'Stuck' in Hinsdale over spring break

Annual feature looks at how families are enjoying a weeklong March-April staycation


Last updated 3/31/2021 at 4:13pm | View PDF

Jim Slonoff

In Robbins Park, Gavin Parry (from left), May Morris, Lucy Parry, Ben Morris and Taylor Morris enjoy an old-fashioned game of duck-duck-goose. The Parry family also planned visits to Brookfield Zoo and the Morton Arboretum this week and enjoyed time completing ropes courses and playing laser tag at The Forge in Lemont on Monday. (Jim Slonoff photos)

With District 181 schools set to resume full-time in person classes next week, the Parry family of Hinsdale is spending spring break enjoying some unscheduled fun.

Mom Kristen and her youngest two, Lucy, 5, and Gavin, 3, were at the Robbins Park playground Tuesday afternoon with some friends. Her oldest, Colin, a fourth-grader, and Owen, a second-grader - both Oak School students - were biking with friends.

"We take a lot of bike rides," Parry said. "We are at the parks. We play baseball outside a lot. We find rocks and sticks everywhere."

Spring break trips typically are an every-other-year occurrence for the family, with grandma watching Gavin while the rest of the clan traveled to the Bahamas in 2019.

"I'm actually really kind of happy to be here," Parry said.

Living in a safe community where her kids can enjoy unscheduled play time outdoors is one of the reasons the family chose Hinsdale when they relocated from Georgia three years ago.

"They have so many plans all the time, it's nice to not," Parry said.

Across the field, kids were participating in a variety of activities inside The Community House. Turnout was high for the various camps offered, said Taylor Enger, recreation supervisor.

"It's been really great. I think a lot of parents are ready to get their kids back to school and to something fun," she said, adding there were some familiar faces and some new ones. "They all seem pretty excited to be here."

Participants in the spring break camp she is overseeing this week were working on crafts such as dying paper Easter eggs, painting kindness rocks and building birds nests out of sticks.

"It's fun," she said. "Nice to be outside, too."

The Community House also offered camps for baseball, volleyball and pee wee soccer, along with open art studios.

The Community House wasn't the only busy spot in town this week. With spring break occurring the week before Easter, Pastor Katie Hines-Shah of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Hinsdale had plenty to do, even after rescheduling some commitments.

"Holy Week I always try to limit the number of regular meetings that I've got going so I can focus on the last-minute preparations for services and all the writing," she said, noting that she finished the first draft of her Easter Sunday sermon last Wednesday.

"That made me a little nervous," she admitted, adding that a pastor friend told her not to worry about needing to change the content.

"Jesus will still be raised," he assured her.

She is most excited this week about the ability to visit some parishioners she has not seen since last March.

"The nursing homes are finally allowing visitors and I am going to get to make some of my first nursing home visits since the pandemic started," she said. "People really want me to come and bring them Communion."

Hines-Shah's schedule this week also includes Zoom services for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday along with two in-person services on Sunday.

Charlotte Zhong practices her setting during the Chicago Elite Youth Volleyball Spring Break Camp Tuesday afternoon at The Community House.

"I think, based on demand, I'll have enough room for walk-ins," she said. "It's been interesting. Folks have not rushed back to church. I'm OK with that. People need time and need to do what's safe for them."

Last Easter, Redeemer offered its first recorded service in the church, which had been closed since mid-March. Hines-Shah and her family were in quarantine after being exposed to a close friend who contracted COVID-19. This year, with all adults fully vaccinated, the two families will enjoy an Easter meal together - indoors.

"Being together is going to be really fun," she said.

This Easter season has a different feel than last year's did, she observed.

"It's really exciting to see the signs of spring and the signs of hope with COVID, and we are really hopeful that we are seeing the resurrection in real time," she said. "Even so, we are going to continue to be cautious."

Author Bio

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Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean


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