Known as the "Mexico of the Midwest," the community of Little Village host the Mexican Independence Day Parade each September. The parade runs along a two-mile stretch of 26th Street. When there isn't a parade going on, 26th Street is home to an incredibly vibrant network of bakeries, taquerias, supermarkets, and a seemingly endless stream of vendors and carts, all serving up an incredible array of amazing Mexican street foods. Living here can be a fantastic experience with several parks to choose from, convenient shopping, and it's only a short drive to the shores of Lake Michigan, dog parks, and pet supply stores.
Being just in from the lake, you can expect winters to be rough with lake effect winds and snow blowing in for large parts of the winter, keeping the temperatures below freezing for weeks at a time. Fortunately, summers offer a break from the cold weather with temperatures in the 80s and plenty of sunshine.
Like the rest of Chicago, the land here is pretty flat and lacking in features. Learning to make good use of this type of ground to get in your exercise can be challenging. The trick is to be creative by choosing different blocks to walk around and directions to travel once you reach the end of your driveway. In fact, flat ground is perfect for dogs who are getting older or who have managed to pack on a few extra pounds over the years. They are also ideal for getting a new puppy used to walking.
Keep in mind, however, that walking on pavement tends to be hard on puppy paws, at least until they get used to it. Start out with a single block at first and start slowly adding in more distance over time. It won't take long before your pup starts begging you to take longer walks!
Beyond the few small parks in the community, there isn't much in the way of green space here. The houses are densely packed with heavily treed yards and streets, but yards are small with many of them having paved-over yards.
Piotrowski Park is a 22-acre park on W. 31 Street that offers multiple sports fields, tennis courts, and a skate park. It also provides a dome-covered pool that is open all year round. Plus, as an added bonus, there is plenty of grass, shade trees to hide from the sun under, and a track running all-around the park to walk on.
Just to the northeast of Little Village is Douglas Park which offers room for several athletic fields, tennis courts, a garden, and, of course, acres of lovely green grass for you and your pup to romp around on and burn off some extra energy before you go home for a nice nap.