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These 8 stroller-friendly running paths and trails in the western suburbs of Chicago offer the perfect anecdote to a long winter cooped up in the house

These 8 stroller-friendly running paths and trails in the western suburbs of Chicago offer the perfect anecdote to a long winter cooped up in the house

Paved paths at Hidden Lake Trails in Downers Grove on a cold day in March. Photo by Sara Franko.

Great running paths and trails in the Chicago Western suburbs for moms with strollers.

Summer Guide 2014: Splash Parks and Spraygrounds in Chicago’s Western Suburbs | Go West Young Mom

Splash Parks and Spraygrounds in Suburban Chicago - Western, Northwestern and Southwestern Suburbs

Jessica Majchrowski - West Suburbs photo location suggestions and examples

Jessica Majchrowski - West Suburbs photo location suggestions and examples

Perfect picnic spots in the Chicago Western Suburbs.

Perfect picnic spots in the Chicago Western Suburbs.

When you need a break from the big city, you don't have to go far. These escapes—including Amish Country, Indiana; Galena, Illinois; and Lake Geneva, Wisconsin—are within a one- to three-hour drive and offer a variety of activities that will recharge your life.

25 Weekend Getaways Near Chicago

Red Arrow Country, Michigan: 110 miles east of Chicago Apple picking, winery tours and cottage-style accommodations characterize this region, perfect for a fall getaway from Chicago.

Big wows for littles.

8 nature centers that let kids breathe in spring

Go Ape, a zip line course in Western Springs (goape.com) is for age 10 and older.  http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/western-springs/news/ct-dws-zip-line-opens-tl-0630-2-20160626-story.html

Go Ape, a new treetop adventure course, has opened in Bemis Woods South near Western Springs and is part of the Forest Preserves of Cook County.

Emily Oaks Nature Center See lush greenery, hear birds chirp and maybe even spot a deer at this leafy paradise. Before you explore, stop at the visitors center for an interactive preview of what’s ahead and pick up a trail map. Kids ages six and older get a Trail Pack full of fun and educational activities to enjoy on their walk. There are plenty of picnic tables for snack breaks. 4650 Brummel St., Skokie (847-674-1500 ext. 2500 or online at www.skokieparks.org). Admission is free.

11 North Shore Spots to Flock To

Skokie's thirteen-acre savanna and nature center is an oasis full of native wildflowers, grasses, oak trees, a three-acre pond, and trails.

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