When the end of May rolls around, you know the summer is close at hand, which is probably why the vibe in Chicago around Memorial Day is so cheerful and festive. Ultimately, Memorial Day is a time when Americans come together to honor the troops who risked or gave their lives fighting for the country, but it doubles as a harbinger of the beginning of summer. This Memorial Day weekend, make the most out of that extra day off by following these tips.
Break Out The Grill
There is no better time to break out the grill for the first time than the May long weekend. You’re probably going to get a lot of mileage out of the grill, especially once the 4th of July rolls around, so you might as well dust it off early. Winter can be hard on a grill, but with some elbow grease and a few quick cleaning hacks you’ll be ready to throw some steaks or veggies on in no time. Grab a couple cold ones, invite over friends and family and see if you can catch a view of the Navy Pier fireworks.
Do Something Out Of The Ordinary
There are plenty of opportunities throughout the year to go to a bar or go see a baseball game – with your extra day off, do something out of the ordinary. If you want to do some kind of light physical activity, but also want to have a great time, try axe throwing with your friends or family, a (fairly) recent sport that involves chucking axes at a wooden target. It’s as fun as it sounds. Drop in during the designated drop-in time or book a lane to get an included tutorial.
Get Some Fresh Air
45 minutes outside of Chicago is the Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve, where you can peer over a scenic bluff, snap photos in front of the titular waterfall or traverse the many trails the Preserve has to offer. After a long winter, a jaunt through the fresh air of a nature preserve can be the absolute perfect shot in the arm. Pack a picnic, or bring a fishing rod with you (as well as a license and working knowledge of the fishing limits) for an extra activity.
Take In Some Culture
This Memorial Day, take in a little bit of culture – whatever that means to you. That could mean going to see an improv show at one of the famous downtown theatres; it could mean heading to the Field Museum, the Adler Planetarium or the Art Institute; it could even mean just catching a Cubs or White Sox Game. Whatever culture you like to consume, and however you like to do it, it’s just seems fitting to do something quintessentially Chicago an over the long weekend.
Making the most out of your Memorial Day long weekend is really all about variety – host a barbecue, throw some axes, see some nature and do something cultural in Chicago. It’s not every week that you get a precious third day off, so you might as well make the most of it!