Urban Adventure

The kids didn’t have school yesterday, a little fact I had forgotten until late Wednesday night. By the time Friday morning rolled around, I still hadn’t come up with a plan. But, the sun was shining and the skies were bright blue and temperatures were in the high 60s.

A perfect day for an urban adventure!

Whenever we have no plan for the day, and the weather is agreeable, the kids and I head out into our fair city to see what the day might bring. Some days it is an el ride to Chinatown or a spontaneous dinner and shopping trip on Devon Avenue or a an early morning stroll through the city. The point is to go without a plan and let our spirits guide us. The kids LOVE Urban Adventure days (I think the word “adventure” planted into any suggestion always helps).

So, with all this in mind, we set out on our Urban Adventure yesterday morning a little after 9:00. Evie and Mack rode their scooters while I pushed Vivian and Ben in the stroller. Their spirits were high as we crossed the Chicago River:

And all four kids loved exploring a giant modern art sculpture  at the Thompson Center:

We continued south another block to Daley Plaza, where we found vegetable samosas at an Asian-American festival. We snacked on those while the kids splashed their hands in a fountain:

From Daley Plaza we headed east towards Millenium Park. The new Maggie Daley Park recently opened there, and the kids and I were anxious to check it out. It was AWESOME! A huge expanse of land devoted to kids running free, climbing high, chasing butterflies, laughing loudly, feeling young. I lost track of the kids several times – I think that might be the point of this park – but perhaps that is what makes it so fun for them. We will be back a LOT this summer!

After more than an hour at the park, we strolled over to the Lurie Garden where the flowers sing to the heavens with their bright colors. I felt like I was sitting in a Monet painting.

Evie thought to pack bubbles in the stroller before we left – what a fun idea! A quiet activity perfect for the Lurie Garden:

While Evie and Ben strolled through the flowers, Vivian and Mack quietly fished coins out of the stream, occasionally lucky enough to pull out a Euro or Peso. When our time at Lurie ended, they tossed the coins back in, making fresh wishes.

When we finished at the Lurie Garden the time was fast approaching 1:00, and we were hungry for lunch. So, the kids hopped back on their scooters and we walked north along Michigan Avenue. Everyone was excited to see the Bucket Boys perform (until a police officer shooed them away):

Lunch was a special treat: Chick-Fil-A! It should come as no surprise that I’m not a supporter of fast food, but it just seemed to fit the fun and free-spirited nature of our day. Plus, with all the exercise a little splurge was ok.

Nearly six hours after we left, we made it back home. Covering more than five miles was no small feat for their small feet, and everyone returned home exhausted in the best way possible.

This day cost us almost nothing, but several times the kids said “Mom, this is the best day!” My kids have the most fun when all expectations are relaxed and plans are not made. Letting kids be kids is fun for everyone!

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