Going to the Dog Park is a great way to Play in Nature! I have heard it said more than once that the kids have as much fun at the Dog Park as the dogs! The reason for this is that frequently the dog parks are left less manicured. That is certainly the case at the Hammel-Woods Dog Park on Black Road in Joliet, Illinois. There is a seasonal wetland, a cool bridge to walk and run over as well as hang over and look at the tracks in the mud and an interesting island of trees with paths running through it.
I am sure these paths were originally made by the dogs but they are now kid-sized and perfect for kids to play in. Another reason this park is so wonderful is that it is fenced. Parents can sit on a bench or under one of the pavilions, let their kids and dogs run free and visit with their friends.
There is great exploring to be done here with the extremely high prairie grass to hide in and the groves of trees with the trails. There are trees to sit under, sticks to throw and mud, ice and snow to dig in year round. Check out the dog parks in your area to see if they might be the perfect magical space to spend a long summer afternoon.