Sunday, April 26, 2009

Monday 4/27/09 - Sunday 5/3/09


1.The Naperville Duck Race has been rescheduled for 5/16 due to the river level being too high

2. This Saturday 5/2 is the Kids and Kites Festival at Montrose Harbor. Kids can make and fly their own kite as well as participate in face painting, arts and crafts, etc. This is a free festival. 10a-4p Montrose and Lakeshore Drive.

I hope everyone was able to get out and enjoy the awesome weather we experienced for a few days last week. My son and I hit the free day at the Arboretum on Friday (fun but very crowded and tons of traffic) and the whole fam went to Kids on the Square on Saturday (a little disappointing). This coming week offers up some decent weather and a few days of rain. Below are some indoor and outdoor activities for the week. Don't forget to make your Mother's Day brunch and/or spa reservations this week.

Thought of the Week: SLOW FOOD
Last summer I participated in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) with a friend of mine. By participating in a CSA, you are essentially buying a share of a local farm's produce for the season. The process cuts out the grocery store middle man, and allows you access to fresh, local, and typically organic, produce every week. Most farms provide their customers with a fairly large box of vegetables to be picked up weekly in locations throughout the city and suburbs. Some farms are willing to deliver the produce right to your door. Aside from fruits and veggies, many farms also offer dairy and egg shares. The CSAs tend to sell out pretty quickly, but the one I participated in last summer, Growing Home, still has shares available. Growing Home is a farm in the south suburbs that trains and employs homeless and low income Chicagoans. Every week I received a box with organic lettuce or other salad greens and various other veggies such as carrots, cucumbers, onions, garlic, beets, broccoli, potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, and herbs. They have pick up locations throughout the city as well as in Evanston or offer door to door delivery. Not sure you are ready to fully commit to a full CSA share? Do what I did and split your weekly bounty with a friend. Buying from a CSA helps the local farmers, the local economy, and provides a variety of healthy produce for your family.


Wind Week at the Nature Museum: This exhibit demonstrates how scientist use wind to make energy. Kids can make their own windmill.
Where: 2430 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago
When: Sun 4/26 -Th 4/30 • 9a-4:30p
Tip: Every Thursday is free admission at the nature museum. This is a great place to bring your kids on a cold/rainy day as they will be entertained for hours in the butterfly haven, the indoor play area, the maze, and animal/insect exhibits. Old batteries cluttering your drawers? Bring them with you as there is a battery recycling area at the entrance of the museum.

Kohl Children's Museum: There are several reasons to visit the Children's Museum in Glenview this week. First, the annual Eggs to Chicks exhibit is included with the price of admission to the museum. The exhibit features a child-height egg incubator, hatchery and pen for newborn chicks. For train lovers, the Let's Play Railway exhibit features rides around the museum in a fully operational kiddie train. There is an additional $2 fee to ride the train. Where: 2100 Patriot Boulevard, Glenview When: Eggs to Chicks - through 5/11/09. Railway: through 5/4/09. The museum opens at 9:30a Mon-Sat and 12n on Sunday.

Gymboree Play and Music: The Gymboree city locations are allowing members to bring their friends to Open Play times this week. During Open Play, kids have free rein of the place. Find a friend who is a member because an hour of climbing, jumping, playing, and tumbling pretty much guarantees a huge night of sleep for your little one. We could all use that guarantee.
Where: Lakeview: 3158 N. Lincoln Ave / Lincoln Park 1030 W. North Ave / South Loop: 600 W. Roosevelt Road
When: 4/27-5/1 during Open Gym (times listed below)
Lakeview: Tues 3p-5p, Wed 4p-6p, Fri 3p-5p
Lincoln Park: Mon 3p-7p, Th 4p-5p, Fri 3p-5p
South Loop: Th 3:30-6p, Fri 3p-5p
Tip: parents, make sure you bring a pair of socks with you or you'll be required to buy the bright red or turquoise Gymboree socks for $3 a pair. Also check out the Summer Fun Passport Membership while you are there. For the price of one class, you can attend an unlimited number of classes during the summer months. I signed my son up last summer and thought it was great value! We did Play, Music, and Art classes on a regular basis. I never felt guilty about skipping class on a sunny day, because I knew we could participate in a class or two the next time we had inclement weather.

Garfield Park Conservatory: On the last Wednesday of the month, an animal handler showcases a live animal during Wild Wednesdays at the Conservatory. This week's special guest in an Armadillo. Visitors will get a close up look at the Armadillo and can ask the handler questions about the little critter. There will also be a scavenger hunt and a children's garden dig. The cost is free! While you are there, check out the beautiful Spring Flower Show.
Where: 300 N. Central Park Ave in the Children's Garden
When: Wed 4/29 3p-6p (this is the last Wednesday of the series until next winter)

Baskin Robbins: In honor of America's firefighters, Baskin Robbins is kicking off the ice cream season with 31 Cent Scoop Night. A fun family outing at a great price.
When: Wed 4/29 • 5p-10p
Where: local participating Baskin Robbins

Smarty Party: In desperate need of date night? Smarty Party is holding two evening events this weekend for kids ages 4+ so that mom and dad can get some one-on-one time. On Friday night, it is Cinqo de Mayo Movie Night. Kids will get to partake in popular Mexican crafts, food, and kiddy sangria. There will also be a screening of "Scooby Doo and the Monsters of Mexico". The cost is $25 per child. On Saturday night, Smarty Party is hosting Mother's Day Craft and Movie Night. Kids will make a card and gift for mom, eat dinner and watch a movie. The cost is $30 per child. RSVP 773.687.0521
When: Friday 5/1 • 5:30-8:30p and Saturday 5/2 • 5p-8p Where: 1846 W. Belmont, Chicago

Long Grove Chocolate Festival: At this annual festival in Long Grove, your family can try all types of chocolate creations, see Abe Lincoln being carved out of a hunk of chocolate, and listen to bands on one of two stages. Check out Long Groves cute shops and restaurants while you are in town. I really love downtown Long Grove and think that this festival is a great reason to check it out, especially if you've never been there. Where: Downtown Long Grove - 307 McHenry Road When: Fri 5/1-Sun 5/3 • 10a-6p

20th Annual Duck Race: Come down to the Naperville Riverwalk to participate in the annual rubber ducky race! Grab a spot a long the river to watch the floaters or purchase a race duck for $5 and become an active participant. There is a carnival prior to the race. Where: Naperville's Riverwalk Rotary Hill When: Saturday 5/2 • Carnival starts at 10a • Duck Race at 1p.


The Alder Planetarium is showing One World, One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure staring, you guessed it, your kids' favorite Sesame Street characters. Big Bird, Elmo, and a friend from China, discover fun facts about the stars, planets, sun and moon. Weekday shows are at 1p and 2:30p and weekend shows are 12n and 3p. Tuesday 4/28 is a free admission day at the planetarium. Otherwise the cost of entry plus the show is $19 for adults and $15 for kids ages 3-14. 1300 S. Lakeshore Drive, Chicago.

Brookfield Zoo: In the Dinosaurs Alive! exhibit, the Brookfield Zoo has created a Jurassic Park experience minus all the scary stuff. Kids can touch and control the movement of life-sized dinosaurs along a wooded path in an outdoor forest setting. The exhibit also features a dig site that allows visitors to find replica dinosaur fossils. General zoo admission is $12 for adults and $8 for children 3-11. Admission for Dinosaurs Alive! is an additional $5 for adults and $3 for children 3-11. The exhibit runs through October.

The Field Museum: Aaargh! Pirates are a hot topic these days. You and your kids can learn all about the ups and downs of pirate life at the Real Pirates exhibit. This exhibit features hundreds of artifacts recovered from the wreck of the first fully authenticated pirate ship discovered in U.S. waters almost 300 years ago. Admission to the museum is $13 for adults and $9 for children ages 3-11. If you want to see the Real Pirate exhibit the cost is $21 for adults and $12 for children. The field museum is free on the second Monday of each month. Upcoming free days are: Monday 5/11 and Monday 6/8 • 1400 S. Lakeshore Drive, Chicago.

The Kids' Table offers cooking classes for 2-3 year olds almost every day of the week. Classes for 4-6 year olds, 7-10 year olds, and 11-16 year olds are offered several days a week as well. The classes for toddlers and kids are one hour and cost $25. The classes for teens are 1.5 hours and are $110 for a series of four. 2337 W. North Avenue.

Pump It Up: when it is too hot or cold to play outside, Pump It Up offers indoor play in Chicago and the suburbs. Kids can jump, slide, and climb on giant inflatables during Pop-in Playtime on the weekdays. The city location also has a separate area designed for little kids age 1-4. Pop-in playtime is $8 -$10 for 1.5 hours. Hit their website for hours and the address of the location nearest you. Locations include: Chicago, Glenview, Elmhurst, and Vernon Hills. Don't forget socks!

**thoughts and opinions found on Windy City Tot are strictly my own. i am not paid by any entities for the opinions i express on my blog.

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