Father’s Day Gift Guide—Healthy and adventurous alternatives

June 2014 View more

Father’s Day is synonymous with indulgent backyard barbeques and cheesy gifts. This year, skip the tie, paperweight, and cheeseburgers, and go with something more exciting and healthy to celebrate the man who deserves the praise. Here are a few healthy and adventurous alternatives.

Take to the water

The Forest Preserve of DuPage County offers boat rentals on two popular area lakes—Silver Lake in Warrenville and Herrick Lake in Wheaton. Families can rent a rowboat, canoe, or kayak for $10 an hour or $50 per day. At Silver Lake, visitors can also opt for a boat with an electric motor for $15 an hour or $75 per day. The lakes are open from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and the county provides necessary lifejackets for renters. Use the self-propelled boats for some exercise, bring fishing gear, or just relax on the water.

Silver Lake, Blackwell Forest Preserve near Butterfield and Winfield Roads in Warrenville
Herrick Lake, near Herrick and Butterfield Roads in Wheaton
More info
Forest Preserve of DuPage County: 630.933.7200

Explore something new

NMAG0614_SmallFeatureiStock_000029128714Large_800pxAbout an hour from Naperville is Starved Rock State Park, one of Illinois’ most notable parks. Located along the Illinois River, this naturally beautiful area features 13 miles of scenic trails, waterfalls, canyons, and gorgeous views from the enormous bluffs located in the park. Take a day trip and head to Starved Rock with Dad for biking trails, hiking one of the park’s 18 canyons, eagle watching, trolley tours, or checking out one of the local wineries. The park is open year-round.

Route 178 and Route 71, Utica
More info

Reach new heights


Photo courtesy of Active Endeavors

Nearby rock climbing mecca Vertical Endeavors in Warrenville provides 18,000 square feet of indoor climbing bliss. The facility is located in a large gymnasium and the staff promises anyone can climb after a short orientation. Catering to beginners and seasoned climbers, Vertical Endeavors has 21 auto belays, which are devices that take up slack in the rope as the climber ascends and safely lets the climber down as they descend. Climbers should wear loose, comfortable, athletic clothing, and tight athletic shoes.

28141 Diehl Road, Warrenville, 630.836.0122
More info

Romp with Fido

YTo make sure the entire family can celebrate Dad this year, bring the kids and dog(s) to one of Naperville’s dog parks. At these fenced in, off-leash parks, your dog can run with the rest of the pack and explore the natural world safely. Bring the whole family for a long walk or picnic in nearby green space surrounding each dog park. Dogs at off-leash dog parks must have a permit. Applications for annual and daily permits are available through the Forest Preserve of DuPage County 630.933.7248.

Off-Leash Dog Park locations
•Green Valley Forest Preserve,
Greene Rd. and Hobson Rd., Naperville
•Whalon Lake Dog Park,
1480 Royce Rd., Naperville
•Springbrook Prairie Dog Park, 83rd Street,
West of Book Road
More info

Race Dad to the finish

NMAG0614_SmallFeatureiStock_000020462702Small_800pxTo enjoy a good sweat, or spark Dad’s competitive side, sign-up the family for a 5K race on Father’s Day. Many local races include a run or walk option, so no matter the fitness level, everyone can participate. Races are on Sunday, June 15.

Color Vibe 5K – Get blasted with color powder while running in this bright and fun-filled race. The race isn’t timed, it’s more about being crazy and enjoying life, according to event organizers. Kids under 7 years old are free and silly costumes are encouraged. The color powder is non-toxic and environmentally safe.

360 N. Broadway, Aurora
More info

PrairieFest 5K and 1 Mile Dog Jog – Head to Oswego for this 3.1 mile USATF certified course. All participants get a t-shirt, ribbon, and refreshments, as well as awards for the top three finishers in each age group. For those who’d rather sprint one mile, or jog with their furry companion, there’s the one Mile Prairie Dog Jog around Prairie Point.

Prairie Point Center, Oswegoland Park District,
313 E. Washington, Oswego
More info

Warrior Dash – For a more dynamic and rugged race, take on this year’s Warrior Dash in Channahon. The annual event is held on a 3 to 4-mile rugged course filled with 12 extreme obstacles. Mud Mounds, Hell’s Hills, and Storming Normandy are just a few examples of the obstacle names. The fun and challenging event is followed by a post-party race packed with turkey legs, beer steins, and music.

Dollinger Family Farm, 7502 E. Hansel, Channahon
More info


Healthy Father’s Day barbeque alternatives

Adobo-Marinated Pork Tenderloin *with Grilled-Pineapple Salsa
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 3 ounces pork and 1/3 cup salsa)
Recipe from Cooking Light: www.myrecipes.com

1 cup fresh lime juice (about 8 limes)
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 garlic cloves, crushed
2 pounds pork tenderloin
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
Cooking spray
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions

Combine first six ingredients in a 2-quart baking dish. Trim fat from pork. Place pork in dish, turning to coat. Cover and marinate in refrigerator one hour, turning pork occasionally. Prepare grill. Remove pork from dish and discard marinade. Brush with oil. Insert a meat thermometer into thickest portion of pork. Place on a grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill 25 minutes or until thermometer registers 160° (slightly pink). Cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Sprinkle with cilantro and green onions. Serve with Grilled-Pineapple Salsa.

*Grilled-Pineapple Salsa
Recipe from Cooking Light
5 (1-inch) slices fresh pineapple (about 4 1/2 pounds)
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper          
Cooking spray
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons minced crystallized ginger        
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
1 drained canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced

Preheat grill. Place first three ingredients on a grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill 3 minutes on each side. Discard stems and seeds from bell peppers. Dice pineapple and bell peppers. Combine pineapple, bell pepper, onion, and remaining ingredients. Toss gently.

Light and Fresh Potato Salad
Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 3/4 cup)
Recipe from Cooking Light: www.myrecipes.com

1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper                

5 cups cubed red potato (about 2 pounds)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped peeled cucumber
3/4 cup sliced grape or cherry tomatoes
3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped orange bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 (2 1/4-ounce) can sliced ripe olives, drained                

To prepare dressing, combine first four ingredients in a large bowl. Stir with a whisk. To prepare salad, place potato and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan. Cover with water to 2 inches above potato, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes or until tender. Drain. Add potato to dressing in bowl, tossing gently to coat. Let stand 15 minutes. Stir in cucumber and remaining ingredients, toss well. Cover and chill.