Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Halloween Weekend Family Fun Ideas

There's been plenty of Halloween fun leading up to October 31, but now is your last chance to really celebrate. Here are a few picks for celebrating Halloween with your little ghouls this weekend.

October 30
Little Miss Ann Band's Halloween Party
Subterranean, 2011 W. North Avenue, Chicago
ChicagoKids.com sponsors the Beat Kitchen Concerts for Kids! Series, and this Saturday the show is at Subterranean, with a Halloween costume concert with Little Miss Ann Band. 3pm. $7.

October 30
Haunted Harvest
Lamb's Farm, I-94 and Rte. 176, Libertyville
The Haunted Harvest of Lambs Farm is a spooky celebration full of fun and adventure for thrill-seekers of all ages, transforming the Farmyard with delightfully frightening activities. 6-10pm. All night pass $15 per person, kids under 3 free, fees for some activities.

October 30
Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., Chicago
The Chicago Cultural Center is transformed into a spooky, magical destination for Halloween fun, with mask and costume making, a drama workshop and a performance of "One Monster after Another" by Child's Play Touring Theatre. Free.

October 30
Port Clinton Square, 600 Central Avenue, Highland Park
Celebrate this Halloween at Port Clinton Square for BARK-O-Ween; a pet parade, costume contest and fashion show for our four-legged friends. Benefits Tails of Hope. 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm. $15 per pet to participate in costume contest; $10 per pet if pre-registered.

October 30-31
Carnival of Curiosities
Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago
A traveling sideshow has overtaken Navy Pier, transforming Pier Park into a spectacle of living human wonders. Every Saturday and Sunday witness with your very own eyes the wild, weird, and wonderful. Meet the Carnival characters from noon - 9pm, and on Saturday enjoy fireworks at 9pm. This is an outdoor, family-friendly theatrical walk-around experience and scare-free event. Free.

October 31
Justin Roberts Halloween Show
Space, 1245 Chicago Avenue, Evanston,
Justin and the Not Ready for Naptime Players are in the midst of their packed national fall family concert tour, and they have a local concert on Halloween at Space in Evanston. Hear their appropriate new song, "Trick or Treat," from hew new CD Jungle Gym. 11am. $15

October 31
Spooky Singalong
Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N Lincoln Ave., Chicago,
Calling all ghouls! Bring the whole family to this spooky, but not scary, sing-a-long featuring our Wiggleworms faculty. Be sure to wear your Halloween costume! 11am. $12.

You can check out our Calendar of Events and our Halloween Zone for more last minute Halloween events, activities, and fun ideas.

Happy Haunting!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Curious George: Let's Get Curious! at Kohl Children's Museum

This weekend, Mia got a preview of the Kohl Children's Museum's new exhibit "Curious George: Let's Get Curious!"

Mia knows who Curious George is, but she's still really getting acquainted with him. She has two Curious George books (one that she got after seeing the exhibit) and has seen the tv show just a few times. However, this did not stop her from enjoying this exhibit and apparently falling in love with Curious George! (see pic below!)

The exhibit is intended to inspire young children's George-like curiosity in the areas of math, science and engineering through activities, exploration and play. The exhibit is set in Curious George's neighborhood, so kids can feel like they're really in his world.

They'll see Curious George's apartment building, where they can move George around on pulleys and climb up the fire escape. A construction site allows them to build and move materials. By George's rocket, kids can pose for pictures with George in his space suit. And the park is a nice open area where kids can get up close with Curious George and give him a hug. Mia's a notorious hugger, so she loved this part... and since he's not a real monkey, we didn't give her our usual "two hug limit."

Mia's favorite part of the exhibit was opening up a little yellow door, and seeing her own reflection inside, wearing the Yellow Hat:

The exhibit officially opens this Tuesday, October 19, and runs through February 5, 2011. Find out more on the web site.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Brookfield Zoo's Boo! at the Zoo... with Judge Sue!

This weekend and next weekend - Oct 16, 17, 23, 24 - is Brookfield Zoo's "Boo! at the Zoo" Halloween event. I have a tremendous soft spot for this event, as maaaaany years ago I was the Special Events Coordinator at the zoo and helped put this event together. It was by far my favorite event, and there was nothing cuter than seeing hundreds of kids in costumes parading across the stage for the costume contest.

I'm extremely excited to be taking part in the event this Saturday as a costume contest judge (please make your bribes in the form of chocolate... just kidding!)

This is truly a fantastic family Halloween event, with fun activities taking place throughout the day.

Here's the schedule for the daily activities:

All Day: Take a Haunted Hayride around the zoo ($4/$2), and take a turn through a giant corn maze in the East Mall.

11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Games and Scarecrow Building
Children’s Zoo – FREE Admission

11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Games and Scarecrow Building
Children’s Zoo – FREE Admission

11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Fisher-Price Interactive Play Pen and Power Wheels™ Driving Track -West Mall

11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Pumpkin Carver at The Nature Stage

11:45 a.m.
Zoo Chat on Bats in Australia

12:30 p.m.
Zoo Chat on Spiders at The Swamp Classroom

12:30 p.m.
Zoo Chat on Argus Monitor in Australia House

1:00 p.m.
Costume parade departs from Discovery Center

1:30 p.m.
Costume Showcase at East Mall
(Costume categories are Best Animal Theme, Scariest, Most Original and Best Group Theme)

2:00 a.m.
Zoo Chat on Owls in Children's Zoo

3:00 p.m.
Zoo Chat on Spiders at The Swamp Classroom

3:30 p.m.
Zoo Chat on Python at The Fragile Kingdom-Rain Forest

3:45 p.m.
Zoo Chat on Wolves at Regenstein Wolf Woods

In addition to these activities taking place on all four of the Boo! at the Zoo dates, there are special activities taking place on specific dates. Visit the Brookfield Zoo web site for details.

I'll be judging costumes on Saturday, October 16. Stop by and say hello if you have the chance!!

Check out photos from the event on the ChicagoKids.com Facebook page.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Chicago International Children's Film Festival - Plan your screenings now!

The Chicago International Children’s Film Festival gets underway on October 22, bringing more than 250 kids’ movies to a local audience for this 10 day fest. This is the largest festival of films for children in North America, featuring over 200 films from 40 countries. In addition to films that include live action and animated features, shorts, TV series, documentaries, and even child-produced works, there are also interactive workshops that make this an experience that kids can immerse themselves in. Workshops include “Acting is FUN!”, “Animation All-Stars,” “FLIP IT – For Future Animators” and more. Visit the web site for a full schedule of films and workshops.

There are films for kids of all ages, and movies are categorized so you can find the right ones for your kids. Starting with “My First Movies” for ages 2-5, there are age groupings up to ages 13+.

Here's a sample of a few of the top films of interest.

Ages 2-5:

Bob the Builder: The Legend of the Golden Hammer - England 61 min
October 23, 9:30 am.
Center on Halsted’s Hoover-Leppen Theatre - 3656 N. Halsted, 3rd Floor
Watch the original Bob the Builder, direct from England, in a never-before-seen U.S. premiere. Everyone's favorite fix-it man sets out on an exciting building project in his new home of Fixham Harbor. But when scarecrow Spud and four-wheeler Scrambler hear of an amazing treasure, the pirate Brickbeard's Golden Hammer, they decide building can wait—first, they must find the hammer for their best pal Bob.

Mamma Moo & Crow - Sweden 77 min
October 24, 9:30 am.
University of Chicago’s DOC Films - Ida Noyes Hall, 1212 E. 59th St.
Meet Mamma Moo: an extraordinary cow who wants to go where no cow has gone before! Mamma Moo wants to ride a bike, climb a tree, and play on a swing, which her new friend Crow doesn't understand. But after sharing adventures with Mamma Moo, Crow realizes how fun trying new things can be.

Ages 5-8:

Rainbow Magic: Return to Rainspell Island - England 61 min
October 23, 11:00 am.
Center on Halsted’s Hoover-Leppen Theatre - 3656 N. Halsted, 3rd Floor
Six colorful fairies live in a rainbow world of peace, joy and song. But when mean girls, goblins, and Jack Frost himself threaten the happiness of their turf, will magic and friendship be enough? See what the end of the rainbow holds, in this fun-filled action-packed musical extravaganza where anything can happen - and does.

Critter Capers - 73 min
October 24, 11:00 am.
Facets Cinema – 1517 W. Fullerton Ave.
Calling all adventurers! These little creatures are not afraid to try something new. A group of dancing hens jump and jive with bandleader Kevin Bacon. Weighing friendship in the balance is on the mind of one very determined cow. Courageous Mouse faces all creatures great and small in this award-winning film version of the beloved book, The Gruffalo. Challenge yourself and come out on top with these brave beasties.

Ages 7-11:

Ricky Rapper and the Bicycle Thief - Finland 77 min
October 24, 11:00 am.
University of Chicago’s DOC Films - Ida Noyes Hall, 1212 E. 59th St.
When Serna Rapper and Lennart Lindberg go on a vacation, they leave Fanny Freezer in charge of Ricky Rapper and Nelly Noodlehead. All is well, until Ricky's fancy new bike mysteriously disappears! Who are the culprits? Could it be Beril and Robert Rosenbeogel? Or the odd doctors in the new hospital? Join Ricky and his pals as they work together to solve the mystery — with fun music every step of the way.

Magic Silver - Norway 84 min.
October 24, 3:00 pm.
University of Chicago’s DOC Films - Ida Noyes Hall, 1212 E. 59th St.
Deep within the Norwegian mountains, princess gnome Bluerose leads a small but powerful tribe. The Blue Gnomes are keepers of the silver for The Magic Hour, the enchanted twilight time between day and night. But when the silver is stolen from the gnomes, their bright and beautiful world suddenly transforms into eternal dark. Brave Princess Bluerose must set out on a remarkable quest to bring back the daylight, turning rival gnomes into new friends and finding the courage within herself along the way.

Tickets are available at the door 30 minutes prior to screening, and tickets for weekend screenings only may also be purchased online at www.facets.org/kids. For weekend screenings, get your tickets ahead of time to make sure you don’t miss out.

And here are a few more important things to note:
• Tickets are $6.00 for children (2-16) and $9.00 for adults.
• Individual tickets for weekend screenings can be purchased at the box office 30 minutes prior to a screening or via the CICFF website through Ticketweb (additional fees will apply when purchasing through Ticketweb.)
• The ONLY way to guarantee seating is to pre-purchase through Ticketweb. Weekend programs are in high demand and seating can be very limited.
• All seating is general admission.
• Facets Patron Circle members receive FREE admission when they present membership card at Box Office.