Happy Monday all! With the official kick-off to summer happening last week, I began thinking about a summer bucket list. Almost every season, I brainstorm fun (usually seasonal) activities I’d like to partake in.
This weekend, Matt and I were on a lakefront walk and we started talking about some of the things we hope to do before fall rolls around. I figured this would be a fun blog post, since we all sometimes have every intention to do this or that, but never really get to it. I think listing things out helps bring those ideas to the forefront and we’re more likely to go for it. With that being said, here is our current summer activity wish list:
Picnic dinner near the lakefront: While out and about walking yesterday, we came up with this first idea: why not pack up an easily transportable dinner and head to a quiet, lakefront spot to dine? We actually said we might do this tonight, but the chillier temperatures may call for a reschedule. I have a large picnic blanket we’ll bring, but we also looked into getting a couple of portable chairs for the future (we found some yesterday at Target for just $9).
A dinner I think is super simple to pack is a hearty pasta salad (mine will have lentil pasta, sun-dried tomatoes, feta, spinach, pine-nuts, grape tomatoes, and a little fresh basil). Pack the pasta in separate containers to easily dig in once you’re settled! Another fun picnic add-on…canned wine! I love the sparkling canned wine from Trader Joe’s.
Tackle 2 different bike trails: we love living near the lakefront path since it’s a beautiful trail to hit up with bikes, but sometimes it’s fun to try out different suburb paths. We’ve done the Fox River Trail as well as Old Plank Road Trail (we hopped on in Downtown Frankfort). We’d love to one or both of these, or test-out a new one! Any suggestions welcome! If you don’t have bikes, use a Divvy Bike for the day- biking is such an efficient way to see the city while staying active!
Rooftop (or just outdoor) dining and drinks: happy to say, we’ve already completed this one, but I don’t think one can dine al fresco too often. I especially enjoy rooftop libations, since they’re usually accompanied with stellar views.
My Chicago faves? I love Cindy’s Rooftop, River Roast (fabulous dining along the Chicago River), Parlor Pizza’s rooftop, RM Champagne, and Bang, Bang, Pies in Logan Square for some darn good, backyard-esque brunch.
Beach day: Okay, living in Chicago, this should be the easiest “task” to accomplish, but to be honest, it never happens. The beaches are a little crowded for our taste, I’ll admit, but there’s just something so satisfying about reading a good book with your toes in the sand, so sometimes those crowds are worth it. I would prefer to take a day-trip to a Michigan beach, but if that’s not in the cards, I still want to devote at least one day to beach-bummin’.
Rainy day museum visit: with all the incredible museums in Chicago, Matt and I rarely go. As we were winding around Museum Campus yesterday, we vowed to head to one of many options when the next rainy day comes around.
Visit somewhere new: I think summer is the perfect time to travel- it’s sort of that point in the year when everyone starts to feel an itch to get outa town and explore new places. Fortunately we have a trip planned to Charleston, South Carolina this summer and I cannot wait to dive into the southern history, culture, and FOOD. When a bigger trip is not in the cards for us, day-trips are the perfect way to satisfy that travel bug. We have done day trips to New Buffalo, Michigan as well as Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. On both occasions, we truly made a day of it…filling our mini-itinerary with a mix of both active and relaxing plans.
Listen to live music (more than once): I love listening to live music, especially at an outdoor venue. Luckily, the options are endless during summertime in Chicago. The past few years, we’ve done the Millennium Park concerts as well as shows at Ravinia, but my goal is to get to one new place by summer’s end!
Try a new ice-cream shop: those who know me well know I love ice-cream. I’m pretty good about indulging in my favorite dessert less-regularly than in the past, but there was a time when I couldn’t go a night without it. I love ma and pa ice-cream shops that serve up old-fashioned, natural ice-cream. I am hoping we stumble upon the perfect shop in Charleston 🙂 Side note: I do adore Jeni’s Ice Cream, which has multiple locations in Chicago.
Spend more time on our porch: this is a simple bucket list item, but I feel as though we’ve been neglecting our poor porch lately. In past summers, we’d dine out there constantly, or just spend an hour reading a good book. If this spring is any indication of our porch devotion, things aren’t looking good. Hoping to sneak in a few porch dinners soon!
Architecture tour or other boat tour: I have done the architecture boat tour several times, but it’s been a few years since my last and I’m feeling’ it this summer! Such a fun way to see the city and be in awe of Chicago all over again!
There you have it! 10 things we’re hoping to do this summer…of course, there are a ton more activities we could have added, but sometimes keeping it simple helps us actually tackle the list. I would love to hear what’s on your summer bucket list, or, if you just have fun suggestions, I’d love to hear those too!