Whether it's exploring the hidden gems of our 600+ parks or taking part in the world-renowned Chicago Marathon, there's something for everyone here. I've tried and tested 12 of the top outdoor activities around town, from biking along Lake Shore Drive to picnicking in Millennium Park. So, lace up your sneakers, grab your sunscreen and let's dive into the best outdoor activities in Chicago!
I have to say, the views were absolutely stunning. The way the sun reflects off the water and the boats passing by made for a picturesque scene. It was the perfect place for me to relax and unwind after a long day of city exploring.
The ambiance was equally as impressive. The calmness of the water paired with the sound of live music playing nearby made me feel like I was in my own little oasis away from the hustle and bustle of Chicago.
For those who are interested, guided tours are available which provide a wealth of information about the history and significance of Riverwalk. It's always great to learn something new while enjoying a beautiful outdoor activity.
One of my favorite things about Riverwalk is its accessibility to public transportation. It's so convenient getting there and you don't have to worry about finding parking in downtown Chicago!
Overall, I highly recommend visiting Riverwalk for anyone looking for a peaceful yet exciting outdoor activity in Chicago. The views alone are worth it!
Grant Park is a central location in the city with an abundance of nearby amenities. It's perfect for those that want to enjoy a day outdoors without venturing too far away from civilization. The park boasts 300 acres of green space in downtown Chicago, which is a rarity and it makes it a great spot for picnics, sports games, or just simply lounging around.
One of the highlights of Grant Park is the combination of landmarks and attractions scattered throughout the park. From the Buckingham Fountain to the Art Institute, there's something for everyone.
But what really stood out to me was Millennium Park within Grant Park. It's an incredible combination of art and design that has become an icon in Chicago. The centerpiece, better known as Cloud Gate or "The Bean", is a must-see attraction that draws visitors from all over the world. It's so reflective that you can even take a selfie with your reflection on it.
Overall, I would highly recommend visiting Grant Park if you're looking for an outdoor activity in Chicago. It truly offers a unique experience with its central location, abundance of green space, and iconic landmarks like Millennium Park and Cloud Gate.
First off, this park is not just your typical run-of-the-mill park. It's got a variety of different sections for different age groups, so whether you're a kid or an adult, there's something for everyone. And speaking of kids, the signs around the park make it easy to find which areas are best suited for their age range. As someone who values safety and security, I was pleased to see that this park had plenty of security personnel keeping an eye on things.
But let's get to the fun stuff. There are lots of things to do at Maggie Daley Park. From rock climbing to mini golf to skating in the winter months, you'll never be bored here. And if you're feeling competitive, challenge your friends to a game of tennis or basketball.
One thing I love about this park is that it stays open until 9pm during the week, so even if you're working late or just want some fresh air after dinner, this is the perfect spot.
Overall, I highly recommend checking out Maggie Daley Park if you're looking for a fun outdoor activity in Chicago. It's safe, it's diverse, and it's full of adventure!
First of all, let's talk about the playground. As a kid-at-heart, I had a blast trying out all the equipment myself. The monkey bars were a bit of a challenge for me, but I persevered and felt like a champion when I finally made it across!
If you're a pet owner, you'll be happy to know that this location is dog-friendly! My furry friend was able to join me on my adventure and even made some new doggie pals at the park.
After playing around, I decided to relax and have a bite to eat at the picnic area. The scenery was picturesque and provided an ideal setting for an outdoor lunch with friends or family.
One of the most unique features of this park are the geodesic domes. They're visually stunning and provide shelter from any unexpected rain showers - which can happen in Chicago!
Overall, I had a fantastic time at Riverwalk - East End - Gateway - 500 E. With its diverse range of activities including playgrounds, picnic areas, and geodesic domes; it's definitely worth checking out!
Firstly, let me tell you that this park is a hidden gem! As soon as you enter the park, you'll be amazed by the waterfront view of Chicago River. The view is so breathtaking, it will make you feel like you're on vacation in a tropical paradise!
The park has an excellent playground area for kids - with slides, swings, and climbing structures. While your kids are playing, you can relax and enjoy the beautiful walls that surround the playground. They are adorned with bright and colorful murals that add to the vibrancy of the park.
And if that's not enough to convince you to visit Ping Tom Memorial Park, then consider this - while enjoying all these activities, you can also take in a breathtaking view of Chicago's city skyline. It's like having all three attractions in one place!
Overall, I had a fantastic time at Ping Tom Memorial Park. Whether you're looking for some relaxation or an exciting adventure with your family, this park has got it all! Don't miss out on this opportunity to experience one of the best outdoor activities in Chicago!
First of all, let me just say that the views are absolutely gorgeous! The riverwalk offers a unique perspective of the city with its incredible architecture and stunning skyline. I felt like I was in a movie as I walked along the water's edge.
But wait, it gets even better! The restaurants and bars along the way are top-notch. From delicious seafood to mouth-watering cocktails, there is something for everyone. And let's not forget about the relaxing atmosphere. It was so peaceful strolling down the riverwalk, taking in all the sights and sounds of Chicago.
I have to say that my favorite part of this outdoor activity in Chicago was simply taking a break on one of the many benches and watching people go by. It was such a great spot for people-watching!
All in all, Chicago Riverwalk - West End is definitely one of my top picks for outdoor activities in Chicago. Whether you're looking for beautiful views or a relaxing afternoon with friends, this location has it all.
First of all, let me just say that the paddle spot at Wild Mile Chicago is nothing short of scenic. From the moment I started paddling, I was surrounded by beautiful views of the city and nature. And what's even better? It's completely free! That's right folks, you can get a stunning river view without paying a dime.
But what really made this outdoor activity stand out for me was the abundant wildlife. As someone who loves animals, I was in heaven! From turtles to birds to fish, there was so much to see and appreciate. And it wasn't just your typical wildlife either - there were some unique species that I had never seen before.
Overall, I highly recommend checking out Wild Mile Chicago if you're looking for an enjoyable and unique outdoor activity in Chicago. With its scenic paddle spot and abundant wildlife, it's truly one-of-a-kind. Plus, did I mention it's free? So grab your paddles and get ready for a wild ride on Wild Mile Chicago!
The Wild Mile is the perfect spot for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. With its stunning views of Chicago's skyline and serene surroundings, it's no wonder why this hidden gem has become a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.
One thing that really impressed me was the public kayak launch. As an avid kayaker, I'm always searching for new places to paddle, and The Wild Mile did not disappoint. It was so easy to launch my kayak from their dock and start exploring the Chicago River.
I also appreciated how safe and well-lit the area was, making it a comfortable environment for everyone to enjoy. Plus, with free parking available, it was super convenient to get there.
Lastly, The Wild Mile's location provides quick access to downtown Chicago, making it a great option for those who want to enjoy outdoor activities while still being close to all the action.
Overall, I would highly recommend visiting The Wild Mile if you're looking for a peaceful retreat in the heart of Chicago. Don't miss out on this amazing outdoor activity!
Let me start by saying that The 606 is not your average walking trail. This elevated trail takes you on a journey above the city and grants you amazing views of Chicago's beautiful skyline. As I was walking, I couldn't help but admire the well-maintained landscaping surrounding the trail. It truly adds to the ambiance and makes for a peaceful walk.
What's great about The 606 is that there are adjacent parks with accessible access for those who want to take a break from walking or enjoy some greenery. You can choose to continue your walk or take a pit stop at one of these parks, making it a versatile option for all types of outdoor enthusiasts.
I especially recommend visiting during sunrise or sunset because watching the sun hit the buildings just right is breathtaking. Plus, if you're feeling adventurous, try running or biking along the trail! It's a great workout with an even better view.
Overall, The 606 is definitely worth checking out if you're looking for a unique outdoor activity in Chicago. Trust me, it'll have you feeling like you're on top of the world!
First of all, I have to mention the Ferris wheel. It's not just any Ferris wheel - it's a giant one with enclosed pods, providing an aerial view of Chicago's skyline that is simply breathtaking. If you're afraid of heights, don't worry! The ride is smooth and safe.
Next, I went on one of the boat tours available at Navy Pier. With knowledgeable guides and incredible views, this tour took me around Lake Michigan and gave me a unique perspective of Chicago from the water.
While exploring Navy Pier, I couldn't resist trying some of the great food options available there. From classic Chicago-style hot dogs to delicious deep-dish pizza, there was something for everyone.
I also had the opportunity to attend a light up event in the evening which illuminated Navy Pier in a beautiful display of colors. It was a magical experience and definitely worth checking out if you're in town.
Lastly, I have to mention the beautiful view from Navy Pier. The pier extends far into Lake Michigan and offers stunning views of both the lake and the city skyline. It's a perfect spot for taking photos or just enjoying a relaxing stroll by the water.
Overall, I highly recommend visiting Navy Pier as it has so much to offer for all ages. Plus, with its various attractions and events throughout the year, you'll always find something new and exciting to do here!
First of all, let me tell you that the garden is a treat for the eyes. The stunning sculptures and engravings are sure to leave you in awe. I was impressed with the attention to detail and creativity put into each piece.
But what really makes this garden stand out is its atmosphere during SummerDance. It's no surprise that it's become one of the city's most beloved summer traditions. The music, lights, and lively atmosphere create an unforgettable experience.
The dance floor is adequate for dancing and there's plenty of space to move around. Whether you're a seasoned dancer or just starting out, you'll find yourself tapping your feet and swaying to the rhythm.
If dancing isn't your thing, there are plenty of nice places to sit and relax while enjoying the music. You can grab a bite to eat from one of the food vendors at reasonable prices.
Overall, I highly recommend visiting Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park. It's truly a gem in Chicago's outdoor activities scene.
First of all, let me tell you that the views are absolutely stunning! From the great views of the Chicago skyline to the calming waters of Lake Michigan, this park has it all. But let's get down to business and talk about what this park has to offer.
If you're craving some sand between your toes, then you'll definitely want to check out the Eastern beach. It's perfect for a summer day spent lounging on the shore with friends or family.
For those who prefer a more rugged shoreline, head over to the Southern shore where you can explore natural rock formations and enjoy some peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Oh, did I mention that there's an aquarium nearby? The Shedd Aquarium is just a short walk away and it's definitely worth checking out. And if you're in the mood for some stargazing, then make sure to visit the Adler Planetarium which is also conveniently located nearby.
Overall, Northerly Island Park is a great place to escape from the city without actually having to leave it. So pack a picnic basket, grab your sunscreen and head on over for a day filled with outdoor fun!
Alex enthusiastically explores her hometown of Chicago with an adventurous spirit and a pen in hand. As a freelance writer, Alex specializes in reviewing places in and around the city. From restaurants to theaters, Alex brings attention to interesting finds throughout the area. Along with her reviews, Alex writes articles on Chicago's neighborhoods, engaging events, and her own travel stories. When Alex can't be found behind a computer, you'll find her sampling the newest restaurant, attending a play or strolling around the city.