I could write many blogs about living in the city with children…some positive, some challenging, yet here we are 3 kids later and STILL love living in the big city. It’s definitely trying in the winter, but ask any Chicagoan and they will say the same thing…then April arrives and the weather changes and we all LOVE the city again.
For today’s post, it’s just about the parks and playgrounds. There are probably hundreds of playgrounds in Chicago thanks to the Chicago Park District and the many elementary schools. I think we probably have 5 playgrounds we visit regularly. We are extremely grateful for the backyard we have as our kids can play outside, run through a sprinkler, ride on their scooters, play catch, etc, yet it is a very small patch of yard compared to my childhood. I grew up on acres of farmland, green grass as far as you could see, and one rusty old swing set that my brother and I tried to flip many times as we swung higher and higher. I loved the endless things we could do outside! Those were my days, however, the place to get exercise and run off some energy for the majority of kids who live in the city, including my own, is the playground.
Now, how we get to the playground depends on which one we go to. We can ALL walk (Garrett in the Ergo) to the one a couple blocks away, a few playgrounds the kids can bike to (like in today’s pictures), and to get to the others all the kids need to ride in the stroller because by the time we get there and play, they would be too tired to make it back home on their bikes. The reason I mention this is because as I was putting everything back in our garage and storage area today, I realized that we have a ton of “equipment” for our kids. I think we are on our third or fourth stroller as we’ve quickly grown our family and our needs have changed. Parker and Ryann each have a bike, a scooter and we have a wagon. I grew up in the country and the truth is, I only had a bike because there wasn’t much of anything else that made it around on the gravel roads like a good ol’ banana boat seat bike, and I loved it. We would build ramps to jump and obstacle courses to maneuver around. Those were my days, however, my kids are enjoying theirs too…at the playground!