Chicago has something for everyone, no matter what your inclinations. So say the community members of The Admiral at the Lake, including Bill Hinchliff. Bill, a native of Chicago and former tour guide, believes it’s especially easy to hang out somewhere that’s free.
Along with the other residents of The Admiral at the Lake, Bill is constantly finding new things to do and new places to go. Lucky for everyone else, he’s generous enough to pass on his knowledge.
What are the best places to hang out in Chicago?
Chicago’s parks are many and varied. You can learn how to become a trapeze artist or play baseball or indulge your ornithology bent at a Chicago park. Play bocce, bowl, chess, or cricket; walk your dog; work out; rent a boat; learn how to create ceramics and paintings; take dance or boxing classes; and more.
Here are a few parks near The Admiral at the Lake:
- Broadway Armory Park features Broadway Armory, the city’s largest indoor recreational facility. The Abbott Fund Wellness Program offers multifaceted, year-round nutrition and fitness programming, including classes and a fitness center.
- Foster Beach gives you the option of swimming with your dog (on the north side) or other patrons. A beach house with food concessions, bike rentals and restrooms complement your enjoyment of Lake Michigan.
- Lincoln Park features the Lincoln Park Cultural Center, Margate Fieldhouse, Lincoln Park Zoo, Lincoln Park Conservatory, Theatre on the Lake, a rowing canal, the Chicago History Museum, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool, the North Pond Nature Sanctuary, and Lincoln Park Archery Range. It encompasses Clarendon Park, North Avenue Beach and Oak Street Beach. Clarendon Park offers the opportunity to play basketball or softball, walk your dog and watch the children get wet in the interactive water play area when the weather is good. The fieldhouse contains a fitness center, a gymnasium, and several clubrooms. Model train fans don’t want to miss the Garfield-Clarendon Model Railroad Club, housed here.
- Winnemac Park is a real draw for the younger set, but there’s plenty to attract older adults, too. Walk the nature trail and visit a scenic prairie garden or fire up your inner athlete by playing softball, soccer or basketball.
- Montrose Beach has the usual beach amenities—food concessions, kayak and boat rentals, showers and restrooms—as well as a non-motorized boat launch, an ADA-accessible beach walk, and a dog-friendly area at the north end.
The Chicago Riverwalk is an open, pedestrian waterfront on the south bank of the Chicago River that includes food vendors, boating rentals, and the River Theater. The new section was finished just last year.
Enjoy a sandwich and a view of the boats on the river at the Marina. Or take a small boat or kayak out yourself at the Cove. Performances are already scheduled for the River Theater
Bill says it’s already a great place to hang out. “Riverwalk is the newest great contribution to the city in general that’s accessible to the public. It’s something people do repeatedly, because it’s so much fun, and the city changes,” he says.
Just a few of the restaurants available along the Riverwalk are Fulton’s on the River, Riverwalk Grille, and Lagniappe Cajun-Creole Joynt.
Finished a few years ago, the 606 includes the old Bloomingdale railroad viaduct and 4 (in the future, 6) adjacent parks. Current parks are Walsh, Churchill, Park 567 and Julia de Burgos. Although runners follow the trail all winter, beginning in the spring, walkers, bicyclists, skaters, strollers, and dogs throng the 2.7-mile Bloomingdale Trail and the nearby parks. The activity is captured in a series of videos produced by Marwen students.
Where the railroad line divided neighborhoods, The 606 will eventually link 4 diverse city neighborhoods and 6 neighborhood parks. Already, The 606 includes a trail-wide planting of flowering trees, the Exelon Observatory, and numerous temporary artwork installations.
Residents of The Admiral at the Lake walk the trail on a regular basis, sometimes en masse and sometimes solo, according to Bill.
You may visit once or twice to see the world’s largest stained-glass Tiffany dome and a 40-foot-diameter dome with a Renaissance pattern, as well as imported marble, polished brass, fine hardwoods, and mosaics. However, come again and again to enjoy free international, national, regional and local artists, musicians and performers featured in the galleries, during Chamber Mondays.
Don’t miss the Dame Myra Hess Concert on WFMT on Wednesdays at noon, sponsored by The Admiral at the Lake!.
On the first floor, Renaissance Court is an award-winning senior center with cultural, educational, health, and fitness programs for adults age 55 and older.
Bill says the center is truly a great place to hang out, and he especially enjoys the Dame Myra Hess Concerts with young performers. He’s not the only resident of The Admiral at the Lake who does: Recently, another resident sponsored one of the concerts.
Like many residents of The Admiral at the Lake, Bill loves exploring nearby areas. Making new discoveries is a common activity of community members. Whether they’re taking a University of Chicago class, trying a new exercise technique, or developing programs through the residents’ association, members are rarely still and notoriously difficult to catch for an in-depth interview!
Are you on the go? Are you engaged? Are you learning? Then why aren’t you here at The Admiral at the Lake already? Call us at (773) 433-1801 or contact us online for a no-obligation information packet.