excellent time to visit the city as it’s not too crowded, and often pleasant.
Keep in mind, it can be quite chilly outside in the mornings and late evenings. We recommend checking the local forecast daily while visiting Chicago because the weather can abruptly change during the month. Additionally, check the 7-day forecast while packing your suitcase.
April in Chicago averages over a week of rain typically. As the month continues, the rainfall shifts from 2.4″ at the beginning to 3.2″ by the end of April. If you are traveling to Chicago this month, it’s best to bring rain gear like a waterproof jacket and boots.
April is known as a windy month, offering an average wind speed of about 13 MPH. If you are near Lake Michigan, the wind will be more apparent as the skyscrapers will not block it out. Thus it feels colder than at other places in the city.
What to Wear
While you will need layers in April (like with most months), much fewer are needed. Expect to bring a light jacket, t-shirts/light long sleeves, shorts or thinner pants like cotton, and waterproof shoes/boots.
It is chillier during the mornings and evenings, especially before the sun is out and after sunset. These are the times when you’ll need a jacket or even a thicker sweater. This changes depending on when you are visiting during the month.
Otherwise, an acceptable outfit is a long-sleeved shirt, medium to thin pants, waterproof shoes or boots, a jacket, and a hat if you run on the colder side.
In the daytime, it feels much warmer in the sun. It’s typical to go out in the early morning with multiple layers only to discard your jacket by mid-afternoon. You can wear a long-sleeved shirt, medium-thin pants, waterproof shoes (like sneakers), and sunglasses to block out the reflected sun from the leftover snow.
April Quick Tip: While temperatures are mostly pleasant, rain is always possible. Bring a rain jacket and comfortable water-resistant shoes.
April What To Wear List
- Light rain jacket (necessary for staying dry when outside)
- Rainboots or waterproof sneakers
- Long-sleeved shirt or t-shirt
- Medium thickness to thin pants
- Warm sweater
Expect crowds to be average in Chicago in April. As the month continues and the weather gets warmer, more people will be outside, including locals and tourists. During this time, crowds are handleable.
As the level of people in Chicago rises, the hotel prices rise. Accommodation rates remain relatively reasonable, though the possibility of getting cheap deals begins to decline for Chicago hotels this month.
Things To Do in April
April is an exciting time for Chicagoans, as they live for the warmer weather. Because of this, you’ll find ample indoor and outdoor activities available. Below are some examples of ways to spend your time when visiting the city.
Local Tips: ‘For outdoor activities in April, let the weather be your guide. It can be an iffy month in Chicago: Sometimes unpleasant, drizzly, even snowflakes may fall early in the month. On the other hand, it can also be warm and mild. Take this into consideration for any activities and when planning to visit 360 Chicago. Check the forecast for the next day, and if it’s nice, get out and walk the RiverWalk, see the “Bean” in Millenium Park, or take an architecture cruise on the river. If not, there are all those bars, restaurants, and world-class museums.’
If the weather is warm and sunny, I would try to take a boat tour. I like Wendella. But be sure to do the lake and river tour as that gives you a nice idea of our city with breathtaking views.
The water taxi operates from March to late November depending on the weather. However, during the pandemic, the operating months may be different. Check the official website for more details: Chicago Water Taxi
Visit The Cherry Blossoms
- When: Spring
- Where: Jackson Park, 6401 S Stony Island Ave, Chicago, IL 60637
- Price: Free
Jackson Park in Chicago houses cherry blossom trees that bloom each April. This park features 160 trees that can be viewed by foot. Enjoy the fresh air and beautiful greenery by bringing your family to the park.
You’ll find Jackson Park located near the Museum of Science and Industry. After visiting this museum, stop by the park and enjoy lunch by the cherry blossoms.
Architecture River Cruise
- When: Year-round | Best from April to September/October
Chicago is known for its architecture, and seeing it by cruise is a great way. You’ll get to enjoy the captivating skyline while learning about the architecture of the city. The best cruise is the Architecture River Cruise. Tip: Check the weather 1-2 days in advance and book if the temps are pleasant and no rain will be expected on that day.
In the winter months, most tours shut down as the water will be frozen in some areas, and the temperatures will be too frigid. However, some boats operate year-round with heated interiors,
April is the first month when locals recommend taking a river cruise, as you can enjoy a tour on the upper deck of a boat again, especially on a sunny day. Dress accordingly and use layers!
The Chicago Theatre Marquee Tour (Year-round)
- When: Year-round, great in April
- Where: 175 N State St, Chicago, IL 60601
- Price: $18 per person
This tour of the Chicago Theatre Marquee is a perfect activity to try on a rainy day in March. The tour lasts for 60 minutes and discusses the history of this building erected in 1921 as a movie theater. You’ll be guided through the lobby, auditorium, dressing rooms, and other areas of the Chicago Theatre Marquee.
Purchase tickets and find additional information here: The Chicago Theatre Marquee Tour.
The Magic Parlour (Year-round)
- When: Fridays + Saturdays year-round
- Where: 17 E Monroe Street, Chicago IL 60603
- Price: $79 per person
Take your family (12+ years old) to view a show at The Magic Parlour in Chicago. This location offers magic shows that have been running for years. You’ll find a fancy yet intimate setting inside as only 50 people can view shows at a time.
There is a dress code for the shows, which is noted as cocktail attire. Expect to be called up on stage at any point during the show. The magician (Dennis Watkins) has been featured on larger TV channels like FOX, ABC, and WGN.
Find more information and purchase tickets here: The Magic Parlour Chicago.
Museum of Science and Industry
- When: Year-round | Great in April
- Where: 213 W Institute Pl, Chicago, IL 60610
- Price: $10 entry fee
The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago is fun to explore science on a rainy day in April! This is a year-round science study paradise, but especially during the Chicago winters! With so many interactive exhibits and unique experiences, exploring the museum might take more than one day. So, it will definitely keep you entertained and educated on one or more unpleasant April days.
Field Museum of Natural History
- When: Year-round | Great in April
- Where: 1400 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605
- Price: $26 ticket
The Field Museum of Natural History is worth visiting year-round, but especially in April on an unpleasant day. It holds over 35 world-renowned natural history exhibitions. Explore the subterranean life in the Underground Adventure exhibit. Experience the gemstones in the Hall of Gems and one of the largest collections of Chinese jade in North America in the Hall of Jades. Check out the Ice Age mammoth hunters and the temples of the Aztecs. Finally, visit the Dinosaur Hall Evolving Planet exhibit
360 Observation Deck
- When: Tours available throughout the year
- Where: 875 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611
- Price: $30 per person
If you spend only a few days in Chicago in March, the 360 Observation Deck is a must-visit. Soaring 1,000 feet over Chicago’s legendary Michigan Avenue, 360 is one of the city’s most impressive attractions.
Tickets to skip the line for a faster entry: 360 Observation Deck – Skip the Ticket Desk.
2.5 Hour Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure (Year-round)
- When: Year-round, great in April
- Where: 320 N Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60654
- Price: $44 per group
This activity allows you to explore downtown Chicago by scavenger hunting while competing with other teams. It’s the perfect way to see the city in a fun and unique way. You will need to solve clues on your smartphone to continue to your family and friends’ next point of interest.
Tickets can be purchased here (mobile voucher or printed): Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure.
Chicago Dance Month
Events in April
There are plenty of events that occur in April to enjoy with your family and friends. Check out some events to visit while you’re staying in Chicago.
Easter Egg Hunt
- When: Sat April 16
- Where: 2001 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614
- Price: $1 per egg hunt participant
Each year in April, the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago hosts an Easter egg hunt for the children. Kids can take pictures with the Easter bunny in between searching for eggs. There will be free rides on the carousel and train at the zoo with ticket purchases.
There is live music and a bar where you can purchase alcoholic beverages to keep the adults entertained. Crafts and other family-friendly activities can be participated in during this event.
- April 18 + 19
- Where: 5555 North River Road, Rosemont IL
- Price: $30-104 per person
This festival occurs in Chicago each year in mid-April (except for 2020). It is villain and hero-themed and offers conferences featuring the actors who play famous characters. This is a great excuse to dress up as a superhero.
You’ll find comics, signed posters, and memorabilia to look at and purchase. This is an excellent two-day festival for families who superhero movies and shows. You may even meet your favorite actor while attending.
More information can be found here: Fan Fest Chicago.
- Chicago International Movies and Music Festival
- The Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo