7 Fun Summer Activities for the Whole Family It's easy to get in a rut in any season, and summer is no different! Are you doing the same things every day? Go to work – check. Eat dinner – check. Watch TV – check. It's time to mix it up a bit.

In our ever-present goal to provide you with the inspiration and motivation you need to live your life to its fullest, today we have a fun-loving list of things to do before the long, dog days of summer are gone!

  1. Check out local forest preserves. Search your county and "forest preserves" in Google, and you should find a great list of local natural sanctuaries to walk, bike, picnic, bird-watch and just generally enjoy! You'll be surprised to discover just how many forest preserves and natural areas are in the Chicagoland area—more than 68,000 acres of forests, prairies and wetlands in Cook County and more than 60 forest preserves in DuPage County!
  2. Rent a kayak or canoe. There are tons of lakes and rivers in this area, along with great resources for renting kayaks and canoes! You're likely just a drive away from getting some quality time out on the water. So relaxing!
  3. Spend a day at the beach. You don't have to be at an ocean to enjoy a day of sun at the beach. There are 26 miles of public beaches ablong Chicago's Lake Michigan. You'll find sand volleyball, restaurants, bike rentals and more.
  4. Go to the farm to dine. Illinois knows its farms. Lately, there's been an influx of farm-to-table restaurants popping up (these delicious dining spots offer up local foods on their menus). Seek out one of these dinner spots, or even better, fine a farm that hosts dinners on site.
7 Fun Summer Activities for the Whole Family
  1. Find a festival. Chicago and its surrounding cities are a hot spot for all kinds of festivities! Grab amazing food, listen to music, meet local vendors and merchants, discover new art, enjoy some libations and more.
  2. Watch a movie, outdoors. Drive-in movies aren’t a thing of the past! There are a few in the Chicago area, so grab some snacks, get out under the stars and watch a movie 1950s style.
  3. Go on a treasure hunt. We’re being serious! Have you heard of geocaching? Gaining popularity over the past couple years, geocaching is where people hide items and then log their coordinates online at geocaching.com. You can find these coordinates on the site and then head out on an adventure to find it. Once you locate the treasure, you sign and date the log. You could even create your own geocache! (According to the site, there are over 2.6 million geocaches around the world!)

Whatever you do, be sure you're taking some time to relax, unwind, spend time with your loved ones and just enjoy all the amazing things life has to offer. Enjoy!