Okay…so the summer of 2020 is not turning out to be what we were planning for it to be or as jam-packed as last year’s summer fun. We are missing out on our annual family tradition at Lollapalooza or hanging out at a Chicago street festival. In a way, it feels like summer has been canceled as most, if not all, events in Chicago have been canceled. As businesses are slowly re-opening in Chicago, we are trying to find things to do as a family in Chicago but at the same time – social distance.
As Chicago entered Phase 4 of the reopening, Charlie and I have had some date nights out at a restaurant, making sure we sit outside, we haven’t been comfortable bringing the boys with us, especially the twins. They love to explore and run around. We figured it’s better to take them out where there are not so many people are around so we can properly social distance.
This week, it was announced that Chicago will be going back to Phase 3 of the reopening. Although that might not affect us that much as we don’t go out to eat or to bars regularly, there are still some restrictions – like playground and beach closures. We are trying to work around the restrictions with finding things to do in Chicago with our kids, while social distancing. So I thought I would share some things we have done and planning to do during the summer of Covid-19.
Bike Riding Along the Lakefront
We normally like to visit the Ohio Street Beach but with it being closed, the Chicago lakefront is probably the closest we can get to the lake this year. A few weeks ago, we rented bikes from Bobby’s Bike Hike and rode them along the lakefront. It felt to do some physical activity while enjoying what Chicago has to offer.
This summer, we also plan to rent a bike from Four Star Family Cyclery in Logan Square because I want to try out the Urban Arrow Cargo bike where the twins sit in the front bucket and the bike is motorized! Rentals start at $55/day and they include helmets.
Charlie and I thought it would be fun for the whole family to ride in one bike together. We are definitely going to rent a double surrey bike and ride along Foster Avenue beach this summer!
A Visit to the Shedd Aquarium
We visited the Shedd Aquarium for the first time as a family during the aquarium’s opening day a few weeks ago and loved! There’s something so calm about the place. Plus the twins love sharks and fish so they were in awe. The aquarium did a great job with signs for social distancing and had plenty of hand sanitizing stations. With the limited number of guests, we did not have a difficult time social distancing. Everyone was required to wear a face mask.
Chicago has so many great museums and they re-opening soon. With this hot summer weather, it’s great to do something indoors.
Architectural Boat Tour on the Chicago River
Last summer, Luke and I took an architectural river cruise with the Chicago Architecture Foundation and loved it. The photo above is from last year. tLuke learned so many things about the buildings in Chicago with the help of the guide that was provided to us. I always bring my out of town visitors on a river cruise because it’s way to see the city and learn about all the skyscrapers in Chicago. The river boat tours do require riders to wear a mask and sit 6 feet away from each other.
Mini Golf at Maggie Daley Park
One place we plan to check out is the mini golf at Maggie Daley Park. I have to be honest, I don’t know much about golf and I don’t know much about how this park operates. But I’m assuming they stagger the groups so you are not close to other attendants. I’ll let you know it goes and update this post when we end up going.
Explore Murals / Street Art in Chicago
Chicago is full of murals and street art painted by some very talented artists. You can walk along Hubbard St. near Fulton Market and see all the murals commissioned by B_Line Chicago or on Wabash St. in the South Loop for art commissioned by the Wabash Arts Corridor.
I’ve shared some other murals around the city in past blog posts – Luke’s Favorite Murals, Where to Find Rainbow Murals, the Honey Bears Mural, the Love is Everywhere mural – if you want to check out more!
Picnic in the Park
With playgrounds being closed but parks open, I think a little family picnic might be a good compromise. Grant Park is a very big park where you can find plenty of room to spread out while not being so close to other people. Or you can just have a picnic in your backyard!
Eat all the Gelato and Ice Cream because it’s a hot summer
We recently discovered Eli’s Ark in Wicker Park. It’s a gelato and patisserie shop. Not only are the gelato flavors tasty and unique but they can make your ice cream look like a bear, dog, pig, unicorn, or bunny with some help from chocolate pieces, cookies, etc. It’s only 50 cents more to do that. We’ve been here several times this summer. There is a 10 person limit in the shop and it’s take out only.