SELF Magazine’s Workout in the Park is Blowing Into The Windy City

SELF Magazine’s Workout in the Park is Blowing Into The Windy City


Raise your hand if you'll be there with me!

Raise your hand if you’ll be there with me!

Hey Windy City! SELF Magazine Workout in the Park is Back!

Forget training for a half marathon. Unless it’s a zombie and is chasing me, this girl isn’t into running for the sake of running. Nope!  But I have always wanted to participate in the SELF Magazine Workout in the Park! This year, I got my act together and am super excited to participate in what I consider one of the first true signs of spring!

Bob Harper, trainer from The Biggest Loser, is set to host the (get this!–Has it really been this long?) 21st Annual SELF Workout in the Park this weekend, May 17th from 11:00 am – 3:00pm (rain or shine!)

Workout in the Park with Bob Harper

Workout in the Park with Bob Harper

What: SELF Magazine’s iconic active lifestyle event, Workout in the Park returns to Chicago’s Grant Park. Get psyched to participate in a fun-filled day of invigorating exercise, beauty consultations, healthy treats, and fabulous freebies – all designed to inspire women to re-energize their lives and feel their very best.

What I am dying to try out: High-energy CRUNCH Fitness classes on the Main Stage, to Barre Assets, Yoga and Pilates in the Quiet Zone, to CrossFit in the Reebok Fit Zone.  After last year’s fiasco at the gym where I tried TRX for the first time and fell on my ass—I figure I’m up for anything!

Where the FUN is HAPPENING: Grant Park, Butler Field, Enter at the corner of East Monroe Street and South Columbus Drive, Chicago

WHY:  As if I need to say it:  Because it’s fun, it’s exercise and a great way to spend a Saturday in the Windy City! (Also, it’s a great place for awesome people watching!)

ANYTHING ELSE? Attendees will enjoy exclusive giveaways from SELF Magazine and event partners including CRUNCH, Garnier and Reebok as well as Athleta, Aquaçai, Bai, Ban®, Health Warrior®, Emmy’s Organics, Fitbit®, GoGo squeeZ, KIND Healthy Snacks, popchips®, Truvia® and Victoria’s Secret Sport.

So…what are you waiting for?  Tickets are only $30 for a day’s worth of health and fun.  (And hey!  A one-year SELF Magazine subscription is included with the purchase of every Workout in the Park ticket.

SELF Workout in the Park 5

Now!  Get your ticket and join the fun!  And make sure that you tweet me at @windycitymomma with #WorkoutInThePark so I know that you’re showing SELF magazine that Chicago truly is the hippest, happiest and most fit city in the USA!


Top 5 Family Friendly Chicago Neighborhoods

Top 5 Family Friendly Chicago Neighborhoods


Sweet Home Chicago!

Sweet Home Chicago!

We didn’t plan to stay in Chicago for 10 years—We expected to live there for the rest of our lives.  When we moved to the one bedroom apartment directly across from St. Mary’s of the Angels Church on Wood Street and Hermitage, in Bucktown, we knew that we had found “our ‘hood.’” We loved every aspect of living in this diverse and urban area.  But there was one aspect that we never considered:  What were we going to do when we decided to have children? Would we be able to raise a family in this area?

When you are in your mid-twenties, you don’t really think about where you are going to live when you have kids.  Just knowing where the closest Starbucks and sushi-joints are enough to convince you to move to a neighborhood.  Adam and I never thought about the quality of the local public schools or the location of the closest playground.  We didn’t even think about transportation options or kid-centric entertainment options?  Enter Lulu.

Lulu, our daughter, changed everything for us.  Loud buses and ambulances passing by on North Avenue never bothered us in the past. Now, the slightest noise, honk or siren would wake our little bundle of joy and guess what?  When she was up; so were we.

All of the sudden getting to the closest playground was a really big deal.  We had to cross two of the busiest and treacherous streets in Chicago (Ashland and North Avenue). Our urban nirvana became more like a living hell.

After spying two prostitutes “checking their voicemail” under our fire escape one Saturday morning, Adam and I started to discuss our options.  Neither one of us wanted to leave Bucktown.  But when Lulu and I were almost clipped by a taxi scurrying to get through a changing light on North Avenue, we decided that as much as we loved living in Chicago, we needed to move someplace safer, saner and family focused.  Unfortunately, that meant leaving the city.

That was eight years ago.  Not a day goes by that I don’t miss living in Chicago.  After all, I am a Windy City Momma, aren’t I?

For those of you urban dwellers facing a similar dilemma, all is not lost.  I found a great resource. The Apartment Guys have a fantastic graphic on their site that serves as a guide for Chicago residents to identify the most family friendly neighborhoods. They include such factors as transportation options, parks and recreation, safety, schooling and entertainment options.  Here’s the link:

So, did they hit the bullseye with their selections, or have the Apartment Guys missed the mark?  What Chicago neighborhood gets your vote as the most family-friendly?


Disclosure:  The Apartment Guys sponsored and compensated me for this post.  The opinions expressed in the post are entirely A Windy City Momma’s and were not influenced by the sponsor.