One of our favorite things to do in Chicago during the warmer weather months is enjoy the Chicago Riverwalk. For years we avoided what we thought was just a tourist trap, but this multi-use FREE public space extends from Lake Shore Drive and Lake Michigan to Lake Street...AND WE LOVE IT!! Open from 6am until 11pm it is the perfect place to take a stroll with your friends, significant other, dog and kids of all ages. Most of the restaurants, bars and shops open around 11am for lunch. It is a great place to sightsee, people and yacht watch, or to have a drink or grab an ice cream. Kids will love playing in the water features and waterfall wall. The Riverwalk features some amazing Chicago architecture and spectacular views of the city. If you are planning to bring a stroller, just make sure you enter and exit where the handicap ramps are for easier access.
We’ve never been beach people and we still may hate sand, but the joy on our kids faces make it worth it. This summer we took the kids to Ohio Street beach several times. This North-facing sandy public beach on Lake Michigan is a popular swimming option with city skyline views. Although small, Ohio Street Beach is relatively empty even on weekends. The beach also has access to the lake front if we decide to take a walk and is closely located to Navy Pier. We love that the beach is clean, well maintained and is extremely shallow for our little ones to enjoy. Ohio Street Beach does have a restaurant and lounge chairs for rent that we never explored since they were closed early morning. If your kids are up as early as ours its easy to find metered street parking within walking distance.
Check out this Time Out article for the 21 best beaches in Chicago. They truly are a treasure we look forward to exploring more in the future!