April 26, 2018

Chicago Riverwalk Kicks Off Summer Season With A Weekend Celebration Friday, May 18 - Sunday, May 20

Experience Chicago’s second waterfront during a preview of summer programming including fireworks, tours, kayaking, Fishing at the Jetty, great food, live music and more

Mary May    mary.may@cityofchicago.org, 312.744.0576

Christine Carrino    christine.carrino@cityofchicago.org, 312.744.0573

Chicago Riverwalk Photos

 

The City of Chicago will preview and kick off summer programming along the Chicago Riverwalk during a public celebration on Friday, May 18Sunday, May 20, times vary. Activities include walking tours led by the Chicago Architecture Foundation, Fishing at the Jetty led by the Chicago Park District – and a pyrotechnic display on the LaSalle Street, Clark Street, Dearborn Street and State Street bridges.

“The three-day Chicago Riverwalk celebration will offer an extravaganza of music, art, architecture, fireworks and more,” said Mark Kelly, Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. “We invite Chicagoans and visitors to escape the everyday and embrace this magnificent urban space and all it has to offer throughout the year.”

The award-winning Riverwalk offers a new perspective on Chicago's own unique waterfronts and architecture as the backdrop for summer. Completed in the fall of 2016, the Chicago Riverwalk (Lake Shore Dr. to Lake St.) is a 1.25-mile promenade through the heart of the city and a destination for Chicagoans and visitors alike to enjoy art, music and more. In 2018, the Riverwalk was awarded the AIA Award for Architecture and the AIA Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design

The Chicago Riverwalk Summer Kick-Off Celebration is presented by the City of Chicago and produced by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events in collaboration with the Chicago Department of Fleet and Facility Management, Choose Chicago, the Chicago Park District and the vendors and boat tour operators along the Riverwalk.

During opening weekend and throughout the summer season, various activities, entertainment and specials will be offered at participating vendor locations and various boat tour operators: Chicago Architecture Foundation, Chicago Brewhouse (NEW), Chicago Electric Boat Company, Chicago’s First Lady Cruises-Mercury, Chicago’s Skyline Cruiseline, Chicago Water Taxi, City Winery, Downtown Docks, Frost Gelato (NEW location), Island Party Hut and Boat Charters, McCormick, Bridgehouse and Chicago River Museum, The Northman (NEW), O’Briens Riverwalk Café, Tiny Tapp and Café, Urban Kayaks and Wendalla Sightseeing.

Chicago Riverwalk Summer Kick-Off Celebration activites are free unless otherwise noted. The Riverwalk is open to the public from 6am–11pm throughout the year. For more information about the Chicago Riverwalk and a complete schedule of events, visit chicagoriverwalk.us—and join the conversation on social media using #ChiRiverwalk.

 

Chicago Riverwalk Summer Kick-Off Celebration – Highlights

Friday, May 18
7:30am

Bird Walks – Led by Audobon

Beginning at the Chicago River Museum/ McCormick Bridgehouse. The walks will take place on select dates through September. Visit chicagoriverwalk.org for details. 99 East Riverwalk

9:50am-7pm

Chicago Water Taxi will have arrivals/departures every 15–20 minutes from 9:50am–7pm. Route connections will include the Metra Stations

(Ogilvie/Union), The Loop, Chinatown, River North, and Streeterville (Michigan Avenue). Use promo code: RIVERWALK when booking tickets online for $3 off your All Day Pass. Promo code is valid online only from May 15–20. Tickets can be purchased on board, on your mobile device, or at any Wendella Ticket Office. For exact schedule details visit www.chicagowatertaxi.com.

105 West Riverwalk

10am-5pm

McCormick, Bridgehouse and Chicago River Museum

Tour the historic bridgehouse and visit the new temporary exhibition, Tender House Project spotlighting the creative possibilities for Chicago’s bridgehouses. The project includes student design proposals from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Master of Architecture Program curated by Mejay Gula, a Chicago architect and educator. In addition, the South Side Home Movie Project will be projecting river-related archival home movies from 1940-70 from 3pm to 10pm on the iconic porthole windows. 99 E. Riverwalk

10am-6pm

Urban Kayaks

Two for one rental special from May 18-20. Tours include:

Historic Chicago Tour at 11am and 3pm and Sunset Tour at 6pm

435 East Riverwalk South

10am-10pm

Chicago Electric Boat Company

Enjoy 50% off our 12 Passenger Riverwalk Boat Rentals during the weekend of May 18-20. Online reservations required at www.chicagoelectricboats.com. Use promo code: RIVERWALK50.

27 West Riverwalk South 

11am-9pm

O’Briens Restaurants

Enjoy The Mix from old classics to the current chart hits beginning at 5pm.

Happy Hour from 3-6pm featuring a $6 special & $6 beer, cocktails and appetizers. For families, face painting for the kids.

45 East Riverwalk South

11am-9pm

Island Party Hut and Boat Charters

Enjoy music, bocce, ping-pong, bags, specialty drinks and great food all weekend. Boat charters will be 15% off all three days.

355 East Riverwalk South

Tapp Hours: 11am-10pm

Cafe Hours: 7am-9pm (Friday)

Tiny Tapp and Café

Enjoy one of Chicago's finest DJ's, Jeff Pazen at Tiny Tapp & Cafe at 6pm. For full programming information, visit www.tinytapp.com.

Enjoy live music and entertainment. 55 East Riverwalk South

 
Noon-4pm

Chicago Park District Fishing at the Jetty 

Chicago’s Fish’N’ Kids will teach children and adults of all ages to fish for free, including supplies and instruction. The fishing jetty is located at Franklin and Wells Streets along the Riverwalk.

4-5pm

Jazz Institute of Chicago  - Jazz Links

Jazz Links Ensemble led by Joe Powers

Young Jazz artists perform for opening weekend as part of the Year of Creative Youth. At the Jetty between Franklin and Wells Street.

8:15pm

Pyrotechnic Waterfall Display                    

Delight in the grand finale display of pyrotechnic waterfalls along the Riverwalk off of the LaSalle Street, Clark Street, Dearborn Street and State Street bridges.

Saturday, May 19
9am

Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise aboard Chicago’s First Lady Cruises

Enter for a chance to win river cruise tickets aboard a FREE CAF River Cruise celebrating the Chicago Riverwalk’s season opening! Check out architecture.org/may19 for more information. The winning passengers will depart on the river cruise at 112 East Riverwalk South.

9:50am-7pm

Chicago Water Taxi

The Chicago Water Taxi will have arrivals/departures every 15–20 minutes from 9:50am–7pm. Route connections will include the Metra Stations (Ogilvie/Union), The Loop, Chinatown, River North, and Streeterville (Michigan Avenue). Use promo code: RIVERWALK when booking tickets online for $3 off your All Day Pass. Promo code is valid online only from May 15–20. Tickets can be purchased on board, on your mobile device, or at any Wendella Ticket Office. For exact schedule details visit www.chicagowatertaxi.com.

105 West Riverwalk

10am-5pm

McCormick, Bridgehouse and Chicago River Museum

Tour the historic bridgehouse and visit the new temporary exhibition, Tender House Project spotlighting the creative possibilities for Chicago’s bridgehouses. The project includes student design proposals from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Master of Architecture Program curated by Mejay Gula, a Chicago architect and educator. In addition, the South Side Home Movie Project will be projecting river-related archival home movies from 1940-70 from 3pm to 10pm on the iconic porthole windows. 99 East Riverwalk

10am-6pm

Urban Kayaks

Two for one rental special from May 18-20. Tours include:

Historic Chicago Tour at 11am and 3pm and Sunset Tour at 6pm

435 East Riverwalk South

10am-11:30pm

Chicago Electric Boat Company

Enjoy 50% off our 12 Passenger Riverwalk Boat Rentals during the weekend of May 18-20. Online reservations required at www.chicagoelectricboats.com. Use promo code: RIVERWALK50.

27 West Riverwalk South 

10:15am, 12:15pm, 2:15pm, 4:15pm and 6:15pm

Mercury's Urban Adventure Cruise 

Kids ride FREE all day on our most popular tour! Relax and unwind on our 90-minte Chicago River and Lake Michigan cruise. You’ll enjoy lively narration and stories of Chicago's rich history. It's fun for the whole family! “Kids ride free” offer available for purchase at box office only. Mention "RIVERWALK" to receive. Maximum four free kid tickets per paid adult ticket. 112 East Wacker Drive

10:15am

FREE Mercury's Canine Cruise

Calling all canines! Our summer Canine Cruise is making an early appearance for a special one-day cruise! Canines and their owners are invited to join us for a FREE 90-minute River and Lake cruise. Sit back, relax and enjoy quality time with your dog as you learn about Chicago’s rich history and architectural marvels. Reserve your space at riverwalk-free-canine-cruise.eventbrite.com112 East Wacker Drive

Tapp Hours: 11am-10pm

Cafe Hours (weekend): 8am-9pm

Tiny Tapp and Café

Join us at Tiny Tapp & Cafe for a 60-minute yoga class for all levels, hosted by Kate Gisborne from Coconut Yoga (Northcenter), accompanied by Chicago musician Dave Hiltebrand. For full programming information, visit www.tinytapp.com. 55 East Riverwalk South

11am-9pm

O’Briens Restaurants

Enjoy a melting pot of musical influeces with The Shannon Rovers Irish Pipe Band at Noon and Simple Remedy from 2–5pm.

45 East Riverwalk South

11am-9pm

City Winery Riverwalk

Music featuring DJ Saundra Suave from 3–7pm. 11 West Riverwalk South

11am-9pm

Island Party Hut and Boat Charters

Enjoy music, bocce, ping-pong, bags, specialty drinks and great food all weekend. Boat charters will be 15% off all three days.

355 East Riverwalk South

Noon, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm

Chicago Architecture Foundation Riverwalk West Walking Tours

Enjoy FREE 45-minute CAF docent-led walking tour along the Riverwalk. See some of the city’s newest skyscrapers and learn about the Riverwalk’s history and design. Meet at the Vietnam War Memorial at State Street and Wabash Avenue. Reservations required ($3 fee) at architecture.org/Riverwalk2018.

Sunday, May 20
9:50am-7pm

Chicago Water Taxi will have arrivals/departures every 15–20 minutes from 9:50am–7pm. Route connections will include the Metra Stations

(Ogilvie/Union), The Loop, Chinatown, River North, and Streeterville (Michigan Avenue). Use promo code: RIVERWALK when booking tickets online for $3 off your All Day Pass. Promo code is valid online only from May 15–20. Tickets can be purchased on board, on your mobile device, or at any Wendella Ticket Office. For exact schedule details visit www.chicagowatertaxi.com.

105 West Riverwalk

10am-5pm

McCormick, Bridgehouse and Chicago River Museum

Tour the historic bridgehouse and visit the new temporary exhibition, Tender House Project spotlighting the creative possibilities for Chicago’s bridgehouses. The project includes student design proposals from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Master of Architecture Program curated by Mejay Gula, a Chicago architect and educator. In addition, the South Side Home Movie Project will be projecting river-related archival home movies from 1940-70 from 3pm to 10pm on the iconic porthole windows. 99 East Riverwalk

10am-6pm

Urban Kayaks

Two for one rental special from May 18-20. Tours include:

Historic Chicago Tour at 11am and 3pm and Sunset Tour at 6pm

435 East Riverwalk South

10am

Island Party Hut Boat Charters

Bottomless Mimosa Cruise! Sundays are Fundays when you cruise the Chicago River with a bottomless mimosa in hand. The 90-minute cruise is $35. Soda, wine, water, beer, mixed drinks and food is available for an additional cost. For tickets visit, IslandPartyBoat.com or call 312.600.8454.

355 East Riverwalk South

10am-8pm

Chicago Electric Boat Company

Enjoy 50% off our 12 Passenger Riverwalk Boat Rentals during the weekend of May 18-20. Online reservations required at www.chicagoelectricboats.com. Use promo code: RIVERWALK50.

27 West Riverwalk South 

11am-9pm

Island Party Hut and Boat Charters

Enjoy music, bocce, ping-pong, bags, specialty drinks and great food all weekend. Boat charters will be 15% off all three days – does not include Bottomless Mimosa Cruise on May 20.

355 East Riverwalk South

11am-9pm

O’Briens Restaurants

45 East Riverwalk South

Tapp Hours: 11am-10pm

Cafe Hours (weekend): 8am-9pm

Tiny Tapp and Café

For family programming stop by Tiny Tapp & Cafe at 2pm for music and family fun. For full programming information, visit www.tinytapp.com.

55 East Riverwalk South

 

Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors.

 

# # #

 News Release Facts

 I Want To