Ways to Have Fun in Chicago


Chicago has so many fun neighborhoods and happenings around town, from the music festivals to the friendly pubs to the sporting events, that it’s a wonder anybody from this town can come across as sour. But then again, there is some pretty serious weather to contend with for more than half the year. OK, looking past the Midwestern weather, there’s really no excuse for staying cooped up and not enjoying all of the fun in Chicago.

Wrigleyville contains a prolific stretch of sports bars, many of them serving double duty as bastions of Big Ten alums who want to come during baseball offseason to cheer on their college teams, but the real action is still The Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field. But even if you don’t score tickets to get inside the historic ballpark, there’s plenty of fun to be had by catching the game from a rooftop just across the street from the outfield. For big fun and one-of-a-kind experience, there’s nothing in the professional sporting world to rival the bleacher seats that were ingeniously bolted on to the residential buildings facing the ballpark.

The big music festivals that roll through Chicago each summer, such as Pitchfork, Lollapalooza and Riotfest to name a few, get all the headlines. But real Chicagoans know that there’s fun to be had at their neighborhood concert halls any time of year. Why bother with squeezing into a crowd that rivals the population of a small city? Locals will flock to the Vic theater near the Belmont stop on the Red Line for the weekly brew and view experience. Fire up the projector, crack open a few cold ones and watch a movie in truly raucous surroundings. This is a show worth catching.

Finally, there’s a trend taking place that acknowledges how much fun games can be while acting like a full-fledged adult. Many folks believe that adulthood means you must turn in your fun card for the drudgery of work, mortgages and all that. But those folks are mistaken! AceBounce is a newly opened cool Chicago venue near the Loop that allows grown ups to rediscover their sense of youthful fun, without having to settle for amateur food and drink. The home of ping pong in Chicago features a 50-foot long cocktail bar that serves serious drinks designed by one of Chicago’s most inspired mixologists. And the kitchen fires out pizzas that will make you forgive yourself for how bad your table tennis skills have gotten since those matches you played in yesteryear.