Think, Know, Prove–Winter Break Bucket List

Think, Know, Prove is a regular Saturday feature, where a topic with both mystery and importance is posted for community discussion. The title is a shortened version of the Investigative Mantra: What do we think, what do we know, what can we prove? and everything from wild speculation to resource referencing fact is welcome here.

For 18 weeks, I gradually build up a list of things that I put off “until the break”–books, movies, home improvement projects, laundry, points of personal hygiene, culinary experimentation, sundry debaucheries, and particularly persistent plans for vengeance (to be served cold!). And then there are the things that I look forward to doing every Winter break–sledding with the kids, seeing some music, going for a winter hike.

In short, sometime soon after I turn in my final grades, I make a big ol’ list that both excites and utterly overwhelms me and that I NEVER come close to completing. Still, I’m always interested in adding new great things to the list.

I have a suggestion for yours–get up to the North Park Nature Center (on Pulaski, just north of Bryn Mawr). Drive back to the Nature Center and take a winter stroll through the woods, preferably while it is snowing or just after, where you’re likely to see deer, the occasional fox or racoon, birds, and nature’s winter beauty. Bring a thermos of coffee or hot chocolate, put on some long johns and plan to sit for a while on some bench or tree stump along the way. I find it to be soothing in ways that I can’t describe.

A nice alternative, maybe even superior choice, is to do the same thing out on Northerly Island. Free parking, beautiful views, and the amazing experience of being isolated in nature IN the city.

And so, what about you? What is on your list? What should be on mine?

What do you think? What do you know? What can you prove?

4 thoughts on “Think, Know, Prove–Winter Break Bucket List

  1. Aside from fulfilling the prophecy of my lounge-de-plume, I will be visiting both the sites you mention, philo. Those are great places to burn off energy of my little ones. “The Grove” at 1421 Milwaukee Ave in Glenview ( is another place like the nature center, but bigger and more facilities. It’s on the same Milwaukee Avenue that runs NW out of the city, so it’s a pretty simple trip. Easy to pass though – the sign is nondescript in this day and age – right before you pass under 294.

    The Morton Arboretum rocks (, but it’s farther and costs… But what a day you can have there. You can rent snowshoes for a few dollars, drive off to a corner of the park and hike into an open field, if you like. If you can get some free passes or borrow someone membership card, it’s perfect.

  2. Cross-country skiing at Arrowhead Golf Club in Wheaton: When there’s a 6-inch snow base they groom the course for both classic and skating X-C. The golf course trails also connect to the trails at nearby Herrick Lake Forest Preserve. If you’re looking for some advanced X-C skiing terrain, check out Lapham Peak in Delafield, WI: and

    • Kettle Morraine South State Park in Wisconsin switches many of their hiking trails to X-country skiing only in the winter. Beautiful terrain with a range of difficulties well marked.

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