Summer Activities for Youth from a Distance
Connecting Communities | August 2020
Summer is upon us and while we must be careful to social distance and wear masks, it is also important that we engage our minds and bodies too. There is still plenty to do, even during quarantine, and we hope that you find some enjoyable activities on this list to help keep you busy!
Go on a bike ride
Chicago has been named one of the most bike-friendly cities in the United States and summer is the perfect time to take advantage of this. With Lakeshore Path officially reopened as of June 24, there are over 18 miles to ride along beautiful Lake Michigan.
There are also plenty of bike paths in forest preserves across Cook County. Check out the Forest Preserves of Cook County website for a list of trails!
Grow a garden
Gardening is a fun activity no matter your age, but teaching young people to grow and sustain their own garden has extra benefits. Gardening is an activity that can be done indoors or outdoors and teaches youth responsibility through a hands-on approach.
We suggest growing edible plants as a way of teaching young adults the impact of hard work in real time. For more information about growing vegetables and fruits check out the Farmer’s Almanac website.
Go to the zoo
Even in a big city like Chicago, you can still find lions and tigers and bears. (Oh my!) As of June 26, both Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago and Brookfield Zoo in the suburb of Brookfield, IL are open and ready for visitors. Catch a glimpse of the monkeys or zebras as many of the animals will be roaming about in their enclosures during the warm summer months.
For more information about hours and directions visit the Lincoln Park Zoo and Brookfield Zoo websites.
Pick up a book and support POC and Black authors
Reading the day away is especially sweet during summer and it is an activity that can be done both inside or out. It is also a great way to support Black and POC authors. Sharing stories featuring POC and Black characters is imperative to elevating the voices of communities who must be heard.
To help you get started, MSV has created a list of Young Adult novels and children’s books written by Black and POC authors and where to find them. Happy reading!
Head to a Chicago Park
It’s official; all Chicago parks west of Lake Shore Drive are open once again. Grab a frisbee or a ball and play catch in these green spaces throughout the city. Getting outside is not only fun, but it can also improve mental and physical health. Doctors suggest at least 60 minutes of exercise each day for youth ages 6-17 years of age so get out there and get moving.
For more information about parks in Cook County check out the Choose Chicago website.