Monday, December 10, 2012

Playground near Chicago's Michigan Avenue

'Tis the holiday shopping season, particularly if you're heading someplace fabulous to buy your presents. As a teenager, I very clearly remember the year my family headed to Chicago one December weekend to take in the ambiance of the Magnificent Mile along Chicago's famous Michigan Avenue. Talk about a shopper's haven!

My husband and I took advantage of not having an opinionated 3-year-old with no interest in shopping when we visited Chicago last April, and wandered this shopping area with Little Arrow happily tucked away snoozing in the stroller. As we neared Water Tower Place, I happened to notice what appeared to be a playground just a block off Michigan Avenue. Ever the diligent family travel blogger, I needed to get a closer look.

Families everywhere who flock to the Windy City for shopping? Have I ever got a kid-pleasing spot for your little ones to get the wiggles out. Seneca Playlot Park. It's on Chicago Avenue just one block toward the Lake off Michigan Avenue.

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We rarely do much shopping when we travel, mostly because neither my husband or I are interested in it. But some destinations just lend themselves to pounding the pavement and hitting the stores. So just be on the lookout for a playground or park to please the littles. As a mom to a rambunctious 1-year-old and 3-year-old, we are in a prime playground stage of parenting.

A few tips:
  • You can use Google Maps to explore where you'll be shopping in advance. The parks and playgrounds are usually easy to spot in green, especially in urban areas. If you can get a name from the map, you can then Google the park itself to determine what amenities it has. Most cities have at least a basic webpage for each of their parks.
  • If you find a nearby park without a playground, consider bringing a small blow-up ball or balloon for them to chase around the open area. (Or pick one up while shopping and let it double as a souvenir and toy!)
  • If you've got a baby, pack a thin blanket to spread on the ground during your park pitstop. I found that even when Little Arrow was a baby, he craved some time to get out of the stroller or carrier and wiggle around a bit once in a while.
  • More tips and reasons I love finding playgrounds when we travel here.
Happy shopping! Happy kids! Happy Holidays!

This post is a part of Travel Tips Tuesday at Walking on Travels and Suitcases and Sippy Cups.

PS: Want to know more about what makes me tick as a traveling mom? Check out "Get to Know Arrows Sent Forth" at Walking on Travels.