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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

It's 90 degrees - summer has arrived!

...with a vengeance! Of course, your public library is a great place to keep cool on these sultry days. Last summer, we asked you, our PlainTalk readers, to tell us about other great summer activities in the Des Plaines area. I'm going to list those suggestions below and ask the question again: what would you add to this list?

Got a favorite DP summertime experience you want to share with other residents?

Send me an email at and just like last summer, you'll be entered into a drawing for a $20 Panera Bread gift card.
  1. The contest is open to DPPL cardholders only - so please include your name, phone number and card number in your email.
  2. You must be 13 years of age or older to enter - so kids, if you have a suggestion, ask mom or dad to email it to me.
  3. Send as many ideas as you want. You will receive one entry for the drawing for each suggestion - however, you cannot enter any of the ideas from last year's contest, listed below. You'll have to be creative, because last year's ideas were great. Since there is only so much you can do in town, feel free to include the wider Chicago suburban area.
  4. Deadline: Midnight on July 3, 2009.
  5. Library staff members are not eligible.
Here are last year's summertime fun suggestions - use them for inspiration and send me your ideas today. Good luck in the contest!

1) The Des Plaines 4th of July parade! Get up early and find your spot on Center Street this July 4th. It's a great all-American tradition. NOTE: despite rumors to the contrary, there will be a 4th of July parade this year. Don't miss it!

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 15th! 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.

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. Looks like Peter Pan will begin there on July 24. Submitted by Leah Kadamian.

14) The Des Plaines History Center (781 Pearson St.) is a great place to take children on a rainy summer afternoon. They offer unique craft projects like candle dipping and presidential button making. You can even make your own lava light! It is best to call before you go (847-391-5399), so you can get a schedule of the projects featured each month. Submitted by Leah Kadamian. Here's a hint for another suggestion (ahem) - there's another place in town that's a GREAT PLACE for free summer activities for kids and adults.

15) If you have young children who are just learning to roller skate or ride a bike you can take them to the bicycle path that runs along Beau Park (under the ComEd power lines). There is safe and easy access to the path at Leahy Circle East. And, since the pavement is in good condition, it is perfect path for those just learning to skate or ride. There is the added benefit of a very nice playground just west of Beau Drive. However you should bring your own water bottles since there are no water fountains along the way. Submitted by Leah Kadamian.

16) Lissette Branick suggested a number of fun, no-fuss activities families can do together, like bike riding, fishing, swimming, and just spending quality time together.

17) She also suggested taking your dog for a walk - we saw lots of furry friends at the 4th of July parade on Friday morning, and Lissette's family has a puppy named Pebbles. Suggested by Lissette Branick.

18) Building a bonfire and having a cookout are two ways to have fun right in your own backyard. Suggested by Lissette Branick.

19) Go to the park with friends. Catch fireflies! Suggested by Lissette Branick.

20) Why not visit the Library? You can get books and enjoy some time reading and also borrow movies that the whole family can enjoy. Suggested by Lissette Branick.

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