by Lauren Bauer, Greenheart Travel Senior Teach Abroad Program Manager

542288_10101438749616117_2015948405_nWarm weather days in Chicago are legendary. Summer is Greenheart Travel’s favorite season in our hometown city. With such terrible winter weather, one could argue that Chicagoans really know how to do it right when the sun is shining. Dining and drinking al fresco, playing volleyball on the beach, and biking along the lakeshore path are some favorite summertime activities.

That’s why we are so excited to announce our newest TEFL Certification Course in our own hometown, just in time for our favorite season.

With snow in the forecast in mid-April, we are getting antsy for summer. So, here are some of my favorite Chicago summer festivals and events, organized by Chicago TEFL course start date!

May 13 – June 7, 2013 Course

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Pritzker Pavilion for Downtown Sound at Millennium Park

Bike the Drive: Lake Shore Drive May 26 – Join thousands of bikers for one of the best bike rides in the nation! The city shuts down Lake Shore Drive for almost 5 hours to provide car-free access to a beautiful stretch of road, with unbeatable views of the lake and the skyline.

Do Division Fest: Wicker Park May 31-June 2 – This event usually signifies the beginning of street festival season, and it also happens to be one of my favorites. This stretch of street is known for its sidewalk patios that are bustling at the first sight of Spring. Add great music, vendors, and a sidewalk sale, and you’ve got a killer summer kickoff festival!

Chicago Blues Festival: Grant Park June 6-9 – Guaranteed to deliver some legends, experience one of the things Chicago does best: Blues! This is the largest free Blues festival in the world.

Downtown Sound: Millennium Park, Mondays May 27 – July 29: A personal favorite of mine. Pack a picnic and some wine and head downtown to Millennium Park after class on Monday nights for free concerts at the beautiful Pritzker Pavilion. This year has a great lineup, including Glen Hansard, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Dawes, Sharon Van Etten, and many more!


June 17 – July 12, 2013 Course

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Chicago Pride Parade

Taste of Randolph Street: West Loop June 14-16 – The Randolph Street Corridor features some of the best restaurants in Chicago, which makes it one of the most exciting street fests for foodies. It also happens to feature great music. The 2013 lineup boasts Divine Fits, Joy Formidable, Lord Huron, and many more.

Spring Awakening: Soldier Field June 14-16 – Fans of electronic dance music will enjoy this huge festival housed in the iconic home of the Bears, Soldier Field. You’ll also want to check out the Wavefront Music Fest on Montrose Beach a couple of weeks later (July 5-7)

Chicago Pride Parade: Boystown/East Lakeview June 30 – A world-famous parade! Anything goes during this colorful celebration, featuring hundreds of floats and plenty of dancing!

Lincoln Park Arts & Music Festival: Lincoln Park June 29-30 – A popular event featuring great art and music in the Lincoln Park neighborhood.

July 15 – August 9, 2013 Course

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Lollapalooza

Pitchfork Music Festival:  Union Park July 19-21 – Indie music fans will be in heaven at this popular three day festival in Union Park. Headliners include Bjork, Bell & Sebastian, R. Kelly and MIA. However, the biggest draw of this festival is the smaller bands that you haven’t heard of yet, but will recognize soon! Find out what your future favorite band will be.

Lollapalooza: Grant Park August 2-4 – Surely you’ve heard of this one! No matter what your taste in music is, there is something for everyone at this massive summer music festival. Join 100,000 fans for a festival of epic proportions, right in downtown Chicago. Nothing beats seeing your favorite band with the Chicago skyline as your backdrop!

August 12 – September 6, 2013

Chicago Air and Water Show: North Avenue Beach August 17-18 – Watch this daredevil event take over the city of Chicago. With roaring jets flying in formation overhead, parachute teams jumping from the sky, and jumping boats, this event is quite the spectacle. Local tip: Avoid the crowds by getting to the lake in the days before the actual event to see the jets in action while they practice for the big event.

North Coast Music Festival: Union Park August 30-September 1 – This festival gets more and more popular every year, and I’m sure 2013 won’t disappoint. There’s no lineup yet, but last year’s lineup featured Pretty Lights, Girl Talk, and STS9.

The list goes on! What events are you planning to attend this summer?

Keep in mind that these coveted courses are limited to 12 students each, so register now to make sure you get a spot! These courses are perfect for college students who have the summer off. Get your certification done now, so that you can teach English abroad this Fall or once you graduate!

Picture yourself in Chicago this summer! Sign up now!

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