I like to be on the go during the summer. There's no better time
to be out and about than when the sun streams down on the city.
However, there's nothing worse than a big ol' sunburn to ruin a day
out with the kids.
Plus, sweat does nothing for my cute summer dresses.
Sometimes (oftentimes), I just need to stay cool, even when
everyone else is sunning. Here are my secret (and not-so-secret)
places to "cool off" when the temps rise.
Daley Plaza, Washington Street and Dearborn
You might be thinking, Daley Plaza with kids on a weekend? Why,
yes! Daley Plaza is one of the "coolest" spots in the city if you
go in the afternoon. By then the sun has gone to the west of the
skyscrapers that line the Loop and there's nothing but the famed
Picasso statue to slide down and fountains to splash in. And no
maddening crowds to push through. Cool.
Riverwalk, North Cityfront Plaza Drive at the Chicago
Just underneath Pioneer Plaza of NBC Studios and the Gleacher
Center of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business sits a
quiet stretch of sidewalk along the Chicago River untouched by
commercial entities-and the sun. You may get scorched sitting on a
water taxi on the water, but you can lower the temps by sitting
just to the east of Michigan Avenue. Plus, the view of the Wrigley
building is the best in town.
Juniper Playlot Park, 3652 N. Greenview
If parks are your thing, but pushing the swing in the blazing
sun is not, you will love the Juniper Playlot in Lakeview. During
the summer months, I'm on a mad search for the shadiest parks where
I care less about applying sunscreen every five minutes and more
about tiring the kids out for nap time. At Juniper Playlot, you not
only get the benefit of shade, but a small water feature, sandbox,
swings (in the shade) and a jungle gym the perfect size for a
Bean/Cloud Gate, Millennium Park
Sure, it's crowded, but in my opinion there's no better spot to
get some relief from the sun's rays than by sitting under the
silver Bean in Millennium Park. It's one of the only shady areas in
Millennium Park's vast open expanse, and the kids will love seeing
their reflection in the metal.
North Shore Channel Trail, Argyle Street and Francisco
If you're into biking and walking and need a break from that
crowded Lake Shore Drive path, check out the North Shore Channel
Trail-a sometimes-paved, tree-lined shaded bike/skating/walking
path along the north branch of the Chicago River. It's a good
escape from the summer sun and crowds. Just don't jump in the water
to cool down.
Sara Fisher is a mother of two living in Roscoe Village. She also blogs at selfmademom.net.
See more of Sara's stories here.
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