During summertime in Chicago, lush parks and glimmering Lake Michigan puts locals and tourists in high spirits while they make their way through The Windy City. Those visiting from now until September 1 can also experience a three-part, free music series featuring an array of musical genres performing at Millennium and Grant Parks.
Photo Courtesy of Millennium Park
Taking place every Monday until July 29, Downtown Sound will feature indie rock and pop music. This year's acts have included Dawes and Grammy® award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops. From July 25-August 29, the closing concerts will showcase the Made in Chicago: World Class Jazz series — a focus on flavors from Chicago. The Grant Park Music Festival from June 12–August 17 has brought classical music to its visitors for nearly 80 years. Notably, it is the nation's only free outdoor classical music series. This picnic-worthy series is curated by Principal Conductor Carlos Kalmar and Chorus Director Christopher Bell.
Photo Courtesy of Millennium Park
New to the Millennium Park music scene, the Loops & Variations fest has been drawing big crowds and the attention of electronic-music lovers. While normally attracting younger, neon-clad types, the series is extremely family friendly with acts like Fatty DL and Dan Deacon.
Photo Courtesy of Jazz Institute of Chicago
The events will end with the 35th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival from August 29–September 1. A local favorite, the weekend promotes awareness and appreciation of jazz from Chicago's local talent alongside national and international artists. In 2012, Roy Haynes, Dianne Reeves and Allen Toussaint performed in Millennium Park along with Steve Coleman, a protégé of Chicago’s own Von Freeman. Closing out the series was Allen Toussaint’s “The Bright Mississippi” featuring Marc Ribot and Don Byron. This year's acts include Donald Harrison and The Congo Square Nation, Atomic, Miguel de la Cerna Quartet in partnership with the Hyde Park Jazz Society and many more.
Photo Courtesy of JW Marriott Chicago
JW Marriott Chicago is only blocks away from Grant Park, Millennium Park and the Magnificent Mile; making it easy for those hoping to listen to jazz in the park. This year, the landmark hotel is offering the “Stay for Breakfast” package for those visiting the city over the summer. Starting at $239 per night, guests can enjoy top-notch accommodations, breakfast for two adults and two children, and complimentary access to the state-of-the-art fitness center. The Florentine restaurant serves a wide range of breakfast offerings from traditional fare to more creative dishes like the Lump Crab Frittata.
Photo Courtesy of Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park
Since their $50 million transformation, the elegant Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park is also a great option for travelers. The fashionable hotel boasts dark woods, neutral finishes and crisp lines throughout with hints of color at every turn. The “Park and Stay Package,” starting at $216 per night, includes luxury accommodations in the Fairmont guest rooms and complimentary valet parking during your stay. With Millennium Park in walking distance, music lovers can easily trek back and forth from the series to the hotel throughout the day.
Photo Courtesy of Hard Rock Hotel Chicago
Of course, since we’re discussing music, the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago is a fun, energy-filled hotel for concert-goers to choose. To fully dive into the summer series, Hard Rock is offering the “Rock Star Experience” for those who want to keep the party going. The package includes limousine transfer, a stay inside the Angels & Kings penthouse suite, a bottle of Champagne upon arrival and admission and bottle service at Angels & Kings, one of Chicago's hottest bars. To top it off, guests will receive a 60-minute massage in the privacy of their room. The packages starts at $4,500 and all guests must be 21+ to enjoy.
Chicago’s scenic Millennium and Grant Parks will be busy with melodic sounds this summer and the city’s many luxury accommodations are a sight to be seen on their own. Whichever hotel you choose, make sure to pack a picnic and enjoy the outdoor music events in the area.