Chicago is opening up but we are not out of the clear just yet. If you’re eager to get out of your home but weary about public spaces, a park might be the best option for you. It is important to note that the risk of transmission of COVID-19 is lower outdoors. Just keep in mind that playgrounds are not yet available for use. We’ve included a list of our favorite park destinations to keep in mind if you want to explore the city while also being safe. But please, do wear a mask! 

  • The 606 Trail – 1805 N Ridgeway Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

The 606 is a local favorite and our namesake! It’s a fun elevated trail that gives you a great glimpse of neighborhoods like Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Wicker Park, and Bucktown. 

  • Garfield Park – 300 N Central Park Ave, Chicago, IL 60624

While the conservatory is closed, the outer park is open and available for exploring. 

  • Humboldt Park – 1400 N Humboldt Dr, Chicago, IL 60622

This historic park is a must for Chicago residents. It features a boathouse and beautifully designed lagoon and river. 

  • Jackson Park – 6401 S Stony Island Ave, Chicago, IL 60637

Jackson Park is another magnificent historic green space. It was the site of World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 and it was designed by famous landscape architects like Frederick Law Olmsted. It’s sprawling and features a Japanese Garden and lagoons. 

  • The Lakefront Trail

The lakefront trail also opened up earlier this week but keep in mind, it will be a popular destination. If you want fewer people, we recommend visiting the other parks listed first. 

Stay safe and enjoy the sun! 

Covid-19 has upended our routines, there is no denying it. If you’re staying home more often, take advantage of that free time. We wanted to highlight one activity we’re doing while we’re at home. It is not too late in the season to grow an herb garden. You’ll not only have fresh herbs for cooking but it’s an effective stress reliever. Planting will get you away from your phone and focused on something you can care for and watch grow. We’ve created a guide to help get started.

Consider the Container

If you’re renting, consider starting your herb garden in containers and indoors. They’re ideal if you have limited or no garden space. It will not only make it easier to take them with you on your next move but it’ll be easy to transition them indoors when the seasons change.

Clay pots are great and attractive options but they can break easily. Plastic and wood containers are preferred but feel free to work with whatever is best for you. Keep in mind that it’s easier to grow plants in large containers than small ones. Larger containers hold more soil which retains moisture longer. This is particularly ideal during the hot summer months. Whichever pots you go with, just make sure they have drainage holes.

Planning Your Herb Garden

If you’re not sure which herbs to start with, consider the staples. Basil, mint, thyme, and parsley are some of the most resilient and easy to work with. Think about what you cook with on a daily basis and expand from there. You can grow different types of herbs in one container but make sure they have the same sun, water, and soil needs (Most do but definitely double check). 

Plant Needs: Sun, Soil, & Water

Whether you’re working with limited space or creating an herb garden indoors, pick the sunniest spot. Most herbs will need around 6 hours of sunlight per day.

While it may be tempting to just use the soil from your yard, it’s best to use a potting mix. Potting mix is ideal because it’ll retain moisture but will effectively drain excess water.

Just make sure the soil is consistently moist. You won’t need much and you certainly don’t want to drown your plants. If leaves begin to wilt or turn yellow, scale back the amount of water you use.


Harvest a few sprigs at a time and do it regularly. This will encourage new growth. Avoid harvesting too much at once. If you have more than enough herbs, consider drying them for future use or give them away to friends and family. 


Herbs are extremely flexible and can be transplanted when needed. If you notice your plants outgrowing their containers, it’s time to transplant. Herbs can also be started indoors then planted outdoors once they’re ready or you have the space to do so.  

Festival season is going strong despite the tumultuous weather and cooler temperatures as we head into October. The city is still filled with exciting events and fun reasons to go out. Make sure to make the most of these next few months before we have to hibernate once more. So go and explore while you can!

World Music Festival Chicago 

September 13th – 29th

Various Locations, including: 

Chicago Cultural Center

78 E Washington StChicago, IL 60602

The 21st Annual World Music Festival, which started a few weeks ago, is still going strong, ending September 29th. You’ll be able to listen to and experience a wide variety of international music taking place at multiple venues around Chicago. It’s a great way to explore the city and support extraordinary musicians. 

World Dumpling Fest

September 29th 

Navy Pier 600 E Grand Ave Chicago, IL 60611

Head out to the World Dumpling Fest this weekend to enjoy and discover different dumplings from around the world. Come for the dumplings and stick around for the live music and activities. 

Edgewater Arts Festival 

September 28th – September 29th 

Edgewater W Granville Ave & N Broadway

Edgewater is celebrating the arts this weekend and will feature more than 100 artists. You’ll be able to get to know the neighborhood and local businesses while enjoying food, art, and live performances. Make sure to stop by and participate in the fun!

It wouldn’t be Labor Day Weekend without the countless festivals popping up this weekend, some starting as early as Friday and going on all the way through to Monday. If you don’t have any plans yet, there are so many taking place around the city. Make the most of the last few days of summer. It’ll be a long winter before we get the chance to be out and about, enjoying the warmth, sun, and fun.

41st Annual Chicago Jazz Festival

Thursday August 29th – Sunday September 1st*

*Millennium Park – 201 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601

*Chicago Cultural Center – 78 E Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602

Taking place across several locations near Millennium Park, this year’s Chicago Jazz Festival will officially wind down the summer. It will showcase both local and international artists. If your looking to relax and spend an evening or two in the beautiful downtown area, then consider the Jazz festival.

The Great American Lobster Fest

Friday August 30th – Sunday September 1st

Navy Pier – 600 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

If you love lobster as much as I do, make sure to stop by Navy Pier this weekend. It will be a family-friendly event with artist vendors and live performances as well. Take in the Chicago skyline and enjoy some lobster.

Taste of Polonia

Friday August 30th – Monday September 2nd

The Copernicus Center – 216 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL 60630

If your curious about Polish cuisine and culture, but sure to stop by the Taste of Polonia this weekend. It will feature family-friendly activities and live music. It will go from Friday the 30th to Monday September 2nd so you have countless opportunities to enjoy the festival.

30th Annual African Festival of the Arts

Friday August 30th – Monday September 2nd 2019

Washington Park – 5100 S Cottage Grove Ave, Chicago, Il 60615

Consider supporting Hyde Park and the long-standing African Festival of the Arts this Labor Day weekend. There will be an abundance of food, art vendors, and entertainment.

Pachanga Block Party 2019

Sunday September 1

1216 W Ohio St, Chicago, IL 60654

Dance the night away at this years Pachanga Block party in downtown Chicago. There will be incredible DJs playing all kinds of Latin music with drinks and Mexican street food available as well.

Chicago is an amazing city for neighborhood festivals, with a wide variety of people and communities making themselves present and heard. If the Air and Water isn’t your jam, there are countless other festivals happening around the city that might spark your interest. Not to mention, the summer is winding down. Make the most of these last few August weekends before September rolls in and it starts feeling like fall once more.

Monarchs & Me Festival Celebration
South Shore Cultural Center
7059 South South Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60649
If you’ve spent time outside this summer, you’ve probably noticed all the beautiful butterflies passing through. If you’re interested in learning more about their migration, check this event out.

Midway Plaisance Park
1130 Midway Plaisance Park, Chicago, IL 60637
It seems like Hyde Park always has amazing events happening all the time. Stop by this weekend to check out the food, music, and culture of the Caribbean.

Thai Food Festival Chicago 2019
Thorek’s Parking Lot
851 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL 60613
*Free w/ donation appreciated
This is the 2nd Annual Thai Food Festival with 14 different food vendors. If your a lover of Thai food as much as I am, do check it out.

Sangria Festival Chicago
1400 N Humboldt Dr, Chicago, IL 60622
Humboldt Park will transform into an outdoor tapas bar where Sangria will be served alongside food from local restaurants. There will be a painting station as well as flamenco dancers. Sounds like the perfect way to spend a day at the park.

Pilsen Fest 2019
1800 S. Blue Island Ave, Chicago, IL 60608
Explore Pilsen at this years Pilsen Fest. It will be a weekend filled with food, artists, musicians, authors there to celebrate Pilsen and the talent it encourages.

Lollapalooza may be the biggest event of the summer, it’s far from the only one. If you didn’t score tickets this time around, there are countless other events happening around the city. Use this weekend to expand your horizons, visit a new neighborhood, and experience something new.

Edge Fest
August 3rd-4th
N Broadway St & W Thorndale Ave Chicago, IL 60660
Explore Edgewater at the 6th annual Edge Fest. Full of food and entertainment, Edge Fest showcases local musicians, vendors, and artists.

Side by Side with the Chicago Philharmonic
August 3rd
3-5 PM Rehearsal & 6 PM Concert
Hamilton Park, 513 W 72nd St Chicago, IL 60621
Presented through the “Night Out in the Parks” initiative, this event brings side-by-side symphonic concerts to Chicago parks in local communities. Students and members are invited to bring their instruments and rehearse with Chicago Philharmonic musicians which is then followed by a free performance by the musicians.

Old Irving Park Beer & BBQ Challenge
August 3rd
St. Viator Elementary School and Parish campus lot
3644 N Kedvale Ave, Chicago, IL 60641
Be a part of this years Old Irving Park Beer & BBQ Challenge, where 22 teams compete for your vote and you get to try some of the best BBQ Chicago has to offer.

Destination Asia Festival
August 2nd – 4th
Morton Arboretum
4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle 60532
If you’re looking to explore countless Asian cultures through music, dance, and food, then this is the place to be this weekend. They will have food trucks as well as music and dance performances.

Festa Italiana
August 2nd-4th
Naper Settlement
523 S Webster St Naperville, IL 60540
If you’re a lover of Italian food, make sure to check out the Festa Italiana in Naperville. They’ll also have music, artists, and dancers.

Summer has kicked into full gear as more events than you’ll ever be able to attend are popping up out of nowhere and showcasing the very best Chicago has to offer. While most people will be flocking to either Wicker Park Fest and Taste of Lincoln Avenue this weekend, here are some other fun events that deserve some love and support.

Fiesta del Sol
July 25th–28th
1000–1600 W Cermak, Chicago, IL
Started in 1973 by the non-profit organization Pilsen Neighbors Community Council (PNCC), this festival has been a summer staple for Pilsen residents and Chicagoans alike. It generates revenue for the Pilsen neighborhood and allows local organizations and schools to fundraise for education reform, civil rights, immigrant rights, and healthcare support.

July 27th-28th
1130 Midway Plaisance, Chicago, IL
The annual Bantu Fest prides brings cuisine and culture from more than 30 different countries together for a two-celebration.

July 26th
322 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL
This is a relatively new Afro-Carribean music festival touring multiple cities and making a stop here in Chicago.

Peruvian Fest
July 27th
Kosciuszko Park – 2732 N Avers Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
This amazing festival brings Peruvian culture, cuisine, and music to the Logan Square/Avondale area.

Fourth Annual Chicago Poetry Block Party
July 27th
The National Museum of Mexican Art
1852 West 19th Street, Chicago, IL
The Fourth Annual Chicago Poetry Block Party, is a free event filled musical performances, poetry readings, writing workshops, visual art activities, and games.

The Newberry Book Fair
July 25th – July 28th
60 W Walton St, Chicago, IL
This a personal favorite of mine! It is held every year and it’s the perfect place to browse and add more books to your ever growing to-be-read list. It’s also just a wonderful building to check out in a beautiful part of the city.

Chicago is big, really big. If you’re new to the city, or to a specific neighborhood, festivals are a great to get to know the place you’ve chosen to make your home. There are endless possibilities but if you’re feeling brave enough to go out in the heat and rain, here are some awesome events happening around the city this weekend!

Pitchfork Music Festival
Friday July 19th – Sunday July 21st
Union Park
1501 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60606

Water Lantern Fest
Saturday July 20th
Lincoln Park (South Lagoon)
2341 N Cannon Dr
Chicago, IL 60614

Colombian Fest
Friday July 19th – Sunday July 21st
Kelvyn Park 4438 W Wrightwood Ave, Chicago IL 60639

Mexican Indigenous Music Festival (Second Annual)
Sunday, July 21, 2019
Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph Street · Pritzker Pavilion

3rd Annual Taste of Korea Chicago Festival
Saturday July 20th – Sunday July 2st
Old Orchard Shopping Mall West Lot
4999 Old Orchard Rd, Skokie, IL 60077

While school is back in session and summer has ended, it’s important to note that Fall hasn’t officially started. There are still plenty of events taking place throughout the city this weekend so take advantage of the sunshine and enjoy the cool temperatures while they last. Isn’t nice not to be melting in the sun. 

Renegade Craft Fair

Saturday 9/7 – Sunday 9/8

Division St between Damen Ave & Ashland Ave 

Wicker Park Chicago, IL 60622

Want to be surrounded by beautiful hand made art this weekend? Swing by the Renegade Craft Fair to browse the wonderfully curated booths featuring art, jewelry, accessories, and much more. There will also be food trucks, creative work-shops, and live DJ sets to keep you busy and entertained. 

Taste of Serbia Chicago 

Saturday 9/7

Serbian Orthodox Church Holy Resurrection

3062 W Palmer Square, Chicago, IL 60647

Explore Serbian culture at this year’s Taste of Serbia. There will be food, live music, and folk dancing. 

26th Street Mexican Independence Day Parade

Sunday 9/8 at 12pm 

26th St from Albany Ave to Kostner Ave

Little Village 

Come celebrate Mexican Independence in the heart Little Village this Sunday. The parade will kick-off at noon, featuring colorful floats and ends with food, music, dancing, and carnival rides. Support this wonderful neighborhood this weekend!

Ethiopia Fest

Sunday 9/8

Artifact Events

4325 N Ravenswood Ave, Chicago, IL 60613 

If you’re curious about Ethiopian cuisine and culture, be sure to check out the Ethiopia Fest this Sunday. There will be food, live musicians, and art vendors. 

As a northsider, they don’t tell you that a place like Hyde Park exists. With its impressive architecture and college town feel, it’s very different than the Chicago that’s always presented on the news or on TV or in movies. While it may be further south than most venture to, just go. For many, Hyde park is an entry point to getting to know the southside. One of the city’s most historic and popular destinations is in fact Hyde Park. Not only did it host the Chicago’s World Fair in 1893, also known as the Columbian Exposition, but it is also the home of the University of Chicago and The Museum of Science and Industry. Touted as one of the most ethnically diverse neighborhoods in the city, it is clear to see why it’s become such a cross section for so many different people. That isn’t to say Hyde Park isn’t without it’s ‘ivory tower’ institutions and privileges but it is a model for a cohesive and diverse city. It’s no wonder President Barack Obama lived here, with cultural institutions and people breathing life into the local community and beyond. 

Here are just some places to consider, although you’ll find so many more. 

DuSable Museum of African American History

740 E. 56th Pl, Chicago, IL 60637

One of the first independent museums focused on the study and preservation of African American history.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House

5757 S. Woodlawn Ave, Chicago, IL 60637

An amazing example of Frank Lloyd Wright’s residential architecture. 

Hyde Park Art Center

5020 S. Cornell Ave, Chicago, IL 60615

Contemporary Art Space and local artist hub. 

57th Street Books

1301 E 57th St, Chicago, IL 60637

Because, books!

Hyde Park Records

1377 E 53rd St, Chicago, IL 60615

Such a cool spot to browse and find something unexpected. 

Fabiana’s Bakery

1658 E 53rd St, Chicago, IL 60615

The deserts are incredible, a very cute place, and a woman owned business!