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COVID-Friendly Things to Do in Chicago

You Are Here:   Home > Automatic Appliance Parts Blog > COVID-Friendly Things to Do in Chicago

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If you want to get out and about while still following social distancing protocols, you have plenty of opportunities in the Chicago, Illinois, area. Whether you want to go for a jog, see wildlife, or simply enjoy scenic views of the Chicago skyline, check out these COVID-friendly things to do in the Windy City.

Chicago Riverwalk



Image via Unsplash by christinabe

Enjoy a pleasant day or evening strolling along the open pedestrian walkway of the Chicago Riverwalk. The 1.25-mile pathway runs from Lake Shore Drive to Lake Street, where you can stop at open-air restaurants, sip wine while listening to jazz, or rent a kayak and paddle along the Chicago River.

You'll find six separate coves along the Riverwalk. At the oldest section, The Marina, you can hop aboard a boat that takes you on a tour of the area. Consider bringing a date to the Riverwalk on a warm evening. Meander along looking at artwork, check out the museums and shops, or watch the colorful sunset.

Try your hand at fishing from the pier to catch smallmouth bass, bluegill, or crappie. Bring your binoculars, and watch for brightly colored mallard ducks, American robins, and the occasional peregrine falcon. When you get hungry, stop at any of the lovely waterfront restaurants for a bite to eat.

Chicago Botanic Garden

See more than 27 gardens and four natural areas covering 385 acres when you visit the Chicago Botanic Garden. You'll also find nine islands within the 60-acre system of lakes with 5.7 miles of shorelines. You can see a variety of plants in bloom, take part in educational workshops, or visit the botanic garden's website for helpful gardening tips.

Enhance your botanical garden experience by downloading the free smartphone app that features a garden plant finder, an interactive map of the gardens, and a calendar of events. Enjoy the aquatic garden with beautiful water lilies and lotus plants or the fruit and vegetable garden filled with aromatic herbs and more than 400 types of edible plants.

Stop by the bonsai garden to see the collection of more than 200 bonsai plants gifted from the Midwest Bonsai Society and the famous Japanese bonsai master Susumu Nakamura. After working up an appetite, stop by the Garden View Cafe for delicious grab-and-go food you can eat on the patio. During the cool months, heaters will keep you warm. Pick up souvenirs of your Chicago Botanic Garden adventure at The Garden Shop gift store. The garden is open year-round.

Maggie Daley Park

You'll find something to do every season at Maggie Daley Park. In the winter, make a reservation to enjoy gliding along the Ice Skating Ribbon, which in the summer becomes a walking path and a place for spectators to watch climbers on the climbing wall. Bring your own skates, or rent skates and a locker for a modest fee.

During the spring and summer, roam through Maggie Daley Park's Cancer Survivors' Garden to see beautiful flowers in bloom. The three main gardens represent the stages of healing: acceptance, support, and celebration of life. The outdoor rock climbing wall, open in the summer months, lets people of all experience levels try their hand at climbing in a safe environment. Improve your skills with three types of climbing: bouldering, lead-harnessed, and top rope. You can also exercise on the tennis courts, rollerblade along the pathways, or play mini golf when the course is open.

Lincoln Park Zoo

Enjoy seeing the variety of animals at the 35-acre Lincoln Park Zoo. Since 1868, visitors to the zoo have learned about the diverse species housed there, from aardvarks and North American river otters to zebras and polar bears. It remains the only privately managed free zoo in the United States. Take a self-guided tour to learn about the animals' natural habitats, where each species originated, and interesting facts.

See more than 1,200 gorgeous species of flowers and plants scattered throughout the zoo and within the arboretum. As you stroll along, look for native birds, frogs, fish, and turtles, and listen for the buzzing of insects in this urban oasis. The zoo hosts seasonal youth programs to help children learn the importance of conserving wildlife. Zoo camps and programs help the kids understand the challenges zookeepers and wildlife researchers face. To encourage social distancing at this time, make a free reservation online for your visit.

The 606 Trail

Walk, bike, or run along the 2.7 miles of elevated trails on The 606 or Bloomington Trail. In 2015, the city transformed this abandoned railroad line into a multiuse pedestrian trail. You'll pass through hip neighborhoods such as Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Wicker Park, and West Town as you travel along The 606. Look for public art displays, citizen science projects, and impressive scenic views of downtown Chicago as you run or bike.

To help keep everyone safe, the playgrounds are closed, crowds cannot gather in open spaces, and the city encourages people to move along the trail without stopping. Dogs are welcome if they're on leashes.

Morton Arboretum

See the magnificent collection of trees and plants at the 1,700-acre Morton Arboretum. This outdoor museum established in 1922 by Joy Morton inspires visitors to learn more about trees and shrubs, how they grow, and their contribution to the environment. Researchers at the arboretum continually educate themselves on tree health and care, and the staff offers educational programs for adults and children.

You can stroll or jog along well-maintained paved trails that meander throughout the arboretum or sign up for seasonal activities such as 5K runs and hands-on and virtual workshops. Take the kids to the Children's Garden to let them play among the trees in a wonderful natural environment. Register online for timed-entry reservations to ensure paced arrivals and social distancing practices.

Our team at Automatic Appliance Parts Corporation hopes you enjoy these Chicago attractions. Which one is your favorite? Can you recommend other COVID-friendly things to do in the area? Let us know, and we'll add it to the list.