Freeport Bound

This past Saturday, we picked up the BBs and drove to Freeport for the day. The drive from DeKalb to Freeport is quite the haul, over an hour, but stopping halfway to get the grands breaks it up nicely. Until my foray into the northern Illinois area writers arena, my only association with Freeport was–c’mon fellow classmates and West High Warriors, I want you to say it with me, “FREEPORT PRETZELS, CRUSH ‘EM!” It’s been a while since my competitive high school days, and in that time, I have come to know more about the city of Freeport and it’s fantastic residents and offerings.

Our number one goal was to visit the Children’s Hands-On Museum (CHOM), which is only open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday 10 am to 2 pm. But, Mrs. Mike’s Potato Chips is also only open until 2 pm on Saturdays. With priority and expediency, we stopped by Mrs. Mike’s first to purchase caramel corn, cheese corn, pretzels, and of course, a couple of bags of Mrs. Mike’s chips. (These are what Mrs. Fisher’s used to be. So good. Worth the drive, Rockford peeps.)

Then we went to the Children’s Museum. It’s in the Lincoln Mall, which they are redeveloping nicely with a stamp and craft store (oh my!), a used Book Nook, as well as a couple of clothing boutiques, a salon, a portrait studio, a bargain store, and more. The CHOM is a smaller version of the Rockford Discovery Center Museum. There are educational and thematic stations throughout (it’s bigger than a first impression may imply). Our boys played, explored, and had a great time. Their favorites were the flight simulator, the magna-tiles, STEM room (dinosaurs!) and sensory room. We will definitely go back and visit again.

After CHOM, we hit up the KFC-Long John Silver drive thru for our picnic lunch fixings. Then we drove to Krape Park, one of the city’s, area‘s, Northern Illinois’, STATE’s greatest parks. Honestly, such a fantastic destination. Krape Park is beautiful. In addition to the plentiful picnic tables provided for our outdoor dining, the sprawling multi-use grounds offer a carousel, disc golf, hiking trails, a waterfall, mini-putt, tennis courts, pedal boats, and several playgrounds for kids of all ages. And grandpas, too. The boys tried each of the playgrounds, made a bunch of friends, and had a lot of fun. We will definitely bring them there again, as well.

We bribed them away from the playgrounds with the promise of ice cream–at another Freeport staple–Union Dairy! Union Dairy is near the Freeport library, a lovely location where I have met for meetings, participated in author fairs, and offered advice on self-publishing. This day, it was down the street from the Pretzel City Brewfest with food trucks, beer trucks, and live music. Under kid-less circumstances, we would have totally checked that out. Instead, we went to the old-fashioned Union Dairy counter and ordered generous scoops of delicious ice cream.

One last stop before delivering the kids home was Curran’s Orchard, but they’re located in Rockford, so doesn’t really count for today’s post. (Sidenote: best caramel apples I’ve tasted this season!)

Our day trip to Freeport with our grandsons was a huge success. Whether the places mentioned are new to you, or old favorites, I hope you’ll check out Mrs. Mike’s, CHOM, Krape Park, and Union Dairy sometime soon.

About Mary Fran Says

I am an artist, crafter, designer and writer. I enjoy working with mixed media-- applying visual and tactile manipulations to telling a story. Not a lot of market for that, though, :), so I'm focusing on short story submissions and novel completions. Yes, plural. Lots of beginnings, too many ideas, not enough focus.
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2 Responses to Freeport Bound

  1. sharon says:

    I hope you shared the history of the Lincoln Douglas debate site between the library and the Union Dairy, too. And put Little Cubs Field at Read Park on your agenda for next time.

  2. sharon says:

    I hope you shared the history of the Lincoln Douglas debate site between the library and the Union Dairy, too. And put Little Cubs Field at Read Park on your agenda for next time.

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