5 Ways to Make the Most of Summer In Evanston

Working or doing research at Northwestern over the summer? Working in Chicago but staying in Evanston? Summer in Evanston is pretty amazing once you realize how much is available both in the city and close by. Here are our five tips on how to make the most of summer in Evanston:

1) Hang out with your friends who are also in Evanston

Alright, so all your friends back home are hanging out together, and lots of your best college friends are indulging their wanderlust. FOMO is real, and you’re experiencing it as you scroll past all their social media posts. You’re probably not the only one spending time in Evanston, though. Figure out who else is spending the summer in Evanston and hang out with them. Chances are, some of your close friends are also around, so now you can spend quality time with them. Take the chance to get to know other people better too! This is a great opportunity to bond with people in your classes or extracurriculars that you just didn’t have the time to hang out with before. Try hosting a potluck dinner with your co-workers or classmates to get to know them better, or cook a difficult recipe with a friend. And once you’ve established who you’re going to spend time with, you can…

2) Take advantage of Northwestern opportunities by the lake

If you liked spending time on the lakefill during the school year, imagine how much better it’ll be with a summer breeze and without the ever-present threat of exams looming over your head. Grab yourself some Starbucks or ice cream, and just chill out and enjoy the view or that book you’ve been meaning to read. Norris Center is also open for the summer, so you can rent a frisbee or hammock from Norris Outdoors to throw around with your friends. If you’re a bit more adventurous, Northwestern Sailing rents a variety of sailing options, including kayaking and paddle-boarding. Summer at Norris also offers a series of events. Enjoy free lunchtime concerts with Lunch at the Lakefill and free outdoor movie screenings with Summer Cinema. What better way to enjoy a beautiful summer day? Plus, there’ll be fireworks on the lakefill for 4th of July celebrations, so you’ll have the best view of all. If you’re looking for something a little farther from home, summer is the best time to...

3)  Make use of your Ventra card and go to Chicago

Northwestern students are lucky in that a trip to the Windy City is just a CTA ride away, but the harsh winter winds make visits to the Howard stop heat lamps a constant necessity. Now that it’s summer, however, it’s time to go and explore all that Chicago has to offer. You can either take the CTA or the NU shuttles that continue running during the summer to the NU campus in Streeterville, so it’s easy to make a trip downtown. From free movie screenings at Millennium Park to music festivals, summer is the best time to make your way downtown with your friends. Go beyond the Loop and explore some Chicago neighborhoods you’re not as familiar with or visit the various festivals that happen throughout the summer. That doesn’t even  include all the delicious food options that are just as Instagram-worthy as whatever country your friends have gone to. If you don’t want to travel too far for dinner, you can always…

4) Food crawl through Evanston’s variety of restaurants

We’re familiar with lots of restaurant names in Evanston. Joy Yee’s, Blaze Pizza, Naf Naf Grill, and more are all popular locations for students during the school year. Well, there’s a whole world of amazing restaurants beyond the usual one-mile radius from campus. Summer means that you can try all those restaurants you’ve heard about, supporting local restaurants and getting to know the unique quirks to each one. Plus, you can get a sneak peek at restaurants that open in the summer before all your friends. Heard of Sushi Burrito? Aloha Poke? Other restaurants that are opening include Viet Nom Nom, a Vietnamese cuisine specialized restaurant, and Furious Spoon, a ramen restaurant. Take a stroll to enjoy the summer weather and venture down to Central Street to explore offerings like Prairie Joe’s or Backlot Coffee. Now, if you prefer making your own food, you should definitely...

5) Check out Evanston’s farmer’s markets

There are also various farmers' markets in Evanston that you can sample fresh produce from during the summer. From 7:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays starting May 6, you can pop down to University Place and Oak Avenue to experience over 50 vendors that sell a variety of fresh produce. If you’ve never been to a farmers' market before, rest assured, the friendly and welcoming atmosphere will be sure to draw you back for more.

These are only some general ideas of what to do this summer, and there’s definitely more to Evanston than this. Whether you decide to explore Chicago, stay local, or do both, there’s no doubt that there are lots of opportunities to have fun. After all this, summer in Evanston doesn’t sound too bad after all.