The Best Outdoor Workout Classes in Chicago

Yoga by the Lake | Courtesy of Fitness Formula Clubs
Yoga by the Lake | Courtesy of Fitness Formula Clubs
Photo of Tim Marklew
2 June 2017

After a long winter in the gym, what better way to reinvigorate your workout than by getting outside and learning something new? Alongside Chicago’s many sports clubs, these outdoor classes are enabling Chicagoans to get their sweat on in the sunshine while enjoying some amazing surroundings.

Millennium Park Summer Workouts

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Over the summer, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events organizes a series of free classes held on Millennium Park’s Great Lawn. On Saturdays from June 3 to September 2, 2017, 45-minute Pilates, yoga, strength, and Zumba classes take place on the hour from 7–11 am. For some pre-work yoga during the week, there are classes at 7:30 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays from June 6 to August 31, 2017.

SUP + Yoga

Taking yoga to the next level, ChicagoSUP (stand-up paddle boarding) holds classes out on the boards on Lake Michigan. As well as the peaceful setting, fresh air, and stunning views of the city, the movement of the lake offers a number of challenges that make for a stimulating workout for all skill levels. Weather permitting, classes meet at North Avenue Beach at 9 am on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, and 8:30 am on Sunday.

North Avenue Beach, 1600 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL, USA, +1 773 575 4787

SUPyo! Conditions couldn't be better today, stop by and say what'SUP☀️😎👌

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Yoga by the Lake

If doing yoga on the lake is not for you, then why not do it next to the lake? Run by Fitness Formula Clubs, Yoga by the Lake takes place on the north side of Belmont Harbor on Tuesdays at 7 pm and Sundays at 10 am between Monday, June 5 and Monday, September 4, 2017. All are welcome at the 60-minute classes, which promise added zen thanks to the tranquil location. Participants are required to bring their own mat.

Belmont Harbor, 3600 N Recreation Dr, Chicago, IL, USA, +1 773 755 3232

Yoga by the Lake | Courtesy of Fitness Formula Clubs

Yoga by the Lake | Courtesy of Fitness Formula Clubs

Chicago SummerDance

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Also organized by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, the Chicago SummerDance program is for anyone who wants to have fun while they get fit. Held in Grant Park and other parks around the city, 48 different bands and DJs provide the soundtrack for the biggest dance party in town, with dance lessons included for newcomers and beginners. Between June 23 and September 10, 2017, parties take place Friday and Saturday evenings, with lessons at 6 pm and dancing from 7:30–9:30 pm, and Sundays from 4–7 pm. Check out the other parks hosting parties here.

Yoga at the Zoo

Park, Zoo
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The ever-popular Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo is also the setting for Yoga at the Zoo, which holds adult plus parent and toddler classes throughout the summer. All experience levels are welcome to participate in the classes that teach yoga postures, breathing exercises, and mindfulness techniques, with bird songs and skyline views. Classes take place Wednesday evenings and weekend mornings, and multi-class pass packages are available; otherwise, it’s $20 to drop in. Don’t forget to bring your own mat.

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