Chicago Area Apple Orchard Guide 2015

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

55 Free Things to Do in Chicago & Suburbs #Free #Chicago

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 - The Hungry Croc

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

Wild Encounters at Brookfield Zoo - slider

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}

Free Chicago Museum Days - Summer 2015 #Chicago #Free

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

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

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

Chicago Cubs Promotions for Families

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

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

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

15 Things to do During Spring Break header

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

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

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

Chicago Area Pumpkin Patch Guide 2014 - Toddling Around Chicagoland

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

Chicago White Sox Family Sunday - Toddling Around Chicagoland

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

It's Not Too Late for Santa's Village AZoosment Park - Toddling Around Chicagoland

  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

Chicago Area Apple Orchard Guide 2014 - Toddling Around Chicagoland #apple #Chicago #Upick

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 Waterpark - Toddling Around Chicagoland #Welcometosummer

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

Chicago Area 4th of July Parade & Fireworks Guide

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

Chicago Area U-Pick Berry Guide - Toddling Around Chicagoland

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

Why You Should Visit Santa's Village AZoosment Park This Season - Toddling Around Chicagoland

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

Chicago Area Easter Egg Hunts 2014 - Toddling Around Chicagoland

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

Free Museum Days in Chicago - Toddling Around Chicagoland #

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

Illumination: Tree Lights at the Morton Arboretum - Toddling Around Chicagoland

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 […]

Chicago Area Pumpkin Patch Guide 2013

Chicago Area Pumpkin Patch Guide 2013

Pumpkin time! Below are pumpkin patches in the Chicago area. Admission prices do NOT include the cost of pumpkins. I’ve done my best to include 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 weekends […]

Harvest Fest at Santa’s Village AZoosment Park 2013

It’s the season for fall festivals and Santa’s Village AZoosment Park’s Harvest Fest opened today! Below is information about Harvest Fest. For more details see my full post about Santa’s Village AZoosment Park. Dates: Weekends and Columbus Day, September 28 through October 27, 2013 Hours: 11:00 am-6:00 pm most days. Open 10:00 am-2:00 pm Thursday […]

Chicago Area Apple Orchard Guide 2013

Apple Orchard Guide 2013 - Toddling Around Chicagoland

 Looking for the 2014 guide? Click here!   Apple picking is a tradition for my family. We’ve gone every year since Cooper was born. I love picking apples, spending the day outside with my family, and watching the kids enjoy all the activities the apple orchards offer. Last year was a rough year for apples; […]

SpotOn.it: Enhance Your Family Calendar

When Cooper was a baby and toddler, before Dexter and Campbell came along, I spent a lot of time at home with him. I wasn’t used to being home on weekdays and I was new to the whole mommy thing and I had a hard time finding stuff to do and places to go. I […]

Cissna Park’s Old Settlers

Cissna Park Old Settlers - candy conveyor in parade - Toddling Around Chicagoland

This one’s a bit of the beaten path but if you’re thinking to yourself, Hmm… I’d like to take a bit of a road trip for some small town family fun, then this is it! Other things of interest on your way or in the area: The Heartland Spa in Gilman, Exploration Station Children’s Museum in Bourbonnais, […]