Back in grade school, it was one of the worst fates imaginable to have a summer birthday. Friends were often on vacation, away at camp or difficult to contact. Fast forward to adulthood, and similar problems still arise: friends are off on vacation, or else busy with some other thing. But having a summer birthday also comes with its share of perks. You have great weather at your disposal, which means you have the entire outdoors as a possible venue, and the days are longer. For all those summer birthday celebrators out there, here are four ways to make the most out of your birthday this year.
Who says picnicking has to be tame and genteel? Pack some charcuterie from one of Chicago’s awesome delis (Gene’s Sausage Shop and Delicatessen, anyone?), as well as a beverage cooler full of… sodas. In all seriousness, you can’t have open liquor in Chicago parks, so it’s best to save that portion of the birthday festivities until later, if at all. Head to Indian Boundary Park, Maggie Daley Park, or the Oak Street Beach (though with the latter, make sure everything’s sealed, because no one wants sand in their cheese.)
Summer is a great time to try something a little out of the ordinary, and there are few things further from the ordinary than rounding up your friends to put together an axe throwing party in Chicago. But it makes perfect sense. It allows you to beat the heat, learn a new skill, engage in some friendly competition, and throw a friggin’ axe! Essentially how it works is that a pro axe thrower from BATL (The Backyard Axe Throwing League) gives you a lesson in form, and then you’re off to the races to compete with friends to see who can hit the middle of the wooden target at the end of the lane. Think of it like darts, only cooler.
You’ve got Chicago in the summer. It only makes sense to head to a beach, like the aforementioned Oak Street, or Rainbow Beach, North Avenue, 31st Street, etc. Chill out with some music and snacks, play some Frisbee or volleyball, even toss a baseball around – any activity is amplified when you do it on a beach. Plus, the atmosphere around the beaches in Chicago is buzzing with energy. Follow a beach day up with drinks on a patio somewhere or Axe Throwing (see directly above!) for the perfect summer day.
Here’s something that summer birthdays have on all the other seasons: they get to celebrate over a BBQ. A birthday is the perfect excuse to have people over, fire up the grill, crack a couple brews and enjoy the warm weather while it lasts. To make it easier on yourself, do it potluck style, encouraging guests to bring a side of their choosing.
If you have a summer birthday, consider yourself lucky. There are awesome experiences to be had. Try one of the four idea above – or try all four – and celebrate your birthday the right way.