The best part of kayaking is the exhilaration of exploration, until you realize the difficulty of paddling through pudding in your bathtub and must face yourself in the mirror. Take to real rivers with today's Groupon to Chicago's Urban Kayaks. Choose between the following options:
- For $30, you get a single Historic Chicago tour or sunset paddle (a $60 value).
- For $55, you get a tandem Historic Chicago tour or sunset paddle (a $110 value).
Historic Chicago tours are currently scheduled at 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 3 p.m. Monday through Sunday, and sunset paddles shove off every Thursday, Friday, and Sunday at 6 p.m. Chicago's Urban Kayaks will close for the winter on November 1 and will re-open on April 1, 2012.
Chicago's Urban Kayaks' cadre of instructors, certified by the American Canoe Association, equips adventurers with the top-flight gear necessary for exploring the winding waterways of the Chicago River. Cruise solo or grab a paddling buddy or a favorite stuffed animal for the two-hour journey through Chicago's historic downtown digs, which allows viewers a chance to learn about the world-renowned architecture and the city's recently renovated riverside walkway. A guide will be on hand to hold forth on Chicago current events and to point out historically significant sights. River wanderers can also set sail through downtown Chicago for a sunset paddle to catch a glimpse of the city skyline casting shadow puppets on the Michigan horizon.
Brothers Aaron and Asher Gershenzon and friend James Morro grew up in the city, but always possessed a passion for the outdoors. They practiced wilderness kayaking for most of their lives before earning their American Canoe Association certifications on Lake Superior. Each of them brings dual passions for their home city and outdoor sports to the company’s guided group and private kayak trips. Guided paddles change on every outing as guides blend downtown architectural commentary and little-known gangster stories with tie-ins to current events. Though each guide tells different stories, often interspersed with humor, all of them focus on environmentally friendliness. Paddling trips utilize a fleet of lime-green Confluence Watersports kayaks, and staffers often wear lime-green shirts—all of which render them easily identifiable from the riverwalk, but well camouflaged in supermarket produce sections.
Up to four guides lead groups of 15 kayaks or less and prepares them with a briefing on paddling techniques, rules of the river, and assurances of the stability of their wide recreation kayaks. The guides' watchful eyes and constant advice have instilled confidence in even the most unsure participants, When not guiding trips, staffers extend their easygoing atmosphere to their office—nestled across the river from the Centennial Fountain's Water Arc—where the storefront lies amidst the bustling city that surrounds it. Inside the shop, the owners' much-beloved pooches frolic around a hanging hammock.