55 Free Things to Do in Chicago and Surrounding Areas

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 […]

Big News from Six Flags Great America

Christmas isn’t exactly around the corner, but opening weekend for Great America is. If you’re excited about the April 21 opening weekend, Six Flags Great America has some amazing news for you. In addition to the brand new, record-breaking loop coaster, Mardi Gras Hangover, and an accompanying Mardi Gras Festival in late summer, they’re also […]

Skiing, Snowboarding, and Tubing Near Chicago

Embrace winter with a day of skiing, snowboarding, or tubing. Here are some great places not too far from Chicago to where – depending on your skill and comfort level — you can glide gently or zoom down some hills. All of these locations can help out Mother Nature by making their own snow! Weather […]

Holiday Family Fun at Oakbrook Center

Oakbrook Center in Oak Brook is an outdoor shopping center that has over 150 shops and plenty of dining options, but for the winter holidays they’ve added some extra family fun with a glass house for Santa filled with decorations, an interactive activity, and a digital countdown to Christmas, and an outdoor ice skating rink. […]

Chicago Pumpkin Patch Guide 2017

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 […]

Go Ape Treetop Junior at Bemis Woods

Website: Go Ape Chicago Social media: Go Ape USA on Facebook, @GoApeUSA on Twitter, and @GoApeUSA on Instagram Location: Bemis Woods, 1100 Ogden Avenue, Western Springs Phone: 800-971-8271 Hours: Open April through November. Hours can vary; it’s best to book your adventure online.  Admission: $28 per person.  Specials: Sign up for the Go Ape email newsletter to receive news and discounts. Parking: Free […]

Chicago Area Apple Orchard Guide 2017

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 […]

Origami in the Garden at the Morton Arboretum through October 22, 2017

The Morton Arboretum prides itself on being a living museum and that’s a beautiful thing about visiting. It’s never exactly the same, with trees growing and changing throughout the season. Each visit is a different experience, not only because of the living things, but because they are often displaying new exhibits. P.S. Looking for more […]

Chicago Free Museum Days – Summer 2017

The end of the school year is RIGHT around the corner. Filling the summer with family time, fun, and educational experiences is easy in an amazing city like Chicago, but it’s NOT always easy on the wallet. Thankfully, there are plenty of attractions that are free every day, and many that offer free or discounted […]

Chicago Area Berry Picking Guide 2017

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 […]

Free Chicago Museum Days – Fall 2016

  Summer is sliding away and it’ll be fall (officially) very soon. Spend your fall exploring Chicago attractions for free! Most free days only apply to Illinois residents with valid identification and only apply to general admission, not special exhibits or events. Adler Planetarium – September 12-16, October 10, November 11, December 3-9. Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool– […]

Chicago Area Apple Orchard Guide 2016

Apple pie, apple cider, applesauce, apple tart, apple cinnamon oatmeal… there are so many things you can do with apples and it’s time to stock up. It’s apple-picking time! Spend the day in the beautiful changing weather and enjoy some apples fresh from the tree. Some orchards charge and admission fee, while others only charge […]

Illinois Bucket List

Illinois Bucket List Illinois is more than just Chicago and the Bears. Though we love them both, it’s nice to branch out and visit the rest of our great state sometimes. Join us on our adventure as we work our way through this Illinois Bucket List. Typical Spots I wouldn’t usually include the typical spots […]

Chicago Area U-Pick Strawberry Farms 2016

June = juicy strawberries! We’re getting plenty of sunshine and rain lately and that helps grow some delicious strawberries. Spend a day in the sun and let that strawberry juice run right down your chin, but be sure to pick plenty for baking and freezing. Don’t forget your sunscreen and cash (many farms only accept […]

Free Chicago Museum Days – Spring 2016

Spring has arrived! (Someone please tell Mother Nature.) Spring is about rebirth and renewal, so what better time to renew your love for Chicago and all the amazing things it has to offer? Visit an old favorite museum, or check out someplace brand new, and do it for less by visiting on a free day. […]

Brookfield Zoo Celebrates New PBS Show Nature Cat & the 15th Birthday of the Hamill Family Play Zoo

With the warm weather we’re having now it’s hard to believe that it was SO cold just last weekend. We braved the cold to spend the day at Brookfield Zoo and meet PBS star Nature Cat. Nature Cat is an animated show on PBS featuring a house cat named Fred. When Fred’s family leaves for […]

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