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Best Time to Visit Chicago Great Weather, Cheap Rates, Family 2024

Best Time to Visit Chicago

Best Time to Visit Chicago Great Weather, Cheap Rates, Family 2024

The best times to visit Chicago are April through May and between September and October, when the temperatures are warm, various festivals take place, and crowds are manageable.

The city of Chicago is located in the Midwest, along the shores of Lake Michigan. Its climate is continental, with cold winters (often the temperature drops below zero) and hot summers. Throughout the year, temperature changes are frequent.

The best time to visit Chicago depends on your preferences for weather, events, and activities. Chicago experiences distinct seasons, each offering its own charm and attractions. Here’s a breakdown of each season:

  1. Spring (March to May):
    • Spring is a pleasant time to visit as temperatures begin to rise, and flowers bloom.
    • Magnificent Mile Shopping Festival often takes place in May.
    • Ideal for outdoor activities like walking along Lake Michigan or exploring parks.
  2. Summer (June to August):
    • Summer is a popular time for visitors due to warm temperatures and numerous events.
    • Millennium Park and Grant Park host festivals and outdoor concerts.
    • Navy Pier attractions are in full swing.
    • Be prepared for higher hotel prices and more tourists.
  3. Fall (September to November):
    • Fall brings cooler temperatures and vibrant fall foliage.
    • The Chicago Jazz Festival and Chicago Gourmet take place in September.
    • A good time to explore neighborhoods and enjoy cultural events.
  4. Winter (December to February):
    • Winter can be cold, with the possibility of snow and freezing temperatures.
    • The city transforms into a winter wonderland with festive decorations.
    • The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival and Christkindlmarket are popular winter events.
    • Ideal for indoor activities like visiting museums, theaters, and enjoying winter sports.

Special Events:

  • Lollapalooza (August):
    • A major music festival held in Grant Park featuring various genres.
  • Chicago Air and Water Show (August):
    • A spectacular event showcasing aerobatic displays over Lake Michigan.
  • Chicago Auto Show (February):
    • One of the largest auto shows in North America, held at McCormick Place.
  • Chicago Restaurant Week (January/February):
    • A culinary event where many restaurants offer special prix-fixe menus.


  1. Weather Considerations:
    • Chicago’s weather can be unpredictable. Summers can be hot, and winters can be cold. Check the weather forecast before your visit.
  2. Hotel Reservations:
    • Book accommodations in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons and major events.
  3. City Passes:
    • Consider using city passes for attractions to save money and skip lines.
  4. Public Transportation:
    • Chicago has an extensive public transportation system. Consider using buses and trains to explore the city.
  5. Cultural Events:
    • Check the schedule for theaters, museums, and galleries to plan your cultural experiences.

Ultimately, the best time to visit Chicago depends on your interests and tolerance for different weather conditions. Whether you’re drawn to summer festivals, fall foliage, or winter festivities, Chicago has something to offer year-round.

Average temperatures in Chicago

Best Time to Visit Chicago Great Weather, Cheap Rates, Family 2022
Best Time to Visit Chicago

Annual average precipitation in Chicago

The annual rainfall is relatively well distributed throughout the seasons, but winter is the driest season. In late spring and early summer, thunderstorms are easiest to come in the late afternoon and evening. August remains among the rainiest months. In winter, precipitation is mainly in the form of snow, but snowfall can also occur in October and April.

Best Time to Visit Chicago Great Weather, Cheap Rates, Family 2022
Best Time to Visit Chicago

Winter in Chicago

Winter in Chicago starts from late November until at least early March, and it gets freezing! Snowfall can turn into massive storms with gusts of wind that will increase the feeling of cold, low temperatures can drop even to -5F / -20C, and in some cases, it has dropped to around -22F / -30C. So if your trip is during this season, get ready to dress!

During the day, temperatures generally stay below zero or slightly above. We also have the phenomenon called “ice storm” (or freezing rain); in this case, everything freezes!

We recommend all indoor activities or driving around Chicago in the car. There are indeed several museums and attractions that you can visit while the city tour can be done by panoramic bus or car.

Spring in Chicago

Spring is the season with the most temperature changes from mid-March to May, it is precarious, and it will give you whiplash! Prepare to dress appropriately; you go from cold days with the presence of heavy snowfall (late March to early April) to hot days with maximum temperatures of up to 78F / 25-30C.

 It is also the season for breezes coming from the lake, sometimes chilly but in some cases very freezing; keep this in mind if you are booking a Lake Michigan or Chicago River cruise. Finally, in May, you can still have low temperatures at night, especially at the beginning of the month, while during the day, it can even reach 85F / 30C. May is a month to consider for a trip to Chicago.

In April and May, we also have the first thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening.

Summer in Chicago

Summer, especially the months of June to August, is hot and sunny. Rapid thunderstorms in the afternoon because it is always the wettest season. High temperatures around 77 / 81F – 25 / 27C with spikes up to 95F / 35C and beyond; however, nights can be more relaxed. 

The season is recommended for many outdoor activities, such as cruises on the lake or trips to the surrounding area to visit the towns that overlook Lake Michigan. The season will make you enjoy the parks – Millennium Park – Grant Park – Lincoln Park Zoo.

Fall in Chicago

Fall, September through November, is the most “stable” time of the year, with less rain on the radar. Days are characterized by cold temperatures at night and early in the morning, but warmer during the day and warm temperatures may make a comeback. At the beginning of September, it is still hot and humid, but later it becomes milder. In October, particularly mild days can alternate with light frosts. But it is between the end of October and the beginning of November; the night will generally show freezing temperatures and the day an average high temperature of 68F / 20C; it is the so-called Indian summer. Be careful. It only lasts a few days; it can get cold quite quickly in November, and the first intense snowfall and frost will occur.

Consider the period from September to the first days of October for a visit to Chicago.

When to Visit Chicago – Dressing Tips

The best time to visit Chicago is early fall, from September to mid-October. Spring is also pleasant from mid-April to the end of May, although it is a more unstable (and windy) season. However, in both periods, it can get freezing at night but warmer during the day with a few rainy days in between. Those who can handle the heat can also choose summer, which has longer days and more hours of sunshine. Although the heat is felt in summer, it can also give beautiful days with pleasant nights.

Warm clothes, jackets, gloves and scarves, a woolen hat and snowshoes – this is what you need to pack in your suitcase if you want to venture to Chicago in the winter. Plan museum visits, theater performances, and dinners with music … Chicago is the birthplace of blues music, after all.


The climate in Chicago is continental, but it is very marked by its geographical location: the city is located, roughly, between the Central Sierra and the Atlantic Ocean. It causes the climate in Chicago to be characterized by frigid winters, hot summers, and quite cloudy springs and autumns, with frequent rainfall and sometimes strong winds. This contrasting climate causes that in winter it can reach -20º and in summer, 30º.

The temperature in Chicago differs somewhat from that of the rest of Illinois.; its buildings and proximity to Lake Michigan make it usually somewhat higher than in the region’s rural areas. In short, a variable climate, of contrasts, with snowy winters and summers in which you will appreciate taking a dip on the beaches of Lake Michigan.

When to travel to Chicago? The best time

It will not only depend on personal tastes but also on the time of year, as we mentioned above. Anyway, if you want to visit many places, walk around the city, go out at night … we recommend visiting Chicago during the summer since, in winter, the weather is freezing. Experiencing the city covered in white is very beautiful, but one does not feel like walking or moving around unheated places.

Regarding spring and autumn, they are not bad options. However, during the spring, Chicago becomes cloudy and with frequent rainfall, making it impractical to move around the city on foot. On the other hand, autumn is slightly more pleasant since it is not as rainy as spring but not as hot as summer. For this reason, the best times to travel in Chicago are summer and fall, when temperatures are a bit warmer and more pleasant to go to visit tourist attractions or get to know the city in one comfortable and practical way.

Next, we will explain the weather in Chicago month by month, with some tips on what you should take to wear. Thus, you can decide what your best time of year to visit it is. Remember that you have a complete article on luggage to take on a trip to Chicago, with a handy list to pack.

Top sights in Chicago

  • Local favorites
  • Kid-friendly
  • Outdoor
  • Art & Culture
  • History
  • Museum
  • Beaches
  • Amusement Parks

Quick access to monthly weather


In January, the highest temperature in Chicago is -1º and the lowest, -9º. And it is that January is the coldest month in the Windy City and, worth the redundancy, one of the windiest, with a speed of more than 22.5 km / h. Also, if you travel there during this month, you will most likely see snow.

What clothes to wear to Chicago in January?

Essential things are a winter coat, hat, gloves, and scarf. If you are cold, also include thermal shirts and tights. If you plan to walk around town, don’t forget some comfortable boots and a raincoat to wear over your coat.


You can see there Cold, strong gusts of wind and up to eight inches of snowfall. The highest temperature in February is 0º and the lowest, -8º. Wind speeds, from 8 to 33 km / h, increase the sensation of Cold by 10º.

What clothes to wear to Chicago in February?

You’re going to be cold, so thermal tops, thick jumpers, and well-lined winter coats are your allies. The list is completed by a hat, shoes, clothes for snow, gloves, and a scarf.


The winter begins to recede, but we still find an icy environment. Temperatures range between 7º and -2º. March is an excellent month to visit Chicago, but the weather varies greatly, so check the weather forecast.

What clothes to wear to Chicago in March?

You cannot forget to pack winter clothes: scarf, hat, gloves, winter coat, and warm shoes. However, it also includes short-sleeved shirts in case the weather is warmer.


The city will be in bloom but, beware, temperatures can rise or fall 20 degrees or more in one day! The weather will be warm enough to stroll through streets and parks, but it will also rain. If there is a storm, you may have problems with the flights. Highest temperature: 14º. Lowest temperature: 4º.

What clothes to wear to Chicago in April?

Some boots to move while it rains will be helpful. As the temperature varies, it is advisable to dress in layers. Also, take a good spring coat and a scarf.


Ideal for those who love warm but not too high temperatures. May weather in Chicago is summery. However, on these dates, it can also rain. The highest average temperature is 21º and the lowest, 10º.

What clothes to wear to Chicago in May?

The temperature can rise dramatically during the day and, at night, it can be excellent. So it is interesting to put a spring coat in the suitcase, an umbrella and, what is the crux of the matter, layered clothes. Lightweight sweaters and long-sleeved shirts, for example.


The maximum temperature is 26º, and the minimum is 14º. The climate of Chicago in June will be moderate and pleasant, highly recommended for outdoor activities, such as tours or going to the beach.

What clothes to wear to Chicago in June?

You will have to think about the swimsuit and some warm layers since they can cool at night. A light jacket with a sweater or a sweatshirt will do. Think that around Lake Michigan, it can be windy.


With temperatures of 29º of maximum and 17º of minimum, July is the warmest month in Chicago. You will want the temperatures to drop, but at the same time, you will have a perfect opportunity to go outside. On the other hand, there is an average of seven days of rain.

What clothes to wear to Chicago in July?

It is the time of shorts and t-shirts. Restaurants and tourist attractions won’t deny you entry for this laid-back look. You will also need a sweater or sweatshirt (the temperature drops considerably at night ), comfortable shoes, sunscreen, water, a cap or hat, and a small umbrella.


It will be less hot than in July, but the humidity (which rises 88%) and the relatively low wind speed keep the summer temperatures. The temperatures will be between 27 and 17º.

What clothes to wear to Chicago in August?

You will need a jacket, sweatshirt or jacket, since the weather is unpredictable, especially at night; temperatures may drop, or a few drops of rain may fall. Don’t forget sunscreen, a hat, and a bottle of water.


It is difficult to predict from day to day: a mixture of summer that ends and autumn that arrives. The temperatures oscillate between 23 and 13º. It usually rains for ten days of the month. Finally, in September, tornado season ends in the Midwest of the United States. One is unlikely to happen in Chicago, but there have been examples like 1967.

What clothes to wear to Chicago in September?

As you will find yourself in a time of change of season, it is recommended that you pack summer and fall clothes. If you are outside all day, take something warm like a sweater or a sweatshirt. Also, a tiny umbrella in case the rain surprises you.


It’s getting cold in Chicago … In October, temperatures can range from 17 to 7 degrees, although the “thing” can vary considerably from one day to the next.

What clothes to wear to Chicago in October?

Your suitcase to visit Chicago in October must contain several layers of clothing and a raincoat. This last garment will be handy to protect you from the stormy autumn weather.


It is a wet and cold month. In the afternoon, the average temperature reaches 8º and, at night, it drops to 0º. There is also snow, about three inches, which can also come in the cold rain.

What clothes to wear to Chicago in November?

We recommend wearing many layers of warm clothing. Fight cold weather and winds with a good jacket, gloves, and a hat. Think of shoes that are comfortable and resistant to water.


Traveling to Chicago during the winter is highly recommended for those who love the cold or intend to go skiing near Chicago. Average temperatures are 3º maximum and -3º minimum. In December, you will already find snow on the streets.

What clothes to wear to Chicago in December?

Please take out your winter clothes, because you will need them. A scarf, a thick coat, warm sweaters, boots to go through the snow will be essential for you …

How many days do you need in Chicago?

How many days do you need in Chicago? 3 to 4 days should be enough to see the top attractions in Chicago. However, depending on your interests and travel style, you can certainly spend a week in Chicago exploring the area and principal tourist attractions.

What is Chicago’s hottest month? July

July is indeed Chicago’s hottest month, most of the time. In 149 years of official temperature records from 1871 through 2019, July has been the city’s hottest month in 104 years, or 70 percent of the years.

What is the windiest month in Chicago?

According to the Illinois Climatologist office, the average wind speed for the entire state is 7.4 miles per hour, with March (9.1 mph) and April (9.2 mph) being the windiest months on average. For the Chicago area, it’s ten mph.

Is Chicago expensive to visit?

Chicago is sometimes overlooked, but despite that, it’s one of the world’s great cities and very worth a visit. It’s classic America combined with a fantastic combination of recent foreign influences. This city can be expensive for tourists, though it doesn’t have to be.

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