PPM’s 28 Ways to Make This Summer Your BEST One Yet!!!

PPM offers 28 fantastic properties— all along Chicago’s incredible lakefront.  And as much as you will love your new home, there is always something great to do, just steps from your front door. So if you’re stuck in a rut this summer and looking for ideas, look no further! Here are 28 ideas to keep your summer HOT!!!

1) Life’s a beach! Pick a beach, any beach… The North Avenue and Oak Street Beaches are easy to access and open daily from 11 am to 7 pm. All you need is a towel, some SPF, and an iPod and you’re set for a great day! The breeze coming in off the lake will keep you cool all summer long. Here’s a list of every beach in the city: Chicago Beaches.

2) Work it out! There are some great ways to exercise along the lake. If you are looking to try something new and challenging, how about boot camp? The Bulldog Bootcamp offers packages and classes to get your bod into beach-worthy shape yet!  Check out their site for more information: Bulldog Bootcamp.
3) Pack it up! Have your dinner along the lake picnic style. You don’t need a date or reservations to have a beautiful, beachy meal. Need some packable recipes? Check out this site: Tasty Picnic Food.
4) Get on the water! Boating isn’t just for the rich and famous. Various companies offer packages at reasonable rental rates for all kinds of boats– small and large. Get a group of friends together and get a group rate! Chicago Yacht Rental
5) Au Naturale. Get your mother nature lovin’ groove on at The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Located just near the Diversey Harbor, the Nature Museum offers something for everyone! From the butterfly house to the incredibly knowledgeable staff, you’ll be sure to leave with more appreciation for your mama than when you walked in.

The Golden Coast

The Golden Coast

6) Chessin’ around. If you’ve walked along the lake, you may have noticed the avid chess players along North Avenue Beach. State Champions and novices alike gather to play and all you have to do is grab a table on the bench and bring your own pieces. Check mate!
7)  The delectable Green City Market. If you haven’t been yet, you gotta go! This farmer’s market runs through October 30th, every Sunday and Wednesday from 7 am to 1 pm. The market is located at the south end of Lincoln park. For more info, check out their site: Green City Market.
8 ) Volunteer! There is a reason Chicago’s lakefront parks and beaches are so beautifully kept, and it is in part due to the fabulous volunteers that put in hours of labor every week. Think you might have a green thumb? Or want to learn? Get down in the dirt and Volunteer!
9) Cast off your worries! The infamous Castaways is located at 1603 N. Lake Shore Drive. Many Chicago residents flock to this beach front destination, rain or shine. Its a great place to see and be seen! Wanna check out their great food and drink menu? Here’s their site: Castaways
10) The Lincoln Park Conservatory is located at 2391 N. Stockton Drive. Open every day until 5 pm, the conservatory is always breath-taking. Make sure to check out the Orchid room! The Conservatory.
11) Theatre on the Lake is in Lincoln Park and offers several shows per week at a very reasonable rate.  Click here for show runs and dates: Theatre on the Lake
12) Tennis. Just East of Lake Shore Drive at Addison, there are plenty of courts where you can bring your game. Athletic Field Park
13) Wet and wond-RUFF-ul dog beaches! PPM offers several pet friendly apartment buildings along the lake. Where better to let your dog cool down and run around, than at one of the city’s dog friendly beaches? You can find them at Foster Avenue Beach and The Belmont Harbor.

The Infamous Chicago Lakefront

14) Find your zen! There are yoga and meditation groups that practice in the parks. You can find them on meetup.com or check this Trib article: Chicago’s Best Outdoor Yoga.
15) Lions and tigers and bears— OH MY! The fantastically run and FREE Lincoln Park Zoo, open 365 days a year,  is no hidden secret to Chicago residents. But have you heard all the fabulous events they host all summer long? The Jammin’ at the Zoo concert series is coming up, don’t miss it! And that’s not all, check out their event list for more fun summer stuff to do: LP Zoo
16) Let’s go fly a kite! When was the last time you flew a kite? The winds are ripe this summer to get flyin’ high in the sky! From beginners to advanced flyers, Chicago’s parks are perfect to fly! Try chicagokite.com for all of your kite flying needs!
17) Fireworks!!! Fourth of July is over, but that doesn’t mean the fireworks will end in Chicago. Every Wednesday at 9:30, and every Saturday at 10:15 the Navy Pier fireworks light up the night sky. For more info check out: Navy Pier ‘Works
18) Golf on the Lake! The Diversey Driving  Range is open to the public, as is the Diversey 18 hole miniature golf  course. For rates and times check out: Diversey Golf
19)  Music for everyone! The city has several free concerts as well as many music festivals along the lake. Millenium Park has free concerts weekly. For the schedule click: Millenium Park Music Schedule. Everyone has heard of Lollapalooza, but there is another music festival in town that has Chicago residents a-buzz.  The Pitchfork Music Festival is not to be missed!
20) Rec yourself! Recreation sports  leagues are a great way to meet new people. There are many organizations that offer organized sports year round. Get on a team with friends or join one in need of your talent! Beach Volleyball at North Avenue, Softball, Flag Football, Soccer and Dodgeball are some summer favorites! Check this site for more info: Players Sports.

Pristine Lakefront Parks

Pristine Lakefront Parks

21) Pick it up! Pick-up games are for you if you can’t commit to the schedule of a league. Grab a frisbee or a football and a few friends and head East. You are sure to find an open space among the lakeside parks to play whatever game you fancy. Find people to play with you on meetup.org, or create your own meetup group!
22) The calming Caldwell. The Alfred Caldwell Lily Pond opened in 2007, yet it remains a well-kept city secret. Located just North of Fullerton, and just west of the parking lot entrance to the Lincoln Park Zoo, this is a quiet and tranquil spot that provides a quick and easy escape from the  the city. Shhhh…. Don’t tell!
23) Yak Attack! If you want to take a unique trip on the water, try kayaking the river or lake. Haven’t kayaked before? Don’t worry you can get lessons and become a pro. Kayak Chicago makes it simple and stress free. If you’re serious about being on the water, why not join the Lincoln Park Boat Club? The club is located at 2341 N. Cannon Drive. You can meet hundreds of avid members who canoe, kayak, row and scull. They offer lessons, organized competitions and team sports! Check out the lpbc.net.
24) The Pride of the City. If you want to get out on the water and learn about the city, check out an architectural boat tour. They aren’t just for tourists! Chicago Architecture Tours
25) The Bike Path. Don’t be intimidated by the roller-bladers and sponsored cyclers zipping by, the Bike Path is for everyone to enjoy! Want to rent a bike or go tandem? Check out these guys: Bobby’s Bike Rentals.

Lakeside Living

26) Page by page. Grab a book and get outdoors! Looking for something local to read? Check out this list of famous Chicago related novels: The Quintessential Chicago Book List.
27) Have a personal or professional event? Let Chicago’s famous architecture provide the back drop. The Chicago Park District offers several breath-taking event spaces that you can rent at very competitive prices! Their website offers pricing and availability: Chicago Venues.
28) What do you do at the end of your strenuous summer day? Take a load off!  If you’re living in one of our several PPM Buildings that has a roof top deck, watch the sun set! Relax, re-hydrate, and get a good night’s sleep so you can get up early and do it all over again!!!

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