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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Best Chicago Bowling Alleys

Best Chicago Bowling Alleys

Let’s go bowling! Challenge your family to a game (or two, or three) the next time you’re looking for something to do. Bowling gets everyone involved and active, and allows for a little bit of fun competition. Whether you love the perks of a bowling alley, like arcade games, billiards, and snack food, or you […]

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!) […]

iFLY-Kohl Playdate – Register Now!

iFLY-Kohl Playdate

The Kohl Children’s Museum and iFLY Indoor Skydiving in Rosemont are teaming up for a very special playdate and you’re invited! Everyone who attends will enjoy food, drinks, and a hands-on project to learn about aerodynamics, before getting a chance to fly! You’ll even get to take home a video of your flight. Space is limited, […]

Reaching New Heights at iFly

Reaching New Heights with iFly

We went indoor skydiving! I never, ever, EVER would have imagined myself doing anything even slightly related to skydiving, but I did, and I brought my 5-year-old to do it with me! Here are the important details about iFly Chicago, and if you scroll down you can read all about our experience. Location: There are […]

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 […]

AvaStars Review and Giveaway

AvaStars Review & Giveaway

Have you heard of AvaStars? I hadn’t until recently. We were invited to try out the AvaStars experience and I have to admit – I was really curious! AvaStars recently opened a location in Oak Brook. They offer an entertainment experience as well as personalized dolls. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, but the […]

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 […]

Aquatic Experience – Chicago 2014 – Giveaway

Philip Peters in Live Shark Encounter, Image courtesy of Haai, Inc.

Aquatic Experience will be in Chicago at the Schaumburg Convention Center November 7-9, 2014. Here’s a little information provided by Aquatic Experience: Aquatic Experience – Chicago is the first show in our industry’s history to combine everything aquatic under one roof. From saltwater to freshwater with pond and aquatic reptiles, we’ll have it all. Consumers […]

Weekday Fun for Little Ones

Weekday Fun for Little Ones

This post was written by me and originally appeared on Days at home with the kids can get a little monotonous and it’s fun to break it up with some outings to entertain the kids and yourself. In my experience, early fall is a kind of “sweet spot” for outings with young kids. Older […]

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 […]


Pinstripes - Toddling Around Chicagoland - #PintasticFun

Website: Location: 100 W. Higgins Road, South Barrington Pinstripes also has locations in Northbrook (1150 Willow Road, Northbrook), and Oak Brook (7 Oak Brook Center Mall, Oak Brook). Phone: 847-844-9300 Hours:  Monday- Thursday – 11:30 am-11:00 pm Friday – 11:30 am-12:30 am Saturday – 10:00 am-12:30 am Sunday – 10:00 am-10:00 pm Admission: None. […]

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 […]

Great Times at Medieval Times {and a Giveaway!} #MedievalTimesChi

Medieval Times - Toddling Around Chicagoland #MedievalTimesCHI

  It’s summer! The kids are out of school and you’re looking for new and exciting things to do and Medieval Times is a perfect choice. Visit this amazing castle in Schaumburg for a yummy meal that you’ll eat with your hands while you watch an exciting show. For updates, information, and ticket giveaways, like the Medieval […]

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 YouthSpark Summer Camps at Microsoft Retail Stores

Free YouthSpark Summer Camps - Toddling Around Chicagoland

Microsoft retail stores are offering free YouthSpark Summer Camps for children between 8 and 13. Although the classes are free, pre-registration is required. An adult must stay in the store with the child during the entire session. Camps are split into two groups – Jr. Designers (ages 8-10) and Designers (ages 11-13). Four types of camps are available […]

Cantigny Park Free Summer Drop-In Program

Catigny Park - free summer drop-in program - Toddling Around Chicagoland

Cantigny Park in Wheaton is a great place to spend a summer day – lots of room to walk and play, a playground, restaurant, picnic areas, a museum, tanks to climb on, a fountain, and lots more. See my full post on Cantigny Park. This summer Cantigny is offering free drop-in programs for kids. No […]

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 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 […]

Disney On Ice Celebrates 100 Years of Magic in Chicago

Disney On Ice 100 Years of Magic - Toddling Around Chicagoland

Disney On Ice is returning to Chicago next month and they’re celebrating 100 years! Where: The United Center, 1901 W. Madison Street, Chicago When: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 – Sunday, September 15, 2013 Wednesday, Sept. 11 at 7:00 pm Thursday, Sept. 12 at 7:00 pm Friday, Sept 13 at 7:00 pm Saturday, Sept 14 at 11:30 […]

Donley’s Wild West Town Opens for the Season on May 18

Donley's Wild West Town logo - Toddling Around Chicagoland

Is finally getting warmer! The approach of summer means lots of fun outdoor activities and exciting things to do. Donley’s Wild West Town is one of the things on our list of things to do this season. Donley’s Wild West Town, located in Union, has announced that their 2013 summer season will begin on May […]

Legoland Star Wars Miniland (& Giveaway)


We recently had the opportunity to attend a media preview of the new Star Wars Miniland at the Legoland Discovery Center. We started out our evening with a visit to the Miniland, which has been invaded by Star Wars characters and vehicles. Grab a scavenger hunt list and find each of the characters listed for […]