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Chicago Riverwalk kicks off summer season with free dog cruise, architecture tours and fireworks

Morgan Olsen
Written by
Morgan Olsen

With no sign of snow in the immediate forecast, it's safe to say that spring has officially sprung, offering endless opportunities to be outside. The Chicago Riverwalk, one of the city's most beloved outdoor attractions, will celebrate the impending season will a loaded three-day celebration May 18–20. The summer kickoff event features deals from Riverwalk vendors, scheduled activities and outings, live music, pyrotechnic waterfall displays and more.

Though the 1.25-mile stretch of river-hugging property is open to the public from 6am to 11pm all year, the programming aims to highlight the attraction's best seasonal offerings, including kayaking, the Chicago Water Taxi, boat rentals and tours, and dining and drinking options. The full schedule is available now, but these are a few of the most worthwhile offers we spotted on the lineup: 

Chicago Water Taxi: Use promo code "RIVERWALK" for $3 off an all-day pass. May 18–20 from 9:50am to 7pm.
Urban Kayaks: Two-for-one rental special on the Historic Chicago Tour (11am and 3pm) and Sunset Tour (6pm). May 18–20.
Chicago Electric Boat Company: Use promo code "RIVERWALK50" for 50 percent off a 12-passenger boat rental. May 18–20.
Chicago Park District Fishing at the Jetty: Kids and adults can fish for free; supplies and instruction provided. May 18 from noon to 4pm.
Pyrotechnic Waterfall displays: May 18 at 8:15pm.
Mercury's Canine Cruise: Pups and their owners are invited to a free 90-minute river and lake cruise. May 19 at 10:15am.
Chicago Architecture Foundation Riverwalk West Walking Tour: Enjoy a free 45-minute, docent-led tour of the Riverwalk and learn about the city's newest and oldest skyscrapers. May 19 at noon, 1, 2, 3 and 4pm.

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