Fit, Fun, Free and Family-Friendly Summer Activities in Chicago

June 21, 2013

With today marking the official beginning of summer, it’s the perfect opportunity to make plans to spend time exploring the remarkable city of Chicago for some outdoor fun with the family.

by Adriana Yepez, HSC Intern

With today marking the official beginning of summer, it’s the perfect opportunity to make plans to spend time exploring the remarkable city of Chicago for some outdoor fun with the family. The summer is a great time to focus on increasing time spent outside being active. There are plenty of wallet-friendly options that keep your family fit and healthy. Here are a few ideas to get your summer started:

Chicago SummerDance: Visit the Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park as it transforms into an outdoor dance space. Throughout the season, free dance lessons are provided in various styles, such as swing, waltz, and cha-cha, followed by a live band so you can practice your moves–44 different bands play all summer! Whether you’re an aspiring dancer or just want to enjoy free dance sessions with your family and friends, it is a great opportunity to get active.

Family Fun Festival: This event at Millennium Park offers interactive activities, arts and crafts, and games for kids of all ages. Children have the chance to participate in sing-alongs, dancing, storytime, live music, and interactive dance performances. The Family Fun Festival runs from June to August and admission is free.

Fitness Sundays at Maxwell Street: Bring your family along every third Sunday of the month to Maxwell Street Market for hula hooping, kickboxing, Zumba and salsa. Get free, fun workouts from 9 a.m. to noon, with every hour being a different exercise.

Millennium Park Workouts: Engage your family in energizing workouts held at Millennium Park every Saturday from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. These free workout sessions are 45 minutes long with classes in Tai Chi, Yoga, Pilates, and Zumba, and are a great way to learn new exercise and fitness techniques that are fun for the family as well.

¡Vive tu Vida! Get up! Get Moving!: The GUGM initiative is an event on June 29 at McKinley Park that focuses on making movement a part of our daily lives for people of all ages and sizes. Activities will emphasize the importance of being active, supporting families, and building community. Signature events include free health screenings, safe bike tips, health information, and partnerships with athletes to promote physical activity.

Besides events to keep yourself and your family physically active, Chicago also has events aimed to encourage healthier lifestyles among the community. Here are a few of our favorites:

Farmers Markets: These city-run markets sell a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, plants, and flowers, and were officially opened for the summer at Daley Plaza last month. While you can find the Farmers Market at Daley Plaza every Thursday, there are markets open other days of the week at different locations around the city. Take advantage of the wide selection of fresh produce and encourage healthy summer meals for the family.

Night Markets: This spinoff of the city Farmers Markets will include some vendors from the city’s other markets and aims to expand neighborhood cultural assets by offering live performances and arts & crafts by local artisans and restaurants. It is a great opportunity to learn about the heritage and growing arts community in Chicago while having new, fresh produce at hand.

Health and Fitness Expo: Part of the Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon series, this two-day exhibition at McCormick Place offers free samples, showcases the latest in running gear, sports apparel, health and nutritional information, and more. The event is not restricted to race runners and is open to the public from Friday, July 19 to Saturday, July 20. Come learn new tips on how to keep your family’s health and wellness up to date, all for free!

These events are all chances to enjoy your summer in a healthy and fun way, and promote physical and wellness activities for families around Chicago. Summertime in the city can be full of enriching, cultural, and educational experiences if you know the right places to look. Enjoy!