Tag Archives: highland park

Chicago Botanic Garden: A Theraputic Oasis in the Windy City

boygardenerWhen Chi-towners are in need of some fresh air, green pastures and loads of flowers, they head to the Chicago Botanic Garden. A hidden oasis just 30 minutes from downtown in Highland Park (an easy Metra ride), the garden boasts paths that allow you to peruse the place as if it were your own.

From Japanese and English gardens, isles reached by arched bridges and a tropical garden with orchids dangling from palm trees, perhaps the best feature of the Chicago Botanic Garden is its full calendar of events from educational programs to social mixers. Classes they offer range from cooking classes, gardening, kids programs, horticultural therapy and wellness programs. In a nutshell – this place is Chicago’s therapy.

Ski Cross Country in the Middle of the City

There’s only one way to burn 500 calories per hour, obtain a rosy glow to your skin, find new beauty in an already gorgeous city and learn to love winter– and that’s with cross country skiing in Chicago. Many Chicagoans are finding this sport to be their new weekend addiction; and with a plehtora of breathtaking trails to liven up an otherwise dull winter’s day, it never gets old.

To get started on your path, Warren Park and the Mortem Arboretum and Heller Nature CenterXCountrySkiing_HighlandPark in Highland Park (rentals are only $12) are great options. Northerly Island is also a favorite and features a Saturday cross country skiing program that’s fully free- with rentals included!

Although city cross country skiing may take a little extra effort on the front end (travel time to trails, equipment rental, bundling & buckling up), the rewards are tenfold. The freshness of the outdoors surges some serotonin into the system and who says apres-ski fun is only for downhill? No one! Besides being fun, this great workout engages all the major muscle groups along with others that often times get ignored. So you’ll be feeling good and looking good as a toned ski bunny.

If you find yourself getting totally addicted, buy your own equipment and take on the entire city like plenty of residents are already doing across Chi-town!