Summer the “Gallagher Way” in Chicago

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Some Chicagoans live by the rule that there are only two seasons: winter and baseball. Lucky for us, we’re in the full swing of baseball season. This means a full line-up of free summer programming has returned to Gallagher Way. Gallagher Way can be your one-stop shop for all your recreational needs, from exercise classes and markets to movies and music. If Wrigley Field is the heart of Wrigleyville in the summer, Gallagher Way is its pulse with activities and events for all ages every day of the week, game day or not.

What is Gallagher Way?

Gallagher Way is the park right outside Wrigley Field on the west side. On game days, it acts as an entryway into Wrigley Field, as well as an area in which ticket holders can spread their legs, and watch the game on the 40-foot video screen. On non-game days and outside of baseball season, it acts as a town center with activities and events for all ages throughout the year; including free movie nights, fitness classes, musical performances, and so much more. The park is also bordered by the beautiful Hotel Zachary and several great restaurants.

Fitness at Gallagher Way

Start your mornings outdoors with HIIT classes on Mondays and Wednesdays at 7 a.m. These free classes are an hour long and led by Movement Gyms on Mondays and CrossTown Fitness on Wednesdays.

If Yoga is more your speed or you need to change up your routine, try the free, hour-long classes led by Five Keys Yoga every Tuesday and Thursday at 7 a.m. Classes are BYOM (Bring Your Own Mat.)

Wiggleworms

Get the kids moving on Tuesday mornings at 10 a.m. through September 27 with Wiggleworms. Dance, shake and jump around with all your favorite musicians from The Old Town School of Folk Music. Spread out in front of the stage, but be ready to move. At 11 a.m., after the music, the inconspicuous fountains turn on. Whatever energy the kids have left can be spent splashing in the water. Then, transfer your picnic blankets over to the grass area for a screening of a children’s movie on the 30-foot LCD screen. This is the perfect playdate!

The French Market

On select Thursdays from 4 p.m.-8 p.m., visit The French Market where you will find fresh produce, baked goods, artisan cheeses and other vendors. As you browse and nosh on your purchases, enjoy the live music. Beer and wine will also be available at the park bar. Kids can occupy themselves at the crafting table or playing in the fountains.

Movies at Gallagher Way

Grab your blanket, once again, and a picnic basket to watch free movies from the lawn on select Wednesdays, May-September. In conjunction with the Music Box Theater, a series of music-themed movies will be presented. Screenings begin at 7:30 p.m.

Gates open at 6 p.m. so you can stake your claim on a prime viewing location. Bring in food from any of the surrounding restaurants, or from home, however, you may not bring in alcohol. And don’t worry if you forget anything, beer, wine, non-alcoholic drinks, candy, popcorn and other snacks are sold in the park. Sometimes, there’s even a food truck inside the park.

For all the makings of a date night, you may also rent camp chairs in a reserved seating area. Rentals include an alcoholic, or non-alcoholic beverage, a bottle of water, Jeni's ice cream "street treat", Garrett’s popcorn or candy, and a souvenir cup—all brought to you by your dedicated server.

Family Concerts

Tired of singing along to Wheels on the Bus? Time for the kids to learn the words to “our” music. The Rock and Roll Playhouse performances are not to be missed. Three Sunday morning shows are scheduled.

July 24: The Purple Party (Music of Prince)
August 28: Music of Women Who Rock
September 25:Music of Motown

Concerts are free and fun for all ages. Gates open at 10:30 a.m. for 11:30 a.m. performances. Don’t forget your dancing shoes!

For the Grown-Ups

Gather a group of friends or get yourself a sitter for a date night and mosey on over for a kid-free event.

On June 11, celebrate National Rose Day, at Gallagher Way’s Rose and Croquet event. Entry into the park is free, where you can then enjoy a game of croquet, get a manicure, take Instagram-worthy photos, listen to a live DJ, and drink rose all day. You can even reserve an impeccably curated picnic table.

The Budweiser Concert Series at Gallagher Way has seen the likes of Lizzo and Nathaniel Ratcliffe & the Nightsweats. Ryan Hurd will grace the stage on July 30. This intimate outdoor concert venue has become one of the best places to see your favorite artists.

With all this going on, you’ll find little need to go anywhere else. The variety of entertainment traditionally found only in Millenium Park or Navy Pier is being served up to the Northside on a silver platter. And knowing Gallagher Way, they are just getting started. Stay tuned for more pop-up events.

Follow Gallagher Way on social at @GallagherWayChi on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

— Debra Flanagan

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