The days are getting longer, flowers and lawns across the area are blooming to life, and the weather is warming up. Taken together, this all means only one thing: Summer is settling in over Chicagoland. Are you ready to make the most of it?
While this summer may be a bit different from the norm, there are still plenty of fun opportunities and events that can help you truly enjoy this special time of year.
Whether you want to soak up some sun, give your little ones a break from e-learning, or start exploring our region’s active real estate market, here are some ways to experience the best that summer in Chicagoland has to offer — and all from the comfort and safety of home:
Open Houses and Home Tours
Summer is typically a busy season for real estate, and many signs show that 2020 will be no exception. The market is still moving, and if you’re ready, now is a great time to start down the path to achieving your real estate dreams.
Whether you’re hoping to sell your current property or kickstart the search for your dream home, we’re here to help — while making the process easier and safer at every step of the way.
At Baird & Warner, our hyperlocal experts are adapting and innovating to find new, safe ways for buyers and sellers to move forward with their real estate plans, including virtual showings and open houses. What’s more, our one-stop shop means that you’ll also be able to get the support of Key Mortgage and Baird & Warner Title Services, who are committed to using every resource available to help you get where you want to be.
Want to start exploring Chicagoland’s best open houses — right from the safety of your living room? You can launch your search for virtual open houses and online real estate events right here.
What’s a summer without summer camp? While many traditional camps are on hold right now, there are still lots of fun online options that can help the young students in your life relax, learn, and broaden their horizons.
To get your search started, the Chicago Tribune has a list of virtual summer camps worth checking out. The New York Times also has a great guide on “How to Host Your Family’s Own Personal Summer Camp” from home.
Interested in finding the camp that’s right for your kiddo? There are lots of local and national options for kids who want to…
- Learn new skills. Here in Chicagoland, the Northwestern Center for Talent Development offers a wide variety of virtual classes covering a broad range of fun subjects. Connected Camps gives kids the opportunity to learn through live, hands-on, interactive programs run by expert mentors.
- Practice in the kitchen. Based in Chicago, the Kids’ Table offers virtual cooking classes for kids of all experience levels.
- Work with technology. Camp:ASPIRE is a virtual robotics camp for students aged 8 through 16. iD Tech offers engaging online courses with small class sizes. Codeverse offers online classes for students interested in computers, while the Laboratory Collective Chicago is offering a roster of virtual interactive summer camps.
- Experience the arts. Young artists can find a variety of fun online summer programs based throughout the Chicago area, including dance offerings from the Joffrey Ballet, music classes from the Music Institute of Chicago and Old Town School of Folk Music, and comedy camps from the world-famous Second City Training Center.
Performances and Live Shows
From the city to the suburbs, Chicagoland is one of the entertainment capitals of the world. This summer, you can recreate the feeling of a movie or play in the park at home.
- For theater and live performances, head to the Auditorium Theatre’s Facebook page, where livestreams are held on a regular basis. You can also find incredible live comedy online, courtesy of the Belmont Theater District and the Second City. Fans of the classics can tap into the virtual resources offered up by the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and Goodman Theatre.
- Like magic? The Chicago Magic Lounge hosts a regular magic cocktail hour, which you can enjoy online.
- In the mood to hear a story? The Chicago Public Library and American Writers Museum are both hosting regular online live reading events throughout the summer.
- Art on theMART is a seasonal favorite — and this summer, you can experience this dynamic light show from the safety of home.
- Want to see a movie? The Music Box Theater and Gene Siskel Film Center are each holding online “screenings” of classic and contemporary films. For that true “movie in the park” experience, check out this handy guide to setting up a backyard theater.
Museums and Exhibitions
Spending a day wandering through the halls of one of Chicagoland’s legendary museums is a classic summer pastime. This year, you can enjoy the collections of many of the Chicago area’s best museums and cultural institutions, right from your couch.
Many Chicagoland museums offer resources and digital tours through Google Arts & Culture. You can also find a great roundup of virtual museum events and exhibits here, via Choose Chicago, or here, courtesy of Curbed Chicago.
So, what’s in store at some of Chicagoland’s top museums and institutions? Here’s just a sampling of what you can expect this summer:
- “Stay Home, Hit Play” is a fun way to explore some of Chicagoland’s best museums and attractions as “virtual field trips”
- The Art Institute of Chicago has an extensive virtual collection
- The National Museum of Mexican Art can be experienced as a virtual tour
- The DuSable Museum of African American History offers engaging online exhibits
- The Field Museum offers a variety of digital experiences and videos for learning at home
- The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum has a fun collection of digital displays and resources
Exploring the Great Outdoors
From the city to the suburbs, Chicagland is a nature lover’s dream. Want to experience the area’s most incredible parks and wildlife from the comfort and safety of home, all summer long?
- The Forest Preserves of Cook County offers an extensive list of ways to enjoy nature at home
- Take a virtual tour of the gardens and plants housed in the Garfield Park Conservatory
- Experience virtual events and classes, courtesy of the Morton Arboretum and Chicago Botanic Garden
- Learn more about the animal kingdom with livestreams and virtual events from Shedd Aquarium, Brookfield Zoo, and Lincoln Park Zoo
- Live boat and segway tours may be on hold, but you can still experience breathtaking outdoor tours of Chicagoland’s iconic architecture with virtual experiences from Chicago Detours and the Chicago Architecture Center
Working Around the House
The summer months make for a great time to tackle your home to-do list — especially those outdoor projects you may have put off over the frosty winter and rainy spring. Looking for some inspiration on what to do around the house this summer?
- We’re here for you. Check out our guides to sprucing up your garden, taking care of your lawn, or making green upgrades around your home.
- Curbed offers a list of “21 easy home projects to tackle while you’re hunkered down”
- DiY Network presents “15 Home Improvement Projects to Tackle This Summer”
- Bob Vila explains why “Summer Is the Best Time for These 6 Home Improvements”
- Want to beautify your entire street? CNN has a list of “outdoor art and chalk projects” that can help brighten up your block
Enjoying Summertime Food and Drinks
For food lovers, summer is one of the best times of the year. While lengthy brunches and foodie beach parties may not be possible this year, there are still lots of ways to savor the best of Chicagoland’s culinary scene from home.
- Many local restaurants are creating meal and cocktail kits that you can put together at home, including legendary bars like The Aviary and Three Dots and a Dash.
- Local restaurants are still open for pick-up or delivery. To see what your favorites are serving up, check out this directory from the Tribune, search your neighborhood on Dining at a Distance, or explore this guide from Eater Chicago.
- Make your Chicagoland favorites at home, with our guide to cooking up the classics in your own kitchen.
- Explore online cooking classes and culinary events. Many Chicago institutions are hosting live-streamed cooking classes, virtual beer tastings, and other fun remote events.
- Looking for creative ways to feast in the great outdoors? Delish has a great list of “Creative Cookout Menus For Summer Holidays And Events.” Meanwhile, Better Homes & Gardens and Vogue offer some safe, celebratory ideas for having a picnic at home.
How Are You Making the Most Of Your Time at Home?
This is the time to remember what’s truly important — health, family, and the bonds that tie us together. Whether it’s now serving as a school, office, playground, or simply a safe space, our home has never been more important. We know this is as well as anyone. At Baird & Warner, Chicagoland has been our home since 1855.
We are here for you, no matter what. We understand that you still have important real estate decisions to make, and our mission is to make achieving those goals easier. We will continue to provide the most updated information and guide you through this extraordinary time with a calm and steady hand. We know how resilient our Chicagoland community is — and we’re confident we’ll get through this together, stronger than ever.