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Last Minute Summer Adventures in the Chicago Southland!

By published August 20, 2014

In the past week, I’ve had several friends reach out to see where they could spend these last days of summer before the hustle and bustle of the school year is in full swing. Most people were hoping to keep these adventures inexpensive and local so as not to spend much more time traveling in the car. Without further ado, here are some great places to say goodbye to summer:


Homewood Railroad Platform and Park

Located at 2020 Chestnut Road in Homewood, this unique locale gives families an opportunity to see mainline and commuter rails. With a beautiful walkway, murals and train cars to explore, families will love spending time in the great outdoors without spending a dime. The unique setting lends itself to a beautiful day in the park or a picnic under the trees. Bring along some of these park-friendly kid lunch ideas and you are all set!


Benches on the Avenue

One of my absolute favorite things to do with the boys is explore the newbench artwork along Oak Park Avenue in downtown Tinley Park. We take turns guessing what each bench represents and take pictures by the ones we absolutely love. This year’s theme, “Let the Games Begin!” captures the essence of childhood and opens the door for some truly original art. Make it a family night out with pizza from Ed & Joe’s Restaurant.


s Center Farm Southtown StarRiegel Farm & Conservation Center

The Riegel Farm in University Park is a beautiful way to spend time outdoors complete with hay rides and a petting zoo. Children will love visiting with the cows, sheep, goats and more. There is plenty of playground equipment and room for sports activities like baseball and basketball. Admission for 10 people or less is donation-based and hours can be found on their website. Looking for another great down-on-the-farm location? The Children’s Farm at the Center is another great option located in Palos Park.






White Water Canyon Water Park

With these last warm temperatures slipping away, think about heading to White Canyon Water Park in Tinley Park. The location makes it simple to travel to and provides a great opportunity to enjoy some fun in the sun without wasting a whole day traveling. Water slides and a lazy river provide fun for the whole family. I know we haven’t spent nearly enough time getting drenched and you still have a few weeks left to enjoy it!


Gayety’s Chocolate and Ice Cream

Summer would not be complete without a trip to enjoy a sweet treat. This old-fashioned chocolates & ice cream parlor located in Lansing, is a throwback to a simpler time with hand-dipped chocolates and a variety of ice cream flavors and sizes for every appetite. This family-run business is sure to live up to its name and bring “happiness” to your crew in these last moments of summer living.


What family traditions do you have for the last week of summer?
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