There’s no need for an outlet outdoors

June 2, 2022


Ainsley Williams

COASTING ALONG. A cyclist bikes by North Avenue Beach, the lake glistening behind them. The 18.5-mile path, which stretches from Edgewater to South Shore, provides spectacular views of the city, an enjoyable form of exercise, and direct access to Chicago’s beaches.

Lakefront Fun

Chicagoans certainly are blessed with spectacular waterways for fun summer boat trips. Whether it’s a Chicago River Boat Architecture Tour where you glide down the river while a tour guide points out significant buildings that grace the skyline, or exploring historic Chinatown via a Chicago Water Taxi, there is no shortage of options for a river adventure. You can also spend your summers on Lake Michigan by dining on the water with Odyssey Cruises, which serves a three-course dinner all on the water. For those who are more adventurous, zooming down the Lake in a fast Seadog boat tour will be right up your alley. 

The picturesque Chicago lakefront, an iconic Chicago symbol, provides the perfect backdrop for a bike ride on any sunny day. With an 18.5-mile trail from 71st Street in South Shore north to Edgewater, any avid cyclist can enjoy scenic views of sparkling Lake Michigan and the vast Chicago skyline.  

Navy Pier is one of Chicago’s top attractions, and a great place to spend an unplugged summer day. The pier includes restaurants like Harry Caray’s Tavern, Billy Goat Tavern and Brown Sugar Bakery for a sweet treat. Navy Pier is also home to the Chicago Shakespeare Theater that provides interesting performances at a variety of show times. Explore the picturesque Crystal Gardens to see the wonderful display of fountains and the lush canopy of plants. From Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend, Navy Pier puts on a fireworks show Wednesdays from 9-9:10 p.m., and Saturdays from 10-10:10 p.m.


Park Activities

Maggie Daley Park, a 20-acre public park downtown, includes plenty of space to relax and enjoy a picnic as well as innovative playground equipment for kids of all ages. The Ribbon, a quarter-mile long ice skating rink, is converted into a rollerblading rink during the summer, with climbing walls in the center. An 18-hole miniature golf course with Chicago-themed obstacles provides family-friendly entertainment. 

Farmers markets, where farmers sell their produce directly to the consumer, are an enjoyable way to support small businesses while getting to try many tasty treats and fresh farmed goods. Chicago offers many farmers markets in most neighborhoods throughout the summer. These include: the Division Street Farmers’ Market, the Hyde Park Farmers’ Market, the Bronzeville Community Market, the Lincoln Park Farmers Market and the Logan Square Farmers Market. 


Day Trips

Throughout summer, outdoor art fairs, booth-style shows that host galleries, curators and artists, pop up around the city. In addition to the art booths where visitors can often purchase art and collectibles, many of these fairs feature fun games, delicious food and live music. Prominent art fairs throughout Chicago include the Logan Square Arts Festival, the Old Town Art Fair and the 57th Street Art Fair in June, and the Millennium Art Festival in July.

With fans of all ages shouting in support of their teams, the atmosphere at a sports game is unmatched. Whether you want to venture to see the Cubs at the newly-renovated Wrigley Field, or the White Sox at the expansive Guaranteed Rate Field, there are plenty of options to enjoy a baseball game. Soccer fans aren’t left out, with both the Chicago Fire and the Chicago Red Stars playing throughout the summer. 

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