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Wildflowers in Busse Woods. (Sajith T S / Flickr)

Most trails remain open in Cook County’s forest preserves, offering people a respite from home confinement during the COVID-19 pandemic, but that could change if people congregate like they did along Chicago’s lakefront. 

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In an effort to discourage people from congregating, Chicago on Thursday shut down many public spaces. (WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot shut down Chicago’s lakefront, 606 trail and Riverwalk to encourage social distancing. But will limiting access to public space reduce the demand for it? We look to other cities’ ideas.

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A scene along Chicago’s lakefront on Thursday, March 26, 2020. (WTTW News)

A day after Mayor Lori Lightfoot threatened to close off access to city parks if Chicagoans continued to flout social distancing rules, the city shut down the lakefront trail, beaches and adjoining parks, the Bloomingdale Trail and the Chicago Riverwalk.

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(Shedd Aquarium / Facebook)

Adventurous penguins, art exhibits, live concerts, and plenty of podcasts – you don’t have to go out (and risk getting sick) to have a fun-filled weekend. Here are 10 things you can do from the comfort of your own home.

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(John Liu / Flickr)

Board games and binge-worthy shows and books – you don’t have to go out (and risk getting sick) to have a fun-filled weekend. Here are 10 things you can do from the comfort of your own home.

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Sweepers follow a curling stone down a sheet of ice at the Windy City Curling Club in Villa Park, Illinois. (Evan Garcia / WTTW News)

Beijing’s Winter Games – and that singular sport, curling – won’t awe and inspire spectators for another two years. But there’s plenty of curling happening now in Chicago’s western suburbs.

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El: The Chicago Transit Adventure. (Photo: Transit Tees)

Board games are a multibillion-dollar analog unicorn in a digital world. How Chicago is catching up on the trend with hyperlocal games, a meetup group and a trio of board game bars/cafes.

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Snow sculptor George Burnette works on his sculpture “Don't Look Under the Bed” on Friday during the Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition in Rockford, Illinois. (Evan Garcia / WTTW)

Every year, artists meet about 80 miles northwest of Chicago to sculpt works of art from an unusual material. We take a look at their frozen creations at the 34th annual competition in Rockford.

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(Courtesy Friends of Big Marsh)

A grant from the state will help fund creation of the Chicago Park District’s first campground and a fully accessible 3-mile trail at Big Marsh, a natural area rising up from the waste of big steel on the city’s Southeast Side.

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Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, Japan (Daniel Peckham / Flickr)

From the Amazon to Jiuzhaigou Valley, the world’s forests are racking up hashtags. But there’s no need to travel out of Cook County in search of photogenic flora.

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Chicago’s popular 606 elevated trail. (WTTW News)

Chicago’s popular 606 trail has led to skyrocketing property values in the surrounding area. Several aldermen now say they want to hit pause on some development because it’s leading to displacement of longtime residents. But the plan has its critics.

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In this Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019 photo, neighbors Beth LeFauve, left, and Nelson Gonzalez pose for a portrait outside their two Bernard Street homes and the Halloween decorations spanning both properties in Chicago. (AP Photo / Charles Rex Arbogast)

The good news for kids this Halloween: They’ll likely come home with a bigger pile of candy than of healthy snacks while out trick-or-treating.

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Carey Pinkowski appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019.

On Sunday, the Chicago Marathon will host around 45,000 participants and an estimated 1.7 million spectators across the city. For 30 years, Carey Pinkowski has been at the helm of the massive event.

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Peak fall foliage is expected during the last week of October at the Garden of the Gods, located in the Shawnee National Forest in Herod, Illinois. (Courtesy of the Illinois Office of Tourism)

Autumn is upon us, and soon Illinois will be awash in fall foliage. Here’s your guide to when – and where – you can spot those red, orange, yellow and purple leaves during their peak throughout the Land of Lincoln.

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The South Shore Nature Sanctuary features 6 acres of dunes, wetlands, woodlands and prairies. (Alex Ruppenthal / WTTW News)

The fate of a 6-acre nature sanctuary on the city’s South Side is at the center of a debate over Tiger Woods’ $30 million plan to transform two golf courses. And it’s health is also in question. We go for a visit.

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(webandi / Pixabay)

Sure, you could go to your local grocery store and grab a gourd – but what’s the fun in that? We share a bounty of spots for plucking a pumpkin.

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