When it’s gorgeous and sunny, there is nothing better than a relaxing meal outside. Except when the kids start to whine that they’re bored. So here are a few great restaurants around Chicagoland that also offer fun outdoor activities, which means the whole family can live it up even more.
Logan Square’s Park & Field is perfect for a day of fun in the sun. This vintage sports club and eatery includes a 6,000-square-foot patio with bocce courts. Not only does it have chalk and bubbles for the kids, there are s’mores kits to roast gooey marshmallows over the fire pits and board games very popular with families. Not only will you get a kick out of the old-school gymnasium theme, but you’ll have a ball savoring their delicious food and drinks in the fresh air.
3509 W. Fullerton Ave., Chicago
The Robey Hotel in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood is home to Cabana Club, a sixth-floor rooftop pool and bar with 180-degree views of the city. It’s free and open to the public, with a small lounging pool that the kids can play in, ideally between the hours of 9 a.m. and noon. (Later gets crowded and kids aren’t recommended after 6 p.m.) The simple, fresh, chef-driven menu includes smoothies, snacks and sammies as well as frozen cocktails and Popsicles.
2018 W. North Ave., Chicago
Caffe Oliva, on Ohio Street Beach in Chicago, is like a mini vacation. Go early with the kiddos and bring buckets and shovels. Kids can play in the sand while adults soak in the sunshine and indulge in beachy cocktails. Lunch and dinner menus include sandwiches, burgers, salads and flatbread pizzas. Brunch is available on weekends and holidays. The standard kids’ fare is offered, plus a special kids’ dessert. You can even plan to spend some time at the beach after your meal.
550 E. Grand Ave., Chicago
In Wauconda, a small town about 40 miles west of Chicago, you’ll find many lakefront eateries that make it feel like a mini getaway. Lindy’s Landing takes the cake for families, because kids can play in the sand and splash in the shallow water while adults enjoy the laid back Beach Club with picnic tables in the sand. Order some burgers and drinks and enjoy the low-key vibe.
115 Park St., Wauconda
Lake Zurich is home to a beer garden pavilion, right on the beach and steps from the downtown area. Tall trees and public swimming with lifeguards make the park a popular place. Reserve an umbrella table for flatbreads, appetizers and drinks. “The sunset hour is perfect for an informal meet up with friends or summer picnic while the kids swim and play Frisbee in the park,” says Misti Hempfling, a local mom of three.
125 N. Old Rand Raod, Lake Zurich
The Parsons Chicken patios in Logan Square and Lincoln Park are the places to be in the summer. If you’re going with kids, consider an early weeknight dinner to savor the delicious fried goodness and backyard barbecue vibe. The kids can play Ping-Pong while the parents sip the famous Negroni slushies.
2952 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago
This West Loop sausage, bacon and beer restaurant boasts a huge beer garden with Ping-Pong, bocce, giant Jenga and bags. Heaters and fans and a rooftop that protects you from the elements will keep you cozy rain or shine so you can fully enjoy your sausages, sandwiches and salads. Isn’t patio season in Chicago the best?
1415 W. Randolph St., Chicago
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This article originally appeared in the July 2019 issue of Chicago Parent. Read the rest of the issue.