{Ask a Local} 3 Places in Chicago and 14 Songs for a Summer Picnic

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You guys remember Crystal from “{Ask a Local} The Top Options for a Vegetarian Date Night in Chicago”? She wrote, “My husband and I will be celebrating our 1 year anniversary in Chicago and would LOVE to hear from you on what to do and where to eat. We’re looking for a less typical tourist experience. Also, [we are] vegetarians. Hope to hear from you soon!”

We’ve already answered Crystal’s question on where to eat. Let’s talk about what to do during a romantic stay in Chicago.

The list of where to go and what to do in Chicago extends farther than Lake Michigan. I highly recommend trying an architectural boat tour and a trip to the Art Institute. Don’t over think it, though. The city’s even more beautiful at night and an evening picnic is the way to go if you’re looking for a truly local experience.

3 Best Places for a Picnic in Chicago

Jay Pritzker
Jay Pritzker Pavilion

Here are a few of my favorite spots for a picnic, listed in order.

Where: Adler Planetarium Museum lawn, 1300 S. Lake Shore Drive

Why:     Almost every Wednesday (at 9:30 p.m.) and Saturday (at 10:15 p.m.) the fireworks from Navy Pier can be clearly seen from the lawn in front of the planetarium. In fact, this is the best spot to watch the show. The area is easily accessible, right on the shore, and offers an amazing view of both the lake and skyline. Take a Divy bike to the museum campus to save yourself the hassle of parking spot hunting.

Where: Jay Pritzker Pavillion lawn, 201 E. Randolph St.

Why: The Grant Park Music Festival claims to be the nation’s only free, outdoor classical music series of its kind and is held at the gorgeous Jay Pritzker Pavillion. The lawn in front of the stage encourages blankets, lawn chairs, and BYOWB (bring your own wine bottle). Think: Ravinia, but free and local.

Where: Lincoln Park, 2045 N. Lincoln Park West

Why: Its beautiful gardens, free zoo, farm, conservatory, and North Avenue beach make this spot a favorite for many. I particularly am a fan of Lincoln Park’s free parking situation. Check for a spot on Stockton Drive. The free parking here is very, very rare for Chicago which has some of the most expensive parking meters in the nation.

Jawbone mini jambox
The Mini Jambox by Jawbone – a Bluetooth speaker perfect for a picnic

Playlist: 14 Songs for a Summer Picnic

This summer, I’ve been picnicking at least once a week in an effort to get my money’s worth from the season. Here are 14 songs I’ve been zoning to while sipping wine and feeling fine with the hubby. Happy anniversary, Crystal!

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