Sunday, August 23, 2009

Monday 8/24 - Sunday 8/30

WTTW held another great Fun and Run event again this year in Lincoln Park. And while 8am was a tad early for a Ralph's World concert, it was pretty cool to see him in a small tent with a small crowd performing songs requested by the audience. The Little Man was thrilled to dance and play air guitar front row to his Ralph's World favorites "We are Ants" and "At the Bottom of the Sea". What he was not thrilled by was waiting in line for a 1/2 hour to meet his favorite character, Curious George, only to have George whisked away in a golf cart when he had made it to the front of the line. George was replaced by Clifford, but to him this was like snatching away his cupcake and replacing it with broccoli. And the explanation of George having to leave to take his nap didn't really cut it. WTTW, I get it that you cannot be liable for an hourly employee suffocating in a Curious George costume after taking 30 minutes worth of photos with screaming toddlers, but next year could you have another Curious George in waiting? I think my kid would tolerate the 'George has a twin brother pulling up in a golf cart' explanation a little better than the nap story.


Concerts in the Park: During the summer, head to the gazebo in Welles Park for a free show every Tuesday night. This week's musician is Joel Frankel (kids band). I don't know anything about him, but he's got a song called "Wash, Rinse, Dry" (against H1N1) so I like him already. Bring a blanket and a picnic and rock out with the fam. FREE
Where: Welles Park gazebo • 2333 W. Sunnyside
When: Tuesday 6:30p-8:30p

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 a fox, participate in a scavenger hunt as well as other animal-themed activities. FREE.
Where: Garfield Park Conservatory • 300 N Central Park Ave
When: Wednesday 3p-6p (drop in anytime)

Movie in the Park - Bee Movie: Let your kids stay up late this week and enjoy movie watching in the great outdoors under the stars. Pack up your chairs, blankets and popcorn and head to the Conservatory for the buzz on bees with Jerry Seinfeld and Renee Zellweger. FREE.
Where: Garfield Park • 1425 N Damen, Chicago
When: Wednesday 8p-10p

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

Bucktown Arts Fest: Mini-hipsters will enjoy hanging out in Bucktown this weekend at a neighborhood art fest in the park. The Children's Tent will feature craft projects such as painting clay pots, making mobiles from found objects, as well as musicians, and story time.
Where: Senior Citizens Park • 2300 N Oakley
When: Saturday 11a-7p

McDonald's Kids Triathlon: Are you kidding me? These kids would put me to shame in any given physical fitness category. Kids 7-14 years old will compete in a mini-triathlon on Saturday as a precursor to the Chicago Triathlon on Sunday. Head to Foster Ave beach on Saturday to cheer these guys on. It might be good motivation - if a 7 year old can finish a triathlon then the least I can do is set foot on my treadmill, right? (I type this literally as I'm shoving a brownie in my face).
Where: Foster Ave Beach • 5200 North at the lake
When: Saturday 9a

Downtown Palatine Street Fest: If you live in the city, this fest is a bit of a haul, but there is a ton of fun stuff for the little tikes that makes it worth it to road trip to Palatine. Little Miss Ann will perform on the kids' stage on Saturday and Ralph's World performs on Sunday. There will also be performance by the Jesse White Tumblers, a magic show, a bean bag toss tournament, a chili cook off, a farmer's market, and an opportunity for the kids to do karaoke. Entrance to the fest is FREE.
Where: Downtown Palatine • 40 N Brockway Street
When: Friday 5p-12m • Sat 11a-12m • Sun 11a-8p (Family Fest events are Sat and Sun only)

Laura Doherty Concert: Come to Schubas to catch a performance by the director of the Wiggle Worms program at Old Town School of Music. Laura will perform songs off her new album "Kids in the City". The album's theme revolves around city living, giving your urban tots a chance to rock out to songs about the El train, skyscrapers, elevators, farmer's markets, and more. $6 per person.
Where: Schubas • 3159 N Southport, Chicago
When: Sunday 4p


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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