My perfect summer Sunday: Oak Park/River Forest

When I think of summer breaks as a child, I remember long days at the community pool, sleepaway soccer camps and chasing down ice cream trucks with my brother. There was nothing better than being a kid out of school, and nothing was more magical than summer.

Fast forward to motherhood. My kindergartener got out of school exactly two weeks ago and has exactly ten weeks to go. I have roughly 70 days to fill our first real summer break with enough ice cream, friends, water and memories he won’t soon forget.

With summer break underway, I’ve learned the more we explore our community, the happier we are. With two Sundays down, and ten to go, here are some of our favorite ways to celebrate summer on a Sunday with the whole family.

A place to eat

The Junction Diner

The kids can draw on a massive chalkboard, ride an electric train, take photobooth photos and watch their lunch de-board a choo-choo train in front of their eyes. Oh, they also serve donuts, veggie wraps, burgers and wine. I’d say it’s safe to label the diner parent friendly as well.

7401 Madison St., Forest Park

A place to play

Ridgeland Commons pool

There is a separate (gated) kiddie pool with a baby slide and fountains. If your kids are a bit older, the larger pool is perfect for relaxing and socializing while you enjoy fun in the sun.

415 Lake St., Oak Park

A place for a rainy day

Gymnastics & Recreation Center

The GRC has a lot of open play hours for the kids to enjoy. I almost always run into familiar faces, so it is social for parents as well.

21 Lake St., Oak Park

A place to grab a treat

The Brown Cow Ice Cream Parlor


Petersen’s Ice Cream

Two of the sweetest staples in the community.

7347 Madison St., Forest Park and 1100 Chicago Ave., Oak Park

A place for family time

Scoville Park

Perfect for playing tag or soccer. My boys love running on the hill and picnicking. We’ll pick up smoothies and fresh juices from Live Fresco and sandwiches from Red Hen Bread, both of which are just across the street.

Corner of Oak Park Ave. and Lake St., Oak Park

Enjoy your summer!

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