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Dog walking on State Street in Chicago

Roam: Pet-friendly parks, shops and cruises in Chicago

There is nothing better than a Midwestern fall—unless it’s a Midwestern fall spent hanging out with your best pal. If you’re town, check out these dog-friendly Chicago locations, venues and activities:

Cruisin’ canines

Mercury Cruises. Bring your camera and your pooch for a 90-minute cruise with Mercury! On Saturday and Sunday mornings through the end of September, you can enjoy a narrated historical and architectural tour, complete with dog-friendly highlights. These canine cruises feature safe outdoor seating, water bowls and a special doggy restroom.

Foodie heaven for Fido

Fido to Go. Fall is a great time for food trucks, and now your dogs can enjoy mobile specialties as well. Fido to Go serves handmade, gluten and allergen-free doggy ice creams, frozen yogurts and cookies. Check out their next stop by following them on Twitter at @fidotogo. 

Enjoy some retail therapy

The Shops at North Bridge. Want to shop with your pooch? Head on over to North Bridge, where the entire mall (except for food venues) is pet friendly. They even have comfort stations, treats and water on the first and second floors. Bonus: so much lovely air conditioning. 

Give me a home where the puppies can roam

Prairie Wolf Dog Park. Chicago has lots of off leash parks inside the city limits, but if you’re willing to head out to Lake Forest you can romp to your heart’s content at the 44-acre Prairie Wolf Dog Park. If you have a dog that likes to run but needs his space, you can enjoy the freedom of trails, open fields and a swimming hole without having to worry about too much interaction with other dogs.

A Frenchie, a golden and a pit bull walked into a bar…

There are tons of outdoor patios in Chicago where your pooch can hang while you enjoy a brew, and if you want to catch a Bears game with your pup inside a pet friendly neighborhood bar, check out the Ten Cat Tavern, Mahoney’s or Bucktown Pub. (They also have outdoor beer gardens).

And if you're looking for tips on dog etiquette for your patio date, check out: The perfect canine patio date night.


Jaime Migdal, CPDT KA, is the founder and CEO of Fetchfind, a talent recruitment and services organization dedicated to the pet industry.

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