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Seidel: Escape in your own backyard

The Butterfly House at Peck Farm Park in Geneva offers fun for families.
The Butterfly House at Peck Farm Park in Geneva offers fun for families.

Ever find yourself thinking, “I need a vacation from my vacation ... .”

Between wrangling up children, packing suitcases and dodging crowds, summer getaways have become stressful.

The Wall Street Journal finds, “Airport crowds are expected to be the largest in the U.S. since 2008.”

In general, large crowds and hot-weather thunderstorms disrupt flight schedules causing summertime flights to run later.

According to AAA, gas prices in Illinois are on a hot streak with the highest averages in the continental U.S.

As of earlier this month, the average price of gasoline in the Chicago metro area was about $4.41 per gallon.

So, why endure the expensive miseries of travel when there is so much to do in your own backyard?

Movies in the Park – Catch a free, outdoor Movie in the Park. On July 11, enjoy “The Sandlot” at Eagle Brook Park, and Aug. 8, see “Wreck-It Ralph” at  Moore Park. Both screenings begin at 8:30 p.m.

Concerts in the Park – This summer’s Concerts in the Park series is back at Island  Park on Wednesdays in July.

Concerts in the Park will feature Mr. Myers on July 10, White Saddle Band on July 17, Dueling Pianos on July 24 and Spoken Four on July 31. All concerts begin at 7 p.m. 

Stone Creek Mini Golf – This Friday and Saturday, enjoy Twilight Golf Nights at Stone Creek Mini Golf from 9 p.m. to midnight.

In celebration of our 25th anniversary, enjoy 25 percent off admission on the 25th of each month through August, or two-for-one admission every Tuesday.

Peck Farm Park – Peck Farm Park boasts an entire day of free, family-fun activities. Pack a picnic before hiking around Peck Lake, biking along trails or cooling down inside the historical Peck House.

Donate a few dollars to see live butterflies in the Butterfly House.

Plus, enjoy free concerts at Peck the last Sundays of June and August from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Sunset Pool – Splash into fun at Sunset Pool. Chill out with poolside screenings of “SpongeBob SquarePants” on June 27, “Brave” on July 25 and “Hotel Translyvania” on Aug. 15 at Flick n’ Float Nights.

Or get some alone time while your teens enjoy exclusive access to the pool during Teen Nights on June 26, July 12 and Aug. 1.

Finally, be transported to a Hawaiian paradise at our Midsummer Luau with authentic Hawaiian entertainment and dinner from 6 to 9 p.m. July 19.

Plan ahead to make the most of your stay-cation. Finish off any chores or housework so you won’t be tempted once your time off begins.

Follow a set of rules-to-break routine and mimic a traditional vacation. For example, ignore pesky work emails and turn off cellphones.

Document your stay-cation with photos and souvenirs.

If you’re especially proud of any photographs, send them to for use in our seasonal brochures and other marketing materials.

For information on ways to enjoy summer in your own backyard, call the Geneva Park District at 630-232-4542 or visit

• Natalie Seidel is the marketing coordinator for the Geneva Park District and can be reached at 630-232-4542. Email her at

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