The Oswegoland Park District maintains more than 40 miles of trails in Oswego that connect up and down the river and throughout the Fox Valley. Saw Wee Kee Park is a hidden gem for mountain bikers, who can gear up at the indie Oswego Cyclery. For a more relaxed ride, consider renting a Segway just next door at Oswego Extreme for a coast along the Fox River Trail, more than 40 miles hugging picturesque views of the Fox River from Oswego north to Algonquin.
The bare branches in January through March make for the best time to spot bald eagles and other native birds nesting along the river. Or join the eagles in fishing the Fox, which contains a diverse array of sport fish including bass, walleye and muskie.
Bring your boat and kayak or canoe down the Fox with parking and easy put-ins at Violet Patch and Saw Wee Kee Parks. Or start further upstream and plan to disembark at Hudson Crossing Park in the heart of Downtown Oswego, where you can cool off with a drink from the Tap House Grill or Oswego Brewing Company, opening spring 2018.
More than 40 parks offer playgrounds and green spaces to run and explore. Get wet at the splash pad at Prairie Point, where the older kids can also skateboard, or stick close to downtown and explore the river banks at Hudson Crossing Park.
Rainy days? Let ‘em bounce off the walls at Bounce Town or play black-light indoor mini golf and all-you-can-play video games at Fore! Family Fun, where you can also dine in outer space. Older kids will appreciate the lunchtime variety of Firehouse Pizza, which includes a beer garden out back for the adults.
In late summer through fall, stop in at Keller’s Farmstand for produce, a cornstalk maze, apple picking and a pumpkin patch. And save the dates for a variety of kid-friendly events, from Main Street festivals to Movies in the Park, held throughout the summer months in downtown Oswego. Most are free.
Start your day with conversation over hand-crafted coffee, savory snacks and treats at The Village Grind in a cozy downtown Oswego setting.
Shop for unique finds at the charming and hip Hudson Design House, Stonehouse Market, Aroma Roots and Velvet Grace . Or get crafty and build it yourself with make-and-take furniture classes at A Lady and Her Tools, painting and pottery classes at Studio 60, and wood sign workshops at Board & Brush. Or peruse a variety of vintage, handmade and farmer’s fresh-air markets throughout the summer.