Family Living

Recreation & Parks Month: Opt Outside!

Family Living | July 18, 2016
Recreation and Parks Month

The weather is perfect for you to get out and explore your surrounding city! July is Recreation & Parks Month and that means it’s time to take the next few weeks to have an outdoor adventure. Having a park day is ideal for families. Not only are you having quality time and making memories, but you have the opportunity to explore a new park and its offerings, like:

  • Meet other families 
  • Practice new sport skills like kickball, tee-ball, or soccer
  • Making time for physical activity
  • Taking in fresh air and receiving Vitamin D from your sunny friend 

Here are a few parks to start your Recreation & Parks Month off right!


1. Lincoln Park— What used to be a cemetery has now evolved into one of Chicago’s most popular parks, with kids flying kites, beautiful flowers to be seen at the Lincoln Park Conservatory, and a free visit to the Lincoln Park Zoo!
2. Millennium Park— A tourist-centered park, Millennium is great for people watching, letting your kids smash in the Crown Fountain, and, of course, grabbing a few pictures in front of the Bean (official name “Cloud Gate”).
3. Ping Tom Memorial Park — Along Chicago River’s South Branch, this old rail yard transformed into a green oasis has plenty of shade from tress, a playground for the little tykes, and hosted events, such as the Chicago Dragon Boat Race for Literacy!


1. Cincinnati Nature Center at Rowe Woods — Rowe Woods is home to the Nature Center, where your children can explore green space and ponds full of wildlife. There’s even a real-life Lincoln log area for kids to build their own fort!
2. Highfield Discovery Garden — In Glenwood Gardens, north of Cincinnati, you’ll find a little kid’s playground fantasy. Highfield Discovery Garden has built fairy gardens, a giant treehouse, and more surprises for children to keep playing and imagining all day!
3. Riverfront Parks — Along the Ohio River, you’ll be entertained by many different parks, such as the International Friendship Park and Smale Riverfront Park.


1. Franklin Park Conservatory & Botanical Gardens — Full of many varied events throughout the year, this park is set on an 88-acre plot near downtown Columbus. Make sure to check out the indoor gardens, one-mile walking loop, and art while you’re there.
2. Thompson Park — Be sure to bring your kids to this park during Recreation & Park Month. Bring a basketball and play on the court, take a hike on a walking trail or let them expend their energy out on the playground.
3. Topiary Park — Topiary Park is a landscape of sculptures. Be sure to take the Tree Walk, providing descriptions of 25 diverse trees on your journey.


1. Cherokee Park — Being one of Louisville’s most popular parks, you’ll find many families and travelers playing and picnicking! Even your family dog can enjoy the fenced-in dog park.
2. McNeely Lake Park — Take your family fishing at this 46-acre lake this summer! Other popular park amenities include horseback riding stables, a model airplane flying field, and hiking trails.
3. Waterfront Park — Waterfront Park is home to part of the Ohio River near downtown. You’ll find both walking and biking paths for exercise or leisurely strolls and picnic areas perfect for a day treat.


1. Centennial Park — Centennial Park is one of the most popular places for families, college students, and young adults because of its proximity to downtown and local universities. Make sure to stop by during one of its many festivals or join in on a game of ultimate frisbee.
2. Radnor Lake State Natural Area — Right outside of Nashville is Radnor Lake, a trail loop filled with benches to face the water and great wildlife observation opportunities.
3. Sevier Park — Next door to one of the most popular neighborhoods in Nashville, 12South, Sevier Park is a quaint area complete with a playground and creek for kids to enjoy!

Washington, D.C.

1. Riverbend Park — Outside of D.C. in Fairfax County, families enjoy this park when many other parks are packed. You can take your kids on a paved trail or hike through the woods to enjoy the day outside.
2. Watkins Regional Park — With an antique carousel, a train, mini golf activities, Old Maryland Farm animals, and a nature center, your family will discover something new every visit!
3. Yards Park — In the Capital Riverfront neighborhood, this park is complete with open grass space for play, the pedestrian bridge for picture opportunities with a view of the river, and water fountains for your kids to splash around in for their enjoyment.