Active Moms’ Club is thrilled to introduce a new guest blogger today, Mistie Lucht of Playground Pointers. Mistie is a Chicago mom of three young girls, an outdoor enthusiast and avid runner. Mistie co-created Playground Pointers – a factual, searchable iPhone/ iPad app database with details on more than 700 playgrounds, with over 3,500 photos in the Chicagoland area. Thank you Mistie for bringing playgrounds to our fingertips!
We asked Mistie to map a 2-mile run/walk for our moms to take advantage of Chicago’s spring weather and awesome playgrounds.
It’s tough to make time to exercise when you have kids. When I stopped working outside the home, my bike commute and small amount of gym time post-work day was now gone. I decided to fit it in with my kids, as you all do, and get back to running.
I started exploring different playgrounds by running to them, pushing my good old trusty double BOB stroller. Not only did my girls love seeing the city, discovering a new playground, and getting in a cat nap, I realized, much like a baseball player who warms up at bat with a weighed bat, that pushing a double stroller while I ran actually made me a better runner when I did run alone – I was stronger and lighter feeling, and that actually made me faster!
I have put together some running or walking, playground routes that you could try with your little ones. Pack toys and snacks or a lunch and make a day of it.
Oz Park @2 mile Playground Running/Walking Route:
- Begin at Oz Park and head north on Burling
- Take a left, heading west, on Belden.
- Stay on Belden until you reach Racine, and take a left, heading south
- Trebes Park and playground will be on the left. Stop there for some playtime and a water/ snack break. Bring a ball to kick or throw around on the adjacent field!
- Continue heading south on Racine until you reach Armitage. Cross Armitage and take a left, heading east.
- In 1 block, take a right, heading south, on Seminary. Adams Playground will be on your left. Stop here for more playtime and sandbox time! There is also a bathroom and picnic tables here.
- Go back north on Seminary, the way you came to Adams, then take a right on Armitage, heading east. Head east until you reach Halsted. Cross Halsted then turn left, heading north.
- When you reach Webster, turn right, heading east, until you reach Oz Playground, your final destination. Stop here for a picnic lunch and more play!
Tips for a running/walking with kids:
- Be prepared to stop – a lot! Kids, at least my kids, love to ask questions, point at things, talk and cry. Whenever I start a run or a walk, I know it won’t be my most intense workout – rather, an adventure from start to end – that requires patience, humor and a willingness to explore the city with them as we move through it. I know I am still moving my body and that’s what counts!
- Bring snacks and drinks – for you and them
- Don’t forget sunscreen – for you and them
- I also pack a variety of small toys to keep them busy as we are on the go, and at our final destination. Chalk and bubbles are small, cheap and provide hours of entertainment.
- Two additional items I am always on the move with – an old, folded sheet for impromptu picnics. It folds up small but unfolds big to fit us all. And a small, portable toilet I ordered on-line. I use any plastic shopping bag (no need to order the special bags for it) so we are never in need of finding a bathroom or leaving any fun play times behind. I only wish I could use it, too!
Mistie Lucht is a mom of three young girls and has lived in Chicago for almost 8 years. She is a former marketing and sales executive and an outdoor enthusiast and avid runner. Mistie stopped working outside of the home in May 2010 and soon after, as she explored the city with her daughters, co-created Playground Pointers. Playground Pointers is factual, searchable iPhone/ iPad app database with details on more than 700 playgrounds, with over 3,500 photos – and continually growing – in the Chicagoland area. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter: Mist@playgroundpointers