Chicago Summer Months

Summer is a fantastic time to visit Chicago. In this guide, our local will help you with essential tips and unique advice. Click/touch to jump directly to each month and topic:

Just click on the month (see above) you would like to visit or read on for more tips:

All of the links above open in a new tab. They are incredibly useful for your Chicago summer visit.

For each month, we provide tips for

  1. Summer Weather
  2. Summer Outfits / Packing Tips
  3. Avoiding the Crowds

Must-Do Activity in Summer: River Cruise [Don’t Miss Out!]

If you’re visiting Chicago this summer, a river cruise is an absolute must-do, the highlight of the city’s attractions.

It’s a breathtaking journey where the vibrant landscapes and the architecture along the riverbanks come to life. Among all the amazing experiences in Chicago, cruising the river during this season stands out as a truly unique adventure, offering unparalleled views of the city’s iconic views.

💡 It’s an experience so enchanting that if you choose just one activity in Chicago, make it a river cruise in the summer!

Essential Summer Packing Tip | Light Rain Jacket

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A light rain jacket is essential for every summer month in Chicago!

Weather in June

The average high temps in June

The average high temperature in Chicago in June is 80°F, about 10°F higher than May’s average. With an average rainfall of about nine days this month, you can expect pretty humid days.

While most days are not rainy, it’s best to bring a rain jacket to help you stay dry while sightseeing.

Temperatures and Overview

Average high temperatures in June:

  • Early June: 72°F (22°C)
  • Mid-June: 77°F (25°C)
  • Late June: 80°F (27°C)

Chicago in June weather is mostly pleasant with warm temperatures. The temperature ranges from 72°F to 80°F (22-27°C). As the month continues and the temperature rises, you’ll get a preview of the hot summer days you can expect in later months, like July and August. The average rainfall is 3.5 inches.

Bring a light jacket for a river cruise or when using the yellow water taxi. More ‘what to wear’ tips later.

Mornings in June offer slightly cooler temperatures, which are best for activities such as shopping at the local farmer’s markets. As the weather is shifting from spring to summer temperatures, mornings may be chilly for some people, so additional layers are necessary.

More about clothing later!

The weather is unpredictable in June in Chicago. Sometimes, we have days that are cooler and feel more spring-like. Other times, the days are summery with humid and hot temps that can reach 90°F, especially toward the end of the month.

Typical temperature progression during a day in June:

  • Morning (8 AM): 71°F
  • Afternoon (3 PM): 78°F
  • Evening (9 PM): 73°F

The weather and temperatures change rapidly this month, with some days offering different weather by the hour. As a Chicago native, I’ve learned always to plan a backup activity in June if the weather does not cooperate. At the very least, ensure you are near shops to stay dry if the weather becomes rainy.

Rainfall

During the month, the average rainfall decreases from 3.7″ to 3.3″. In June, the rain typically decreases as the temperature rises. As there are an average of nine rainy days in June, many Chicagoans will wear water-resistant or quick-drying shoes to get around the city, depending on the forecast.

Good to know: The rain in June is not too bad and it won’t spoil your trip during this wonderful travel month in my city.

Chicago Guide

This is the only guide you will need when visiting Chicago! It includes the best itinerary ideas ever!

What to Wear | Outfit Tips for June

June’s warm yet sometimes rainy weather means you’ll need to pack water-resistant layers and shoes for your trip.

If you prefer to wear sneakers for walking, ensure they are water-resistant or quick-dry. Pack extra socks for activities, especially if you plan to wear sneakers on your trip.

During June in Chicago you wear shorts, light pants or jeans, and t-shirts. Bring a light jacket or rain jacket if the weather prediction includes rain for the day. Most Chicagoans will wear a similar outfit during the month, with hotter days including tank tops, depending on personal preference and style.

Morning/Evening

In general, it’s a good idea to bring a light jacket for early morning or evening activities in June. While most mornings and nights are warm enough without layers for locals, visitors from warmer locations may need additional layers or light pants instead of shorts.

The average morning temperature is in the low 70s, which is a great time to go for a walk, jog, or exercise outside, as you won’t need to worry about getting too hot.

Usually, I bring a compact umbrella with me during the month as the rain seems to come out of nowhere some days. Though, I was caught off guard a few times and had to run for cover as I was too far from home. One time, I even had to jump into a store to purchase a rain jacket as the rainfall was too heavy.

Daytime

During the daytime in June, the weather is quite warm. Usually, you won’t need an extra layer unless it’s raining.

💡 Museums, grocery stores, theaters, and other popular indoor locations will have their air conditioning on high. Because of the major temperature difference from outside to inside, you may consider wearing light pants and a blouse or shirt to help the transition go more smoothly.

Otherwise, if you spend most of your day outside, you can opt for shorts, t-shirts, or tank tops during the day. On a rainy day I usually wear jeans.

Packing List for Chicago in June:

  • Waterproof jacket (helps you stay dry in the rain)
  • Waterproof boots/shoes (to avoid soggy feet while in the city)
  • Multiple pairs of socks
  • Comfortable sandals (to use during days with no expected rain)
  • Light sweaters/jackets (for cooler morning and evening temps)
  • Light, breathable pants
  • Jeans
  • T-shirts/tank tops & breathable shirts
  • Sundresses
  • Swimsuit, beach towel, sunscreen
  • Umbrella
  • Sunglasses

Avoiding Crowds in June

When visiting Chicago in June, you can expect decent crowds at events and attractions. You’ll particularly notice a lot of families with kids at this time, as schools usually let out for the summer at the end of May or the beginning of June. The crowds generally increase as the month continues, so expect to wait in lines for activities.

In June, outdoor and indoor activities are very popular. Outdoor events, such as concerts, bring in many individuals. Of course, rainy days will dictate whether outdoor or indoor activities are more crowded for the day.

The best way to minimize your wait time is to arrive a few minutes before attractions open. You’ll likely still need to wait in line, as other people will arrive early to avoid the crowds. However, you will be able to enter museums and events more quickly than if you arrive at peak visiting times.

💡 To avoid waiting in line book your tickets for the popular attractions and activities in advance! When booking any Chicago tour or activity (save the link!), you will receive a mobile voucher, which is very comfortable!

I have seen people waiting in line at 4:30 AM for Starbucks in Chicago. So, there’s no reason you won’t see crowds at popular attractions early in the morning!

Weather in July

The average high temps in July

In Chicago, the average high temperature in July is between 81°F and 83°F (27-29°C) and about 5°F higher than the previous month. There are only six rainy days this month on average. While it is rather humid this month, visitors can still enjoy almost every outdoor activity.

Average Temperature

Chicago in July weather begins with an average high of 81°F (27°C) at the beginning of the month. 83°F (28°C) is the average at the end of the month. You’ll feel the most difference in temperatures in the morning between the beginning and the month’s end. At the start of July, mornings are in the 60s, while at the end, morning temps are in the 70s.

In the mornings, the temperatures are cooler, yet the humidity is higher. You’ll find the best time to do outdoor activities is in the evening, when the humidity lets up, and the temperature decreases.

Ensure you bring plenty of water when booking activities in the morning, as the moisture will make you sweat more than usual.

At the end of July, expect the temperature and humidity to make it feel quite hot. Many people visit indoor attractions or head to the water park to get a break from the heat.

This month is my favorite time to visit the local beaches and go swimming, as the water is warmer at this time of year. As a local, I always try to plan at least one stop in a grocery store or shop during an activity-packed day to help cool down in July.

Average high temperatures in July:
  • Early July: 81°F(27°C)
  • Mid-July: 82°F (28°C)
  • Late July: 83°F (28°C)
Summer flowers in July in Grant Park, Chicago. Grant Park is just beautiful and totals 312.98 acres
Typical temperature progression during a day in July:
  • Morning (8 AM): 74°F
  • Afternoon (3 PM): 81°F
  • Evening (9 PM): 76°F
Rainfall

During the month, the average rainfall increases from 3.2″ to 3.5″. Even with this increase in rainfall, most Chicagoans do not bring umbrellas to activities during this month unless the daily forecast notes rain.

What to Wear | Outfits | Packing List for July

July is the best time to wear shorts, t-shirts, tank tops, and sundresses in Chicago to help you keep cool. With the heat and humidity, you’ll want to bring along a bathing suit so you can stop by a pool if the heat is too much during the day.

I typically wear shorts, t-shirts, tank tops, and skirts in early July. If the morning temp is in the 60s, I will bring a light jacket that is easy to pack away in my purse when the temperature rises later in the day.

💡 Most locals and I wear the same clothing throughout the month since the entire month is rather hot. As the month continues, I stop bringing along a jacket for morning activities.

Morning/Evening

As mentioned, when visiting Chicago, it’s best to bring a light jacket for early morning activities, such as walking along Lake Michigan. Generally, the evenings remain warm, so you can leave the jacket behind for nighttime activities.

I usually walk around Chicago in breathable shorts and a flowy top or tank top in July. However, I once believed it to be a cooler day, so I wore long pants and a light jacket. By midday, I was overly warm and had to purchase a reusable bag to store my extra layers.

Daytime

During the daytime, you’ll find the hottest temperature around midday and early afternoon. It’s important to bring clothes that help you stay cool and shaded from the sun. Otherwise, you may find yourself sunburned. Wear t-shirts or light cotton shirts that help cover your shoulders to help you avoid redness.

You won’t need a jacket during daytime activities unless you plan on spending the day inside to help combat the high A/C levels in museums, shops, and other attractions.

I recommend investing in a packable jacket, as they can be compressed and easily stored in backpacks or bags when you’re outside.

This is my personal recommendation:

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Basic Packing List
  • Sunglasses
  • Cap or sunhat (to help keep the sun off your face)
  • Light sweaters/jackets (for cooler morning temps)
  • Cotton pants (or other light material for nice occasions)
  • T-shirts/lighter blouses & shirts
  • Dresses (for special occasions, get-togethers, dinners)
  • Swimsuit, beach towel, sunscreen (if you get a warmer, sunnier day)
  • Easy-to-carry water bottle (to stay hydrated on more humid days)

Avoiding Crowds in July

The Fourth of July fireworks in Chicago are gorgeous, but it’s also the most crowded time.

Due to the warm weather and long list of events, July is one of the busiest months in Chicago, so expect events, activities, and attractions to be crowded. You can avoid some crowds by arriving slightly before events begin and businesses open, as most Chicagoans will arrive later in the morning or early afternoon.

Expect the number of visitors and crowds to grow during the Fourth of July weekend, as it’s a popular holiday in the city. If you plan to visit this weekend, purchasing event tickets as early as possible is best.

Book your reservations for restaurants before heading to the city, as they fill up quickly on July Fourth weekend.

Outdoor and indoor activities will be busy this month, especially with more visitors in the city.

💡 My top way of avoiding crowds this month is by scheduling activities during the week. Most Chicagoans work 9-5 Monday through Friday and primarily see attractions on Saturday and Sunday.

Parking: I have found city parking to be tricky in July. The best way to avoid parking snafus is by using public transportation or booking a parking spot with an app before you leave your accommodations. By using these methods, you can easily save yourself the headache of circling the block for 30 minutes.

Weather in August

The Chicago weather in August is perfect for a river cruise

Chicago in August is warm and pleasant with an average high temperature of 81°F (27°C). With an average rainfall of about 9-10 days during this month, you can expect the weather to be pretty humid.

Average Temperature

In August, the average high temperature starts at 85°F and slowly decreases to about 79°F toward the end of the month as Chicago shifts into fall. In the morning, temperatures are typically in the low 70s, with the hottest temperatures hitting around 3 pm each day.

Average high temperatures in August:

  • Early August: 85°F (29°C)
  • Mid-August: 81°F (27°C)
  • Late August: 79°F (26°C)

Typical temperature progression during a day in August:

  • Morning: 73°F (23°C)
  • Afternoon: 80°F (27°C)
  • Late Evening: 75°F (24°C)

In the evenings, the temperatures remain around the high 70s to low 80s. We promise it will feel cooler in the evenings, even with higher temperatures, once the sun goes down.

If you’re looking for the weather and more visiting tips during other months, please check out our complete guide about the best time to visit Chicago.

Rainfall

In August, it rains an average of 9-10 days, with only about three days offering heavy rain. During this month, the average rainfall is about 3.4″. While it may seem like a lot of rain, it’s often dry and hot. However, the rain provides the opportunity to explore the famous museums of Chicago like the Art Institute.

Can You Swim in August in Lake Michigan

Throughout August in Chicago, Lake Michigan is comfortable for swimming, particularly on hot and humid summer days. When the air temperature is in the 80s, the water usually feels great. Swimming is only permitted in designated areas at the beaches when lifeguards are on duty (11 AM – 7 PM).

Keep in mind that you are not allowed to swim outside the designated zones. There is no fee, as admission to Chicago’s beaches is free. The beach season runs until early September (Labor Day).

What to Wear | Outfit Tips for August

During August in Chicago, the weather is quite humid and you should wear light layers during the day. This includes cotton shirts and shorts/pants. Most visitors and locals wear dresses during this month to keep cool.

Morning/Evening

In the morning and evening, you’ll want to bring a light waterproof jacket. Because the weather is unpredictable, you may experience rain during these times. If possible, wear waterproof or water-resistant shoes to avoid walking around with wet socks during the day.

We also recommend extra socks if you get stuck in the rain. If possible, bring a raincoat with you, especially when rain is expected. Otherwise, light long sleeve tops, breathable pants/shorts, and comfortable shoes are great for mornings and evenings.

Daytime

While there is still a chance of rain during the day, you’re more likely to encounter sunny or cloudy weather with humidity. Wearing light clothing during this time is ideal as the high level of moisture will make the temperature feel warmer.

💡 Even on hot days, bring a light sweater as some restaurants really crank up the air conditioning. That’s a lifesaver if you get cold easily.

If it’s sunny out, wear a cap or hat as it’s easy to get sunburned, especially when you’re not in the shadows of the skyscrapers. Wear comfortable sneakers, a breathable t-shirt, and shorts for exploring the city. You may want to bring a light water-resistant jacket in case rain occurs.

What to Wear and Packing List
  • Raincoat or light waterproof jacket (necessary for rainy days/unpredictable weather)
  • Light, breathable shirts
  • T-shirts/blouses
  • Light shorts/pants
  • Caps or hats (during sunny days)
  • Water-resistant shoes/comfortable shoes
  • Multiple pairs of socks (necessary when rain is present)
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Swimsuit/swimwear
  • Pajamas
  • Sunscreen

Avoiding Crowds in August

It doesn’t have to be crowded in August everywhere at anytime: Rogers Park, The Lighthouse at Loyola Beach in the morning. Google Maps location – Lighthouse

August in Chicago brings many people – both tourists and locals. You can expect busy popular places and a good amount of people to be out and about enjoying the weather. The beginning of August is typically more crowded as families visit the city before school starts.

Avoid the crowds by arriving at activities as early as possible. If you can arrive when the doors open, you should have about an hour without long lines for most locations like museums or restaurants.

Things To Do in Summer

Tip: Make sure to grab the Chicago City Pass! It is 100% worth it and will save you a lot of money!

Summer is packed with activities, festivals, and events, so it’s one of the best months to visit the city.

I love spending time in the city in summer because of the many activity options available. The Taste of Chicago is one of my favorite events because of the variety of food available. Many restaurants in the city set up booths, so you can try various food at the same time. This is one event I look forward to every year!

Below, you’ll find the most exciting things to do and see while in Chicago during summer.

Architecture River Cruise
  • When: Spring to Fall | Perfect in Summer
  • Where: Corner of Michigan (DuSable) Bridge
  • Price: about $40 per person

Summer is an excellent time to ride on the Architecture River Cruise. The weather is usually perfect for viewing the buildings. Tip: Book an early morning tour in advance!

Chicago River architecture tours are a must-see for anyone visiting Chicago for the first time and summer has the perfect weather for a memorable cruise. It’s a great way to get acquainted with the city while floating along on a boat.

Tickets and more information can be found here: Chicago River: 1.5-Hour Guided Architecture Tour.

IMPORTANT: We highly recommend making a reservation in advance, as the cruises are very popular. However, you are free to try getting a ticket on short notice of course.

Navy Pier Centennial Wheel
  • When: Year-round
  • Where: 600 E. Grand Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611
  • Price: $19.62 per person for standard entry, $30.52 per person for express entry

The Centennial Wheel is one of the most iconic activities in Chicago and a must-do in summer. This 200-foot Ferris wheel offers spectacular panoramic views of the Chicago skyline, Lake Michigan, and Navy Pier.

Summer is a great time to ride the Navy Pier Centennial Wheel, as each gondola is air-conditioned. This way, you get a break from the heat while visiting one of the most popular attractions in Chicago.

As it will be busier than usual during this month, please purchase the express tickets to jump to the front of the line. If you have children under the age of 2, they can ride for free.

Recommended tickets and more information can be found here: Chicago: Navy Pier Centennial Wheel Regular & Express Ticket.

💡 If you decide to dine on a rooftop at Navy Pier, you can see fireworks in the evenings. This occurs on Wednesday and Saturday nights. Aim for later dinner reservations as the fireworks begin at 9:30 pm.

Great for kids: Additionally, the Navy Pier itself is a great family destination with a variety of activities and attractions. It includes an interactive children’s museum, an IMAX theater, an amusement park, and a giant Ferris wheel.

There are also many restaurants, shops, and live entertainment venues to explore in summer. Kids will love the fun attractions, rides, and entertainment available at Navy Pier.

Art Institute Tour
  • When: Year-round
  • Where: 111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603
  • Price: $115.54 per person

On a rainy or hot and humid day in summer, an Art Institute Tour is one of the best options. This tour will allow you to see the permanent and rotating exhibits in person.

If you’ve never experienced the Art Institute in Chicago, we highly recommend this tour in summer. You’ll be able to recognize this famous building by the green lions that “guard” the exterior, which is also the meeting point for the tour.

Inside, you’ll be guided through sections of the museum that are filled with paintings, sculptures, and other mediums by the likes of Picasso and Rembrandt. Purchase skip-the-line tickets (highly recommended) and find additional details here: Art Institute Tour.

Walking by Lake Michigan
  • When: Year-round
  • Where: Lakefront trail off Fullerton Avenue
  • Price: Free

In summer, you’ll find many people walking, jogging, and bicycling along Lake Michigan. Remember to stay to the right to help avoid any collisions while enjoying the views.

💡 Avoid the crowds that gather around Lake Michigan by walking early in the morning or later in the evening. The sunrises and sunsets are especially pretty from the path near the lake.

The lake is stunning to see, but nothing beats walking along the lake nearby Navy Pier on a warm day during this month. This route allows you to view the famous Ferris wheel with the skyline of Chicago in the background.

We love this path as it will take you alongside the beach. You can walk, jog, or bike ride on this path.

The Chicago Theatre Marquee Tour
  • When: Year-round, great in summer
  • 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 an unpleasant afternoon in summer. The tour lasts for 60 minutes and discusses the history of this building erected in 1921 as a movie theater.

Purchase tickets and find additional information here: The Chicago Theatre Marquee Tour.

The Magic Parlour
  • 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 in summer. They offer amazing magic shows! 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 summer
  • 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 an unpleasant day in summer! With so many interactive exhibits and unforgettable experiences, exploring the museum might take more than one day.

Great for kids: The Museum of Science and Industry offers a fun and educational experience for kids. It features interactive exhibits, live science demonstrations, and a variety of programs and workshops. Kids will enjoy exploring the different galleries, learning about science and technology, and attending the many fun activities the museum has to offer.

What’s so cool about this museum? Stand inside a tornado, experience the world’s largest pinball machine, climb into a real-life WWII submarine, explore a coal mine, get lost in a mirror maze, and more intriguing things.

Field Museum of Natural History
  • When: Year-round | Great in summer
  • Where: 1400 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605
  • Price: $26 ticket (subject to change)

Like the Art Institute, this is a great rainy-day activity. Please purchase your tickets in advance to avoid waiting in line for an hour or so.

The museum 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.

Great for kids: The Field Museum is a great place to take the kids to learn about natural history. It has a variety of exhibits, including dinosaur fossils, ancient artifacts, and cultural displays. Don’t forget to check out the Ice Age mammoth hunters and the temples of the Aztecs. Finally, visit the Dinosaur Hall Evolving Planet exhibit.

Your kids will love it!

360 Observation Deck
  • When: Tours available throughout the year
  • Where: 875 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611
  • Price: $30 per person

This attraction is another top option that allows you to get out of the heat for a few minutes. Drinks, air conditioning, and the famous TILT ride are all available at the 360 Observation Deck.

If you spend only a few days in Chicago in summer, the 360 Observation Deck is a must-visit. Soaring 1,000 feet over Chicago’s legendary Michigan Avenue, 360 is one of Chicago’s most impressive attractions.

Tickets to skip the line (recommended) for a faster entry: 360 Observation Deck – Skip the Ticket Desk.

Summer Hotel Tips

The Blackstone, Autograph Collection is a remarkable and extraordinary 4-star hotel in Chicago. The location is superb. We love this place! Click on the image for rates, reviews, and more (via booking.com)

Find our hotel tips for summer below, with some of the best locations so you can walk to the most intriguing places:

Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park
The Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park. Click on the image for rates, photos, and reviews via booking.com.

The staff is super friendly, our beds were very comfortable, everything was 100% clean and its location is perfect for a visit:  It is only 1 block away from Millennium Park and Navy Pier. You can walk easily to so many hot spots.  It’s also quite close to Lake Michigan beach (20 minutes walk).

Trump International Hotel & Tower
The Trump. Click on the image for rates, photos, and reviews via booking.com.

This hotel offers spectacular views from every room! The view of Lake Michigan, the Chicago River, or the city skyline is iconic. It’s simply the best location when visiting during the summer months.

It is very comfortable from here to join a hop-on/off bus tour, walk along the river or to the Navy Pier, and walk to various restaurants and many other area attractions.

The rooms are luxurious, and spacious, with everything you need.

Home2 Suites By Hilton | Budget Tip
Home2 Suites is our budget tip. Its location is excellent for winter visits. You are so close to ‘Mag Mile’. Click on the image for details, rates, and photos via booking.com. Thanks to Harry Carmichael for the photo.

This is our favorite budget hotel in Chicago in the summer months! The location is excellent: It is located in Chicago’s River North district, a short walk from the Magnificent Mile’s (Mag Mile), shops, and restaurants. The Navy Pier, downtown, and the Chicago Loop are less than 15 minutes away.

Another thing we loved when we stayed there: You can prepare your own food in the room.

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