Skiing, Snowboarding, and Snow Tubing

Embrace the Midwestern winter with skiing and snow tubing! Here are some great places not too far from Chicago to where, depending on your skill and comfort level, you can glide gently or zoom down some hills. Even if there’s no snow, all of these locations make their own snow. Four Lakes Alpine Snowsports Just about […]

Free Museum Days – Winter 2016

New year, new chance to explore the city! Winter is a great time to visit Chicago museums because there aren’t the same crowds as in the summer and lots of them offer more free days during the winter months. Add these dates to your calendar and plan some family outings! Most free days only apply […]

Best Spots for Leaf Peeping Near Chicago

Autumn announces itself with yellows, oranges, reds, and purples and it’s officially here. Take the kids out to explore all the changes autumn brings and enjoy the beautiful foliage at these four spots near Chicago: Chicago Botanic Garden With 26 different gardens on over 300 acres, you’re sure to see plenty of autumn foliage at […]

Chicago Area Pumpkin Patch Guide – 2015

Admission prices do NOT include the cost of pumpkins. I do my best to be sure the information is current, accurate information, but it’s always a good idea to double check the website or call before you go. Abbey Farms of Marmion Abbey, 850 Butterfield Road, Aurora, 630-966-7775 Open September 19 through October 31. Open Tuesday-Friday 10:00 […]

Free Chicago Museum Days – Fall 2015

Want to visit Chicago museums and attractions free? Don’t we all?? Below is a list of days that local museums, zoos, and gardens offer free admission this fall. Please keep in mind that most free days only apply to Illinois residents with valid identification and only apply to general admission, not special exhibits or events. Adler […]

Chicago Area Apple Orchard Guide 2015

It’s apple season! There’s nothing quite like fresh apples right off the tree. We love spending a late summer or early autumn day at an apple orchard picking apples, eating fresh donuts, navigating a corn maze, and taking LOTS of pictures. Some orchards charge and admission fee, while others only charge for apples. It’s always […]

55 Free Things to Do in Chicago and Surrounding Areas

FREE, FREE, FREE! There’s no better price. Use this list to plan a single afternoon, a day full of activities, or an entire vacation. I’ve tried to include a lot of variety – indoor and outdoor, city and suburbs, and activities that are appropriate for toddlers, older kids, and adults. Any suggestions for additions to […]

Endless Summer at Raging Waves Waterpark

Raging Waves was one of our favorite day trips last summer so we were very excited to return this year. For ALL the details about Raging Waves, see my previous Raging Waves Waterpark post; this post will tell you about our 2015 experience. Prices for admission, preferred parking, special packages, and cabanas remain the same […]

Wild Encounters at Brookfield Zoo

Two years ago Brookfield Zoo closed the 60-year-old Children’s Zoo. While it was sad to see it go, the closure made room for Brookfield Zoo’s newest attraction – Wild Encounters. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children 3-11 and seniors (children under 3 are free). Zoo members pay half price. Wild Encounters opened […]

Free Chicago Museum Days – Summer 2015 {and Free Printable Calendar}

Chicago has some amazing museums so why not spend summer break exploring all that they have to offer? Admission can get expensive, so here’s a list of days that local museums, zoos, and gardens offer free admission. Please keep in mind that most free days only apply to Illinois residents with valid identification and only apply […]

Guide to U-Pick Strawberry Farms 2015

  There’s nothing quite like a juicy strawberry on a hot summer day; the only thing better is a fresh strawberry right off the vine. Don’t forget your sunscreen and cash (many farms only accept cash or checks). I do my best to provide accurate information, but it’s always best to double check and call […]

Minor League Baseball Promotions for Families 2015

  Baseball is America’s favorite pastime and it’s a great family outing, but visiting a minor league team has certain advantages too, especially when you have young children – they’re often not as crowded as major league games, they’re cheaper, the players are often more accessible, and the teams often cater to families. Whether you prefer […]

Chicago Cubs Promotions for Families 2015

Baseball is America’s favorite pasttime, so what better way to spend a spring day than catching a game with the family? The Chicago Cubs offer some family fun at Wrigley Field so get your tickets now. Be sure to check out the Cubs fan club for kids so you children can receive special Cubs memorabilia. Here are Chicago […]

Chicago White Sox Promotions for Families 2015

Baseball season is upon us and the Chicago White Sox could use a little support this season. If you haven’t visited “The Cell” (U.S. Cellular Field) yet this season, it’s the perfect time to purchase your tickets and plan a special family outing. If you’ve got kids, but sure you find out more about the Chicago White […]

Baseball Fan Clubs for Kids 2015

Opening day was this week for the Chicago Cubs and Sox and what better way to celebrate than joining a fan club? The Chicago area major league and minor league teams offer fan clubs for kids to collect promotional items, and even get free tickets to see some games. Best of all, some of the […]

15 Things to Do During Spring Break

After a long, LONG winter, Chicago is finally thawing and Spring Break is nearly here! If your family is anything like mine, you’ve been cooped up too long and you’re ready to get out and explore the amazing things Chicago has to offer every spring. Here are just some of the ways kids (and adults!) […]

5 Spots for Outdoor Ice Skating

This article was previously published on MommyNearest.com. As the temps begin to dip you might feel like it’s time to hibernate, but sometimes you need to bundle up and head out to to embrace the winter wonderland. Brighten up your winter with rosy cheeks and smiles at these outdoor ice skating rinks in Chicago and […]

Chicago Area Christmas Tree Farms 2014

Real or artificial? It’s an ongoing debate this time of the year. Part of the fun of having a real tree is the journey to get it, so here are places in there area where you can choose and cut your own tree! All of the farms listed below offer pick-your-own trees. As always, it’s best […]

Chicago Area Pumpkin Patch Guide 2014

October is all about the arrival of fall and Halloween. I’ve compiled a huge guide of Chicago Area Pumpkin Patches so you can find the one just right for your family. Admission prices do NOT include the cost of pumpkins. I do my best to be sure the information is current, accurate information, but it’s always […]

Family Sundays with the Chicago White Sox

It’s not hot and muggy anymore, and you can gorge on apple and pumpkin flavored everything, but summer’s not totally over yet. There’s still time to catch an afternoon of America’s favorite pastime with (one of) Chicago’s favorite team(s), the Chicago White Sox! There are still games through the month of September, and just ONE more […]

Autumn Weekends at Santa’s Village AZoosment Park

  With cool weather it’s the perfect time for a trip to Santa’s Village! You might think of an amusement (or AZoosment, in this case) park as a summer activity, but Santa’s Village is open on the weekends until the end of October. That’s a lot of time for taking kids on rides you remember […]

KaBOOM! Go Out & Play Essentials Pack Review

Imagine Toys asked me if I wanted to get my kids outside to play and, of course, I said yes! They sent me a KaBOOM! Go Out and Play Essentials Pack so our family could get active. With each purchase of the KaBOOM! Go Out and Play Essentials Pack from Imagine Toys, a minimum of […]

Chicago Area Apple Orchard Guide 2014

I may have said this last year (and the year before, and maybe the year before that…), but apple picking is one of my very favorite annual traditions with my family. Some orchards are already open for apple picking, but most will open this week or next. This list is all the U-Pick apple orchards I […]

Raging Waves Waterpark

Raging Waves is the largest waterpark in Illinois, located in Yorkville. Website: Raging Waves Waterpark Social media: Raging Waves Facebook page, @RagingWaves on Twitter, Raging Waves on Instagram Location: 4000 N. Bridge Street, Yorkville Phone: 630-882-6575 Hours:  Daily schedule is available online. 10 am – 7 pm everyday through August 2nd. August 3 through September […]

Fourth of July Parades & Fireworks – 2014

Independence Day is approaching and Chicago and many suburbs are preparing for celebrations. In addition to parades and firework displays I’ve listed many have other festivities such as live music, a carnival, or other entertainment the same day (& some even for a couple days) so click the link to see all the details. Before […]

Chicago Area Berry Picking Guide – 2014

A version of this post previously appeared on Mommy Nearest. With summer comes berry season. Strawberries are up first and there are several places around Chicago where you can pick them yourself. Please remember that ripeness dates are not exact and it’s always a good idea to call first to verify the fruit you’d like […]

Why You Should Visit Santa’s Village AZoosment Park This Season

This post originally appeared on MommyNearest. If you grew up in the Chicago area, there’s a good chance you remember visiting Santa’s Village as a kid. Sliding down Santa’s Tree House Slide, taking a spin on the Candy Cane Sleigh Ride, and, of course, touching the frozen North Pole (yep, it’s really frozen, even on […]

Chicago Area Easter Egg Hunts – 2014

Easter is approaching so hopefully the weather will start to cooperate in time for Easter egg hunts in the Chicago area. Many of the hunts and events listed below require pre-registration so be sure to plan ahead. It’s always a good idea to bring a bag or basket to collect eggs and a camera to […]

Free Museum Days – 2014

With snow and cold temperatures lots of Chicago families are getting tired of being stuck inside, but it can be difficult to find affordable things to do. Museums, zoos, and indoor gardens in and around Chicago offer free and discounted admission days during the winter. Also see my post on Mommy Nearest – Five Free […]

Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum – Giveaway

See trees in a different light this winter during Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum. Combining cutting-edge light technology with the beautiful, wooded landscapes of the Arboretum, Illumination is not your typical lights event. An experience far beyond traditional twinkling lights, Illumination engages the senses with trees that respond to touch and sound, dazzling […]

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