In the heart of River North, a three-acre patch of grass sprawls
between the modern high-rise condo buildings. Nestled right up to
the Chicago River, this land has become the epicenter of the
neighborhood and the saving grace to parents and caregivers.
A. Montgomery Ward Park, or Erie
Park #511, is the go-to destination when your toddler has just
about had it with running around your two-bedroom condo.
When we first moved to the
neighborhood five years ago, this part of town was a big patch of
dirt. Now it is a modern green space with a river walk, dog park
and state-of-the-art playground.
The playground opened last spring
and was a much-needed addition. River North is filled with young
families like us, who haven't made the move to larger city homes or
suburbia and are grateful for the outdoor space the park
The 6,900-square foot playground has
two gated entrances from within the park, a rubberized "land form"
surface (so much better than wood chips), a huge fountain/sprinkler
perfect for splashing around in on hot summer days and swings,
slides and other fun equipment.
As soon as Mia was old enough to sit
in a swing, we happily took jaunts to the park for some fresh air
and a change of scenery. Now that she is a running, sliding,
climbing 18 month old, the park is a daily occurrence in our
On a nice sunny day the park is
always busy, but when five o'clock rolls around and parents come
home from work the park is especially hopping. We like to call this
the River North "kiddie happy hour."
Amy and Aaron Galvin live together, run a business together and raise their daughter, Mia, together in River North. Amy also blogs at secondcitymommy.com.
See more of Amy and Aaron's stories here.
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