Fun Places to Social Distance in Chicago
Traveling around the US is still difficult, especially in cities as big as Chicago. If you’re a group of Chicago locals needing a day out of the house, there are plenty of safe ways to explore the city. 123 Charter Bus is your go-to transportation service for groups planning a safe adventure. You can rent a bus with a spacious interior and thorough sanitization procedure so your group can travel in comfort and safety around Chicago. You’ll have a professional charter bus driver to take care of your transportation all day for a smooth ride around the Windy City. Whether you need a charter bus rental for your community organization outing or a minibus for a family trip, 123 Charter Bus can help.
Along with providing safe transportation, we’ve also got you covered on deciding where you should go in Chicago. Check out a few of our ideas on where you can spend the day with your group, and then give us a call anytime at (312) 626-2220 to rent your bus.
Visit a museum with timed entry
Many museums across Chicago are reopened at 25% capacity with timed entry tickets and new safety protocols. The Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Science and Industry Chicago, and Field Museum are offering tickets by reservation to keep capacity low. Limited guest capacity will give pods of travelers all the room needed to safely explore the museums. Be sure to check each museum’s new visitation policy before reserving your tickets.
Groups traveling with organizations or school clubs will want to keep in mind that guided options may be limited or canceled at museums. Alternatively, organize an educational day of self-guided visits with your class, club, scout troop, or youth group. Whenever you finalize your group ticket reservation, you’ll also want to organize parking for your bus rental. Oversized parking is available at the McCormick Place truck marshaling yard just a 5- to 10-minute drive from most of Chicago’s museums.
Enjoy nature at The Morton Arboretum
Hop on your bus rental and ride over to The Morton Arboretum just outside of Chicago. The 1,700-acre arboretum includes an outdoor art museum, a children’s garden, a library, walking trails, and water features. Groups that love the outdoors won’t have a shortage of things to do! It’s the perfect place for groups traveling with children who may be a bit stir-crazy from staying indoors. Kids and adults alike can learn in the Sterling Morton Library, exercise along the Main Trail Loop, and enjoy the shade from native and exotic flora.
All arboretum guests are required to reserve tickets online in advance before their arrival. If you’re planning to travel by charter bus, oversized parking will be available at the Morton Arboretum Visitor Center. Additional parking for personal vehicles can be found at smaller lots throughout the park.
Break a sweat on the Chicago Lakefront Trail
Although most playgrounds and facilities along the popular lakefront trail are closed, you can still get out and explore 18.5 miles of the city. You can walk, jog, and bike from Edgewater Beach to the South Shore. The trail goes by several of Chicago’s top attractions like Lincoln Park, Wrigley Field, Navy Pier, and the Shedd Aquarium.
Locals can get in a good, long walk, and visitors who may be in Chicago for essential reasons can see the sites along Lake Michigan in a safe way during their downtime. If you’re not up for the full 18.5 miles, don’t worry—you can hop off the trail at any point for a breather. Just be sure to fully get off so you don’t impede other visitors from exercising.
If you’re traveling by charter bus, have your driver drop your group off at the beginning of the trail and wait for you at the end. Got tired halfway through? No worries: just give your bus driver a call and they can swoop by to pick you up whenever you stop. Relax in reclining seats and a climate-controlled cabin and let your driver handle the road.
Support local Chicago restaurants
The annual Taste of Chicago food festival looked a little different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of the traditional summer event in Grant Park, Midwest foodies opted for to-go options and a virtual festival from local eateries. Groups who missed special to-go menus during Taste of Chicago can still chow down on tasty bites at any time. Support local restaurants by ordering takeout and planning a small picnic with your pod. A few top takeout options include Italian fare from Spacca Napoli, New American bites from Acadia, and French-Mexican fusion from Tzuco.
Groups organizing a picnic in public spaces will want to double-check any temporary safety regulations in place. For example, if you’re dining in Millennium Park, you’re only allowed to gather in groups of 10 or fewer and you’ll be required to wear face coverings and physical distance from anyone outside of your immediate household.
Learn at the Lincoln Park Zoo
The Lincoln Park Zoo is always a wonderful family-friendly place to spend an afternoon. Admission to the zoo is still free as always, but all visitors need to make a reservation in advance. Adults and children alike will enjoy a day out learning about nearly 200 species of animals from around the world. Say hi to polar bears, black rhinos, pygmy hippos, giraffes, and many more four-legged (or winged) friends during your visit.
Keep in mind that some parts of the zoo may be closed to ensure proper safety protocols can be met. Buildings like the small mammal and reptile house will likely be closed during your visit. All outdoor animal exhibits will be fully available with one-way foot traffic around the enclosures.
Groups will be limited to 10 or fewer guests. Groups traveling for school field trips or community organization trips with more than 10 people will be asked to split up while in the zoo. If your school is traveling by charter bus, you’ll need to reserve parking at the Wilson Lot through the Chicago Park District.
Get out of town
Seriously, you should get out of town! City parks in the Chicago metro area can be quite crowded, especially as residents start to get out of the house. State and national parks located farther from the city are usually bigger and may better accommodate larger groups. Indiana Dunes National Park, Starved Rock State Park, Warren Dunes State Park, and Illinois Beach State Park are all a short day trip from the city. Outdoorsy folks who want to hike, bike, fish, or even lay out on the beach without massive crowds will love the parks outside of Chicago.
Most parks require guests to wear masks when in enclosed areas or when passing other visitors in congested areas. Be sure to visit each park’s specific website for more information regarding COVID-19 policies. Before planning your day trip out of Chicago, you’ll also want to inquire about entrance fees and parking options if you’ll be traveling by charter bus. Pack up hiking gear, fishing equipment, or beach items on your charter bus and leave any Chicago traffic up to your bus driver.
Travel Safely in Chicago with 123 Charter Bus
123 Charter Bus is dedicated to making every passenger feel safe throughout their trip around Chicago. Wherever you choose to spend your day, 123 Charter Bus will take care of your group transportation. When you call (312) 626-2220, a reservation expert will help you organize a bus rental to meet your group’s travel needs.