Dog's Day Out in Chicago, IL
Ever heard of Doga? It's doggie yoga and it takes place once a month or so at the Lakeshore Athletic Club. It's called the Paws and Flow class and it's a great way to get both you and your pet some exercise in a more creative setting than the dog park.
The class runs at noon on Saturdays and lasts 45 minutes. Both big and small dogs are welcome. The dogs are given a few minutes to get acquainted and then the yoga begins, mostly directed at adults, but with a few stretches for the canines too. Then the dogs are given a chance to run around and play while you relax and chat.
Each class is $25 but the first one is free. Mats are provided.
Grant Bark Park is a large 18,000 square foot, clean, and well-maintained dog park that welcomes both big and small dogs. The park is fenced which allows dogs to be off-leash and really let off steam. There are many more great amenities for dogs too: the double gate entry, the fountain, a shaded tree area and a paved area for running.
All dogs at the park need two permits: a city of Chicago and a Chicago Parks tag. The biggest negative is that parking can be a challenge due to its South Loop location.
The Wicker Park Dog Area is a large, fenced in asphalt covered space. There is always a good crowd to socialize with whether you are a dog or a human. While this is certainly not the largest area for your dog to play around in Chicago, it's actually easier to keep an eye on them in the smaller setting. There is plenty of seating to relax while your dog plays.
Hamlin Dog Park is a small neighborhood park paved with gravel which makes for easy clean up. The park is well-maintained and clean although the gravel can make the dogs dusty or muddy at times. There is a grassy side area for dogs to run after tennis balls as well.
This is definitely not one of the dog friendly areas in Chicago with the best amenities. The lack of dog fountains is one of the biggest complaints from visitors.
As with all Chicago Area Park dog friendly facilities, dogs must have a special tag issued by a participating veterinarian.
Although the Foster Avenue Dog Beach is much smaller than Montrose Dog Beach and many dog owners prefer its more intimate setting. The fence goes further out into the water keeping the beach still safe for off-leash dogs at low tide. The double door entranceway is also another nice safety perk.
The evening hours get fairly crowded. Owners of smaller dogs may prefer the less congested mid-morning and early afternoon. As with all Chicago Park District dog friendly areas, all dogs must have a veterinarian-issued DFA permit.