Chicago In-Water Boat Show

Miami has it. So does Tampa. Even Norwalk has one. And now, finally, so does Chicago.

Chicago In-Water Boat Show


31st Street Harbor, Chicago

10 a.m.-6 p.m. June 7-9;

10 a.m.-5 p.m. June 10.

, free kids 15 and under


This June, the 1st Annual In-Water Boat Show will take place at the new 31st Street Harbor on Lake Michigan. The show will have hundreds of boats to browse, buy and test drive, along with activities for kids and entertainment for the whole family.

Keith Ogulnick, show manager, says getting the boats in the water brings a whole different perspective compared to Chicago’s indoor boating shows.

“People like the experiential aspect of being in the water, the sight, the smell, the sounds. You get a real feel for what it would be like,” Ogulnick says.

The show will have power boats and sailboats, as well as a 65-foot houseboat. A protected cove will let visitors try ski and wakeboarding boats, as well as small sailboats, kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddling. A sailing simulator on land is a great way for kids to learn from trained personnel and is a safe way to get them involved in boating, Ogulnick says.

Parents can check out the Boating Demo Dock, with a full schedule of sessions of hands-on boating training. Check the website for the schedule and to sign up for seminars.

Ogulnick says kids of any age can enjoy the boat show, and the new harbor, with its beach, playground, green space and restaurant, is perfect for families.

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