Chicago, IL

Things You Don’t Want to Miss Out on This Summer in Chicago

Natalie Frank, Ph.D.

Make sure these amazing activities and places are on your Chicago fun summer bucket list.

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The Forge Adventure Park at Lamont QuarriesWikipedia

There are so many fun things to do and wonderous places to go in and near Chicago that sometimes it becomes overwhelming. Tourist come with a list a mile long hoping to get it all in but often being wildly unsuccessful. Even locals have lists of things to do that they haven’t yet, figuring there’s always time. We learned this past year that is not always the case, and even if we are healthy and active, external circumstance, like a pandemic, can leave us shut in at home with everything around closed down.

Hopefully, the pandemic will remain under control, and we won’t have any kind of similar upheaval in our world which prevents us from experiencing the things we want to. However, if we’ve been taught anything this last year, it best summarized by the idiom “there’s no time like the present.” With that in mind, here are some places to visit and activities to participate in that you should definitely have on you Chicago fun summer bucket list.

WhoaZone at Whihala Beach

1561 Park Rd, Whiting IN (about 25 minutes southeast of Chicago), Hours: 10:00am to 6:00pm every day.

WhoaZone is known for it's award winning inflatable on-the-water Wibit obstacle course. Spend the day trying to best this obstacle course. It is designed for swimmers over the age of 6 who are at least 45" tall. There is also a Wibit KidsZone in the shallow water for children ages 4-6 who are under 45" tall. This area can only be accessed by the younger guests and their parents for safety. The park also has kayaks for rent as well as land game rentals such as corn hole or spike ball. Shaded seating is available for those who just want to watch and relax.

AIRE Ancient Baths

Location: 800 West Superior St. Chicago, IL Hours: Monday through Friday 9:00am to 11:00am, Saturday and Sunday, 8:00am to 11:00pm.

AIRE Baths are created to induce the relaxation of body and mind letting time fall by the wayside. They were inspired by the ancient Roman, Ottoman and Greek baths. AIRE baths are always built in restored historical buildings in city centers.

The Chicago location can be found in a restored factory in River West dating from 1902. While you are enjoying your spa day, you can observe the original exposed brick, wooden beams and industrial columns of the building. Centered around the element of water, each package includes a tour at your pace through thermal baths at different temperatures. There are also massage options, exfoliation, foot massage, body scrub and couple's experiences.

Chinese Dragon Boat Race For Literacy

Date: The event has been rescheduled from June 26, 2021 to Saturday, August 28, 2021. Time: The festivities begin at 8 a.m. Ping Tom Memorial Park, 300 W 19th St. Chicago, Il

The Chinese Dragon Boat Race dates back more than 2,000 years in China and is a popular sport amongst Chinese and Asian communities worldwide. Started in the summer of 2000, the Chicago Dragon Boat Race for Literacy is a family-oriented activity enjoyed by viewers from all over the city and surrounding areas. The purpose of the race is to promote literacy and other social issues. The event is also known for delicious food, good music and dance. Entertainment will include a female sword swallower.

This year there will be 32 dragon boat teams who will compete against each other on the south branch of the Chicago River. The pageantry, colorful costumes and boats and the mechanics of dragon boating are educational and allow for a view into the past.

The boats have been stunningly decorated. In each boat there will be 20 people, 18 of whom are paddlers with one drummer and one flag catcher. The paddlers row to the drum beat while the flag catcher lies on top of the dragon's head and at the finish line pulls a flag, which stops the clock and sets the winning time.

The Forge at Lemont Quarries

Location: 1001 Main Street Lamont, IL (22 miles southwest of Chicago) Hours: Sunday through Thursday 9:00am - 8:00pm; Friday and Saturday 9:00am to 11:00pm. New back to school hours starting August 16th, Monday through Thursday, 3:30pm to 8:00pm; Friday 3:30pm to 11:00pm; Saturday 9:00am to 11:00pm; Sunday 9:00am to 8:00pm. Purchase an Ultimate adventure Day Pass which includes all day access to the Eight Towers Adventure, Mountain Bike Pass, Tactical Laser Tag and Paddlesports.

Billed as the "Largest Adventure Park in the U.S.," this adventure park has so many adventure and other types of activities in one place, you'll never be able to do them all in one day. Try ziplining over quarry lakes, freefall rappelling or climbing an 90 foot high boulder and rock wall. Take on the countries largest high ropes challenge course, or play laser tag. For some tamer moment, discover picturesque views as you casually explore hiking, running and biking trails, or try a yoga class, or take it easy in a kayak. You choose your adventure. Some of the activities include:

  • Climbing and Zipline Adventures
  • Adventure Games
  • Yoga
  • Paddlesports
  • Laser Tag
  • BMX & Mountain Biking
  • Kids Adventure Zone

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