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When you just have to get out of the house and don‘t want to go shopping, here are a few winter ideas for our local area:

1. Bundle Up to Take a Winter Walk and Check Out the New Red Gate Pedestrian Bridge.  The freezing river and snow-filled landscape is beautiful from the new pedestrian bridge.  It looks so remote from the bridge, that it is easy to forget that you are smack dab in the middle of civilization.  Perhaps you will even see some Alpacas out on the Northwest side at the famous breeding farm (Legacy Criations.)

To get here, from downtown Saint Charles, go north on 31, past North high school and Red Gate Road and turn right into the parking lot of Fox River Bluff West park.

You can bring your dog, too as this is an off leash park. If you walk towards the back right, there is a long ramp leading down to the pedestrian bridge (dogs are required on leash on ramp and bridge.)   http://www.kaneforest.com/ForestPreserveView.aspx?ID=21

2. Winter Walk at LeRoy Oakes then Head Indoors to Creek Bend Nature Center.  I love LeRoy Oakes and think they did such a great job renovating this area.  The Nature Center with its private rental areas and lodge fireplaces seems so warm and comfy,  Behind the center, a large expansive lawn leads down to Ferson Creek.  It reminds me of my rich relations in the North Country.  Okay, I don’t have any rich relations, but if I did, I am sure they would have a Get Away like this.

Enter from Dean Street west of Randall Road, park by the Nature Center and take the short walk down to the Creek.  Then head back up to the Nature Center (open at 10am on weekdays.)  Inside, they have relocated the Interactive River Display from Tekakwitha Woods.  In addition to this super cool display of a river environment, they have bisons, puzzles, fossils and tons of other activities to keep children interested.  See here for directions or more information.  http://kaneforest.com/natureCenter.aspx

3. A Hot Cup of Coffee and a Chocolate Chip Cookie at Chef Roby’s Chocolate Kitchen in Downtown Geneva.  Everything in Chef Roby’s is ‘too-die’ for.  Okay, it is probably too cold for the Gelato, but the desserts are incredible.  Your children will love the chocolate chip cookies.  The coffee is incredible, and the wait staff are so friendly and attentive.  The French café music and exquisite sugar displays complete the atmosphere – something for all of your senses!  A walk through beautiful downtown Geneva ending up here is always high on my list. http://allchocolatekitchen.com/

4. Support Mooseheart by taking a drive through their 90 plus holiday light displaySince 1913, Moosheart has been giving unfortunate kids in need a better start at life.  100% of the proceeds from this holiday light display go to the kids.  It is open 5-9pm nightly through December 31st, $10 per car,  and there is a $2 coupon on their website http://www.mooseheart.org/ .   Santa will be there the 20th through the 23rd, and his visit is included in the entrance fee.

How about you?  Any other ideas for getting out of the house and enjoying the beautiful winter weather in our Fox Valley area?  Please comment.

And don’t forget to put your name on the left to get on the e-mail list in order to receive more ideas on places to go   and things to see and do in the area. 

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