Thursday, July 23, 2009

Monday 7/27 - Sunday 8/2

Ahhh....heavenly bliss. A big shout out to my husband who treated me to a spa day while he took our son to Taste of Lincoln on Sunday. While they bounced, crafted, and ate their way through another summer street fest, I was rubbed, scrubbed, and pampered. Just what the doctor ordered.

Thought of the Week: You Scream I Scream
According to my son, he did not receive an ample amount of treats at Wicker Park fest on Saturday and was sure that he deserved some ice cream on the way out. His pregnant mama was sure she deserved a seat and some air-conditioning, so we rolled the stroller into the space-age looking iCream Cafe on Milwaukee. What makes this ice cream shop different from any other is that all the ice cream is made to order with liquid nitrogen, producing enough "smoke" to impress even the crankiest post-festival toddler. The flavors and choices are endless, from ice cream to frozen yogurt to sorbet, all created from scratch in front of your eyes. While the Little Man simply wanted some vanilla topped with jelly bellies, I was able to create a delicious fresh coconut, black cherry, chocolate concoction. Using fresh ingredients and some liquid magic, our frozen treats were produced like magic with plenty of "ews and ahs" from my son. Kids or kids-at-heart can order ice cream or yogurt in a variety of colors turning plain vanilla into a brightly colored frozen heap. Adults will love the grown-up flavor options like almond, green tea, or nutella. And those families with dietary restrictions don't need to worry as all items can be ordered lactose free, sugar free, nut free, or vegan. For kids obsessed with science and yumminess, iCream Cafe is available for birthday parties. It is a one of a kind experience and a local, independent business - a win-win in my book.


Free Mocha Mondays: Need a pick-me-up? McDonald's is giving Starbucks a run for its money in the mocha world by offering free iced or hot mochas this Monday and next. No coupon necessary.
When: Monday 7a-7p
Where: Your nearest McDonald's

Bees at Work: Every Tuesday and Saturday during the summer, the Garfield Park Conservatory bee keepers allow visitors to watch bee hive maintenance in action. Guests will learn all about what the busy bees are up to and can ask questions of the bee professionals. FREE.
Where: Garfield Park Conservatory Demonstration Garden • 300 N Central Park Ave, Chicago
When: Tuesdays and Saturdays 10:30a-11:30a

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 "Kung Fu Panda".
Where: Davis Theater • 4614 N Lincoln Ave
When: Tues and Wed • Doors at 9:30a/Movie at 10a

Family Evening at Kilbourn Park: Kilbourn Park never fails to disappoint me with their kids events. Stop by this week to tour the organic green house (where I always buy my veggie seedlings for our spring planting), have an encounter with small animals, do some arts and crafts and watch a cooking demonstration. There will be something for parent and tot alike!
Where: Kilbourn Park • 3501 N Kilbourn, Chicago
When: Wednesday 5:30p-7:30p

Wild Wednesdays: On the last Wednesday of the month, Garfield Park has a live animal show-and-tell with professional animal handler Scott Heinrichs. This week guests can get a close-up look at bats, participate in a scavenger hunt and other animal activities. FREE
Where: Garfield Park Conservatory • 300 N Central Park Ave
When: Wednesday 3p-6p (drop in anytime)

Open Streets: On Saturday 8-miles of Chicago's Boulevards are turned from a thoroughfare for cars to a playground for your feet. From Fullerton all the way south 24th Blvd, the people of Chicago can walk, run, bike, skip, and play without the fear of cars getting in their way. This is a great way to get some exercise while checking out Chicago's beautiful tree-lined Boulevards.
Where: From Logan Square to Little Village (click above link for map)
When: Saturday 8:30a-2p

Retro on Roscoe: This fest has something for the whole fam - an antique car show, chili cook-off, art, antiques, various vendors, and music. The west stage features all the major names in kids' bands including Mary Macaroni, Scribble Monster, Ralph's World, and Justin Robers. The kids' area will also feature crafts, games, costumed characters, and more.
Where: Roscoe Village 2000 West Roscoe, Chicago
When: Sat and Sun 12n-10p

Russian American Kids Circus: 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 Saturday, veterans of the Moscow Circus take the stage performing acrobatics, unicycling, juggling, balancing acts, and more. Click on the above link to buy your tickets ahead of time.
Where: 200 Ravinia Park Road • Highland Park
When: Saturday • Gates at 10a and performance at 12n

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

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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