Jul 28, 2022 - Things to Do

Everyone's welcome at the Friday Morning Swim Club

Photo of swimmers jumping in a lake.
Madeleine Fawcett and pals meet at the Friday Morning Swim Club. Photo: Monica Eng/ Axios

Since last summer, hundreds of strangers have been gathering at Montrose Harbor on Friday mornings for a magical moment called the Friday Morning Swim Club.

  • The event started as a chat between two friends during the pandemic and has ballooned into a 300-person affair.

How it works: Swimmers show up between 6:45 and 7 in the morning. Around 7:15, they all jump in at the same time. No formal invitations required!

  • Afterward, the folks at Printers Row Coffee bring cold brew for swimmers to sip post-dip.

What they're saying: "We were excited to find a huge community that does this," says Axios reader and distance swimmer Madeleine Fawcett. "It's just a fun way to start the weekend and see each other and check in and hang out."

  • Fawcett meets up at the event with friends, including Neha Lalwani, who says, "I'm not much of a swimmer, but this is the best way to start my Friday and it's my favorite thing about Chicago. I'm going to miss it when I move to New York."

What's more: The event offers breathtaking lake views of the skyline that are perfect for Instagram.

If you go: Keep in mind the area features deep water and no lifeguards, so you swim at your own risk.

  • I highly recommend emulating Fawcett and friends, who attach high-visibility swim buoys to their waists.
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