I was walking through North Riverside mall this week and I looked carefully around me. 

I saw two men with crutches walking. I saw a mom with her daughter walking with her grandbaby in a stroller. I saw the little kids’ rides, the expanded safari animal park with benches around for adults to rest a little, watching their children play. 

There was the children’s train with the attendant blowing the whistle and waving to the riders. I saw the turnstile of rides for bigger kids and the old-fashioned grab-a-toy, a photo booth, a Starbucks with free internet, the glass elevator. There were signs along the wall for $5 movies on Tuesdays at Classic Cinema, Kids Club for ages 3-12. Mall walkers paired with MacNeal Hospital lectures, and I know the $1, 10 a.m. movies come in the summer.

Then there were the stores — Old Navy, Carson’s, Penney’s, Claire’s with the popcorn picture poster, Bath and Body Works with the wonderful fragrances, the sneaker stores, Diane’s pretzels and Cinnebon, etc., with people looking at everything and being inspired to buy something of what they saw. There was Five Below with the disabled classes coming to browse and me going in to buy. 

I hope and pray that many discover the beauty, the family atmosphere, the diversity and the children having fun. Even the food court with the new crispy chicken place and the older men who meet there in the mornings is my favorite place to go many times a week. North Riverside Park Mallis a really nice destination for all ages. 

Carol Spale

North Riverside

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