6 Summer Activities for Friends & Family on the Water
Cool down by Chicago's many bodies of water before Mother Nature changes her mind.
1. Tire the kids out at North Avenue Beach.
Admire skyscrapers from the sandy shore! Located on Lake Shore Drive, this public beach is perfect for grilling up hot dogs and burgers, flying a kite, or building a sandcastle. Kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and jet-skis are available for rental so get out on the water and appreciate Chicago’s famous skyline views! For Sporty Spices, volleyball courts are available for rental by the hour.
Stroll along the Riverwalk for eats and places to play. Newly restored, the Chicago Riverwalk is a 1.25-mile path along the Chicago River. Below the hustle and bustle of the city, you’ll experience a quieter view of high-rises right on the water. At the Marketplace Kiosks, located at 65 East Riverwalk South, tents feature food from Twisted Eggroll, Batter and Berries, and Justice of the Pies. Stop by the Water Plaza to play in the fountain (remember to pack swimsuits!)
4. Rent bikes for the day.
Pedal along the shores of Lake Michigan with your favorite people. Bicycles made for adults and kids, tandem bicycles, and even quadcycles are available for rent right along the lakefront. Wheel Fun Rentals has locations at Foster and North Avenue beaches and is perfect for families with young kids. Or, ease down the Lakefront trail on Divvy Bikes, which have adult bikes for rent located all over the downtown area for your trendy teens.
5. Row, row, row your boat.
If your family really wants to make a splash, check out swan-shaped pedal boat rentals at Humboldt Park with Wheel Fun Rentals. After admiring the 1907 Boat House, meander through the lagoons and prairie rivers of the park. Merrily merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.
6. Cool off at the Museum Campus.
Take in views of Lake Michigan from a 57-acre park. Three museums -- Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium and Field Museum of Natural History -- rest on the expansive greenspace located right on the lake. Have a picnic near the planetarium and watch as boats pass by. Walk north to admire Buckingham Fountain and Grant Park. Step inside the museums to pet a stingray and come face to face with the world’s largest dinosaur. The possibilities are endless.