Flowers are blooming. Everybody has a lighter pep in their step. Baseball season is back in action. But even if you're not a baseball fan, there's so much more happening in April in Chicago if you plan on visiting.
Be aware, however, this month is quite fickle when it comes to weather. There might be warm and sunny days, perfect for visiting one of Chicago's famous beaches, or the temps could drop, forcing you to seek indoor shelter. Snow is not out of the realm of possibilities either. It's best to plan for everything, pack layers, and be ready for whatever the Windy City throws your way.
Chicago Weather in April
Compared to the winter season, April feels like a walk in the park. While you'll likely still need a jacket or warm sweater, the temperature can be quite pleasant relative to the months prior. Plus, the gray blanket that has been covering the city for months, blocking the sunshine, has nearly disappeared.
• Average High Temperature: 57°F (14°C)
• Average Low Temperature: 39°F (4°C)
• Average Precipitation: 3.5"
• Average Amount of Sunlight Per Day: 13 Hours
• Average Humidity: 64.9%
• Average Lake Michigan Temperature: 40.9°F
The wind picks up in Chicago in April and you can expect rain to occur for about 10 to 12 days of the month. Be sure to pack an umbrella and water-resistant jacket to stay dry. Also, when the sun sets, the temperature drops, and it can be quite chilly outside. Layers are your best bet for staying comfortable while exploring the city's attractions. It would behoove you to check the daily, as well as hourly, forecast while visiting the city because weather can change abruptly.
What To Pack
• Bring boots or galoshes to keep your feet warm and dry and don't forget to pack an umbrella. April can experience quite a bit of rain. You'll likely do a bit of walking while in the city, so wear closed-toed shoes that are comfortable for logging several miles on foot.
• Dress in layers because Chicago weather can be unpredictable. It’s also notorious for dramatically dropping or increasing in temperature by 20 degrees or more in one day.
• Have sunglasses, sunscreen, and a hat easily accessible for those bright days.
• Don’t forget a lined spring coat, as well as sweaters and scarves. Protecting your face from the wind is necessary on some days during this month.
• If you plan on spending time by the lake, be sure to dress in extra warm layers as the temperature can be cooler. Be prepared for wind as well.
April Events in Chicago
The city starts to come alive in the spring. You'll see more people walking around neighborhood streets, shopping, visiting the museum campus, riding bikes along the lake shore, and checking out new seasonal menus at local restaurants. Annual events include a film festival, food celebration, and liquor showcase.
Buckingham Fountain: Since 1927, Buckingham Fountain, located in Grant Park, has been a top attraction in Chicago, drawing visitors from all over the globe. The fountain turns on this month and operates from 8 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. every day, depending on weather. This iconic fountain is the backdrop in many travelers' photography.
Chicago Latino Film Festival: The Latino Cultural Center of Chicago produces this festival every April and has done so since 1985. See a wide variety of thought-provoking films, showcased at AMC River East 21 Theaters in Chicago. New as well as seasoned film makers highlight and celebrate the best of Latino culture through dynamic Drama, Comedy, LQBTQ, Horror, Documentary, Action, and Animation movie genres. Support the arts and latino culture by watching one, or several, of the films during this annual arts festival.
Chicago Rum Festival: Also known as the Midwest Rum Fest, this event takes place every April and showcases dozens of varieties of rum in an educational setting with tastings, seminars, and guest speakers. Industry professionals can take part in the Spirit Industry Session while every-day rum fans can attend the General Admission Grand Tasting Session. This yearly event takes place at Venue Six10.
Baconfest Chicago: Each April, bacon lovers unite and gather at UIC Dorin Forum, at 725 Roosevelt Rd., to taste creative dishes made by local chefs that include the popular cured meat. Drink tickets are included in the admission price so you can sample complimentary liquor as well. Please note: children ages 10 and under are not permitted inside the event. A portion of Baconfest Chicago's proceeds go toward the Greater Chicago Food Depository, so you can feel good about indulging in the bacon celebration. And, if you want to volunteer, Baconfest Chicago organizes warehouse packing sessions at the food bank.
ChiTeen Lit Fest: Check out the fifth annual literary festival aimed at teenagers, which is held at Columbia College and the Chicago Cultural Center each April. Teenagers can meet published authors, go on a public art walking tour, and network with other writers and artists that share similar interests.
April Travel Tips
• The weather should be finally warm enough to explore outdoors during one of the many walking and biking food tours. Be prepared, however, with a rain jacket and comfortable water-resistant shoes.
• Summer is the peak season for festivals and tourism so you can expect hotel prices to be relatively decent during April. Hotels near Wrigley Field, where the Chicago Cubs play baseball, however, have increased prices due to baseball season kicking off at the tail end of March.
To learn more about visiting Chicago in the spring, check out our guide on the best time to visit.