As Chicagoans, we can’t afford to waste one minute of good weather. We won’t take a meal indoors until October, thank you. But, if you’ve already spent a fortune on small tacos at Big Star, can’t stand to spend another day at Castaways, and can’t think of anything to do outside that doesn’t involve eating or booze, here are three outdoor activities to try.
1. Kayaking: Kayak Chicago is a smidge hard to find (buried underneath the 600 W. Chicago building, slightly North of Japonais’ outdoor lounge), but just consider that part of the adventure. The small sports shop has options for lots of occasions; take a date-night paddle out to Lake Michigan to watch the fireworks off Navy Pier, go on a guided architecture tour down the Chicago River when the folks come to visit, or spend a Saturday afternoon paddling around the city for as little as $15 an hour.
2. Urban farming: Yep, that’s a thing. In fact, Chicago has about a dozen urban farms (small farm plots smack in the middle of the city that are tended to by volunteers) and all accept volunteers on an ongoing basis. City Farm, on Chicago Avenue near Larabbee Street, is easily accessible by the brown line, and has weekly volunteer orientations Saturday mornings. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
3. Bike tours: BYOB. Bring your own bike to a tour from Bobby’s Bike Hike, and get a $5 discount. For the bike-less, regular tour prices include rentals. Bikes can be rented for self-guided tours for about $32 per day or $23 for up to four hours. A “Bikes, Bites and Brews” tour is also available (we did mention earlier that none of these things involved food or drink, but this is Chicago: Food is what we do.). The tour samples pizza, hot dogs, cupcakes and beer throughout the city.