Thursday, June 17, 2010

Chicagoing: Top Things to Do in Chicago this Summer...with your Dog

This is our last week of school, and we are already itching to get out and enjoy the summer. Since most of the year is spent like this, Chicagoans take every summer day for what it's worth and have festivals and events every weekend. The best part is many of these events are dog friendly. Here are our top picks for things to do in Chicago that include your dog:1. Get Dressed Up and go to the Gay Pride Parade
We love this event where the entire community gathers together to celebrate gay pride and culture. It's a huge party in the street complete with costumes, beads, dancing, and a huge parade. Last year the pooches showed their spirit in these costumes; we're super-excited for the event in Boystown next weekend.
2. Chicago Architectural Canine Cruise
Chicago is known for its amazing architecture, though we don't always appreciate it when we've actually worked in these buildings (during my advertising days I was in both the Wrigley building and the Aon Center!). Mercury Chicago's Skyline Cruise line offers a canine cruise where you can see the city from another perspective while traveling along the Chicago River and parts of Lake Michigan. While it's fun to ride along and see the sights, we also had so much fun meeting the other dogs on the cruise who all had big smiles on their faces the whole time. I would even recommend this to out-of-town guests, who may not have their dogs with them, but are looking for something a little different.
3. Welles Park Concert Series with an Apart Pizza picnic
Back when Miss M and I were bachelorettes in the Lincoln Square neighborhood, we used to spend our Tuesday evenings hanging in the park where they have free weekly concerts in the gazebo. It's fun spending a nice summer evening outside, but even better with an Apart pizza by your side. This pizza restaurant, located just across the street from the park, was recently rated one of the top 25 pizza restaurants in the city by Chicago Magazine; for a city like Chicago, known for their pizza, this is a big deal. They make a great thin-crust pizza.
4. Waiting in Line for Hot Doug's
There are several Chicago Restaurants that are so infamous, the lines cascade out of the restaurants and wrap around the corner as people are wiling to wait hours just to eat there. Since we will have some time on our hands this summer, we finally want to try Great Lake Pizza and Rick Bayless's Xoco restaurant. We also want to go to Hot Doug's which is known for its amazing gourmet-style hot dogs. Even if you arrive early, much of the time is spent waiting outside in a huge line. What better entertainment than to bring the dogs who provide countless entertainment to the point of simultaneously collapsing on the sidewalk in unison. While most of the line is outside, you do need to go inside to order, so we're prepared to have one of us wait outside with the dogs so we don't have to tie them up.
5. Prairie Wolf Dog Exercise Area in the "Chicago Countryside"
Most of the Chicago Dog Parks are overly crowded and congested which often creates unsafe situations for the dogs. While we do have our "secret dogpark" where other people rarely go, sometimes we treat the pooches and take them to this forest preserve in the suburbs. It is 44 acres of enclosed space so with the sheer immensity dogs rarely interact. It has small lake, enclosed training areas, and tons of space to run and run. Just check out Miss M with her mad-accuracy frisbee catching skills. The only downfall is that it can be kind of expensive; it costs about $20 for a day pass, or you can buy an annual pass if you frequent it often.
6. Walking in New Neighborhoods and Dining at Outdoor Cafes
The interesting thing about Chicago is that it is divided into several distinct, cultural neighborhoods. Though I've lived her for the past 10 years, there are still so many areas I've never been to. What better way to explore than to take the dogs. It gives a reason for walking around, you get to see more things first-hand, plus the dogs help you interact with more people. The best part is that Chicago is filled with outdoor cafes that allow dogs, so we're always able to stop and eat before moving on with our journeys.
What other activities does everyone else recommend this summer?

19 comments:

mayziegal said...

Gosh, what fun things you have to do in your city!! Me and my mom were drooling (mom calls it salivating. whatever.) over Hot Doug's. We've seen in on lots of Food Channel shows and we're dying to go. That cruise looks way fun and I luvs that big park. It looks like Miss M and me share the same frisbee catching skills. BOL!

Wiggles & Wags,
Mayzie

Mack said...

Your poochies are in for a very fun summer!

Two Crazy Coaches said...

This makes me want to load up the Duo for a trip to the city! Good thing it's only 90 minutes...we might actually be able to do that.

I can't believe you're not out of school yet!

Lilo, The Great Rock Eater said...

Those are really great ideas. If you come across anything dog and kid friendly, let me know. I have step kids in Chicago and they never get to see our pug because we just don't know what to do that we can take both.

Jess & Lilo

bigalrlz said...

My husband and I took our boxer on the Chicago Architectural Canine Cruise last time we visited Chicago and it was the highlight of our visit to Chicago. I HIGHLY recommend it!

the booker man said...

sign me 'n asa up for the canine cruise, puh-lease!! that is my most favorite thingie on your list! okay, well the hot dogs come pretty close, too... :)
*woof*
the booker man

houndstooth said...

We are actually planning on trying to go up and take that architectual tour this summer. If I remember right, it opens in July. We've wanted to try it for a couple of years now and this is the year we're finally going, as far as I know! You have a very impressive list of things there!

We're also planning on doing some hiking in some of the nearer state parks if we can get to them in some decent weather. For some reason, I really want to try to find a way to take them swimming somewhere, too. That's proving tough to find.

Rescued Pittie Family said...

The good thing about those cold winters is you have mild summers.
It's awesome that y'all can take them out like that.
We've tried but it's just way too hot here. We have to walk them early in the morning and after the sun goes down.
And then they're still panting like crazy.
We've resigned ourselves to having house dogs. Big 75 pound house dogs.
Well, at least for the next couple of months...

Benny and Lily said...

What fun you got to see the Gay Pride parade and explore the city. We enjoy seeing pictures of your city, the architect and different stuff. At the end it's the beautiful park. You guys are adorable. Hope you are making plans for your summer vacation.
Benny & Lily

Bruschi said...

This makes me want to visit Chicago! I love the costumes!

dw said...

I've seen tons of dogs down by Fullerton and the lakefront, just sitting in the grass with their owners, enjoying the breezes and/or the sunshine. Granted, most of these have been little dogs; most of the bigger ones I've seen are just walking along with their owners along the lakefront path. Good exercise for dog and owner! I really want to look again next early spring for a dog (not sure what kind, but I'll take a look at the shelters) because on a day like today, sitting on the balcony, sipping some iced tea, reading a book and having a pup sitting nearby would be ideal!

mastertealc said...

Wow - I wanna move to Chicago! But only if I don't have to wear this crown-thingy! LOL! You look so funny! Although I should laugh too loud otherwise my mum makes me wearing bunny-ears again... :)

Slobbers Teal'c

Kate@TwentySixToLife said...

Yay for the end of the school year! Bring on summer vacation! That's so great that you all have so much you can do with the pups. And those costumes are great!

Mr. Pip said...

Haven't been to the Pride parade in years, but hoping to go this year - gives me a reason to wear my pink wig! I also hadn't heard about the boat tour - may just check it out.

Thanks for the great ideas!
Pip

Mango said...

We love the pride parade in Boston (OK, momma and master do because I don't really go). Looks like a fun filled summer planned.

Slobbers,
Mango

Dory and the Mama said...

So much to choose from! We forget that Chicago can be so much more that the airport we have spent so many layovers in. We will have to make plans to visit your beautiful city.

Thanks for all the info!

Sue said...

Our mom used to live in a city and she says there are lots of things to see and do, but we like our big backyard in the country where we can run and bark and act silly.

Kari in WeHo said...

sounds like there is lots of fun to be had this summer!

1000 Goldens said...

These are great tips! I adore Chicago, and wish Farley traveled well so we could go more often...

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