Now that Chicago’s Phase 4 of reopening is underway, our options for getting outside and enjoying the warm weather have increased. However, many of us are still apprehensive of congregating in public spaces so soon with COVID-19 still a real threat to our health.
So what can someone do to get out and enjoy the day while upholding social distancing? A picnic is a great way to shake off your winter and COVID-19 blues while maintaining space between others. Let’s take a look at some amazing spots around town where you can have the perfect picnic.
South Garden at the Art Institute of Chicago: Located in beautiful downtown Chicago at 111 South Michigan Avenue, this green space patch sits atop a parking garage, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying the flowers, trees, and serenity-inducing fountain located here. It’s a great site to unwind and decompress amid the hustle that is the heart of the city.
Bahá’í Temple: It’s worth the trek out to Wilmette to enjoy a picnic at one of the eight Bahá’í temples in the world. Located at 100 Linden Avenue, the landscapes here are breathtaking with nine meticulously manicured gardens and ample space to unwind and enjoy the beauty surrounding you from every direction.
Lincoln Park: One of our favorite Chicago neighborhoods is also home to a sprawling park that encompasses the Lincoln Park Zoo, Lincoln Park Conservatory, and the Lincoln Park Cultural Center. In addition to the numerous paths for walking and jogging, there are loads of open green spaces to host a picnic offering postcard-worthy views of the city.
The 606: This 2.7-mile path connects Wicker Park, Logan Square, Humboldt Park, and Bucktown. The park and trail network provides plenty of areas to set up a picnic to rest, read a book, or do what we really love- people watch. There are plenty of food and coffee choices along the path to make a last-minute picnic a breeze to throw together in one of the city’s favorite chill spots.
Northerly Island: It’s not all about the Adler Planetarium and concerts at this man-made peninsula located at 1521 South Linn White Drive. The 119- acres available to roam here make picking a picnic spot easy. Northerly Island features prairie grasslands, a 5-acre pond, and long and winding paths to check out Chicago’s native wildlife. This island getaway should be on your list of picnic locations to spend time at this summer.
Of course, you don’t need to head to any of these great locations to create a memorable picnic while practicing social distancing. Chicago provides plenty of green space in the form of paths and neighborhood parks that usually require only a quick walk to reach. So get outside and enjoy a picnic in the above-listed locals or in your own friendly neighborhood park.
ERIC KAPLAN AND DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO