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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 […]

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 […]

Summer Family Movie Guide – 2015

Summer Family Movie Guide 2015

Too hot? Or rainy? When you need an indoor break on a weekday, why not catch up on a family movies you missed the first time around, or loved so much you want to see it again? Local theatres offer weekday specials during the summer with family-friendly movies at discounted prices. Cinemark – Summer Movie […]

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 […]

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!) […]

Cheap Family Movies for Winter 2015

Cheap Family Movies for Winter 2015

It’s cold and dreary and it’s hard to keep kids busy in the winter. Luckily, a few area theatres offer special family movie deals to help beat the winter blues. Marcus Theatres – Kids Dream Winter Film Series Admission is only $2 for this series and movies play at 10:00 am on Friday, Saturday, and […]

5 Spots for Outdoor Ice Skating

5 spots for outdoor ice skating

This article was previously published on 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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; […] 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, […]

Chicago Bears Training Camp Starts This Week

Chicago Bears training camp logo

Today is the first day of Bears training camp at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais. Training camp runs through Wednesday, August 14, and is open to the public most days. Concessions are available for purchase. Below is a schedule for 2013 training camp. For more details, visit the Chicago Bears website.  Where: Olivet Nazarene University […]

Chicago Area Kid-Friendly Valentine’s Events 2013

Chicago Area Kid-Friendly Valentine's Events - Toddling Around Chicagoland

Valentine’s Day (or Valentine’s season maybe?) is a great time to spend time with your loved ones, including your kids, and showing them how special they are to you. There are fun events and parties starting this weekend to celebrate the holiday. Please call or visit online prior to attending to verify information and keep […]

“Noon” Year’s Eve & New Year’s Eve Events

Chicago Area Noon and New Years Eve Events

Noon Countdowns Bubble Bash 2012 with the DuPage Children’s Museum, Wentz Concert Hall at North Central College, 171 E. Chicago Avenue, Naperville 10:30 am-Noon $10/member, $15/non-member (plus $2/ticket box office charge) Live performances by Jeanie B. and the Jellybeans and Geoff Akins the Bubble Wonder Man, countdown at noon. Itsy Bitsy New Year’s Eve Countdown, […]

Chicago Area Christmas Events 2012

Chicago Area Christmas Events

Christmas time is one of my favorite times of the year! I love all the fun activities, the shopping, the excitement, and the good cheer. Here are some fun events coming up or going on right now to celebrate the holiday season. As always, it’s a good idea to call or check the website to […]

Chicago Area Santa Guide

Chicago Area Santa Guide

Less than a month until Christmas! It’s about time for kids to visit Santa and tell him what they want, and for you to get those annual photos with the big guy. Find the perfect place to meet up with Santa on this list. Unless otherwise indicated, visiting with Santa is free and he will […]

Special Needs Santa Visits and Events

Special Needs Santa Visits

These are events and Santa visits that are designed to meet the needs of children with special needs and their families. Many of these require registration (and fill up fast!) so it’s best to plan early.  Sunday, December 2 from 9:00 am-10:00 am – Caring Santa in Orland Park Location: Orland Square Mall – Upper […]

Chicago Area Christmas Tree Farms 2012

Chicago Area Christmas Tree Farms

All of the farms listed below offer pick-your-own trees. As always, it’s best to call ahead to ensure the farm will be open and trees are available. Please note that many farms accept only cash or checks. Bengston Tree Farm, 10919 W. Wilmington, Peotone, 708-258-9610 Opens November 23. Open daily from 9:00 am-4:30 pm. Hot […]

Girls Getaway – The Heartland Spa

Heartland Spa - bikes - Toddling Around Chicagoland

Girls Getaway – The Heartland Spa As a mom of two (very active) young boys, with another on the way, I could use a break. My friend Samantha, who also parents to two active young boys and blogs at The Peanuts Gang, felt the same way. We recently had the opportunity to spend two days […]

Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph

Wreck-It Ralph - Toddling Around Chicagoland

Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph is in theatres nationwide. I am not posting specifics (prices, bathrooms, etc) because theatres vary so much. You can find where Wreck-It Ralph is playing near you or purchase tickets online at the Wreck-It Ralph site. John recently took Cooper to see Wreck-It Ralph and he wrote the following post about the […]

Halloween Candy Buy Back

Halloween Candy Buy Back - Toddling Around Chicagoland

Halloween means lots of fun – costumes, parties, trick-or-treating – and lots and lots of candy. If you’re looking to save your kids (and yourself) from the sugar and tooth decay, why not “sell” it? Through “Operation Gratitude” dentists volunteer to “buy” Halloween candy from kids for money (generally $1 a pound), prizes, dental hygiene […]

Chicago Area Halloween Events 2012

Halloween Activities in the Chicago Area 2012 - Toddling Around Chicagoland

Events are arranged according to date, with single day or short-term events listed first. Scroll down for activities throughout the month of October. I do my best to provide accurate information, but it’s always a good idea to check the information on the site and call before you go to verify information. Single Day or […]

Chicago Area Pumpkin Patch Guide 2012


It’s fall – time to pack up the kids and go pick some pumpkins! 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 […]

The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure – A Movie Unlike Any You’ve Seen Before

The Oogieloves - closeup - Toddling Around Chicagoland

The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure – website The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure is now playing in theaters! It’s been quite a while since we got to see this movie so I’m excited to finally be able to write about it. As I discussed in my previous post, my family was invited […]