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Labor Day is weekend of relaxation, and we all know that after this tumultuous (almost) two years, we need it! Fall isn’t very far away, and so now is the prime time to fit in all the activities you’ve wanted to do but just haven’t had the time. Whether you’re opting for a staycation in the city, a waterpark, or a unique and beautiful dinner at a stunning restaurant, we’ve got you covered with our definitive list of Labor Day spots.

Our Picks

If you’re looking for… adventure:

THE FORGE: If you’re an eclectic person who loves the outdoors; loves getting out of your comfort zone and exploring new activities, then The Forge is for you. Most people don’t think of Illinois as a grand hiking location, but think again. At The Forge, there are miles of flat hiking trails where you can also bike and hike. The Forge also has kayaking, the country’s largest high ropes challenge course and laser tag. With an eclectic mix of fun summer activities, this is the perfect bonding activity for friends and family alike. For more information, please visit https://www.forgeparks.com.

Van Gogh for All: Opened through September 26 at 333 N Michigan Avenue, this eclectic, hands on, fun-for-all-art-lovers exhibit is the perfect activity for date night, family fun day and more. At this exhibit, art lovers can engage with the paintings and truly get inside Van Gogh’s work. One can step into a painting, touch it, and photograph themselves laying in the bed in “The Bedroom” or even videoing themselves flying through “Starry Night”. No matter the age, this exhibit has amazing “wow” factor and is a great activity for your three day weekend! Tickets are on sale now at www.vangoghforall.org

Replay: Replay is known by Chicago residents as THE go-to pop up bar, and this year, that certainly hasn’t changed. Replay, located in the beautiful Lincoln Park, never fails to disappoint; and their latest theme, Marvel Arcade, runs through September 19. Replay is paying homage to everything Marvel Universe related: from the themed bar, to Marvel Trivia every Thursday night at 7pm, and, if you’re daring enough, you can join in on the fun even more by doing Marvel cosplay. Bartenders have even updated the menu of cocktails to give you Marvel-themed sips, so be sure to visit www.replaylincolnpark.com.

City Cruises: Patrons looking for something fun to do to outside this weekend before the temps begin to cool can choose between a Fireworks Dinner Cruise on the Lake and River that have been extended through September; along with Brunch on the River and Lake; Chicago Lake Lunch; Chicago River Architectural tours; Dinner on the Lake and River; Sights & Sips Cruise on the Chicago River and Lake; and the Seadog, the turbo-charged speedboat cruise offering both extreme thrill rides for adventure seekers and educational tours. Book your Labor Day plans today by clicking here:

If you’re looking for…staycation and chill vibe

Sable at Navy Pier: If you’re someone who is looking to get away from labor this labor day, then consider a “staycation” at Sable at Navy Pier. A hotel that is brought to life by Curio Collection by Hilton, which has a unique fleet of hotels in exotic and luxurious locations, The Sable has unparalleled views of Lake Michigan and views of Chicago’s iconic fireworks. Whether you are looking for water or city views, the Sable has it all, and is ready to deliver. Whether you are staying over the weekend or during the week, the Sable is offering Wednesday and Saturday Firework packages that include either Cote des Roses Rosé or Mini Moet and Chandon Champagne for two; custom Sable chocolate; and upgrades to a higher floor wherever available. Curio Collection hotels are a one-of-a-kind experience, so unwinding in one with views of whatever you want to see doesn’t sound so bad. Book your reservation at www.sablehotel.com.

The Forester: The long weekend is the perfect excuse to enjoy a luxurious getaway to the beautiful Forester Hotel. Inspired by the city’s motto “Naturae et Scientiae Amor” (which translates to “Love of Science and Nature”), this is the first hotel to break ground in this exclusive city in over 92 years. Home of the fantastic Oaken Bistro + Bar, an upscale space where you can enjoy terrific eats and drink, this hotel also offers over 4,500 square feet of event space for whatever you may need. If your holiday weekend isn’t complete without space for a big group, consider The Forester. To make a reservation, please visit www.foresterhotel.com.

Hyatt Lodge: This hotel is a complete retreat, located just a short drive outside of Chicago in Oak Brook. Nestled into a serene forest preserve with sprawling forest views and complete with a stunning lake, this hotel has 218 guest rooms that are equally as luxurious as the scenery. Enjoy a relaxing meal at Water’s Edge & Lakeside Patio that serves both savory and sweet breakfast dishes, and, if you save room for later, healthy wraps and other eats. For more information and to book your stay, please visit https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/illinois/hyatt-lodge/chilo.

Renaissance Milwaukee West: Located just outside of downtown Milwaukee, the Renaissance Milwaukee West is an amenity-packed hotel boasting 196 modern guest rooms and suites, featuring distinctive style and touches of whimsy. For the foodies, be sure to stop by the adjacent restaurant, Eldr+Rime, featuring flavorful New American cuisine with Scandinavian influence. For more information or to make a reservation, please visit https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/mkemr-renaissance-milwaukee-west-hotel/

The Rose: The Rose Hotel located in Rosemont is the new, pet friendly, and aesthetically pleasing hotel just outside of Chicago. With shuttle service that gives full access to all the city and the O’Hare area have to offer, you can’t lose with a staycation at this beautiful and architecturally interesting hotel. The Rose also features the eclectic and upscale Thorn restaurant, which is spearheaded by head chef Nicholas Malloy and features incredible menu items and all day cocktails with a late night bar. This staycation may not be in the heart of Chicago, but it’s just a shuttle or Uber away from enjoying all your Labor Day weekend can offer. To book a reservation, please visit this link https://www.the-rose-hotel.com/about. If you’re interested in The Thorn Restaurant, please click here https://thornrestaurant.com/me

If you’re looking for… literally all the food.

Kennedy Rooftop: The Kennedy Rooftop is one of the hidden gem rooftops that Chicago has to offer. Forget all the other ones you see your friends Instagram every weekend…The Kennedy is different. Located atop the brand-new Hyatt Place Chicago/Wicker Park hotel in the more serene and architecturally interesting neighborhood of Wicker Park, The Kennedy provides views of the entire Chicago skyline while also offering crazy amazing cocktails and a filling menu. Be sure to try the Al Pastor Tacos or the Ahi Tuna Crudo (to die for!) and ask about the Kennedy’s bottle service options if you’re feeling more adventurous this weekend. For more information, feel free to visit https://www.kennedyrooftop.comto discover all the Kennedy has to offer.

Fulton Market Kitchen: Nestled in what is quickly becoming the most popular neighborhood for anyone who loves good, trendy food –Fulton Market—is Fulton Market Kitchen. This spot is high style and is the perfect hybrid between art gallery and outstanding restaurant. Anyone who comes here can enjoy food, cocktails, and art by some of Chicago’s best talents in one visit. FMK is inspired by the New York City art scene in the 1980s and their sole motto is to function as a place where all walks of life can come and have a good time while becoming a beacon in the community. Under the helm of Executive Chef Jonathan Harootunian, visitors can dine both indoors and outdoors, and enjoy brunch or the regular menu. Make sure to try the Cacio e Pepe which is definitely sure to please. For more information please visit www.fultonmarketkitchen.com.

Lirica Restaurant: Complete your visit to Navy Pier with the Latin inspired cuisine at Lirica Restaurant, located inside the waterfront Sable Hotel. Be sure to visit their patio to enjoy their beautiful dining views and see the extended Memorial Day Weekend fireworks. Please visit www.liricarestaurant.comto make a reservation.

Carnivale: Plan a visit to this fantastic, upscale, and interesting venue where diners can take in the largest mural in the city of Chicago, and enjoy food made by the fantastic Executive Chef Carlos Garza Lucas. Cuisine is inspired by the cuisine and culture of Mexico, South America and Central America as well as the owners’ passion for travel. Cuisine is Latin Fusion, so get ready to explore all that Carnivale has to offer on both their patio and indoor dining. To learn more or to make a reservation, please visit www.carnivalechicago.com.

Offshore Rooftop & Bar: Chicago gets to boast that this is the nation’s largest rooftop and bar. Sitting in the heart of Navy Pier, the views of Lake Michigan and the city skyline are endless, as are the Instagrammable moments you’re sure to find here. The space boasts 36,000 square feet of space, with seven fire pits and an entertainment and gaming area. Consider this the most luxury dining rooftop you can find with the best views. Also, with the extended fireworks show planned for Labor Day Weekend, this is the perfect spot to view them. With a diverse menu crafted by Chef Shrader, you’re sure to leave full AND fulfilled. For more information and to make reservations, please visit www.drinkoffshore.com.

Raised Rooftop: Raised Rooftop, located on the third floor of the Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel, is a lively indoor/outdoor bar and rooftop deck. One of the hottest rooftops in Chicago, Raised is located along the Chicago riverfront and boasts incredible views. With an industrial and eclectic style, this spot is perfect for a date or just a Labor Day getaway with friends. Featuring an array of wines on tap, craft beer, a delicious lineup of cocktails, and locally-sourced dishes, the selection of sips and shareables is sure to impress. For more information please visit www.raisedbarchicago.com.

Roosevelt Collection Shops (and rooftop!): Head to the South Loop for shopping and a day on the town by exploring the stores that the Roosevelt Collection has to offer. Enjoy shopping at stores such as H&M, Francesca’s and Banana Republic for a nice escape on your Labor Day Weekend. Be sure to check out their spacious rooftop as well! For more information visit www.rooseveltcollection.com