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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Summertime, Des Plaines style

It's officially summertime! Last week I saw an article in the Chicago Tribune, "99 Things To Do" in the stretch between Memorial Day and Labor Day. It focused on the entire Chicago metropolitan area and even a little beyond, from Homers Ice Cream in Wilmette to the Kane County Cougars out in Geneva.

Sadly, Des Plaines was not specifically mentioned, although some of the more general suggestions could occur in any suburb, such as
"See a suburban 4th of July parade. Stand when the flag goes by. Yes, every time."

But how about it, Des Plaines? Are there 99 fun, summery things to do right here in town, or within a few miles? Events, traditions, places to see and be seen? Let's see if we can make a list, and I'll even throw in an incentive: For every summertime suggestion you email to me, your name will be entered into a drawing for a $20 Panera Bread gift card. So send me your favorite summer traditions and activities here in Des Plaines, and you might end up with a free lunch.

  1. You must be 13 years of age or older to participate. Kids, if you have a suggestion, have mom or dad send it in.
  2. Send your submissions via email to:
    - Your email must include your Name, Address and tell me if you want to be notified by phone (include phone #) or email if you are a winner
  3. Send as many as you want, but we'll stop once we reach 99 suggestions.
  4. You will receive one entry to the raffle for each item suggested. Copying items already suggested and posted in the blog will not count - sorry.
  5. Deadline: Midnight, July 5, 2008.
  6. Library staff members are not eligible.
So come on, starting brainstorming and send me your ideas! I'll start out with one you don't want to miss:

1) The Des Plaines 4th of July parade! The Library has an amazing entry planned for this year's parade, so get up early and find your spot on Center Street this July 4th. It's a great all-American tradition - now let's hear some more!

And we're off!

Golf at the Des Plaines Golf Center. Play the executive nine, practice your chipping, drive at the range or just eat at the snack bar. Submitted by Paul Go.

3) Sail at Lake Opeka. Or golf at their course. Or even just take in a concert there. Submitted by Paul Go.

4) See the Barefoot Hawaiians perform at Lake Opeka on July 17th! It's always a great show- especially the firedancers! Submitted by Anita Vaughan.

5) Pack up the kids and head to Mystic Waters. It's especially great to go in the evening when it's hot. Pack your dinner and enjoy it on the patio near the pool and then go for a swim. A perfect summer evening! Submitted by Anita Vaughan.

6) Enjoy a day in the park. Des Plaines has many neighborhood parks that are family friendly. Take a look at the park district's course catalog and discover a new park to enjoy. Submitted by Anita Vaughan.

7) Drop by Pesche's and hunt for new ways to liven up your garden- herbs, perennials, tomato plants- it's all there! Submitted by Anita Vaughan.

8) Take a walk around the neighborhood..... and then treat yourself to a coffee at our new Starbuck's on Lee Street. Submitted by Anita Vaughan.

9) Try an evening class at Oakton Community College's Alliance for Lifelong Learning. Summer non-credit classes are available in many areas- everything from knitting to cake decorating to ballroom dancing. Submitted by Anita Vaughan.

Great suggestions so far - come on, I know someone else out there has an idea! Send in yours and you'll get entered into our raffle for a Panera Bread gift card.

More great suggestions!
10) Go mini golfing at Mountain View Mine at Prairie Lakes Park. Submitted by Leah Kadamian.

11) Watch the wildlife (turtles, frogs, birds and fish) in the pond at the Friendship Park Conservatory. Submitted by Leah Kadamian.

12) If you want to take a quick dip in a pool but don't want to spend a lot of money, go over to the United Methodist Campground Swimming Pool on Algonquin Road just east of River Road. It's not fancy but it is a large pool that is not usually crowded and the entrance fee is inexpensive. Submitted by Leah Kadamian.

13) Seeing live actors on stage is a wonderful way to spend a summer evening! The Prairie Lakes Theater features great stage performances geared towards the whole family. Bye Bye Birdie will be playing there in mid-July. Submitted by Leah Kadamian.

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