My perfect summer Sunday: Lincoln Park/Diversey Harbor

If I had to describe summer for our family in one word, it would be: boating. We recently made this our main summertime family activity. My husband and I realized quite quickly after having kids that our sports car was no longer a good fit for us. (The car seat can be strapped to the roof right? I’m kidding!) So he suggested we find something that incorporated the whole family.

Captain cutie


That brought us to making the decision to purchase our very own boat. Boys and their toys.

After the purchase, the question was, where did we want to dock? After careful consideration, we decided on Diversey Harbor; mostly because of the plentiful activities that our family could take advantage of both on land and on the lake. Follow me along on what we consider our perfect summer Sunday.

A place to eat

Standard Market Grill

You can only fill up on so much chips, dip and other appetizer fare on the boat. Our favorite place to go to within a short walk is Standard Market. This place is our standard go-to, but their food is so not standard. (See what I did there?) What I love most about their menu is that they have healthy options (My favorite is the Four Farmers Salad.), comfort foods (Their hand-cut truffle French fries are to die for!) and a kid’s menu. They also have small plates which equally doubles as great kids’ entrées. We love to sit in the bar area with the patio windows open and enjoy a nice cold craft brew.

444 W. Fullerton Pkwy

A place for a treat

Stan’s Donuts

Mmmmm doughnuts. (Saying that in my best Homer Simpson voice). But, not just doughnuts, they also have gelato. Yes, this donut shop slings delicious, piping hot gourmet doughnuts AND creamy, dreamy gelato. I’ve considered making my very own ice cream sandwich with the two.

The shop’s offerings include a variety of yeast and cake donuts, and pockets, which are doughnuts filled with scrumptious offerings like peanut butter, Biscoff and Nutella. Nom Nom Nom. They are great any time of day, as a breakfast of champions or an after dinner treat.

2800 North Clark Street

A place to play

Lake Michigan

So, I realize not everyone has a boat. However, just because you don’t own one doesn’t mean you can’t explore Lake Michigan! There are many private charter and rental companies that offer motorized boats or sailboats that you can rent for anywhere from a few hours to a full day. You can also climb aboard a Seadog cruise if a private charter isn’t within your means. You may want to start planning for your day out on the water with the Air and Water Show taking place on August 20-21.

A place for a rainy day

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Rain happens. Clearly, it’s not the best weather for boating activities when swells and waves can reach four feet or higher. Yikes!

Another reason we chose Diversey Harbor was its close proximity to the Nature Museum. With more than 15 active exhibits, we have nature at our fingertips. From the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven and the Hands-on Habitat to Nature’s Lunchbox and Trails, there are numerous educational (and fun!) opportunities to explore.

Every Saturday and Sunday, the museum offers hands-on learning in the exhibits. Each month they tackle a different topic with games and crafts. They also have daily feeding schedules for their marsh and aquatic animals, as well as a daily butterfly release. Check out their calendar events for all the fun they have to offer.

2430 N. Cannon Dr.

A place to cap off a day of boating

Lincoln Park Zoo

Head back to land and explore Lincoln Park Zoo. I make my escape to the zoo with the kids while Daddy cleans the boat. Win-win for me! This free zoo nestled right along the lakeshore is literally right across the street from Diversey Harbor. We absolutely love the beautiful gardens, the habitats, the carousel, Lionel Train Adventure, and of course, the animals! We cannot wait for the new Polar Bear and Penguin habitats to open this fall.

2001 N Clark St.

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