Thursday, June 28, 2012

I have decided not to post blog posts in this location, as they are always duplicated on the ChicagoKids.com home page. To read our blog, please visit ChicagoKids.com and see the "News You Can Use" section on the home page. Thanks for dropping by!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Chicago Area Family Easter Events

Easter is just around the corner, and the Easter Bunny is already starting to make his rounds! Here are some of our top picks for the best family Easter events taking place in Chicago and the suburbs. In addition to these picks, you can see a more complete list of events by clicking here.

March 31 and April 4
Bunny Hop
Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle
This is an event for the tiny tots, ages 18-36 months. They'll hippity-hop down the bunny trail while searching for bunny nests, babies, and bunny tracks. Also there will be games, stories and crafts. Registration required. 9:30 - 10:45 a.m. $22, with discounts for members. Learn more...

March 29
Bunny Bonanza
Welles Park, 2333 W. Sunnyside Ave., Chicago
Welles Park is a great setting for this family friendly event, which includes an egg hunt, inflatable fun, craft projects, face painting, photo opportunity, and more. Best for ages 1-6. 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. $6. Learn more...

March 31
2012 Spring Egg-Stravaganza
Soldier Field, 1410 S. Museum Campus Dr., Chicago
Kids will go hopping crazy for this big FREE candy grab! The free candy grab starts at 11am, and your family can come early for a ticketed brunch from 8:30 - 10am in the United Club. The optional breakfast is $17.50 adults, $12 children under 10, free for children under age 3 with paying adult. Reservations required for breakfast. Learn more...

March 31
The Great Egg Scramble
Cosley Zoo, 1356 Gary Ave., Wheaton
Kids can scramble for eggs and other trinkets and meet some of the zoo's residents and take part in other activities. Bring your baskets to the zoo for a hopping good time. Pre-registration is required. Ages 2-10. 9-10am or 10:30-11:30am. $12 residents, $15 non-residents. Learn more...

April 5
Underwater EGGstravaganza
The Water Works, 505 N. Springinsguth Road, Schaumburg
Pool egg hunts, entertainment, games and prizes are part of the fun. Egg hunts will be in the play pool and parents will be able to assist small children. Bring your bathing suit and bring a basket to collect eggs. For all ages. 6-8pm. Pre-registration cost is $8 for residents and $12 for non-residents. Pre-registration deadline is April 4. Learn more...

April 6-7
Bunny Brunch
Lamb's Farm Country Inn Restaurant, 14245 W Rockland Rd, Libertyville
Visit with the Easter Bunney and enjoy a delicious buffet and holiday activities, including a picture with the Bunny himself. Seatings are 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and noon. $15.95, $7.95 for children 23 months and younger with activities. Reservations required. Learn more...

April 7
Bubble Easter Egg Hunt
Bubbles Academy, 1504 North Fremont, Chicago
Join us for art projects, Open Play, cookie decorating, live music, face painting and an epic egg hunt, with delicious treats from Corner Bakery Cafe. Registration required. 2 to 4 p.m. or 5 to 7 p.m. Ages 0-7. $30 per child. Learn more...

April 7
Lunch with the Bunny
Mayfair Park, 4550 W. Sunnyside Avenue, Chicago
Have lunch with the Easter Bunny and enjoy face-painting, music, and a photo with the Bunny. For ages 2-10. Noon - 1:30pm. $7 per child; $5 per adult. Seating is limited and tickets may be purchased online. Learn more...

April 7
Mr. Hippity Hop
Berger Park Cultural Center, 6205 N. Sheridan Avenue, Chicago
Mr. Hippity Hop is coming by Berger Park's Tot Spot to visit with the little ones and have some fun. Kids can join Mr. Hippity Hop for a fun egg hunt, and receive a prize. 10-10:30am. This is geared for tots ages 4 and under. Free! Learn more...

Monday, February 27, 2012

Spring Break Camps 2012 - Chicago and Suburbs

Find a spring break camp or spring break activity at some of these great Chicago and suburban locations. You can find spring art camps, theater camps, sports camps, music camps, theater camps and more.

Artist @ Heart
120 Old McHenry Road, Long Grove
340 N. Milwaukee Road, Libertyville
Camp by day, or for the full week. Daily topics cover Spring Garden, Micro Beading, Rock Pets, Recycled and Mixed Media and more. For ages 7 and up. March 26-30. $55 per day, or save $55 and sign up for the entire week for only $220. $10 per additional hour after 3pm. (847) 816-4865. Learn more...

Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe
Programming connects nature to a range of themes including art, cuisine, and conservation. This spring, children will have the opportunity to dissect and plant seeds, explore fragrant herbs and flowers, search for birds and early spring plants on nature hikes, take a trolley ride around the Garden, create take-home science-themed projects, and much more. Ages 5-8. March 26 – 30, 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. $345 Nonmember, Garden Plus members receive 20% discount. (847) 835-8361. Learn more...

DuPage Children's Museum
301 N. Washington St., Naperville
Spring Break camps available for ages 5-10, with camps segmented by age and including different age appropriate activities. Little ones will enjoy programs incorporating music, movement, art, math, science, dramatic play, story time and snack. Older kids can have fun with topics like science, engineering and math. (630) 637-8000. Learn more...

The Kids' Table
2337 W. North Ave., Chicago
The Kids' Table camp is held the weeks of March 26 and April 2 from 1-3pm. In our Spring Camp classes, kids will be cooking (and eating) a different color each day - since an easy way to ensure a diet rich in vitamins and minerals is to eat a rainbow. Come one day or every day! For ages 4-10. $35 per day. (773) 235-COOK (2665). Learn more...

Lillstreet Art Center
4401 N Ravenswood, Chicago
Offering a variety of winter camps including clay & multimedia, Egyptian Camp and wheelthrowing. Camps start on Monday March 5. Prices and times vary by camp. (773) 769-4226. Learn more...

Lincoln Park Zoo
2200 N. Cannon Dr., Chicago
Kids can spend their spring break on an African safari at Lincoln Park Zoo! Make the most of the vacation by signing up some friends to share the fun. Camps are available for groups of 4-5 year olds, first-second graders, and third-fourth graders. Prices vary by age group. (312) 742-2000. Learn more...

Metropolis Performing Arts Centre
111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights
Spring Break Musical Theatre Bootcamp is anintensive 5-day workshop that focuses on one number from a contemporary Broadway musical. Students will get to present their polished performance for family and friends. Performances on March 30 at 11 a.m. March 26-30. Grades K-3, 4-8 and High School. $195. (847) 577-5982 x221. Learn more...

The Paintbrush
2856 N. Halsted, Chicago
The Paintbrush offers camp by the day, or with a 5-Camp-Day Punch Card. With 3-hours of art-filled fun, campers will learn about the artist-of-the-day and then will get to create their own masterpiece based on the artist's work. For ages 4-10. Monday, March 26th. Friday, March 30th, Monday, April 2nd and Friday, April 6th. $55/day. 12:30 - 3:30pm. A healthy snack is included. (773) 636-1968. Learn more...

SciTech Hands-On Museum
18 W. Benton St., Aurora
SciTech invites your kids to Go Totally Ballistic in an extreme Spring Break camp of non-stop exploding, blow-up and propelling action for 2 full days of camp. Two camps, March 26-27 and /or March 28-29 from 9 am-3 pm. Camps are for ages 6-8, and 9-12, and each 2 day camp is $100 per child for members and $110 per child for non-members. (630) 859-3434. Learn more...

Smarty Party
1846 W. Belmont, Chicago
No need to find a sitter - drop the kids off at Smarty Party! Each camp day at Smarty Party offers fun, games, arts and crafts, snack, outside time (weather permitting), story time and more. Taking place April 5,6,9,10,11,12,13 from 9am -1pm. Ages 4 and up. $40 per child. (773) 687-0521. Learn more...

Springglass Camp at Lookingglass Theatre
821 N Michigan Ave., Chicago
Lookingglass brings the fun of Summergglass Camp to a week-long Springglass Spring Break Camp! Mornings are spent learning physical theatre skills, which may include juggling, stilt walking, and stage combat. During the afternoons, campers adapt their own versions of stories from The Odyssey by Homer. Ages 8-14. $350. April 2 - 6. (773) 477-9257, ext 193. Learn more...

Wishcraft
2312 W. Roscoe Street, Chicago
Wishcraft offers a variety of workshops to meet many different interests - and many different spring break schedules! Learn to sew in the morning, and then put those skills to fun use with a project camp. These creative, part-day programs include topics like crochet, hand-sewing, cubist painting, green sewing, recycled fashion and more. Camps run April 2-17. (773) 348-WISH. Learn more...

Monday, February 6, 2012

Girls Night Out Go Red for Women

While I enjoy writing about things to do with kids around Chicago, I'm excited to share information about an upcoming event that's just for the ladies! The Second Annual Girl's Night Out Go Red for Women event is being held on Wednesday, February 29, at 7pm at Alhambra Palace Restaurant, 1240 W. Randolph Street.

I can tell you firsthand that this is a great way to spend a night out, as I attended with friends last year and had a blast. This year's event will feature cocktails, hor d'oeurves, a fashion show, mini beauty treatments, shopping, over $2,000 in raffle prizes, a swag bag and more!

The event is sponsored by WBBM Newsradio, K-HITS, B96 and Sassy Moms in the City, and a portion of the proceeds from the evening will benefit the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women initiatives. Wear red to show your support! Guests are also encouraged to donate a gently used hand bag or professional shoes to donate to Dress for Success, a non-profit dedicated to providing career development to low-income women.

VIP Tickets are $30 and available online at http://beboldgored2012.eventbrite.com/, via email to sassymoms@metromeg.com or by calling 800-320-2289 x1.

WIN TICKETS!

ChicagoKids.com is giving away a pair of VIP tickets! For your chance to win, send us an email to feedback@chicagokids.com with "Go Red" in the subject line. Winner will be chosen on February 17.

Disclaimer:
I was selected to host this giveaway by Sassy Moms in the City and provided two complimentary tickets to the event. And I gladly accepted after having so much fun last year!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Events to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

School's out on Monday, January 16, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and here are some family activities taking place in the coming week in honor of the holiday.

Thursday, January 12

Open Mic Night: I Have a Dream, Dr. King!
Chicago Children's Museum, Navy Pier - 700 E. Grand Ave., Chicago
Express your dreams for freedom and fairness through poetry and freedom songs. Recite excerpts of Dr. King’s famous speech. Then, write a letter to Dr. King expressing your dream for equal rights for all. 5-8 p.m. All ages

Sunday, January 15

Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration with the Brotherhood Chorale
Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue, Evanston
The Music Institute of Chicago honors the extraordinary legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. at its eighth annual celebration of the legendary civic leader, featuring the renowned Brotherhood Chorale of the Apostolic Church of God. The 180-member male choral group will perform an electrifying program of repertoire offering traditional and contemporary gospel and jazz arrangements. All ages. 5pm. Free.

The Journey, The Dream: Annual Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr
Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E. Chicago Ave, Naperville
Mei-Ann Chen, Music Director of the Chicago Sinfonietta, continues Founder Paul Freeman’s cherished annual tradition of paying tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Maestro Chen opens the concert with Zoltán Kodály’s lively Dances of Galánta. Jeri Lynne Johnson then takes the podium to conduct the overture to Ludwig van Beethoven’s delicate Fidelio. All ages. Sunday at 3pm. $35-45.

Monday, January 16

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration
Brookfield Zoo, First Avenue and 31st Street, Brookfield
Free admission! Enjoy a choral celebration by the John F. Kennedy High School Advanced Choir, and see a complete showing of the iconic “I have a Dream” speech. All ages. 11:30 a.m. Free.

King Day Celebration
DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th Pl., Chicago
DuSable Museum will celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the Civil Rights Movement with our annual King Day celebration. The day will be filled with live performances, storytelling, films, food and activities for the entire family. All ages. 10am - 5pm. General admission $10, members $8.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Chicago History Museum, Clark St. at North Ave., Chicago
Commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through family activities and crafts reflecting his messages of peace and justice. Listen to music that honors Dr. King, and attend a performance of The MLK Project by the Writers’ Theatre. Ages 5 and up. 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. Free.

Visit the ChicagoKids.com Calendar of Events to find more events.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Chicago Free Outdoor Winter Family Fun

I appeared this morning on ABC's Windy City Live to talk about free outdoor family fun in January. Here's a link to the video, and a run-down of our favorites.



For some free outdoor adventure in the City....

POLAR ADVENTURE DAYS at Northerly Island takes place from 12-4pm on January 21 and February 18. Northerly Island is located on the Museum Campus near the Lake by Soldier Field. At Polar Adventure Days, held once monthly in the winter months, families can watch ice sculptors, create nature-inspired crafts, hear live entertainment from Old Town School of Folk Music, try out free snowshoeing (weather permitting), meet Siberian Huskies and other live animals. Parking is $3.

ICE SKATING AT MILLENNIUM PARK. The McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park offers a breathtaking background for ice skating. A great activities for families, or just adults, you can enjoy free skating under the lights of the city. . The rink is open through March 11. You can bring your own skates, or you can rent skates for $10.

And throughout the city and suburbs, park districts and their nature centers offer lots of great free options for cross country skiing, winter nature walks, snowshoeing and more. Here are some great suburban picks...

WILLOWBROOK WILDLIFE CENTER in Glen Ellyn has one of the nicer trails for kids in the winter, as it offers some indoor and outdoor areas to explore. There are animals on site that kids can visit, who have been rescued but aren't able to return to the wild on their own. And outside, there's a short 1/2 mile trail that's the perfect distance for a winter family nature walk, which takes you through different types of winter scenery including woodlands, open space and a pond.

HELLER NATURE CENTER is part of the Park District of Highland Park, and offers outdoor nature walks, cross-country skiing and other outdoor activities, as well as some great outdoor special events. On January 26 and February 25, your family can take part in a winter astronomy event for some night sky viewing, and you can use Heller's super powered telescope to view the moon, the stars and Jupiter.

SLEDDING AND SNOWBOARDING IN NAPERVILLE. The Naperville Park District has many great facilities for outdoor adventure. One great sled hill is at Rotary Hill, which overlooks the downtown area and you can sled with a view of the downtown area. And there's even a with a hill that's exclusively for snowboarding - Weigand Riverfront Park allows NO sleds, only snowboards!