Chicago in April: 15 Exciting Activities to Undertake in the Windy City

With its pleasant weather, blossoming flowers and lush greenery, April is perhaps one of the best months to visit Chicago. Moreover, visiting Chicago in April means getting to experience the various festivals and events, visiting the beaches and museum exhibitions, attending shows and baseball matches and so much more. There is no dearth of fun activities to engage in while in Chicago at this time of the year.

Keep on reading to find out what it’s like being in Chicago in April

What Is the Weather like in Chicago in April?

Grant Park, Chicago
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After months of snow and cold weather, April brings about pleasant weather which is ideal for being out and about. For the most part, the days are sunny and warm but it does get windy quite often and the city does experience some spring showers. When it comes to the temperature, the average high temperature is around 15 degrees Celsius while the average low temperature is around 4 degrees Celsius.

The temperature tends to drop once the sun sets and it is always advisable to keep checking the weather report before stepping out! In fact, it would almost be stupid to go out without carrying a light jacket or sweater since the weather is slightly erratic. Furthermore, make sure you have rain boots or galoshes for the rainy days and sunglasses and sunscreen for the sunny days.

15 Exciting Activities to Partake in While in Chicago in April

As mentioned above, there are endless activities to engage in while visiting Chicago in the month of April, enjoyable for people of all age groups. The following are such activities:

1. Be a Part of the Chiteen Lit Fest

Participants at the ChiTeen Lit Fest
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ChiTeen Lit Fest is a literary festival organised every year for teenagers (ages 13-19) at the Columbia College and the Chicago Cultural Center. It aims to create a creative space for the youth through literary arts. The event features young talents from throughout Chicago and showcases their work.

Participants get a chance to network, meet published authors and they can work with each other to create music, art, comics, poetry and more.
Address: 600 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605, United StatesDates: Around 25 April

2. Attend a Movie Screening at the Chicago Latin Film Festival

Speakers at the Chicago Latin Film Festival
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An annual event organised by the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago in April, the Chicago Latin Film Festival seeks to raise awareness about the Latino culture amongst all communities. It began in 1985 and showcases diverse and upcoming filmmakers producing feature and short films of all genres; comedy, action, animation, drama, horror, LGBTQ and more. It lasts for about 2 weeks and participants get the opportunity to engage in discussions with directors and attend screenings.
Address: 55 W Van Buren St, Ste 310, Chicago, IL, United StatesDates: 8-18 April

3. Savour Delicious Treats at Baconfest Chicago

People at Baconfest Chicago
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If you love bacon, then Baconfest Chicago is undoubtedly meant for you. Held at the UIC Dorin Forum, Baconfest  is a walk-around event wherein visitors can taste various dishes featuring bacon prepared by Chicago chefs. Open only for people above the age of 10, the event donates a portion of its proceeds to the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

Moreover, there are bacon-based cocktails and brews as well as local crafts bacon, bacon art and other such products on display. 
Address: 725 W Roosevelt Rd, Chicago, IL 60608, United StatesDates: Around 10 AprilTickets: USD 60 onwards

4. Set Sail on the Odyssey Chicago River Dinner Cruise

The Odyssey Chicago River Dinner Cruise sailing
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If you are in Chicago in April, make sure to set sail on the Odyssey Chicago River in a glass-enclosed boat. The main highlight of the Odyssey Chicago River Dinner Cruise is the three-course dinner where guests get to choose vegetarian, non-vegetarian and vegan entrées including braised beef short rib. The cash bar is open to everyone and there is also a dancefloor on the boat. The ride lasts for about 2.5 hours and goes through every channel of the river.
Address: Navy Pier, 600 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, USATickets: USD 55 onwards

5. Witness the Magnificent Art on theMART

An Art on theMART installation
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The Merchandise Mart is known for its various projections throughout the year and April is no different. During this month, Art on theMART features an installation in conjunction with the Adler Planetarium. The video lasts for about 16 minutes and is meant to demonstrate the universe’s grandeur and the scientific visualisations have been shot using imagery from telescopes. Called Astrographics, the visuals are accompanied by a soundtrack. The show begins around 8:30 pm and the Chicago Riverwalk provides an excellent view.
Address: 222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago, IL 60654, United StatesDates: 1 April to 4 July

6. Prepare to Be Mesmerised by the Magic Parlour

Dennis Watkins from The Magic Parlour
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Organised at Palmer House, The Magic Parlour features illusionist and actor Dennis Watkins performing a variety of magnificent tricks. The show lasts for about 90 minutes and visitors are seated in a cabaret style room. His tricks include card tricks, mind-reading and the famous Houdini escape performance. Meant for people above 12, guests must dress in cocktail attire and be served different drinks. For those who wish to dine, the Lockwood Restaurant inside the House is the ideal choice.
Address: 17 E Monroe St, Chicago, IL 60603, United States
Tickets: USD 49
Dates: March to April

7. Discover Some Art with “Monet and Chicago”

An artwork by Monet
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Home to the largest collection of Claude Monet works outside of Paris, the Art Institute of Chicago organises the special “Monet and Chicago” to display the Impressionist artist’s work. Including over 70 paintings, drawings, still lifes, landscapes and sketches, the exhibit is a tribute to the artist and to the city’s tryst with Impressionism. Some of the popular works on display are On the Bank of the Seine, Apple Trees, the Stacks of Wheat series and Vétheuil.
Address: 111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603, USA
Ticket: USD 7 with admission fee

8. Become a Part of the Sitcom with the “Friends” Experience

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The “Friends” Experience is a fun pop-up event held between March and May wherein all Friends fans can become a part of the sitcom! Organised at The Shops at Northbridge, visitors can explore the 12 rooms there and see some of the popular memorabilia from the show like the iconic purple door, Central Perk with the orange couch, a display showing Rachel’s haircuts and more.

There is trivia to participate in, ample opportunities to take photographs and a gift shop!
Address: 520 N Michigan Ave, Chicago 60611, United StatesTickets: USD 35

9. Shop at the Maxwell Street Market

A rack of courts of clothes at Maxwell Street Market
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Maxwell Street Market is an open flea market in the city where people can find a variety of vendors, cooks and musicians. Established in the 1800s as a ghetto market, it is set up every Sunday and people can buy handmade crafts, houseware, clothes, accessories and other goods belonging to different cultures. You can enjoy performances by dance troupes and local bands, often playing the Blues.

The street food at the market is extremely popular, especially the Mexan food and the Maxwell Street Polish sausage sandwich.
Address: 800 S Desplaines St, Chicago 60607, United StatesDates: March to September

10. Participate in Black Women’s EXPO Next

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Aimed at achieving the upliftment of African-American women and their families, the Black Women’s EXPO Next is organised at McCormick Place, Museum Campus. During this event, black women come together for discussions; they talk about their corporate problems, share business ideas, get in touch with brands and more. Also, there are talks, fashion shows and live music performances for people’s entertainment. Participants can also discover various products from the different vendors and meet beauty consultants.
Address: 2301 S King Dr, Chicago, IL 60616, United StatesDates: Around 5 April

11. Catch a Sports Game

A game of Chicago Bears
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The Windy City is known for its sports culture and if you visit Chicago in April, make sure to catch one of the many sports events. Home to 5 professional team sports, you can go for a baseball, soccer, football, basketball or hockey game. Venues such as Soldier Field, United Center, Guaranteed Rate Field and Hope Field host a number of major and minor league as well as college level games.

You can watch teams like the Chicago Clubs, Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Bears and Chicago Bulls in action. 

12. Celebrate the Famous Actor with International Tom Hanks Day

Visitors at International Tom Hanks Day
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A dream event for Tom Hanks’ fans, the International Tom Hanks Festival is organised at the Lincoln Hall. The proceeds from this unique event go to his choice of charity which is Lifeline Energy. Visitors get to celebrate this popular actor by mingling with other fans, watch a few of his famous movies and also get a hold of some merchandise (signed by Tom Hanks himself) through a raffle. Drinks are also served at the event.
Address: 2424 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60614, United States
Dates: Around 4 April
Entry fees: USD 10

13. Learn about the Alcoholic Drink at the Chicago Rum Festival

Glasses of rum
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 Hosted at Venue SIX10, the Chicago Rum Festival or the Midwest Rum Fest is an annual event for rum-lovers. During the event, participants get to try over 50 rum expressions while enjoying views of Lake Michigan and downtown Chicago. Seminars and tastings are key aspects of the Festival, with the Spirit Industry Session allowing people to engage with industry professionals. There are 3 (General Admission “GRAND TASTING” Session) and 4 hour (VIP Grand Educational and Tasting Session) sessions where different kinds of rum are served with snacks. 
Address: 610 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605, United States
Dates: Around 5 April
Tickets: USD 35 onwards

14. Discover Architectural Wonders on the Chicago Architecture Foundation Center River Cruise

Chicago Architecture Foundation Center River Cruise on the river
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The Chicago Architecture Foundation Center River Cruise is an hour-and-a-half long boat tour aboard Chicago’s First Lady on the Chicago River. Guests must board from the southside of Michigan Avenue Bridge, and once aboard, the guide will draw your attention to various architectural gems and talk about their history. You can also opt for the evening tour wherein you would be able to ride through the river as the sun sets against the city skyline and treat yourself to some cocktails. 
Address: Near 333 Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60601, United States
Tickets: USD 46 onwards

15. Spend a Relaxing Day at Montrose Avenue Beach

A crowd at Montrose Avenue Beach
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Located in Uptown Chicago, Montrose Avenue Beach is the city’s biggest public beach and an ideal destination to visit in April. It is home to several endangered plant species and attracts migratory birds around April, making it a great spot for nature lovers. You can go swimming, kayaking, canoeing and catamaran sailing, and also get your dogs here.

In fact, they are allowed on the sand. If you get bored of beach sports or sunbathing, you can always grab a bite to eat at the restaurant on site.
Address: 4400 N. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago IL 60640, United StatesTimings: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm
If you are looking to visit Chicago, booking your tickets for April would be an excellent idea since you would be able to enjoy the agreable weather and take advantage of the numerous festivals, beaches, exhibitions, cruises, and some other unique events.

This post was published by Arushi Bhowmick

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