Credit: Jenny Poole

Lakeside Lawn Bowling Club

58th and Lake Shore Drive

OK, it may also be the only place in the city for lawn bowling—but it’s a great setting, the 40-by-40-yard “sheets,” or lawns of manicured bent grass, hard by the lake. Lawn bowling differs from its cousin, bocce, in several ways. Bocce is usually played on asphalt instead of a green; lawn bowling balls (“bowls”) are weighted on one side, and so they curve (a key challenge is directing the curve, which a bowler does with his grip); and unlike in bocce, the bowl can only be rolled. Tom Michael, a past president of the Lakeside Lawn club and still a very active member at 74, says the club has existed since 1927. In those days through the 1940s, Chicago had four or five lawn bowling clubs. The 40 members in today’s coed club include a few in their late 20s, but most are middle-aged or older. The game is competitive enough to appeal to Michael, who played college football and minor league baseball, though he bowls mainly for the camaraderie. The club plays at 1 PM on Saturdays and Sundays and 7 PM on Tuesdays throughout the summer. —Steve Bogira