The Ultimate Kids’ Adventure Guide to Chicago

You may have heard – especially if you have “liked” the Toddling Around Chicagoland Facebook Page – but my book was published!

The Ultimate Kids’ Adventure Guide to Chicago was published by Reedy Press and released in May 2017. I announced it here before, and I’ve had a couple posts about it, but I realized I have a lot more to share about the book that I haven’t written about yet!

What is it?

First of all, let me tell you a little about the book and why you need it (if you don’t own it already). Obviously, I’m a mom and I do a lot of adventuring with my kids and I basically wrote the book for, well – me. I thought about all the things I’d want in a guide book. I’d want it to have information about a wide variety of places, plenty of detail, and I’d want it to be fun. With all that in mind, here’s what you can expect to find in the Ultimate Kids’ Adventure Guide to Chicago:

  • More than 150 places to stay, eat, and play in Chicago and the suburbs;
  • Attractions organized by region to make planning your day easier with four sections for Chicago and four for the suburbs;

  • A list of free activities for each region;
  • Day trips/getaways within a few hours’ drive of Chicago;
  • Fairs, festivals, and special events;
  • Activities for all ages with age recommendations so you’ll find everything from activities for infants and toddlers to teens and adults;
  • Detailed information including location, hours, cost, estimates of how long you’ll spend there, and parking and public transportation options;
  • Insider tips; and

  • A comprehensive index so the book is always easy to navigate.

My goal was to make it an entertaining read and an indispensable tool. Did I achieve it? I hope so, but you’ll have to tell me! In fact, I’d love to hear what you think of the book. Send me an email, comment below, or leave me a review on Amazon.

Where is it?

Right now, you can buy the book at several local bookstores and gift shops in Chicago and the suburbs. The list is constantly growing as more stores add it to their shelves and I discover more stores who carry it. If you spot The Ultimate Kids’ Adventure Guide to Chicago in the wild I’d love to hear about it. I strongly encourage you to support your local bookstore whenever possible, but it’s also available on Amazon. Here’s a list of all the places I know you can grab a copy:

Put it to use

Okay, I get that a travel guide is not always the kind of book you want to sit down and read cover to cover. That’s okay. Here’s some suggestions on how to use it to make the most of your adventures:

  • Choose a region and thoroughly explore that area.
  • If you already have a destination in mind, check out the guide to find other attractions nearby.

  • Make a wishlist. Remember marking all the things you wanted in the Sears or Penney’s catalog before Christmas? Grab a highlighter or sticky notes and mark all the places you want to visit this summer, or let the kids do it.
  • Flip to a random page and do whatever you find there.
  • Create “busy parent” scrapbook. Mark places you’ve visited and write anecdotes about your visit in the margins. Add ticket stubs, photos, or other small mementos to the pages with a paperclip.

Upcoming events

I’ve talked about The Ultimate Kids’ Adventure Guide to Chicago on Good Day Chicago and #ChicagonistaLive, and you can read a review of the book on Mixed Prints Life.

Several places have been kind enough to invite me for book signings – Chicago Children’s Theatre, Read Between the Lynes, and Tates Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Shop. I also have several events coming up where you can come and buy a copy of the book and get it autographed:

I need your support!

Like my book or my blog? I always appreciate your support! No, I’m not asking for money (although I’d love for you to buy my book!). Here are free and easy ways you can help support Toddling Around Chicagoland and The Ultimate Kids’ Adventure Guide to Chicago:

Best of all, if you’re following me, getting newsletters, etc… you’ll learn about special updates and awesome giveaways (HINT, HINT) coming up soon!

And I need your help…

I know I’m biased, but I absolutely love the cover of my book. I really had nothing to do with it; the publisher handled the cover art, but I fell in love with it the minute I saw it. So much so that I decided the superhero kid on the cover needed to come on adventures with us.

Where do you go to get a custom-made doll made? Etsy, of course. I found this amazing shop, FoxJamBoutique. I sent the owner Ashley a photo of the cover and she created this amazing little guy for me.

Seriously, he’s adorable. And I’ll be sharing more information about FoxJamBoutique in a future post!

The only problem is: he needs a name. So I need your help.

I’m offering up a copy of The Ultimate Kids’ Adventure Guide to Chicago. Enter on the form below and I’ll choose one winner at random. If I choose a name from the suggestions made, that person will win a copy of the book too. I’ll try to toss a few extra surprises in for the winner(s) too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. kelly woods says:

    I have never been to Chicago but would like to one day. This is too cute.


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