Welcome Summer at the Chicago Riverwalk Opening

The answer to the most asked question is here. The Chicago Riverwalk Opening is this weekend and there's a large celebration accompanying the opening.

City of Chicago

The answer to the most asked question with this nice weather is finally here. The Chicago Riverwalk Opening is this weekend, and there is a large celebration accompanying the anticipated opening.

The sunglasses are on, the shorts have been dug up from the back of your closet, and you can’t stop smiling at the sun. However, every time you walk past the Chicago Riverwalk you’re left wondering when it will open for business. The city has a great celebration plan to enjoy everything the Riverwalk has to offer.


Enjoy cruises, parades, bridge lifts, live music, delicious food, and thirst-quenching drinks all at the opening celebration. There’s a full day of activities and below are just a few of the highlights.

  • Chicago Architecture Foundation Riverwalk West Tour, between Clark Street and LaSalle Street, 10 a.m.–10:45 a.m., 1 p.m.–1:45 p.m., and 3 p.m.–3:45 p.m.
    • Enjoy free 45-minute tours of the Riverwalk from the extremely knowledgeable Chicago Architecture Foundation docents.
  • Dance of the Bridges and Boats, between Lake Street and Lake Shore Drive, 11 a.m.–1 p.m.
    • Experience a parade of boats and the lifting of the bridges.
  • Free Admission to the McCormick Bridgehouse and Chicago River Museum, 99 E. Riverwalk
    • Not only will you get free admission to the museum but from 12 p.m.–3 p.m. you can watch the Michigan Avenue bridge lift from inside the museum.
  • Chicago Park District Fishing at the Jetty, between Franklin Street and Wells Street, 12 p.m.–4 p.m.
    • Chicago’s Fish’N Kids will be teaching kids how to fish for free.
  • Classic Boats at The Water Plaza, between Wells Street and LaSalle Street, 12 p.m.–4 p.m.
    • The Chicago Yachting Association will be exhibiting classic and antique boats.
  • Dragon Boat Exhibition Race, between Wells Street and Dearborn Street, 5 p.m.–6 p.m.
    • Not only will you catch the exhilarating race but you’ll be able to see the intricate dragon boats up close.
  • Pyrotechnic Waterfall Display, between Clark Street and LaSalle Street, 8 p.m.
    • The celebration ends with pyrotechnic waterfalls off of the Clark Street bridge and the LaSalle Street bridge.

These are just a few of the events happening. Don’t forget to visit the many restaurants, businesses, cruises, and kayak companies offering discounts, events, and more during this all-day celebration.

The Chicago Riverwalk Opening takes place May 20 9 a.m.–8 p.m. all through the Riverwalk. A great starting place is 376 N. Michigan Ave. For more information visit chicagoriverwalk.us/season-opening.

Written By Joel Mora

Joel Mora is editor at Concierge Preferred. Born and raised in Miami, Fl., Joel has slowly ate, drank, and explored his way up north refining all his senses to prepare for the stampede of delicious dining, notorious nightlife, stellar shopping, and captivating culture that calls Chicago home. In the wild he’ll be the red-bearded Cuban with a Lagunitas IPA in his hand.

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