Sunday, July 19, 2009

Monday 7/20 - Sunday 7/26

The weekend took a turn for the unexpected when my toddler came down with the Hand, Foot, and Mouth Virus on Saturday. This is apparently the time of year for it, so keep your antibacterial wipes and gels handy. So while my husband enjoyed 2 days of music at Pitchfork, I had a hot little head laying in my lap watching 2 days worth of DVR'ed Little Einsteins and Blues Clues. And while there is nowhere else I'd rather be when my little man needs his mommy, I'm thinking that next weekend is spa weekend. Quid pro quo hubby.

Thought of the Week: Land of No
I consider myself a gold medalist at the sport of shopping. I know when the markdown days are at my favorite stores, I keep my receipts handy for price adjustments, I always seek and find my way to discounts. I started shopping online this week for my toddler's big boy bed. I've decided that he needs a trundle bed so that when his little bff sleeps over one day, we'll have a place for him to crash. An extra mattress, the same footprint as a twin bed, what's not to love? The price. Pottery Barn and Land of Nod want to charge me along the lines of $1000 for a trundle bed. Not including the mattress. My little man has bit, scratched and kicked his crib enough to confirm that the $249 crib from Walmart was the way to go (btw, if you are in the market for a crib, click here for the one I own and love). Anyway, dropping four figures on a bed that my child will trash seemed like a ridiculous idea so I decided to make a trek up to the Land of Nod outlet, Nods and Ends, in Northbrook. With 2.5 year old in tow on Thursday, we snacked and sang our way up I-94, finally finding the legendary store in a bizarre industrial office park. We walked in and I couldn't believe it, among the sea of furniture was a beautiful trundle bed for $419. Fully assembled. Fab. I asked the not-so-helpful guy behind the counter if I could purchase it over the phone later in the day after I measured to make sure it would fit in my door? No. Do they deliver? No. Any further discount for the nick in the bed? No. If I buy today, can I pick it up next weekend? No. While the little man attempted to destroy the store and climb on top of every bed and beanbag in sight, I hurriedly worked out the details of truck rental and pick up coordination with my husband. I report back to cashier man that I'll purchase it and pick it up that night. Done deal. That's when the guy gives me information that a bargain hunter can't resist: Thursday night is "power hour" night. Between the hours of 5p-8p on Thursday night all items in the store are an additional 15% off. Cell phone calculator tells me this is an additional $63 discount. New plan, husband purchases and picks up bed at 5p. Excitedly, my toddler and I leave with visions of a the insta-big boy bed floating in our heads. What the Nods guy didn't tell me is that items fly out the door at this place. When I called a few hours later to confirm that the bed was still there, the girl on the phone told me she had just sold it. Lesson learned: when you see it, snatch it at Nods and Ends. Although I'm still bitter about the bed, I'm not knocking it. In fact, I can't recommend Nods and Ends enough for dressers, beds, bedding, and storage items for your kids. But here's some things to know before you go: all purchases have to be made on site, you must pick up within a week, 15% off hours are Monday 9a-11a and Thursday 5p-8p. As much as I enjoy the thrill of the hunt at Nods and Ends, it looks like I'm going with the Costco trundle as I can't take the emotion of losing in the furniture shopping olympics again. This time, the gold medal goes to some north shore mom who knows to buy a trundle bed on discount when she sees it. Yay for her.


Cavalia: When you try to envision this show, think Cirque du Soleil meets magical horse extravaganza. It features acrobats, dancers, aerialist, trick-riders, and over 30 horses - the stars of the show. The acts are set to live new-age music performed by a hidden orchestra under a white big top tent in the middle of the west loop. This is a dramatic show at a dramatic price. Be prepared to pay anywhere from $35-$210 based on when you go and where you sit. Click on the link above for pricing details.
Where: Racine and Jackson, Chicago
When: Tues-Sun through Aug 2nd

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 their website for where to find the Craft Mobile this week. There are 13 stops this week including the Ravenswood Manor and Senn playlots. FREE.
Where: Various playgrounds throughout the city
When: Weekdays - check link above for schedule

Camp Hollywood Family Film Series at the Davis: Every Tuesday and Wednesday the Davis Theater in Lincoln Square is showing family films for $1 per person! This week the feature presentation is "Mall Cop". Probably best suited for kids over age 12.
Where: Davis Theater • 4614 N Lincoln Ave
When: Tues and Wed • Doors at 9:30a/Movie at 10a

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.
Where: Tues = Daily Bicentennial Plaza • Wed = Lincoln Park (meet at Notebaert Nature Museum)
When: Tuesday and Wednesday • 5p-7p

Nature Story and Activity Hour: Head to Northerly Island for story time followed by a nature themed crafts activity sponsored by the park district. Come a little early or stay late to enjoy the nature paths, play areas, and views of the city skyline. Kids 6 and under. FREE.
Where: Northerly Island • 1400 S Lynn White Drive
When: Wednesday 10a-11a

Dupage County Fair: City dwellers, want to expose your kids to an authentic county fair? Hit Wheaton's this week for entertainment which will include an antique tractor parade, magic shows, 4-H contests, kids' music, a watermelon eating contest, flower and vegetable shows, and more. There will be enough horses, goats, pigs, etc to make you feel like you are way out in the country. Bonus for parents: Los Lobos is playing Wednesday night. Admission is $10 for adults, $3 kids age 3-12, and free for kids 2 and under.
Where: DuPage County Fair Grounds • 2015 Manchester Road, Wheaton
When: Wed-Fri 8a-10a • Sat-Sun 8a-11a

Newberry Library Book Fair: The whole fam can get smarty and get shapely at the 25th annual Newberry Book Fair. Head downtown early for free 9a adult yoga followed by kids' yoga at 10:30a in Washington Park. There will be book signings, live music, and a historic soap box debate between Lincoln and Douglas on Saturday. Aside from the entertainment, the Newberry will have over 100,000 books for sale, many of them priced at $2, which includes children's books.
Where: Newberry Library 60 W Walton Street, Chicago
When: Th-Fri 12n-8p Sat -Sun 10a-6p (book sale is thur-sun and festival is on saturday)

Kid Olympics: No doubt to promote the possibility of the 2016 Olympics in Chicago, the Park District is hosting an olympic event for kids on Northerly Island. Kids can compete in everything from jumping rope, to making art, to naming animal species, and more.
Where: Northerly Island • 1400 S Lynn White Drive
When: Friday 11a-3p

Taste of Lincoln Ave: Big props to the Taste of Lincoln's kids' carnival - while you will have to donate $7 to get into the street festival, the kids fest is absolutely free! There will be children's music on the kids' stage all day plus a giant slide, petting zoo, arts and crafts, pony rides, face painting, games, etc. Enter the kids' carnival on Halsted where it meets the Altgeld cul-de-sac for free admission! If you enter through the street fest, you'll have to pay to get in.
Where: Street Fest is Lincoln Ave between Fullerton and Wrightwood • Kids Carnival is on the 800 Block of West Altgeld
When: Sat and Sun - 12n-6p Kids Carnival • 12n-10p Street Fest

Wicker Park Fest: This fest is clearly targeted to indie rock fans, hipsters, and people who enjoy food from trendy Wicker Park/Bucktown restaurants. Sounds great if you didn't have kids right? Although it is not widely publicized, there is going to be a kids' play area with performances geared to please your little ones. Maybe it will be the best of both worlds. $5 donation.
Where: Milwaukee at North Ave, Chicago
When: Sat and Sun • 12n-10p


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

Chicago Children's Museum: The first Sunday of the month is always 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: M-W/F-Sun 10a-5p and Th 10a-8p

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.

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

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

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