Friday, June 26, 2009

Monday 6/29 - Sunday 7/5

Thought of the Week: Beat The City Heat
As usual in Chicago, I went from wearing a fleece one day to flip flops and shorts the next. It is finally hot, which I love and hate mostly because my 100 year old dwelling doesn't have central AC. As a result, I am constantly wanting to do something with my son that involves being submerged in water. While there are so many things I love about living in the city, I like to head to burbs for the "swim pools", as my son calls them. Last summer we spent a lot of time at the Centennial Pool in Wilmette. Why Wilmette? It opens at 9a on weekdays which is key if you are working around an afternoon nap, the kiddie pool is gated off from the big pool so you never have to bribe your child to come back to the baby pool, and the pool includes a small water slide making it entertaining for young children but small enough that you can manage two kids by yourself. Plus, city dwellers can take Lincoln or Ridge almost the entire way there, never having to risk sitting in a traffic jam on 94. It costs $13.75 for non-residents and children under 2 are free. This summer, we are going to branch out a bit and hit Deerfield's Deerspring Pool. It also opens early, at 9:30a on weekdays, and in addition to the kiddie pool it offers a water slide and a spray ground. Your kids, no matter what their age, will not get bored at this pool. The Deerspring Pool is further from the city, about 5 minutes from the Botanic Garden, which is not too bad of a drive if you live on the northside. Also north of the city is the Hidden Creek AquaPark in Highland Park. It opens at 10a, has water slides, a kiddie pool, a spray area, and a sand area. It is $12 for visitors over 3 years old. Heading west, the Oak Park Rehm Pool is right off of I-290, opens at 10:30, features a kiddie pool, a spray-play area, and a sand play area. It is $9 for ages 1 and up. Click on the pool names above for more detailed information. Happy splashing.


Concerts in the Park: Want to feel like you are on an island getaway while entertaining your kids this week? Pack your cooler with Red Stripes and juice boxes and head to Welles Park to see Nelson Gill. He performs music for kids with a reggae/caribbean/island beat. Every Tuesday night this summer the gazebo in Welles Park features free concerts. FREE.
Where: Welles Park gazebo • 2333 W. Sunnyside
When: Tuesday 6:30p-8:30p

Craft Mobile: Throughout the week the Chicago Park District is bringing an outdoor crafting station to various parks and playlots throughout the city. Kids under age 6 can enjoy outdoor craft projects including sidewalk murals, stained glass window hangings, drawing, and more. All crafting supplies will be provided. Hit the above website for where to find the Craft Mobile this week. Stops include the Ravenswood Manor Playlot, Matanky Playlot, Cedar Playlot, and several more. FREE
Where: Various playgrounds throughout the city
When: Mon - Fri this week

Lincoln Park Zoo's Edible Garden: Don't have room for a garden on your back deck? Bring your little ones to the Farm-in-the-Zoo's Edible Garden where kids get hands-on growing, weeding, compost making, and harvesting practice. Your kids may leave with an understanding that corn and tomatoes are grown somewhere other than Jewel.
Where: Lincoln Park Zoo Farm-in-the Zoo • 2200 N Canon Drive, Chicago
When: Garden is open Wed and Sat 10a-1p

Toddlers, Tunes, and Turtles: this Park District program will make its way to various Chicago parks throughout the summer. Kids can get up close and personal with a turtle and other animals, participate in nature-themed art projects, and listen to live performances by artists from Old Town School of Folk Music. FREE
Tip: This park includes an awesome water playground. The water play area includes a slide, a spray area, and a water jungle gym . Put your kids in swimsuits and bring some towels for an entire afternoon of fun.
Where: Adams Playground • 1919 N Seminary Ave
When: Wednesday • 5p-7p

Eyes to the Sky Festival: The 29th annual hot air balloon festival is huge, on 110 acres of the Lisle Community Park, featuring a large children's area. The hot air balloon area will feature a ginormous Energizer Bunny, Felix the Cat, and a Garden balloon (complete with fruits, veggies, and butterflies). The children's area will have the obligatory face painting, petting zoo, crafts, and musical entertainment. I am most intrigued by the lumberjack show for kids which will include logrolling, axe throwing, chainsaw carving, and a boom run. There will be bands galore on the main stage each night. On Friday and Saturday night the balloons will light up the sky at 8:15p during the Balloon Glow and the events will conclude with fireworks at 9:45p. Admission is $3 for ages 6 and over.
Where: Lisle Community Park (click link above for directions and exact location)
When: Carnival Wed-Sun • Balloon Fest Thur-Sat (click link above for daily times)

Family Village at the Taste: Normally I would advise parents from staying away from the Taste at all costs. I would rather go to a neighborhood festival for funnel cake and corn dogs than trek all the way downtown just to be crammed shoulder to shoulder in a hot, sticky, tourist-laden crowd. But, I have to admit that the Family Village at the Taste this year sounds intriguing. This week the Museum of Science & Industry, the Art Institute, and the Shedd Aquarium will be present in the family area with crafts and activities. There will be inflatables, face painting, games, recycling projects and kite making. There is a meet and greet with Sid the Science Kid, the Wiggles, and Bugs Bunny this week as well. What more can you ask for?
Where: The Taste of Chicago Family Village • southwest corner of Columbus and Jackson
When: Mon-Sun • 11a-7p

Fireworks Shows: if you want to keep your little ones up late for some explosions in the sky, here's a list of some of the local fireworks shows. Click each listing for a link to more information.
Taste of Chicago - live music at 7:30p in the Petrillo Music Shell. fireworks start at 9:30p.
Lisle - at the Lisle Community Park. Part of the Eyes to the Sky Fest
Evanston - has a highly rated 4th of July celebration. parade, concert, and fireworks.
Lisle - at the Lisle Community Park. part of the Eyes to the Sky Fest (see below for listing)
Navy Pier - downtown Chicago. 9p on the 4th.
Oak Park - OPRF high school at dusk.

Justin Roberts Concert at Ravina: Ravina isn't just for the wine and cheese crowd anymore. Jump on the Metra with your little ones and a picnic basket and head to the Northshore concert venue this weekend to hang with the PB&J crowd. On Sunday, the ever-popular Justin Roberts will be rocking the stage. Click on the above link to buy your tickets ahead of time, his concert will surely sell out. $10 for reserved seats and $5 for lawn.
Where: 200 Ravinia Park Road • Highland Park
When: Sundday • Gates at 1p and performance at 2p

Chicago Children's Museum: Sunday is a free day at the Children's Museum and a perfect time to check out the new Block Party exhibit. Block Party is a kids-sized replica of Chicago's neighborhood festivals. Kids will have the chance to get on stage to perform in a rock band, prepare meals in food booths for the festival goers, use the cash registers, or just chill out on the lawn for some people watching and live music.
Where: Navy Pier • 700 E. Grand Ave, Chicago
When: Sunday is free for kids 15 and under • Hours are M-W/F-Sun 10a-5p and Th 10a-8p


The Alder Planetarium The Planetarium is currently showing One World, One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure in which 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. The cost of entry plus the show is $19 for adults and $15 for kids ages 3-14.
Where: 1300 S. Lakeshore Drive, Chicago.
When: Mon-Fri 10a-4p • Sat-Sun 10a-4:30p

Barnes and Noble Story Time: Are you looking for a free activity for a rainy day? You can enjoy a latte while your kids enjoy story time at one of the Barnes and Noble city locations. 2-3 times a week the city locations offers a story time activity for children ages 0-3 years.
Where: Webster Place (1441 W. Webster) or State and Elm (1130 N. State)
When: Webster- Every Mon, Tues, Thurs 10am / State- Every Mon & Sat 10am

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.

Chicago Botanic Garden -Model Railroad Garden: Starting this week, the Botanic Garden is featuring an area devoted to model trains. Seventeen trains travel across bridges, through tunnels, and around various American landmarks in a miniature garden setting. Admission to the Botanic Garden is free but there is a $20 per car parking fee. There is an additional fee of $5 for adults and $3 for kids for the Railroad exhibit.
Where: 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe
When: Daily 5/9-10/25 • 10a-8p

Family Fun Festival: Kid-friendly activities start up again this week in Millennium Park. Head down there any day this summer for a Wiggleworms class, story time Reading Circle, or music and dancing during Family Performance. The perfect place to wiggle and sing, chill-out, boogie, do the bean-thing, and run through the fountains all in the same day. FREE
Where: Millennium Park Chase Promenade North
When: Daily starting Wed 6/10 • 10a Wiggleworms • 11a Reading Circle • 1p Family Performance

Garfield Park Conservatory: Every Wednesday through the fall is Little Green Thumb Wednesdays at the conservatory. Little gardeners can unite to dig in the soil, plant pretend veggies, play with wheel barrels, and other gardening activities. No registration required. FREE!
Where: 300 N. Central Park Avenue, Chicago • Outside in the Demonstration Garden (moves indoors to the Children's Garden in bad weather)
When: Every Wednesday through 10/28 • 3p-6p

Green City Market: Visit Chicago's largest Farmer's Market in the heart of Lincoln Park every Wed and Sat through October 31st. Be sure to stop by the Growing Home booth for your organic produce. My son loves to run around the park and boogie to the live music while I shop for our groceries.
Tip: if you are not a zoo member, consider becoming one. why would i pay to join a free zoo, you ask? zoo membership gives you free parking adjacent to the zoo and a short walk to the farmer's market (as well as a short walk to the nature museum, the beach, etc). plus zoo membership is tax deductible. we usually get an early start on saturday mornings and hit the farmer's market and then make a stop at the zoo. this makes for a full morning of outdoor activities that the entire family can enjoy!
Where: The south end of Lincoln Park between Clark and Stockton.
When: Every Wednesday and Saturday 7a-1p

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.

Museum of Science and Industry: Bring your kids to see the Harry Potter exhibit, the Green Home exhibit, and to see live science experiments. June through October the museum will host a free farmers market on the first and third Fridays of the month from 7a-2p. The museum will always have free admission on farmers market Fridays. Otherwise, general admission is $13 for adults and $9 for kids ages 3-11.
Where: 5700 S. Lakeshore Drive, Chicago
When: Mon-Sat 9:30a-5:3op / Sun 11a-5:30p

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!

Tots on Tuesdays at the Shedd: Every Tuesday the Shedd Aquarium offers activities devoted to toddlers and pre-schoolers. There are story times, crafts, animal touch programs, videos and costumed characters.
Where: The Shedd Aquarium • 1200 S. Lakeshore Drive, Chicago
When: Tuesdays • 9a-5p

No comments:

Post a Comment