Credit: Yann Legendre

Summer always seems conspicuously late to the party. Especially in this city, where sunshine is understood to be a much-needed balm for winter wounds, each relatively mild day is precious. So by the time the official start to the season finally rolls around—this year on June 21—we Chicagoans have already made significant headway on our warm-weather to-dos. Hence the Reader‘s Summer Guide now, in mid-May, when the possibilities are endless, and the forecast, more metaphorically than meteorologically, is nothing but blue skies. Jake Malooley

Summer Road Trips

Baraboo, Wisconsin: The former hometown of the Ringling brothers

Midland, Michigan: The midwest’s midcentury-modern mecca

Clam Lake, one of the most remote destinations in Wisconsin

A tour of bizarre outdoor art exhibits in the midwest

Our Top Picks for . . .

Summer Guide 2015 Alfresco Dining
Summer Guide 2015 Beer Gardens
Summer Guide 2015 Fairs Festivals
Summer Guide 2015 Farmers Markets
Summer Guide 2015 Music Festivals

Plus . . .

The Five Best Things to Do in May

The Ten Best Things to Do in June

The Ten Best Things to Do in July

The Ten Best Things to Do in August

And all our other recommended events from now until Labor Day