// SUM­MER OF LUXE

FROM DIN­ING À DEUX AT THE TIPPY-TOP OF THE LON­DON HOUSE TO CRUIS­ING OVER ILLI­NOIS FARM­LAND IN A PRI­VATE HOT-AIR BAL­LOON, EIGHT WAYS TO HAVE THE SUM­MER OF YOUR WILDEST DREAMS IN CHICAGO.

Michigan Avenue - - CONTENTS - BY HEIDI MITCHELL 2. CRUISE THE THIRD COAST:

From din­ing at the tippy-top of the Lon­donhouse to cruis­ing in a pri­vate hot-air bal­loon, eight ways to have the Chicago sum­mer of your wildest dreams.

Sum­mer in Chicago is heaven on any bud­get—but when money is no ob­ject, it can be down­right life-chang­ing. To take the sea­son over the top, in­dulge in these eight ul­ti­mate Windy City ex­pe­ri­ences.

1. BY LAND AND BY AIR: Meet

four of your BFFS for a catered happy hour by the river at the Chicago City Win­ery, then board a boat for a pri­vate hour-long voy­age along the south branch of the Chicago River. Once you’re done gaz­ing up at the canyon of his­toric build­ings, look down on the city’s land­marks dur­ing a crazy-cool sky­line tour cour­tesy of Chicago He­li­copter Ex­pe­ri­ence. $4,000 for up to five pas­sen­gers; che­tours.com Cross sail­ing the Great Lakes off your bucket list. The all-bal­cony Pearl Mist hosts just 200 pas­sen­gers per trip (book Cat­e­gory R, whose state rooms clock in at 425 square feet, not count­ing the bal­cony), and hits ports of call like Mack­inac Is­land, Ni­a­gara Falls, and Ge­or­gian Bay dur­ing its 11-night sail­ings. On board, ex­pect up­scale cui­sine and so­phis­ti­cated en­ter­tain­ment. The best part? You’ll never need to board a plane, and you’ll only un­pack once. $5,180– $10,000 per per­son; great­lake­scruis­ing.com

3. FLOAT ABOVE THE CLOUDS:

A town car will pick two of you up just be­fore dawn to make the 50-mile jour­ney to Hamp­shire’s Nos­tal­gia Bal­loon­ing fa­cil­ity. Join the team as they in­flate your per­sonal flota­tion de­vice, then hop into the bas­ket and soar above the tree line, the patch­work of farm­land, and the fluffy clouds. Ex­pect to cover five to seven miles at an al­ti­tude of 2,000 feet—from which, on a clear day, you can see Lake Michi­gan and the spires of Willis Tower. An hour later, cel­e­brate on solid ground with a Cham­pagne toast. Bal­loon ride plus car ser­vice for two, $1,496; nos­tal­gia­bal­loon­ing.com

4. GLAMP­ING IN THE CITY:

Chicago Parks Foun­da­tion brings back last sum­mer’s pop­u­lar Camp Northerly— the only op­por­tu­nity to camp (legally) in style in the city’s beloved parks. Just 200 campers ar­rive to pre-pitched tents at Northerly Is­land Park then spend the evening din­ing fam­ily-style, sip­ping Goose Is­land beer, sway­ing to live mu­sic around a camp­fire, and play­ing glow-in-thedark bocce. In the morn­ing, Dark Mat­ter cof­fee, Beer­mosas, and a hot break­fast pro­vide fuel for sun­rise yoga and pad­dle­board­ing. The cleanup? It’s taken care of. Au­gust 11; $250 for two; chicagoparks­foun­da­tion.org

Ravinia’s Lawncierge pro­gram is one of our top ways to turn your sum­mer up to 11. 68

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