8 great ideas for outdoor fun in Chicago

8 great ideas for outdoor fun in Chicago

Finally, Chicago has broken the back of winter. It’s time to get back outside. With temperatures heading into the 70’s this weekend the beach, the parks and outdoor dining are all fair game. Here are eight city-wise ideas for heading back into the great outdoors.

Water Taxiaprilweekendwatertaxi

Yes you can travel Chicago on the water. From kayaks to cruise ships, sailboats and speedboats the Windy City offers a taste of Venice both on the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. One of my favorite ways to navigate the city is via a water taxi. The Wendella Water Taxi offers one-way, round trip and all-day passes good at all Wendella stations along the North and South Branch of the Chicago River.

Navy Pieraprilweekend2

There is a reason why Navy Pier is the number ONE tourist attraction in Illinois. It is hands down the best way to view the city skyline and get up close and personal with the lake. You can walk, run, shop, dine–outdoors and in–go for a boat ride, cruise or walk the dog–yes, dogs are allowed. 600 E. Grand Ave.

Lincoln Park ZooAprilweekend7zoo

Head to the wilds of Chicago right in the middle of town at the FREE admittance Lincoln Park Zoo. Yes the zoo is open year round but what is better than going on a beautiful spring day.

Vintage Garage SaleVintagegarage1

Festivals, flea markets and farmers markets are all heading back outdoors. This Sunday, April 17, the Vintage Garage sale returns for year five at its air cooled garage space at 5051 N. Broadway in Uptown. Public transit riders can take the Red Line to the Argyle stop, or the No. 36 North Broadway bus. The event is rain or shine, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., $5 at the gate.

Chicago Maritime Festival

aprilweekend8maritimefestSpeaking of Festivals the Chicago Maritime Festival celebrates the great outdoors with music and more honoring the history, culture, music and art of the Great Lakes and beyond on Saturday, April 16 in Lincoln Square. The festival kicks off at 11 am to 5:30 pm with daytime activities at the Old Town School of Folk Music (4545 N. Lincoln Avenue) and The Grafton Pub (4530 N. Lincoln Avenue); followed by a 7 pm Concert at the Old Town School of Folk Music.

Outdoor diningaprilweekend6

Take your pick of outdoor dining establishments–from spots with a few chairs thrown out on the sidewalk to elegant outdoor living rooms. Click here for some of our favorites–including the Little Goat, pictured here–and get ready to check out our 2016 list of al fresco dining options coming soon.

Lurie Garden

Lurie Garden. Photo: Chicago Tribune

Lurie Garden. Photo: Chicago Tribune

Spring has sprung at the Lurie Garden. I was there this week and purple and blue flowers were starting to wake up from their winter nap–poking out their heads to check the weather. With temperatures heading into the 70’s this weekend the garden should be heading into full bloom. The 2.5 acre garden is located at the south east end of Millennium Park just north of Monroe and Columbus.

Tall Ships…tickets on sale now

Tall Ships return to Chicago this summer.

Tall Ships return to Chicago this summer.

Mark your calendar for July 27 – 31, 2016 when the majestic Tall Ships Festival returns to Navy Pier. For tickets and information, click here.

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Filed under: Al Fresco Dining

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