A Mom’s Life Top Five

Things to do outside—before it’s too late


Meredith Sinclair


Your life
At the start of November we’re reminded with each dropping degree that soon we’ll be forced to entertain our kids indoors. So get out while you can! Here are a few things to fit in before our long Chicago winter.

Schedule a playground tour. You know those parks and playgrounds you drive by on a regular basis and never actually visit? This month pick a Sunday afternoon to park-hop to as many jungle gyms as you and the kids can handle. Make a map of your intended route, pack some snacks, water bottles and bug spray and let the playground tour of ’08 begin.

Sleep outside. Kids will "camp out" just about anywhere. Whether you pitch a tent in your backyard, your condo balcony or on a screened porch, your kids will love the adventure of sleeping outside with the moon (or the nearest street lamp) as their nightlight. Just make sure they have a cold weather sleeping bag and toasty pajamas.

Hit the lakefront one more time. There’s nothing better than packing a picnic, throwing on some sweatshirts and heading to the lake for a little beach football, softball or base running (our personal favorite). Fall is an unexpected time to play at the beach and the perfect photo op for next month’s holiday cards.

Revisit the games of your youth. Do your kids know how to play Capture the Flag, Red Rover, Four Square and Kick the Can? If not, it’s time to teach them. Gather some kids, meet at a local park or field and give them a "classic neighborhood games" tutorial.

Make out under the stars. You don’t need a babysitter for this ultra-romantic date with your man. After the kids are tucked in, grab the baby monitor, a few blankets, a glass of wine and your iPod loaded with hot tunes. Park yourselves on your front stoop, back deck or city balcony, and well, you know the rest.



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