Memorial Day weekend 2021 in Chicago

Memorial Day weekend in Chicago offers a chance to fill your extra day off with food, drinks and fun

Ohio Street Beach
Photograph: Shutterstock

Things aren't totally back to normal yet, of course, but this year's Memorial Day weekend is shaping up to look a little more like a typical version of the early summer holiday. Enjoy your three-day weekend by spending some time outside—we recommend taking a long walk at the best hiking spots near Chicago or unwinding among the flowers at gorgeous Chicago gardens. Want to have a night on the town? Hit up the best rooftop bars in Chicago for an evening of cocktails en plein air, or grab a reservation at an outdoor restaurant in Chicago for dinner with friends. And of course, nothing says Memorial Day quite like a fireworks show, so pay a visit to Navy Pier on Saturday evening to catch a free sparkling display. Summer has unofficially arrived, so make the most of the season with our guide to Memorial Day weekend in Chicago.

When is Memorial Day 2021?

This year, Memorial Day falls on Monday, May 31, but Memorial Day weekend runs from Saturday, May 29 through Monday, May 31.

Chicago Memorial Day weekend 2021

Pack a picnic with friends
Things to do

Pack a picnic with friends

Grab a blanket and head to one of these spots for lunch in the sun. 

Go swimming in Lake Michigan
Things to do

Go swimming in Lake Michigan

Beaches are reopening just in time for Memorial Day weekend. 

Explore a gorgeous Chicago garden
Things to do

Explore a gorgeous Chicago garden

Spend the long weekend outdoors. 

Drive through Chicago's most scenic routes
Things to do

Drive through Chicago's most scenic routes

Roll the windows down and go for a cruise around these picturesque destinations. 

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Plan an extended weekend getaway
Travel

Plan an extended weekend getaway

Skip town for a few days at one of these lovely Midwest cabin rentals. 

Sip drinks at a rooftop bar
Bars

Sip drinks at a rooftop bar

Nothing says "hello, summer" quite like a cocktail under the sun. 

Hop on a Chicago Water Taxi
News

Hop on a Chicago Water Taxi

The iconic yellow boats return to the Chicago River on May 29—just in time for Memorial Day weekend. 

Have a meal in the fresh air
Restaurants

Have a meal in the fresh air

These outdoor restaurants are perfect for soaking up early summer sun. 

See free fireworks at Navy PIer
News

See free fireworks at Navy PIer

You'll be able to watch the glittering display from any of the Pier's open areas.

Spend a sunny afternoon at a beer garden
Bars

Spend a sunny afternoon at a beer garden

Raise a pint (or two) to the long weekend. 

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How to spend Memorial Day weekend in Chicago
News

How to spend Memorial Day weekend in Chicago

Memorial Day weekend getaways
Travel

Memorial Day weekend getaways

Memorial Day picnic spots
Things to do

Memorial Day picnic spots

Memorial Day 2011 at North Ave Beach

Memorial Day 2011 at North Ave Beach

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