Hello everyone! First let me start off by saying that we sure hope one day soon we can resume our weekend event calendar and finally be able to enjoy all the wonderful things our local businesses and event spaces have to offer. Our family is definitely not the stay at home type, so this has been a very interesting adjustment and has sure led to a lack of content for this website! But we understand that there is a national health crisis going on out there and we want to do our small part by making sure we keep our city and state as safe as possible and help to flatten the curve!
As a side note, in addition to being a mother, blogger, and photographer, I am also a Medical Laboratory Scientist! So I am one of those front line workers you have been hearing about working closely with this novel respiratory virus. I only say that to bolster my request to the What Should We Do Today community to follow the governors shelter in place mandate and limit your exposure to others as much as you can. Luckily, the shelter in place order allows us to get outside for exercise and go for walks or hikes. (Maintaining that you stay at least 6 ft away from any person you may encounter, avoid touching any kind of surface, and wash your hands as soon as you return home. And please do not leave your own home or yard if you are experiencing any symptoms of any kind!)
The transcript from the speech given on March 21st is linked here.
So here are some ways we have been getting outside while practicing social distancing!
1. .Neighborhood Window Walks
Have you seen these images floating around on social media? The Shamrock Hunt was a huge success in our neighborhood so we have been trying to follow along and participate with every theme. It makes walking around the neighborhood extra exciting and just adds some happiness in an otherwise dark time.
2. Chalk The Block or Chalk Your Walk
It was a little hard to accomplish this past weekend with the snow, but if your kids are getting restless and looking for something to do, hand them the sidewalk chalk and tell them to get to work! Load up your driveway and / or sidewalk with inspirational messages and encouraging or silly pictures! Maybe even a hopscotch game or something to make other families walks extra fun! This activity can constantly be repeated and can kill quite a bit of time during the day. Since we are sort of homeschooling right now, I consider this art class!
Hopscotch City and I created 30 themes to help guide you on a scavenger hunt of street art throughout the city! This hunt can be accomplished by foot or by car and let me tell you, my kids had such a blast driving around spying art on walls, fences, and businesses. The Pilsen neighborhood in Chicago was exceptionally artistic as well as Paseo Boricua! You could check most of the themes off your list just between these two neighborhoods! And you don’t need to only go downtown to participate, the suburbs have some great street art as well! For more information click here.
(Edit: As of April 2nd, The Morton Arboretum is closed until April 30th) The Morton Arboretum is located in Lisle, IL and is a public garden and outdoor museum spanning 1,700 acres. Pretty easy to practice social distancing in all that space huh? Not only is it beautiful to both drive AND walk around, the Troll Hunt exhibit is still in place until June 30th. What could be more exciting than a scavenger hunt featuring 6 colossal trolls ranging in height from 15 – 60 feet long! I bet you’ve seen the tallest one a top of a large hill as you drive down the Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway. You won’t be able to catch them all in one hike. Your best bet is to drive around the Arboretum with a troll map while you look for signs indicating a troll is near. You can then park in the closest designated parking area and walk to that particular troll. (Some are a little more hidden than others)
5. Take a walk around your county’s forest preserves!
If you are anything like me, you have already explored a couple forest preserves but depending on how long we are required to follow this mandate, this may be the opportunity to adventure through many! Or discover more trails at your favorite! Grab (or order) some binoculars and a note / sketch pad and take your children bird watching. Have them try and draw what they find. This could make for a fun field trip to accompany science or biology class. Here are our top picks! (Make sure that you go to the bathroom before you leave the house because restrooms are closed as well as any other building.)
- The grounds and surrounding areas of Mayslake Peabody Estate
- Blackwell Forest Preserve
- Waterfall Glen
- Hidden Lake
- Timber Ridge
- Maple Grove
- Herrick Lake
- Knoch Knolls
- Palos Forest Preserves
- Deer Grove
- Caldwell Woods
- Bunker Hill
- Busse Woods
- Swallow Cliff Woods
- Tekakwitha Woods
- Jon J. Duerr
- Fox River Bluff East / West
- Aurora West
- North Branch Trail of Lake County Forest Preserve
- Buffalo Creek
- Des Plaines River Trail and Greenway
- Fort Sheridan
- Grassy Lake
- Heron Creek
- Van Patten Woods
- Glacial Park
- Coral Woods
- Marengo Ridge
- Pleasant Valley
Stay safe everyone and wash those hands!