My family and I moved to Oak Park last semester and now that the weather is finally cooperating we have been able to enjoy some of what the area has to offer. My daughter has always been really into books, so we have been frequenting the Oak Park Public Library quite often. At least a couple of times a week. We noticed it when we were looking to move to the area, and were very excited that it was definitely within walking distance. It’s pretty huge. The kids section is amazing. It’s the entire first floor of the library. There are a ton of picture books and a very extensive movie collection. We have been taking advantage of both. Right now we have the first season of the Sarah Jane Adventures, a spin-off series of Doctor Who, and the Sound of Music, which my daughter calls the other Mary Poppins movie, and a stack of books ranging from Dr. Seuss to the Pigeon (if you aren’t familiar with Mo Willems’s Pigeon books, we highly recommend them).
Another great perk that we have been enjoying is the Oak Park Farmers’ Market. Have I mentioned that it is directly across the street from my apartment? It most definitely is, and much like the library, it is also amazing. Last weekend was the first offering of strawberries. I had thought that I had tasted strawberries before then, but man was I wrong. These were the best I had ever had. Ever. The market is in the parking lot of the Pilgrim’s Church and the church doesn’t want to be outdone by the market, so they offer something special. Freshly made on site donuts! The line literally wraps around the building every single Saturday from open to close. With good reason. There is something special about sitting in the grass with the kiddos while eating fresh donuts and strawberries. I’m pretty sure that is what summer is supposed to be like.
Maybe one of these days we will venture out and explore a little further away from home, but so far these trips to the library and farmers’ market have been incredible. Part of me feels a little guilty that I’ve been spending so much time with the family, but without finding a summer job (yet), I’ve been making the best of it. I haven’t had the opportunity to go to an art exhibit since the semester let out, but that’s ok, there’s still time.