Archives for 2018

Illumination at the Morton Arboretum

Illumination is an amazing light display at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle for the holidays. Illumination will be open until January 1, 2019. This is an outdoor attraction so dress for the weather. Our experience below is based on our 2017 visit, but other information has been updated for 2018.  Location Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois […]

The Polar Express Schedules Stop at Chicago Union Station

The Polar Express has arrived in Chicago! Rides are scheduled from now through January 1, 2019. The Polar Express is a VERY popular holiday event. It often sells out pretty quickly after tickets go on sale, which in most locations starts in June. The Polar Express at the Fox River Trolley Museum in South Elgin […]

Chicago Christmas Tree Farms

Family traditions make holidays special, and Christmas is one of those holidays that is overflowing with traditions for most families. If cutting your own tree isn’t one of your traditions yet, it should be! Choose from one of the many Chicago Christmas tree farms. All of the farms listed below offer pick-your-own trees. As always, […]

Chicago Area Special Needs Santa Guide

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 accommodate sensitivities to crowds, noise, and lights as well as physical needs. […]

Chicago Area Santa Guide

Get those wishlists ready because Santa is in Chicago! As kids tell Santa what they want for Christmas, it’s a great time to get some great photos for your holiday cards, photo albums, and to post on social media. Many locations even offer special events for things like holiday pj’s, ugly sweaters, and pets for […]

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 […]

8 Things to do with Leftover Halloween Candy

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 […]

Halloween Candy Buy Back

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 programs like Operation Gratitude and Packages4Patriots, dentists volunteer to “buy” Halloween candy from kids for money (generally $1 a […]

Indoor Trick-or-Treating in the Chicago Area

You can never tell what to expect from the weather in the Midwest on Halloween, so it’s always nice to have a backup plan. And whatever the weather, sometimes it’s nice to be warm and cozy inside. This list includes many of the places you can trick-or-treat inside in Chicago and the suburbs. As always, […]

Chicago Area Trick-or-Treat Hours

Halloween is the craziest holiday and I love it. Dress up like someone (or some thing) else and go door-to-door asking for treats. Does it get any better than that? Get those costumes ready and find out trick-or-treat hours for your area. Sunday, October 28, 2018 North suburbs Zion – 2-5 pm Northwest Suburbs Round […]

Teal Pumpkin Project with Free Printable Pumpkin Sign

Food allergies are on the rise and Halloween can be a particularly difficult time for families of children with food allergies. To help families who are dealing with allergies, FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) is encouraging people to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project. Paint a pumpkin teal, or hang a sign with a […]

Chicago Area Halloween Events

  Halloween only lasts one day, but doesn’t it seem like it should be more? I know I prefer to celebrate much longer than that. Looking for Halloween events in the Chicago area? Gotcha covered.  Get those costumes ready and enjoy these events all through the month of October. Know of any other fun events […]

Chicago Pumpkin Patch Guide

It’s pumpkin time! The weather hasn’t been very autumn-y lately, but the leaves are changing and Halloween is approaching. Grab those sweaters (or maybe sunscreen) and spend the day at a Chicago pumpkin patch choosing the perfect pumpkin for your family and enjoying some autumn farm activities. Admission prices do NOT include the cost of […]

Dora and Diego at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

The new, hands-on exhibit Dora and Diego—Let’s Explore! opens Saturday, September 22, at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago. Join the adventure into the Nickelodeon characters’ imaginative world to take part in a variety of activities to learn about nature and become problem solvers. The exhibit will also incorporate Spanish vocabulary throughout the journey, introducing the language to […]

Fright Fest at Six Flags Great America

Fright Fest at Six Flags Great America offers more scary attractions than ever! Too scared? Visit during the daytime hours for family-friendly thrills.

Top Three Products from the Chicago Baby Show 2018

Once a year, representatives and merchants from around the country spend a weekend in Chicago showing parents and expectant parents products and services for babies and children at the Chicago Baby Show, the largest show of its kind in the country. Expectant and new parents can discover new brands and see new products from established, […]

Free MSI tickets for CPS students

The first day of school is important. There may not be a lot of traditional school work on the first day, but attending helps students and teachers familiarize themselves, gives students a chance to learn rules and routines, and starts out the year with a good routine. Research indicates that the more a child attends […]

Troll Hunt at the Morton Arboretum

You can expect to find lots of interesting creatures at the Morton Arboretum – birds, ducks, squirrels, and now TROLLS. Trolls first made their appearance at the Morton Arboretum in the spring and rumor has it they’ll stick around through the end of 2018. Danish artist Thomas Dambo used reclaimed wood to create these colossal […]

Legoland Discovery Center Annual Pass 50% off (limited time only)

Is there anyone who doesn’t love LEGOs? Probably not. LEGOLAND Discovery Center is a magical place where there are more LEGO blocks than you can even imagine and you can spend the day building, exploring, and even going on rides. LEGOLAND has been a favorite attraction of ours for years and the best way to […]

Chicago Area Apple Orchard Guide 2018

I’ll confess that I’m not a huge fan of fall. It’s fine and all, but I prefer spring and summer and I’m not enthusiastic about the approach of cold weather. However, I LOVE apple picking. It almost makes up for the fact that summer is ending. It’s a tradition in our family to go apple […]

Chicago Baby Show Ticket Giveaway

  The 2018 Chicago Baby Show, on August 25 & 26, 2018 will once again be the largest show for new and expectant parents in the country. Now in its 2nd year, no other event provides a better experience for thousands of expectant and new families from the Chicago area seeking a family-friendly jamboree of top […]

Magical Birthday Parties at CircEsteem

Children’s birthday parties have become a hot topic among parents and the pressure is real. During my childhood parents bought some cake, ice cream, and paper hats and we were pleased as punch. Now parents struggle with questions like: Do I invite the whole class or just close friends? Do I prepare goody bags? How […]

Giveaway: Hotel Transylvania and Hotel Transylvania 2 DVDs

Who’s ready for a giveaway? Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation will be in theaters July 13 and to celebrate I’ve got a great prize for a lucky reader: DVDs of Hotel Transylvania and Hotel Transylvania 2! Attention Mummies, Daddies, and little monsters of all kind: Grab your monster sized popcorn and get ready for the […]

Fourth of July Parade & Firework Guide – 2018

I don’t know about you, but we’re just about falling into our summer routine when the Fourth of July comes along to shake things up. I love it! Not only do I love celebrating independence and freedom, but it’s a kick in the butt. It’s a reminder that summer is filled with amazing opportunities for […]

Chicago Area Berry Picking Guide 2018

Who doesn’t love a nice, juicy berry? You can buy them at the grocery store, but it’s a chore to go shopping and you often find the strawberries (or raspberries, or blueberries) are just not that fresh. Treat yourself and your kids to super fresh, ripe berries right off the vine at one of the […]

The Science Behind Pixar at the Museum of Science & Industry

My kids are growing up with Pixar movies. Cars taught them about friendship, Monsters Inc taught them to think independently, and Inside Out taught them about the importance of expressing their emotions. Then there’s Wall-e, Toy Story, The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, Up… the list goes on and on. The characters in these movies and the […]

Care.com Nanny Share: affordable child care with plenty of perks

Kids aren’t cheap. There’s clothing and shoes to buy every few months, groceries, and pediatrician visits. If you’re like me, you scrimp and save wherever you can. I’ve clipped coupons, bought things second-hand, and accepted hand-me-downs from friends and family. Being cheap (or “frugal”) is fine for clothes and toys, but when their care and […]

Chicago Cheap Summer Movie Guide

I love settling into a darkened movie theater with my family and a ginormous bucket of popcorn. It doesn’t matter if we see a brand new release, or an old favorite movie, it’s just nice to escape for an hour or so into a different world. Bonus: it’s especially nice to escape from the heat […]

Free Donuts for National Donut Day

Friday, June 1 is National Donut Day! Haven’t made plans to celebrate yet? “Donut” worry! Here are Chicago shops celebrating this tasty holiday with free donuts or other specials. The Dapper Doughnut Free donuts on June 1, 2018 Duck Donuts Free donut on June 1, 2018 Dunkin’ Donuts  Free classic donut of your choice with […]

Chicago Area Baseball Clubs for Kids

It’s baseball season and lots of the local baseball teams have clubs for kids. Kids get souvenirs from the team and tickets to attend games for a fraction of the price you’d pay purchasing them separately. The Chicago White Sox even have a free kids club! Chicago White Sox Chicago White Sox Kids Club – Free […]

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