Five Safe, Super Fun, Solid Fall Activities

Activities to Enjoy Outside of the Comfort of Your Home During the Pandemic


Floating Cinema: Drive in movies have recently regained popularity because of their ability to easily social distance. Thus, in January the same concept of drive in movies will open up on the water in Chicago. This cinema will not open in the fall, but tickets are already available to book from Jan 1- Jan 8 and get excited about during the fall. The boats will gather around a large screen on the water at “a number of places around the city.” Organizers have said the movies will be a mix of ‘oldies’ and new releases. This is an experience unlike many others and follows all social distancing rules. The cinema will hold 12-24 mini boats and you can watch with up to eight people alongside you. Food and drinks will be available to enhance the movie watching experience. This would be a good family activity or you could go with a group of friends if you feel comfortable doing so. (free to prebook, price not listed yet)

Biking: Biking is an activity that can be different each time you do it. In a city like Chicago, there are many places to go. With COVID-19 it doesn’t always feel safe to walk around the city as you may have before. Crowds downtown can be intimidating and walking down a packed sidewalk feels like a distant memory. This is why biking is a great alternative. If you’re missing walking around and getting some fresh air, this is the right choice. There are many great options for biking in the city. If you’re looking for a view of the skyline or lake the Lakefront Path or the Chicago Riverwalk are the best options. The 606 is a nice spot to bike through neighborhoods without being on the street and the North Shore Channel is perfect for those who live outside of the city. (free!)

Apple Picking: 50 miles outside the city sits Kuipers Family Farm, a 230 acre apple growing farm. Upon arrival you will be greeted by a hayride to the orchard where the apples are. The orchard also holds a pumpkin patch and definitely has an all-around fall theme. The orchard follows social distancing rules and has adapted its procedures to ensure safety. If you’re looking for a place to go not too far outside the city that is specifically for the fall, this is it. A $10.99 per person admission includes a quarter of a peck bag of apples.

Workout Opportunities: Coronavirus has put limitations on what was once an easy trip to the gym. Early mornings and after work hours can no longer be crowded with people on machines, working out less than a foot apart. In July, many gyms cap their capacity at 10 people. However, there are still ways to get a workout in, and not just from your living room. Soulcycle is a company that was well known for their packed studios, close together spin bikes, and even high fiving during class. Now, those elements will be changed to ensure a safer environment. The classes will still be indoors, with new safety protocols including disinfecting and spacing out bikes. They also enforce “Rider Responsibility” which encourages “Keeping each other safe” through limiting rider contact and staying home when sick. Soulcycle classes cost $35 and can be bought in packs. Another workout opportunity is at Lakeshore Sport & Fitness in Lincoln Park. Leading up to the US Open Tennis Championships, USTA CEO Michael Dowse has described tennis as “the ideal social distancing sport.” Social distancing can be easily achieved (players spread six feet apart), especially during singles play because tennis doesn’t require direct person-to-person contact. Courts may be reserved up to one week prior to your desired playing time.  

Outdoor Dining: Although simple, outdoor dining is an effective way to connect with friends and enjoy a good restaurant. As summer comes to an end and fall starts up, outdoor dining will still be available at most restaurants. This option is obviously available all over the city and is highly adaptable. Some neighborhood options for outdoor dining include Avli Taverna (the Lincoln Park and River North locations are now serving saganaki, kabobs, whole fish and more on their patios), Homeslice (the patio at this popular Lincoln Park pizza place is open for reservations), and Summer House Santa Monica & Stella Barra (the back patio at Stella Barra Pizzeria, the front patio at Summer House and the Vitamin D room at Summer House are now open at 50% capacity).