The city and suburbs offer a wealth of activities, both indoor and outdoor, for families or single individuals, catering to all types of interests. With Memorial Day being the unofficial start of summer (and with the great weather), I chose to take advantage of the outdoors.
One of Chicago’s best outdoor features is the lakefront: picturesque and FREE! My husband and I decided to bring our dog, Mabel, to the lakefront for her first time. Dogs are not typically allowed on Chicago’s beaches (except for the couple of “dog beaches”), but before beach season the lakefront is free for anyone (human or canine) to enjoy. Mabel is terrified of water, but she really enjoyed the sand. We avoided Museum Circle crowds by parking near Northerly Island and walked along the boat docks to the lakefront and then continued our walk into the museum campus. That was my first time walking along the lake behind the Adler Planetarium. The views were breathtaking, so I took a family portrait:
We then grabbed a quick lunch in outdoor patio seating in the South Loop. One of my favorite things about the South Loop is that they have a number of good, easy-going, neighborhood restaurants that you can usually walk into without any reservation or wait. This makes it a great neighborhood for spontaneous, make-it-up-as-you-go days.
Then we went to the South Loop Home Depot to pick up plants for our balcony. We met the nicest employee there who helped us select our plants and planters, then actually did the planting for free. (Its a great deal for those of you who have still not got around to doing your season planting. No charge for soil).
Sunday was all about the Northshore. We spent time at a family barbecue in Northbrook, located in Chicago’s northern suburbs. Mabel really enjoyed playing soccer with all of the nieces and nephews.
Monday was back to work for me, but at least the weather was nice. I met with members of Chicago Symphonic Winds as we solidified repertoire for our summer concert series – a free concert series presented by the Chicago Parks District and their Night Out At the Parks initiative – and began our educational programming for our 2016-17 concert series. Our office for the day was a West Loop Starbucks, conveniently located near the highways.
Its fun to see how a brief three day weekend can provide a snapshot of a variety of neighborhoods and the activities that they offer. The Chicago area is really for everyone! And I am so happy to call it home.