Make it a wet & wild summer with these Chicago activities

Since we live in a major metropolis on one of the Great Lakes, I thought I should investigate the opportunities available to let kids benefit from their proximity to such real estate. Because what’s the point of living in Chicago if you don’t jump in the lake once in awhile?

1 Row, row, row your boat

  • WMS Boathouse at Clark Park, 3400 N. Rockwell,

There’s an incredible new kayaking and canoeing resource right off the main throughway of Addison, west of Western Avenue. Rent kayaks and canoes to tour up and down the north branch of the Chicago River. During the season, it’s open 6 a.m.-8 p.m. weekdays and Saturdays and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays.

2 Like a fish in water

  • Toddler open swim and Junior Lifeguard programs,

An obvious choice for summer water programming would be the park district, and boy, do they deliver. Kids as young as 8 can learn the basics of water safety and practice rescue techniques through the Junior Lifeguard Program at Osterman Beach. Registration starts June 8 at Diversey Storehouse, 142 W. Diversey Parkway. Tots have multiple open swim options. Check the website for details.

3 A sailing we will go

  • Chicago sailing lessons for youngsters at park district-based and private programs.

Kids can learn the mechanics of sailing from private clubs like the Burnham Park Yacht Club or the Chicago Yacht Club. Columbia Yacht Club starts little sailors out at age 5 and Go Sailing Chicago will book you a family private lesson. For those kids who have a need for speed, check out Banana Boat rides at 31st Beach ( for 35 minutes of splish-splashing fun.

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