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Lyn Edwards of Bloomington, left, holds her granddaughter, Mae Durbin, 2, as Maggie Durbin holds her son Wally Durbin, 4, during a visit to Miller Park Zoo on Thursday.

BLOOMINGTON — Here are ideas for fun, free or affordable family activities for the last week of summer vacation, as suggested by Denise Balagna with City of Bloomington Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts; Doug Damery with Town of Normal Parks & Rec; Erin Kennedy with OSF HealthCare St. Joseph Medical Center; and Molly Smeltzer with Advocate BroMenn Health & Fitness Center:

  • Go to Miller Park in Bloomington and spend time at the zoo, take a paddleboat ride, play miniature golf, cool off at the spray park or play ball at the ball field.
  • Visit Children's Discovery Museum in Normal.
  • Shoot hoops at your favorite park or in your driveway.
  • Fish at White Oak Park or another park that offers fishing and then go for a relaxing stroll.
  • Take a nature hike at Hidden Creek Nature Sanctuary in Normal or the Ewing parks in Bloomington.
  • Check out a park in Normal or Bloomington that you've never been to before and take advantage of the playground equipment, pool or spray pad. Explore a part of Constitution Trail that you've never visited.
  • Play catch, wiffle ball or hopscotch.
  • Fly a kite, watch birds or pick out cloud shapes in the sky.
  • Play disc golf at Maxwell Park in Normal or PJ Irvin or Forrest parks in Bloomington.
  • Set up your own family field day with races, an obstacle course, relays, Capture the Flag, tag or hide and seek.
  • Create a scavenger hunt.
  • Toss water balloons.
  • Play charades, Twister or dance inside.
  • Pack the kids, discs, balls and a picnic dinner and head over to Harvest Moon Drive-in in Gibson City. Enjoy playing, eating and watching a movie together.
  • Head over to The Corn Crib in Normal for a Cornbelters game. When the kids get antsy, there are safe places to walk around and play.
  • Go to Pepsi Ice Center in Bloomington and relearn the joy of ice skating.

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Contact Paul Swiech at (309) 820-3275. Follow him on Twitter: @pg_swiech


Health Reporter

Health reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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