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3 Chicago adventures for Father’s Day

This week’s blog post is by The Paternity Test co-host Matt Boresi, who lives in the Edgewater Glen neighborhood of Chicago with his wife (“Professor Foster”) and their 6-year-old daughter Viva, whose middle name is “Adventure.” (That’s not true – that doesn’t ring very well. “Ventura” would be nice, though.)

If there’s one thing dads love, it’s adventure! Well, adventure and sweatpants, but no adult male should ever wear sweatpants ever, ever, ever. You shouldn’t even own any, so let’s take off for adventure! It’s tough sometimes to find adventure in a big city like Chicago, (unless you count messing up your tire alignment in a pothole, figuring out what school your kid should attend or paying $16 for a small plate of charred cauliflower as “adventures,” in which case Chicago has got you covered!) but I promise that more traditional adventure awaits you if you know where to look.

At the time of writing it’s been raining and cold for about three weeks, prior to which it was snowing. I’m not sure why summer won’t start and why we’re being washed away in a deluge. There are plenty of sins for which Chicago must atone, and if I had to guess, I’d say this is divine retribution for scaring away the proposed Star Wars museum. I mean, really, wouldn’t you rather be reading a post about how you should take Dad to the Star Wars museum next to McCormick Place for Father’s Day instead of this? I know I would. Presumably the weather will either clear up soon or we’ll all be washed away. If the former, perhaps you’d like to take my suggestions, if the latter, you needn’t worry about weekend plans and that’s what you get for being rude to George Lucas.

Water exploration

With multiple locations in Chicagoland, Chicago River Canoe and Kayak allows you to rent a canoe or kayak (and life vests) and let Dad pretend he’s Louis Joliet or Jean Baptiste Point du Sable or any other early Midwestern trader or explorer with a Gaelic name I generally picture rowing. Viva and I spent an hour (only $20) in the Skokie Lagoons near Winnetka last week and in the course of our maritime adventure saw Blue herons, deer, turtles and a bald eagle. One of the herons pooped, which really made the entire experience worthwhile for my 6 year old. The bald eagle was also crying. When I asked the eagle why it was crying it sighed “I am crying for democracy,” and then it sank into the lagoon. Other than the weird exchange with the bald eagle, it was an incredible afternoon and I recommend it highly.

Adventure eating

The dad in your life wants to eat a whole alligator stuffed with chickens. Frontier Chicago in West Town can provide just such a carnivore’s delight with one of their whole animal and large format meals. Not feeling like eating a whole alligator stuffed with chickens? (I am ALWAYS feeling like eating a whole alligator stuffed with chickens, but maybe you are less interesting than me.) There’s also a whole boar, a whole goat and more. These whole animal meals usually feed over 12 people, and the price is quite reasonable per person. Oh, and if your animal doesn’t come with a face they will supply a face for you to eat because Dad wants head meat. Order seven days in advance.

Controlled falling

When people discuss recreational adventure, they are often referring to travelling downward at 32 feet per second, having just leapt out of a perfectly good plane or while tethered to some sort of elastic cord. This suggestion is similar, but a little more horizontal than vertical because I hate it when my guts try to escape out of my face. You can zipline as close as Western Springs at Go Ape, and it’s fun for the whole family, except for the family that doesn’t like heights or speed. (Or trees or family. Or fun.) There’s climbing and obstacles and a junior version closer to the ground if you have little ones or are so stuffed with alligator stuffed with chicken you need to take it slow.

Three adventures; one peaceful, one culinary, one rip-roaring. All nearby and all great for Dad. Enjoy your head meat.

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