Twenty-six miles long with 31 beaches, the Chicago lakefront has
a spot that should fit every family. Want to enjoy the beach but
your toddler would rather splash in a fountain? Check out 63rd
Street Beach. Looking for both sand and shade, with a place to
light up a grill and spend the day? Visit Montrose Beach-a family
We asked Marta Juaniza, spokesperson for the Chicago Park
District, to give us some insider tips for families on visiting
Chicago beaches. She selected a few top spots to get you
Montrose Beach (Montrose Avenue and the lake) has concessions at
the beach house, a dog-friendly area, a grassy area for picnics and
accessible parking, bathrooms and beach walk (great for strollers
and wheelchairs). There's also a nature area.
Oakwood Beach (41st Street and the lake) might be your best bet
for least-crowded beaches since it just opened this year. It has
the requisite beach
walk, parking and bathrooms, without the mobs of people-at least
12th Street Beach is on the museum campus and right next door to
Northerly Island's nature areas, so you can visit a museum, swim in
the lake and ride your bike in the park all in one day. There's a
paved lot next to the beach or park in the Adler Planetarium lot
(you have to pay to park in either lot).
31st Street Beach has a great skyline view, plus a playlot for
younger kids and a skate park for teens and tweens.
63rd Street Beach has a historic beach house kids can play in,
plus a great fountain for kids to splash in if they don't want to
swim in the lake.
South Shore Beach (71st Street and the lake) has tennis courts,
a golf course, the South Shore Cultural Center with its Parrot Cage
restaurant and a nature area.
Rainbow Beach Park (75th Street and the lake) has baseball
fields, football/soccer fields, handball/racquetball, playground,
tennis and volleyball. Now you just need to fit in time to
Always remember to check the park district Web site before you
head out to the beaches, which close periodically during the
summer. There's nothing worse than getting out to the lakeshore on
a hot day with a carload of kids, only to find out the water's off
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