The Forest Preserves – a Hidden Gem and a Great Place for Parenting Time and Vacations

Parenting time ideas can sometimes be scarce, costly and daunting. Luckily, if you live in the Chicagoland area, there are numerous free events you can partake in with your children, simply search for the events at your local library, city or village hall, township, and forest preserve websites!

I was surprised that the forest preserve offered events and activities for families and children, but I learned so much about what the forest preserve has to offer during a weekend retreat at Camp Sullivan in Oak Forest Illinois through Commissioner Donna Miller’s office. Donna Miller is the Cook County Commissioner for the 6th District. Kiswani Law’s main office in South Holland Illinois, is located in the 6th District and I was lucky enough to be invited to the retreat and learn about what our forest preserves have to offer to local families.

All attendees camped the weekend in a cabin that had fully working bathrooms and showers (yes, I was surprised that the cabins had that feature!) and a fully functioning kitchen. During the retreat the forest preserve offered a guided hike, where the attendees were able to see the trails of the preserve, varying birds, animals and beautiful sightseeing of nature. We were able to make our own bon fire and attempted to make the perfect s’mores just outside our cabin. In the morning we enjoyed “sunrise yoga” which was not only relaxing but a relief to not be stuck to technology and just focus on the present and the nature around us.

While there, I did see a small precious family in a cabin next door. It was refreshing to see children actually play outside and not have a computer, pad, or phone stuck to their faces or their sides. It was nice to see the interaction between the parents and the children. The forest preserver surely is a great place to bond, foster a relationship and simply get away from the day to day distractions.

Parenting time doesn’t have to be expensive. Parenting time should be special, whether it’s in its teaching moments, memorable moments, exciting moments or even in its most boring moments! An option for parenting time, and a way to disconnect from the hecticness of the world, can be through a simple walk and hike, it can be through a bon fire, an overnight in a cabin, it can be through bird watching or simply finding peace and quiet to speak with your kids.

I had a blast during the retreat and do think that the forest preserves have so much to offer, and that they are in fact a hidden gem in our backyard. For more information about free events, activities and cabin information, check out the forest preserve’s website at:

If you are fighting and wanting more time with your kids, let Kiswani Law advocate for you. Call our office at 708-210-9247.