Included in Money Magazine's Best Places to Live in 2008, Orland Park, Illinois, is filled with things to do. Orland Park's natural resources and strong recreation department mean that the challenge will be choosing which activities to do with a toddler, not finding activities to do with a toddler.
1. Centennial Park Aquatic Center
Toddlers, not to mention every other member of the family, will find lots to do at Orland Park's Centennial Aquatic Center (orland-park.il.us/index.aspx?nid=114). The complex, also known as CPAC, boasts a lazy river, several water slides and a zero-depth pool for young children. It also has parent and tot swim classes where parents help their toddlers learn to swim. Unfortunately, being an outdoor pool complex in the Chicago area means that CPAC is only open for three months out of the year.
2. Orland Park Recreation Department
The Orland Park Recreation Department (orland-park.il.us/index.aspx?NID=31) has plenty of indoor options. The Sportsplex has family open gym times Saturday and Sunday mornings, where toddlers and parents can practice ball skills. The Cultural Center has Mommy and Me dance classes, where moms and toddlers can learn pre-ballet and jazz together. The Franklin Loebe center has an indoor playground where toddlers and parents can play no matter what the weather is like outside.
If your toddler's favorite activity is to play outside, Orland Park has more than 40 parks (il-orlandpark.civicplus.com/index.aspx?NID=548). Lake Sedgwick and Lake Arbor have hiking trails that a budding naturalist will enjoy. Crystal Creek Park features a large playground with two areas for smaller children. Other parks with playgrounds include Deer Point Estates Park, Dogwood Park, Doogan Park, Ishnala Park, Long Run Creek Park and Treetop Park. Walking and biking trails surround and connect many of the parks, so parents can get their exercise, too.
4. Orland Park Public Library
The Orland Park Public Library (orlandparklibrary.org) is worth a weekly visit. Not only can toddlers learn the joy of picking out new books each week, they can participate in a toddler-only story time. This age-appropriate story time gives toddlers plenty of opportunities to get up and move as well as to sing, listen to stories and learn fingerplays. The library even has a story time at the Centennial Park Aquatic Center during the summer and at parks throughout Orland Park throughout the spring.
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