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Impromptu Family Outing to See the Butterfly Release

If we don't make time for ourselves and our families, who will? All our impromptu trip to the Butterfly Release at the Nature Museum in Chicago. It's a perfect stop for any family during a visit to Chicago.

If you don’t make time for yourself, who will? Probably no one.

A few weeks ago, staring at a long list of work projects to complete and a never-ending inbox, I turned off my computer, picked up my boys early from daycare, and took them to the Peggy Norbert Nature Museum.

If we don't make time for ourselves and our families, who will? All our impromptu trip to the Butterfly Release at the Nature Museum in Chicago. It's a perfect stop for any family during a visit to Chicago. two boys throwing rocks into a pond

I’ve been wanting to visit this nature gem in the middle of bustling Chicago for years, particularly to see the storied Butterfly Release that happens each afternoon.

A few years ago, I took a photography class from a grumpy and quirky but exceptionally talented photographer who raved about the beauty and serenity of the butterfly exhibit at the museum. With his grouchy but passionate recommendation lingering in my head for so long, I surely had to check it out. For years, it sat on my Chicago bucket list without attention.

But now, summer arrived and I was running out of time.

umbrellas hanging from the ceiling at the Nature Museum If we don't make time for ourselves and our families, who will? All our impromptu trip to the Butterfly Release at the Nature Museum in Chicago. It's a perfect stop for any family during a visit to Chicago.

Soon, we would move to Philadelphia (which we did last week). I could certainly come back to visit the museum, but it wouldn’t be the spontaneous respite from the urban jungle we call home.

When I surprised my boys with an early, Friday afternoon pick up, they were ecstatic. Those smiles and hugs alone may have been worth ignoring work for an afternoon.

We hopped in the car, drove 15 minutes to the museum, and enjoyed exceptionally quiet exhibits almost entirely to ourselves.

After eating, the boys played in the water exhibit for an hour. We explored the tanks of small amphibians. We fell in love with the warm and bright butterfly hall, watching a couple dozen butterflies fly for the first time after emerging from their cocoons. And the boys absorbed everything, and loved a simple afternoon together without any agenda. It was so great.

large butterfly sitting on a rock turtle up close and looking at you If we don't make time for ourselves and our families, who will? All our impromptu trip to the Butterfly Release at the Nature Museum in Chicago. It's a perfect stop for any family during a visit to Chicago.

Why don’t we make more time for these dates? I suppose I can’t speak for everyone, but why do I always let work take priority. In the midst of meeting a big deadline, I know I couldn’t just get up and walk away. But is the project always that pressing? So often, we default to feeling busy. But maybe we’re only as busy as we allow ourselves to be? Maybe we can make more time or push something off or say no to one extra project in exchange for an adventurous afternoon with our little ones?

Our kiddos are growing and changing and time with them is limited. They’ll be all grown up before I know it. Now’s the time to go on “dates” with my boys, right?

While I’m out exploring with my boys, I’m confident my work projects aren’t going anywhere…

striped maxi dress in summer style

Dress – Three Dots (thrifted via Salvation Army)

Everlane bag sitting on rocks If we don't make time for ourselves and our families, who will? All our impromptu trip to the Butterfly Release at the Nature Museum in Chicago. It's a perfect stop for any family during a visit to Chicago.If we don't make time for ourselves and our families, who will? All our impromptu trip to the Butterfly Release at the Nature Museum in Chicago. It's a perfect stop for any family during a visit to Chicago.

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