|One day visiting Chicago for free|
|Written by OHmommy|
|Saturday, 17 August 2013 00:00|
Long before we moved to Chicago, I wrote an article on Cleveland.com titled "Be a tourist. In your own city." I puffy heart that article. The premise of the post stated that you don't need to travel far or spend crazy amounts of dollars to explore new places. You just need to "think" like a kid... MAMA, MOM, MA, MAMA, MOM, WHAT IS THAT?... and that's enough motivation for me to pull over and check whatever out, if time allows. There's always something worth exploring. Now that we are located in Chicago we set out to explore the city with one goal in mind: spend no money.
We started out at Lincoln Park Zoo. Free. These animals were my favorite.
My children (11, 9 & 6) are pretty tired of traditional zoos so we spent the majority of our time at the "Children's Zoo" within the zoo because it had a lot of interactive exhibits that were new to us. Bring swim suits for the outdoor water feature and pack a lunch. Since the zoo is free and located in the middle of Chicago, there are a ton of picnickers enjoying the gorgeous view. Think Central Park in NYC - fill your cooler with enough snacks and find a green space to roll out your blanket. Plan to stay awhile.
My kiddos spotted a sign for a "Nature Walk" after our visit to Farm In the Zoo (also free). Apparently the Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo (just south of the zoo) is fairly new and the endless boardwalk is a treat not to be missed.
You, guys? It's an urban oasis!
It's easy to forget about the concrete jungle surrounding you because the ecosystem of native birds, frogs, turtles, fish, butterflies and more are all so present that you feel like you are in the country. Needless to say, my kiddos were in heaven. We could've easily spent another hour or so just on the trail reading all of the educational posters highlighting the Midwestern ecosystem but we all agreed that we wanted Daddy with us because he is the one that answers all of the science questions.
Children are the best guides that lead you to unexpected places.
Instead of going back into the zoo (which I know is fabulous but my kiddos are over-cooked on zoos) we noticed a huge glass dome building just north-west of the zoo. It was the Lincoln Park Conservatory. I was concerned that that the impressive building required an entrance fee so I tried to talk my kiddos out of approaching it. "MAMA, MOM, MA, MAMA, MAMA, MOM! Let's go there and just check it out!"
You guys? Free! And it was HUGE. Much smaller then the Chicago Botanic Gardens but super impressive as a Chicago park district building - several large rooms big. We could have also stayed an extra hour if we didn't have other plans.
Even though I packed a cooler full of lunch and snacks we ended up at CBA with my baby bro and "earned" a free yummy cookie just by checking in on Facebook. All in all... it was a perfect free day in Chicago. More to come as we explore!
|Last Updated on Sunday, 18 August 2013 10:25|