You could easily watch jets zoom overhead all day. Unfortunately, the Air & Water Show doesn’t last all day. What will you do with the rest of the time you spend at North Avenue Beach? Well, my friend, don’t worry. This is why we’re here. Here’s a list of things to enjoy near North Avenue Beach. Don’t say we never gave you anything.

Fun in the Sun

North Avenue Beach
Chicago, IL 60614

There’s plenty to do on the beach itself without having to explore the mysteries around it. Building sand castles and swimming could fill an entire day alone. If that doesn’t sound like your sort of thing, then go to the beach house – shaped like a gigantic, beached boat – and rent equipment so you can play volleyball on one of their volleyball courts. Or bring your bike or rollerblades to the beach, and enjoy zooming by on the path made along the sand! If you’re too lazy for that, then watch others exert themselves from the beach house. There’s a multitude of possibilities here, friend!

Castaways Bar & Grill

1603 N. Lake Shore Drive
North Avenue Beach

Chicago, IL 60614

On North Avenue Beach is Castaways, a beach-side restaurant and bar that gives THE perfect view of The Air & Water Show. They even have a special Air & Water Show deal! Check out their website to find out how to not only get the best seats to see jets and planes fly loops around each other in the sky, but have access to a breakfast and lunch buffet. And, even better, there’s an open bar from 9AM–4PM. Yeah, most days 9AM would be too early to start drinking, but this is The Air & Water Show weekend, guys. You can start drinking anytime you want. Just make sure it has juice or something in it.

Lincoln Park Zoo

2200 North Cannon Drive
Hours: Open every day, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Lincoln Park Zoo offers a lot, especially for those attending the Air & Water Show with their families. The kids will love the Children’s Zoo because of the climbing tree, which is only overshadowed by Lincoln Park Zoo’s Merry-Go-Round. take a break at Cafe Brauer while you’re there; their ice cream always makes for a great afternoon treat. And whatever you do, don’t forget to visit the penguins. They’re cool. Super cool.

International Museum of Surgical Science

1524 N. Lake Shore Dr.
Chicago, IL 60610 USA
Adults $22.00
Senior Citizines & Students $16
Children 4-13 $12.00
3 and under FREE

The International Museum of Surgical Science is a good stop for aspiring doctors and the oddly demented among us. Visit this museum, just off North Avenue Beach, and become enamored with such heart-lifting exhibits as the Polio Exhibit, From X-Ray to Nuclear Medicine, and Beyond Broken Bones. Certain parts of the museum will undoubtedly make your stomach turn, but that’s half the fun.

Lincoln Park? Forget that!

Maybe you only wanna stick around the wonderful neighborhood of Lincoln Park long enough to see the Air & Water Show. In this case, you can easily hop on the train and explore any part of the city you want! The North/Clybourn Red Line, for example, can take you right into the heart of the loop. From there you can look up at the Sears Tower (what you talkin’ bout, Willis?), Grant Park, and, of course, The Bean. The best view for the Air & Water Show may be at North Avenue Beach, but that doesn’t mean you’re chained their the whole day!

Check out CBS Chicago’s North Avenue Beach photo gallery!

Mason Johnson, CBS Local Chicago


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