With its bold architecture, exciting events and stunning views of Lake Michigan, Chicago is one of the most exciting cities in which to spend your summer.
Chicago is packed with activities to enjoy during the summer months. With the season comes sunshine – and lots of it. It gets hot – sometimes too hot to get outside and comfortably exercise. At the very height of summer it’s important to stay hydrated, stay in the shade and wear sunscreen, but there are plenty of ways to stay active without overheating or risking your health.
With warmer weather just around the corner, we’ve compiled a list of 7 awesome ways to stay active in Chicago this summer. Whether you’re a fitness fanatic or simply love the fresh air, these are the best ways to be active in this iconic city at summertime.
1 – Go Swimming
Swimming is a great activity for when the weather’s hot. Cool off and take a dip in one of Chicago’s many swimming pools or outdoor swimming areas.
For those looking to experience swimming in a natural setting, all you need to do is head eastwards. Chicago is of course built on the shores of one of the world’s biggest freshwater lakes; and with so many different beach entry points, Lake Michigan is one of the easiest places to enjoy a cooling swim in the summertime. Oak Street beach, Ohio Street beach, and Harold Hall Quarry beach are all lovely and are monitored by lifeguards, making them great for families. You can enjoy a calming swim right alongside the city walls, then dry off and head straight into town for a well-earned drink.
For those who prefer to swim in a pool, Chicago has plenty of indoor and outdoor pools to choose from. Practice your lengths at Chicago Park District pool or head to the Olympic-sized pool at Washington Park to get in your mileage.
2 – Play Indoor Sports
When it gets really hot, it can be exhausting to be out in the sun and exercising. Chicago has plenty of indoor sports clubs where you can enjoy all kinds of activities in their dedicated (and air conditioned!) studios.
Join Chicago Sport and Social Club, where you can enjoy a range of sports all year round, including softball, basketball, in-door volleyball and floor hockey. Combining high caliber sports leagues with great social events, Chicago Sport and Social Club is a fantastic place to stay active and have fun during a Chicago summer, and throughout the rest of the year.
3 – Take Up Yoga or Pilates
Eternally popular with people of all ages, yoga and pilates classes can be found everywhere in Chicago. Both activities are great ways to get fit: they help build core strength, improve flexibility and reduce stress, and can be done outside or inside during the summer months.
Choose from one of the many high quality yoga and pilates studios including: Amplified PIlates Center, Pilates ProWorks, CorePower Yoga and (last but not least) Yoga Six Lincoln Park.
Yoga Six has both indoor and outdoor classes. In the summer though, there’s nothing like the feeling of the sun on your face and the fresh breeze of Lincoln Park while you work out, complete with iconic views of the Chicago skyline. This studio is dedicated to helping you achieve balance and streamline your fitness – the perfect place to get active during summer in the Windy City.
4 – Explore Chicago By Foot
There are few things more lovely than a walk around the streets of Chicago on a sunny day. Book a tour with Chicago Walking tours and experience everything that this eclectic city has to offer.
Explore some of the fabulous parks this city has to offer by taking a stroll from Millennium Park to Maggie Daley Park. Amble around the farmers market, visit Lincoln Park and the surrounding area (packed with cafés, bars and a zoo – enough to fill an entire summer day), or explore the long-awaited Riverwalk which takes you along Lake Michigan to Wolf Point, with plenty of beautiful sights to see along the way.
5 – Go Paddleboarding on Lake Michigan
Stand-up paddleboarding has taken the world by storm. It’s fun, playful and great exercise to enjoy out on the water. What better place to stay active and soak up some sunshine than on Lake Michigan? Head to its breezy shores to book a day out at one of its dedicated paddleboarding clubs.
Chicago Paddle Company offer training days and sessions for kids, adults, seniors and where experienced paddleboarders can rent their own boards on an hourly basis.
For those looking for a more contemporary atmosphere, head to Chicago SUP in downtown, where you can rent boards and get lessons, as well as join excursions around the lake or book party boats for you and your friends.
6 – Cycle Everywhere
Chicago is regarded as one of the best US cities for cycling. Since the dawn of the bicycle in the 19th century, Chicago has been home to dozens of cycling clubs, and was originally one of the key distributor hubs for bikes and cycling equipment for the whole of the United States.
Nowadays, keen cyclists can enjoy the many parks and trails designed specifically for bikes. Explore Burnham Park, Grant Park and the Lakefront Trail this summer. There are literally hundreds of places where you can rent and buy bikes, including Village Cycle Center, Cycle Smithy and Edgebrook Cycle, or take a cycling tour and experience what is arguably the best way to view this iconic city.
7 – Be Active at Home
There’s so much going on in the city that sometimes it’s nice to just chill out at home. Stay active at home by engaging in some vigorous housework, gardening or check out some online fitness videos to keep yourself toned and active during the summer months – without risking the sunburn!
Staying Safe In the Sun
Summer in Chicago is a wonderful time to enjoy everything this diverse city has to offer. During the warmer months, the temperature often rises into the 90s and the sun can be very strong. If you’re out and about during the summertime, it’s important to take certain precautions to keep yourself safe from heat and sun-related risks.
- Walk in the mornings and evenings – the sun is strongest during the middle of the day. These are also some of the most beautiful times to see the city when it’s less busy.
- Wear sunscreen – protect your skin from scorching summer sun by regularly applying sunscreen.
- Wear sunglasses and a sunhat – keep your eyes and head cool to avoid heatstroke.
- Stay hydrated – very important! Drink plenty of water and carry water with you when you’re out and about during the summer months.
- Keep in the shade as much as possible – avoid standing in the sun for too long. Chicago is full of gorgeous parks, so why not have a picnic in the cool green shade of a tree?
The birthplace of so many innovators and artists, Chicago never disappoints when it comes to entertaining its visitors and its locals; whichever of these you are, we hope you have a lovely summer in this special city. Stay safe and enjoy this unique city in all its sunny glory.