Summertime can be fun for many dogs—those who love and have access to the dog beach or a backyard kiddie pool to cool off in, for instance—but for plenty of other dogs and their owners, summertime can feel like a restless and oppressive few months of taking very short walks to avoid overheating. For those dogs, autumn is their season—it’s still nice enough to head outdoors for a longer-than-normal trip to the dog park or meandering stroll, but it’s cool enough that they don’t get tired or too hot too soon. This year, be sure to take advantage of the beautiful weather by checking out these fun fall activities for you and your dog.
Outdoor Farmer’s Markets
Taking your pup for a stroll around your neighborhood farmer’s markets is a fun way to get outdoors with your pet without having to plan anything too far in advance or make too many arrangements. Many farmer’s markets even have vendors that offer dog-friendly products, such as artisanal dog treats.
The Seadog’s Boat Rides
Downtown, you can check out one of three dog-friendly boat adventures on the Seadog. Dogs ride free with fare-paying adults, but it’s best to make sure your pooch has a lifejacket on, just in case. Choose from these three options for your pet:
- Seadog Extreme: Like a rollercoaster on water, this trip involves high- speed twists and turns along the lakefront, and should probably be reserved for lap dogs, so that you can hold onto them as the boat zooms around the water.
- 30-Minute Lakefront Speedboat Tour: This trip offers a view of Chicago’s skyline and a brief narration with music. Perfect for all types of dogs, this trip is fun for owners and dogs alike.
- 75-Minute River and Lake Architectural Tour: By far the most leisurely of the rides offered, this one is the best choice for bigger dogs who can relax for a while, and offers owners a fully narrated tour of the Chicago River and Lakefront architecture.
Spooky Pooch Parade at the Botanic Garden
On Saturday, October 31st, head to the Chicago Botanic Garden for the Spooky Pooch Parade. In addition to a parade of costumed canines, there will also be costume contest and an awards ceremony for categories including Best Costume Overall, Best Dog/Owner Costume, Best Puppy and Best Senior Dog Costume, and more. The parade starts at the Krasberg Rose Garden, and dogs must remain on leash at all times. Don’t miss this spooky celebration!
Hit the Dog Park
When temperatures cool down, the pups can really play—fall is a busier time at local dog parks because pets can run around for a longer time and may need more time to run off all their energy. Check out the top spots like Wiggly Field in Lakeview or Wicker Park Dog Park, or if your dog loves water, stop by Montrose Dog Beach before it gets too cold.
Famous Fido Charity Bingo Night
This isn’t an activity you can bring your dog to, but rather it’s one that supports homeless dogs. Hosted at Hamburger Mary’s on November 3, this even features a fun night of bingo with drag performer Velicity Metropolis hosting, and drink specials and fundraising benefits help out homeless pets as they wait for their forever homes.