Walking in Hinsdale

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More than a decade ago, K9 Fit Club founder Tricia Montgomery admitted it to herself: She and her dog were both overweight. They set out to lose weight together, and after dropping more than 130 pounds, Montgomery created K9 Fit Club to share her success with others. The curriculum is focused on joint dog-and-owner workouts—the core classes include games of fetch, obstacle courses, and cardio exercises, and others cover tai chi and dancing. The success of Montgomery's program has captured the attention of The Biggest Loser producer David Broome, who will bring Montgomery's program to reality TV in 2014.

33 S Garfield
Hinsdale,
IL
US

Each season, more than 222,000 plants change color at The Morton Arboretum—an internationally recognized outdoor tree museum located 25 miles west of Chicago in Lisle, Ill. However, key to this arboretum's success is allowing its 4,300 taxa from around the world to bloom in environments conducive to their natural growth. With plants originating from 40 countries in the northern hemisphere, a trip through 1,700 acres is like a trip across America, China, and Europe. Throughout the year, scores of tree-focused events, activities, and services for adults, children, and professionals keep nature enthusiasts engaged and educated. In addition to 16 miles of walking trails and nine miles of roads, guests can also seek new info at the Visitor's Center, relax for a bite to eat at the Ginkgo Restaurant and Café, take the little ones to the four-acre Children’s Garden, get lost in the one-acre maze, or walk around the paved trail at Meadow Lake.

4100 Rte. 53
Lisle,
IL
US

In 1997 PAWS Chicago set out to end the unnecessary killing of thousands of homeless cats and dogs in the city, establishing a No-Kill shelter and organizing public-awareness campaigns. More than 30,000 adoptions later, staff members still visit Chicago Animal Care and Control every day to take as many pets into their care as they have room for, providing necessary medical attention as well as spaying and neutering services. The Lurie Spay and Neuter Clinic and GusMobile spay and neuter van serve the pets of low-income families and tackle the problem of animal overpopulation in city neighborhoods, by reducing the number of unwanted cats and dogs being born and ending up in shelters. In 2013, through the Adoption and Humane Center in Lincoln Park, PAWS Chicago adopted more than 5,872 dogs and cats. The center maintains a state-of-the-art cage-free facility to ensure pets live in comfort and dignity until they can be matched with an adoptive family.

1997 N Clybourn Ave
Chicago,
IL
US

As night falls, participants in the noncompetitive Rave Run pull on neon T-shirts, don glow-in-the dark glasses, and stuff their pockets with glow sticks. Spectators look on as the throng of illuminated runners, which includes kids and adults, make their way through a 5-kilometer course that winds through city streets.

The event culminates with an after party, where a DJ spin tunes and powerful lasers cast out beams that illuminate wide smiles and the secret locations of any lost arks in the vicinity. Fog machines and CO2 jets help create a high-adrenaline atmosphere as attendees dance with their glow-in-the-dark compatriots. All the fun is for a good cause; The Rave Run partners with a local charity in each participating city.

2430 N Cannon Dr
Chicago,
IL
US

The Geneva Park District encompasses 50 parks and 3,000 annual programs over its 700 acres. Stone Creek, a river-themed mini-golf course with a windmill, water wheel, creek with real running water, and a wishing well offer playful variations on the sport of kings, and is great for groups, parties, or picnics.

710 Western Avenue
Geneva,
IL
US

Red Towers Entertainment hosts events suitable for all adventure run enthusiasts. In fact, events actually breathes new life into the community, since its proceeds go straight local charities. Food and beverages are served at the finish-line party, where local bands will perform.

74 Park Drive
Glenview,
IL
US