From Donuts to Dugouts: Seven Fun Ways to Welcome Spring in Chicago

We don’t know about you, but we’re ready for spring. As the ground thaws and the tulips bloom on Michigan Avenue, it’s time to get out and explore Chicago. To help you make the most of the season, we’ve rounded up a list of our favorite off-the-radar things to do this spring.

1. Underground Donut Tour

Image credit: underground donut tour

Sweet tooths, meet your match: the Underground Donut Tour in River North. This deliciously-popular tour starts with an artisanal, handcrafted donut at Doughnut Vault across from the Merchandise Mart and ends at Do-Rite Donuts and Chicken in Streeterville. In between, you’ll sample delectable pastries and hear about the history of Chicago neighborhoods at doughnut shops along the way. And don’t fret about those extra calories: you’ll walk about two miles on the two-hour tour, so that should burn off all that fried dough…we think…

2. PIVA Beer Spa

Image credit: Pica Beer Spa 

Benjamin Franklin famously said, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”  He’d surely have been happy at PIVA Beer Spa in Noble Square, where you can soak in a wooden tub filled with beer and herbs, detox in the salt room, and treat yourself to a massage. While in the area, head a few blocks west to Ukrainian Village for an old-school feast of pierogi, potato pancakes, and cabbage soup at Podhalanka — the Polish food’s about as authentic as it gets.

3. Rooftop Workout Classes

Image credit: Offshore Rooftop

Join group classes at Offshore Rooftop at Navy Pier to work up a sweat while soaking in breathtaking views of Chicago and Lake Michigan. From kinetic stretching to interval training, workout classes for all skill levels are available. The best part? After your 50-minute workout, you’ll be treated to a brunch bar and a glass of rosé!

4. The Fredrick Robie House

Image credit: Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

Don’t let another season go by without taking a tour of the Robie House, a UNESCO World Heritage Site built by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1910 in Hyde Park. An excellent example of Wright’s Prairie style, the house has been meticulously restored. Wander through the light-filled home, check out the art glass windows and horizontal brickwork, and then explore the University of Chicago campus.

Stop by Grounds of Being, the Divinity School Cafe in Swift Hall, known as the place “where God goes to drink coffee,” or head over to Promontory Point along the Hyde Park lakefront for what many consider the best view of downtown Chicago in the entire city.

5. Steelworkers Park

Image credit: Seth Putnam

Continue your South Side adventure at Steelworkers Park, where remnants of the South Works steel manufacturing complex have been reimagined into a community rock climbing wall. After testing out your climbing skills, check out the hiking trails that crisscross the park’s 16.5 acres – and don’t miss the bronze sculpture of an ironworker and his family by self-taught sculptor and Chicago native Roman Villareal.

6. Art on the Mart, River North

Image credit: Art on the Mart

The world’s largest permanent digital art projection returns on April 12 when Art on the Mart transforms the Merchandise Mart into a gigantic canvas for public art. A new commission by internationally renowned artist Nora Turato will be displayed this spring. For the best views, head to the section of the Chicago Riverwalk between Wells Street and Franklin Street.

After seeing the light show, stop by City Winery’s Riverwalk outpost for dinnerand drinks with a view.

7. And don’t forget opening day!

Image credit: Stock photo

Cubs and Sox fans don’t need the reminder, but opening day is right around the corner. The White Sox face off against the Detroit Tigers on March 28 and the Cubs are back at Wrigley Field on April 1. Pro tip: book a guided tour of Wrigley Field to get a behind-the-scenes look at the stadium like you’ve never seen it before.

What’s your favorite off-the-beaten-path Chicago adventure? Tell us below!

Written by @properties
@properties Christie’s International Real Estate is Chicagoland’s #1 brokerage. Through our affiliation with Christie’s International Real Estate, our network spans nearly 50 countries. No matter your real estate needs, we’ve got you covered.