Our grandchildren were coming to visit and we had several places we wanted to take them. We have four grandchildren between the ages of four and nine. It’s difficult to find places that appeal to all of them but we usually come up with several ideas.
On this visit, we planned to go to the Lincoln Park Zoo – an old favorite. It’s one of the few big city zoos that is still free of charge. It has a wonderful primate house and a lot of other great exhibits. We also wanted to go to Maggie Daley Park – which has recently opened downtown. Having heard great things about it, we were anxious to see it ourselves.
This time, for a change, the kids’ visit was blessed with great beach weather. What kid doesn’t like going to the beach? Since they were happy to go to there every day, we didn’t make it to some of the places we planned. I’m sure we’ll have plenty of other opportunities. Most people don’t think of Chicago as a place for a beach vacation but all the beaches in Chicago along Lake Michigan are free. Lake Michigan is so vast that I can almost forget that I’m not at the ocean when I’m there. Many of the suburbs along the Lake also have beaches many of them with smooth sand and the Lake temperature had actually warmed up enough to swim in.
Two of the places that we did get to are ones I really like because of the community involvement in creating them. A favorite that all the kids requested is Indian Boundary Park in the Rogers Park neighborhood. It has a wonderful playground area that was built by neighborhood volunteers. The kids had a great time in it playing hide-and-seek.
|Indian Boundary Park|
|Playground at Indian Boundary Park|
The area that used to be a mini-zoo is now a garden and conservation area. It’s a beautiful park and certainly worth a visit.
The beach at Touhy Avenue has an annual event and fundraiser in which individuals and community groups donate money to paint a section of a large concrete bench that is located just beyond the beach. During a weekend at the beginning of the summer, everyone involved gathers to paint their sections. It sounds like a wonderful community weekend. My youngest granddaughter went with me to see the benches. I asked her which one she liked the best and she picked the one with the balloons. She also liked the one with the butterfly.
|the painted benches at the Touhy Beach|
Next time they come we’ll have other exciting things for them to do. Chicago always has ample opportunities.