10 ways to rock your summer in Chicago


Yes, in the Windy City, we tolerate the loonnnngg winter to get us to summer. Why? Because summers in Chicago rock-and now it's time to roll.


1 Rocky Road

Smashed with everything good-marshmallow, nuts, chocolate-there is no better ice cream and no better time to enjoy it than a warm Chicago evening! Here's the scoop on Rocky Road ice cream: The guy who invented it stumbled on the recipe after cutting walnuts and marshmallows with his wife's sewing scissors and adding them to his dish of chocolate ice cream. After the Wall Street crash in 1929, he named the concoction Rocky Road to give folks something to smile about. Belly up to a bowl on June 2, National Rocky Road Ice Cream Day. Margie's Candies is a city favorite. Why not make it yours this summer?


2 Rock out with the family!

Take the kids to a rock concert this summer. Check out Ralph's World (pictured) at Ravinia on July 12 (reserved seats $15, lawn $5). Roll there by train to make the day really rock! The Metra stops right at Ravinia, so it super easy on little legs.

Or nab tickets to Maroon 5 with Kelly Clarkson (Aug. 25) at First Midwest Bank Amphitheater in Tinley Park.


3 Rock your rock collection

There is treasure to be unearthed at Dave's Down To Earth Rock Shop, located at 704 Main St. in Evanston.


4 Go rock climbing

Rock your workout and your time together as a family. It's a little tough to find a giant rock to climb here in the Chicago flatlands, but the Northwest Passage in Wilmette offers all-inclusive rock climbing weekend getaways to Devil's Lake State Park in Wisconsin in June and August.


5 Hit Rock Bottom

Stop by Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery after a day of adventuring downtown. I love their ginormous desserts!


6 (Don’t) rock the boat

Rent a boat and explore the Chicago River or Lake Michigan. Vantage Yacht Club rents out electric boats and sailboats you can captain or have captained for you for an afternoon or evening of fun.


7 Rock me baby

Rock your days by giving back. After completing 40 hours of service in the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital Playroom, you can volunteer to rock babies in the neonatal intensive care unit at the University of Chicago Medicine. Call Volunteer Services at (773) 702-4421 for details.


8 Skip rocks

Called Rocky Ledge Beach in the early 1900s, this little city beach now known as Rainbow Beach (3111 E. 77th St., Chicago) offers a fantastic view of the skyline-and plenty of rocks.


9 Rock ‘em retro

Rock `em Sock `em Robots was my favorite toy growing up. Spend a summer afternoon rocking and socking with your kids! Or go for a new twist on a old favorite and rock the spots with Dance Twister.


10 Rocky!

Who doesn't like this classic family favorite? Pick up the 1976 Best Picture and do what we do on our street: Play it against the garage door and invite all your neighbors over to watch. Popcorn and rock candy is a must!


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