Cabin Fever

So you have this new little, wonderful buddy to accompany you everywhere! He is on your schedule, can’t tell you that you still look pregnant while clothes shopping, and won’t blink at the amount you rack up at the grocery store purchasing lunch meat, brie and sushi. You have looked forward to him accompanying you on every adventure right out the gate, showing him the world…until your pediatrician tells you that he cannot hang out in “enclosed” spaces until he receives his immunizations. You think ok, so let’s get this show on the road, schedule these shots ASAP! Shoot him up, give him an extra dose because we have some living to (finally) do! She then tells you that immunizations don’t happen for two months, and you slowly watch your post-maternity clothing shopping dreams die a slow and painful death.

Sound familiar? Well, here are some outdoor activities that will make you feel a little more like an actual member of society and not a vampire, blinking in the sunlight.

Chicago Botanic Gardens

Endless trails, natural beauty, and at off times, not many people around to hear your little one test out his lungs! Tip- while admission is free, parking is a hefty $20. Become a member for $70 and get free parking.

Farmers Markets

Farmers markets are a great place to put a dent in your wallet and accomplish something for the day. You will soon tire of the frozen pizzas and PB&J sandwiches that you scarf down in a desperate attempt at nutrition for the 5 minutes your munchkin is asleep.

The Zoo

Yeah, he’s not old enough to care about the animals but so what? The zoo is free, but parking in Lincoln Park is scarier than you sans make-up at the 3am feeding. Check out memberships…and there are lots of fabulous boutiques in the area you can visit once your germ-o-phobe gets clearance.

Concerts in the Park

My husband and I have tickets for Ravinia this year and fully intend to include our little guy in our outing. Plenty of room to walk around and the ability to BYOB makes this an ideal venue for new parents. If you aren’t ready for the big time, there are a lot of smaller concerts in the park in many Chicago suburbs.

Fairs and Festivals

Art fairs and festivals are fantastic…unless you hit one mid-day on a Saturday or Sunday.  Some festivals and fairs start on a Friday, around 10am or noon, which is the best time to go. Parking can be tough, especially at two of my favorite festival venues- Long Grove and Evanston- so go early and be prepared to hoof it.