Sure, we spend all winter dreaming of hot summer days, but there are times when it’s just a little too hot. When temperatures start nearing triple digits, there’s nothing to do besides find a fun (and sometimes tasty!) way to cool down. Here, discover the best ways to do just that this summer on Chicago’s North Shore.
What’s summer without at least one trip to the beach, where Lake Michigan’s waves will quickly cool you off? Pack your beach bag and head out to one of Evanston’s five public swimming beaches, where you can rent kayaks, stand up paddleboards, and sail boats (or you can simply relax in the sand and soak up the sun). Glencoe Beach (55 Hazel Ave.) is another hot spot come summertime, thanks to amenities like paddleboard, kayak, sailboat, and chairs/umbrellas rentals; a spray ground for kids; a shaded trellis and sun shelters; volleyball courts; a beach cafe; and more. Or, make your way to one of Winnetka’s three beaches, some of which feature playgrounds and sand volleyball courts. And don’t forget your furry friends, who can also enjoy a day in the sand at Centennial Dog Beach (225 Sheridan Road, Winnetka).
Glencoe Beach, Glencoe
For a sand-free aquatic experience, turn to one of the North Shore’s best water parks. The Skokie Water Playground (4701 Oakton St.) is perfect for kids and adults alike, thanks to five slides, a sprayground, a multi-level play area, and lap lanes. In Glenview, the indoor Splash Landings (2400 Chestnut Ave.) features four pools, including a play pool and a therapy pool, Wiggles and Giggles Childcare Service, an Aqua Shop, and more. Wheeling’s Family Aquatic Center (327 W. Dundee Road) is also a perfect spot for parents to spend a day with their little ones, splashing throughout the many aquatic features.
Family Aquatic Center, Wheeling
There’s no sweeter way to cool down on a sweltering summer day than with an iced drink and a treat. At Patisserie Coralie (600 Davis St., Evanston), cool off with one of a variety of iced coffees and teas (paired with an Almond Croissant or box of macarons). In need of gluten-free options? Sweet Ali’s Gluten Free Bakery (1107 Waukegan Road, Glenview) is always serving up goodies like Salted Caramel Cupcakes, Lemon Bars, and Toffee Pecan Bars. Plus, Next of Kin (625 Davis St., Evanston) is the perfect place to stop for a Vietnamese Iced Coffee and one of their signature eclairs (Lemon Meringue, Birthday Cake, or a seasonal option, perhaps?).
Patisserie Coralie, Evanston
Cool off indoors this summer while also learning something new. Chicago Botanic Garden (1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe) offers a variety of classes, including art classes like Botanical Watercolor: Shines and Shadows (Thursdays starting July 19) and Color in the Summer Landscape (July 28-29), and gardening classes like Fall Garden Care (Aug. 19). Or, grab your friends and get creative at Bottle & Bottega (1016 Davis St., Evanston). As you enjoy a glass of wine, an instructor will guide you through the steps of painting a masterpiece you can display proudly in your home (no matter your skill level). And if you're even just a little bit curious about learning a new skill, sign up for a workshop at Evanston Art Center (1717 Central St.). Upcoming options include Smartphone Photography (July 21), Handmade Bowls (July 28, Aug. 19), and 3D Printing on Fabric (Aug. 18).
Bottle & Bottega, Evanston
Ice skating shouldn’t just be a winter activity, and just a few laps around a local skating rink will have you thinking it’s an entirely different season. Skatium Ice Arena (9340 Weber Park Place, Skokie) is open year-round for public skating and can be rented out for private parties and roller hockey. The rink also features a cafe, babysitting, ice rental, and more. The Northbrook Sports Center (1730 Pfingsten Road) offers public skating as well as cosmic evening skating. There's even an outdoor swimming pool, so you can easily spend a day enjoying multiple activities. And both rinks offer hockey and skating classes and programs if your kiddo is interested in more than a recreational day at the rink.
Northbrook Sports Center, Northbrook