The calendar says that fall has arrived, but outside it still feels like summer. The forecast this weekend calls for sunny skies and 69 degree temperatures, but anyone who has lived in Chicago for more than five months knows that this warming trend may not last very long. One day you're cranking the AC, the next you're bundled up in every coat you own wondering when the polar vortex is going to end. With that in mind, we've put together a list of some of the best outdoor activities so you can take advantage of one of the last weekends this year that you'll actually want to spend outside.
The Bears are in town on Sunday facing off against their Midwestern rivals, the Packers. Whether you scored a ticket to the game or not, you can still tailgate with friends on the future site of the George Lucas Museum.
Want to get the tailgating experience without having to cart a grill over to Soldier Field? Maria's Packaged Goods in Bridgeport will be hosting a game day barbecue, serving up chicken sausage made with Marz Community Brewing's Smoke Wheat Everyday Grätzer wheat beer.
If you like the idea of tailgating but don't really care about football, you should head to the Hideout for Tale-Gate: A Street Fest Of Literary Proportions. The outdoor party features games and and food, with proceeds benefitting 826CHI, a nonprofit creative writing and tutoring center for Chicago youth.
Take a trip to the northwest suburbs to indulge in apple donuts, apple cider and apple martinis at the Long Grove Apple Festival.
Cut out the apple middleman and go harvest some of your own at one of the area's six best apple picking spots.
Peruse the wares of more than 200 vendors at the Randolph Street Market Festival, where you can walk away with antique housewares, furniture, ephemera, clothing and more.
Your kids are going to want to enjoy the weather just as much as you. Blow off some steam by taking them to one of the city's best playgrounds.
If you want to fill a stein with some German suds and soak up some sun, you've got some options this weekend. Oktoberfest Chicago will be ringing in autumn at St. Alphonsus Church on Friday and Saturday, while Feast Oktoberfest will be serving up a bratwurst buffet on Friday night in Bucktown.
Is there anything better than drinking on a roof? We're sure that none of your friends will object to spending one the last warm weekends of the year at a rooftop bar.
We hate to break it to you, but your days on the patio are numbered. Dine al fresco while it's still possible at one of 53 new outdoor dining locales.
How about one more festival before the streets fill up with leaves and snow? In Evanston, there will be local cuisine and art on display at the Art & Big Fork Festival. Alternatively, you can head to Edgewater to see some artwork made by students at the neighborhood's annual Fall Art Fair.
Stock up on produce, cheese, meat and more before some of the city's best farmers' markets head indoors for the winter.