Holiday Family Fun

Here’s the final installment – activities 20 through 24, plus some bonuses. You can also see my previous posts in this series, Holiday Lights, Holiday Meals (Dining with Santa), Holiday Performances, and Holiday Festivals. Holiday Fun 20. CTA Holiday Train – Specially decorated and lit 6-car train with Santa and elves delivering candy canes to passengers. When: November 28 through […]

Holiday Festivals

Chicago has some great holiday festivals! Most of these run for several days or even all month so there’s plenty of time to visit. You can also see my previous posts in this series, Holiday Lights, Holiday Meals (Dining with Santa), and Holiday Performances. Later today I’ll be posting about Holiday Family Fun. Holiday Festivals 14. Celebrate the Season […]

Holiday Performances

Here’s post #3: Holiday Performances! You can also see my previous posts, Holiday Lights and Holiday Meals (Dining with Santa). Over the next 2 days I’ll also be posting about Festivals and Family Fun. Holiday Performances 11. It’s Christmas Charlie Brown! at the Wilmette Theater When: December 5-14 Where: Wilmette Theater Cost: $18 12. A Christmas Story […]

Holiday Meals (Dining with Santa)

Here’s the second installment of  24 Christmasy activities. Yesterday I posted about Holiday Lights, and today is Holiday Meals with Santa. Stop by over the next three days for Performances, Festivals, and Family Fun. Holiday Meals with Santa 5. Breakfast with Santa and Sue at the Field Museum – Buffet breakfast and photos with Santa and Sue. Tickets include […]

Holiday Lights

24 Days of Christmasy Activities

Christmas will be here sooner than you think, so now is the time to enjoy all the seasonal events Chicago and the surrounding suburbs have to offer. I’ll be posting 24 Christmasy activities (plus maybe a few bonus ones!) over five days. Enjoy these holiday light events, and visit over the next four days for […]

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 Santa Guide 2014

Chicago Area Santa Guide 2014 - Toddling Around Chicagoland

It’s not often that you get to meet a truly magical legend, but that time of year is approaching. Everyone has fond memories of talking to Santa and making special Christmas requests, and it’s even more fun watching your kids share a few special moments with him and getting photos to commemorate the day. I’m […]

8 Things to do with Leftover Halloween Candy

8 Things to do with Leftover Halloween Candy 2014

Halloween is over and you’re probably either feeling sick from all the candy you ate last night, or you’re munching on it for breakfast (hey, you’ve got all day to work off those calories!).  In my house we’ve got a TON of candy – the kids got lots from trick-or-treating and we had a lot […]

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 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 […]

Caring Bunny to Cater to Special Needs Families – 2014

Caring Bunny - 2014 - Toddling Around Chicagoland

The Caring Bunny offers families with special needs a subdued environment to participate in the Bunny Photo Experience. Caring Bunny has been developed by Simon Property Group and is guided by AbilityPath.org, a national online resource hub and special needs community. Over 80 Simon® properties will host the Caring Bunny this season. Many steps will […]

“Noon” & New Year’s Eve Events for Families 2013

New Year's Eve & "Noon" Year's Eve Events for Families 2013 - Toddling Around Chicagoland

It’s almost time to ring in 2014! I love New Year’s Eve, but a midnight celebration might be difficult with little kids. Try out a “Noon” Year’s Eve or early evening countdown to include kids on the fun. As always, it’s a good idea to visit the website and/or call to verify information before you […]

Chicago Area Christmas Tree Guide 2013

#Chicago Christmas Tree Guide - Toddling Around Chicagoland

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 29. Open daily from 9:00 am-4:30 pm. Hot chocolate, […]

Special Needs Santa Visits and Events Guide – 2013

Special Needs Santa Guide 2013 - Toddling Around Chicagoland

I posted a guide last week of places you can visit Santa. Visiting Santa at a crowded mall can be overwhelming for any child (or even adults), and especially challenging for children with special needs. These events are designed with children with special needs and their families in mind. Events vary, but they attempt to […]

“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, […]

I Caught Santa!

iCaughtSanta - Toddling Around Chicagoland

Imagine the look of wonder and surprise when a child receives a photo of Santa and Rudolph caught in the act in his or her very own home. iCaughtSanta.com is a unique website that helps visitors create those memorable keepsake photos. In three simple steps anyone can upload a holiday photo, add Santa Claus or Rudolph and […]

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 […]

Minted Holiday Cards Giveaway

Minted logo - Toddling Around Chicagoland

Minted Holiday Cards Giveaway It’s holiday card time! I just discovered Minted and I’m excited to tell you about it. Minted offers cards for every occasion, stationery, journals, calendars, and much more. Something that I love about Minted is that they use designs from independent graphic designers from around the world, allowing these independent designers the […]

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 […]

Shutterfly Holiday Cards Giveaway

Shutterfly - All The Laughter Holiday Card - Toddling Around Chicagoland

Shutterfly Holiday Cards Giveaway It’s fall and Halloween is right around the corner. I’m still in mourning because the summer is gone, but I’m trying to embrace the chill in the air and the falling leaves. I am excited to know that the holidays are right around the corner! I’ve started my Christmas shopping and […]

Christmas in July: Handmade and DIY Gifts

Christmas in July - Handmade and DIY gifts - Toddling Around Chicagoland

This is post #5 of 5 in the Christmas in July series. Who doesn’t love a handmade gift? There’s something extra special about a gift that someone put extra time, thought, and effort into making just for you. Even if you don’t consider yourself particularly crafty there are still plenty of handmade and do-it-yourself gifts […]

Christmas in July: “Outside the Box” Gifts

Christmas in July

This is post #4 of 5 in the Christmas in July series. When shopping for Christmas gifts it’s tempting to run out and buy the newest, shiniest, most popular toy you can find with flashing lights and lots of sound effects. It’s the one you know will get a big reaction when your child (or […]

Christmas in July Series

It’s 100 degrees out as I type this and Christmas seems SO far away, but it always seems to sneak up on me. In the weeks before Christmas I’m desperately trying to finish shopping for gifts, trying to think of ways I can donate or help during the holiday season, and trying to have holiday […]

Non-Candy Easter Basket Fillers for Kids

Easter basket filler

I love shopping for Easter baskets! I’ll buy the required chocolate bunny (a small, hollow one) and jelly beans, but for the most part I like to steer away from candy, which is pretty easy to do since there are so many fun things to buy for the kids for Spring. Here are some ideas […]

Putting Your Heart In The Right Place – Easy & Inexpensive Valentine’s Day Surprises

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Valentine’s Day is almost here! I’m always trying to come up with creative (& inexpensive) ways to celebrate and show John that I think he’s a great husband and father. I thought I’d share a couple of the ideas to help inspire you this Valentine’s Day. A few years ago I decided to surprise John […]

Holiday Giving (with kids!)

Photo by D Sharon Pruitt

Christmas is the season of giving and although I try to remind myself that people are in need whether it’s Christmas time or the middle of July, I often find myself remembering to give more often during the holidays. About a week ago I heard about Operation Christmas Child for the first time. Operation Christmas […]

Tiny Prints Holiday Cards

tiny prints - light up christmas

I know it’s only October, but Christmas always seems to sneak up on me. I love Christmas cards and I spend hours online searching multiple sites for just the right cards. I spend an equal amount of time trying to stage some crazy photos of my kids (which never come out the way I imagine). […]

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