Summer in the City for the Entire Family

By Beth Prystowsky | Monday, July 25, 2011

Hamlin Park pool. Credit: Rachelle Bowden.

When school ends, the rush of summer hits parents and kids.  After a week of lazy mornings and baby pools, it is mandatory to get out of the house and enjoy the city. Fortunately, our neighborhood is overflowing with free and low priced activities to keep busy this last month of summer.

The Hamlin Park pool, 3035 N. Hoyne Ave., is a hidden gem on the Northwest corner of Hamlin Park. The free swimming pool offers family swim, parent & tot swim and open swim almost daily.  It is important to check the schedule as there  are times the pool is reserved for camps and adult swim. The pool is cold, clean and has lifeguards on staff. Stop by the dog park on the way home. My kids can’t get enough of the dogs happily fetching and playing with their owners.

If you need to get out of heat and are hungry for some fresh lunch, stop by Nohea Cafe, 2142 W. Roscoe Ave. New to the neighborhood, the cafe has a corner filled with toys to keep the little ones occupied and happy. They also sell string cheese, juice boxes, lollipops, ice cream, cupcakes and kid’s meals from grilled cheese to hot dogs served with fruit.

Felger Playlot Park, 2000 W. Belmont Ave., is always a good time with the sprinklers and large amount of playground equipment including the train, play house and see saw.  Sometimes, my family craves a small, less hectic playground, so we walk to Revere Park. With entrances off Irving Park and Western, this large park is perfect spot for an afternoon picnic.

Next head over to Scooters Frozen Custard to cool down.  Hands downs, best “ice cream” in the city.  This spot specializes in Concretes, which is a mix of custard and your choice on ingredients including candy, fruit and unique combinations.  Scooters sells kid and dog sizes and has a convenient walk up window on Paulina.

A little North is the sprawling Welles Park that offers evening family concerts at 6:30 on Tuesdays during the summer.  Relax on the grass and let the kids’ burn off some energy.  Another outdoor family friendly evening option are Movies in the Park.  Movies range from Despicable Me to Shrek in parks all over the city beginning at dusk.

It’s easy to enjoy our neighborhood this summer without spending all your money.  Don’t forget your sunscreen!

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