Sunday, August 30, 2009

Monday 8/31 - Sunday 9/6

Thought of the Week: Buy Blue
I somewhat successfully moved The Little Man into his Big Boy Room/Bed 3 weeks ago.  Let's just say that the past three week adjustment period has been the best of times and the worst of times. Today, I'm celebrating day three in a row of napping in the bed (vs crawling out of it over and over and over again).  Currently, the room is bare and empty with the exception of his bed and transportation bedding because there can be no distractions luring him away from his helicopter/scooter/car haven.  After feeling guilty that the kid has stared at blank walls, floors, and closet for three weeks I decided that today was the day to jump into decorating.  With little inspiration in mind, I headed to the Randolph Antique Market hoping to find some vintage traffic signs to hang on the wall.  I completely struck out in that category, but found some adorable prints at the Blue Thimble booth that were screaming out for me to purchase them for a kids room - just not my kid's room as they did not include a bus, or a train, or a blimp.  However, the artist is SUPER cool and agreed to create prints that look like her adorable prints only they will include autos instead of animals.  Woo-hoo!  She's seriously motivating me to redecorate the baby room with those cute squirrels, ponies, snails, peacocks, and/or owls. Click here on her site Blue Thimble at if you are looking for some unique art for your kid's room.  Also check out her pillows and lunch bags. Allison is local, so you can also see her work in person at the Renegade Craft Fair on Division 9/13-9/14.  I'm sure she would customize something for you if you love her style as much as I do!  What an awesome way to buy local and handmade items for your tot!


Robbert Bobbert at the Family Fun Festival: Millennium Park's Family Fun Festival season wraps up the summer's end with a concert for kids and parents alike.  The Bunny Clogs open with evening with dance and rock.  Robbert follows with Beach Boys inspired music that the whole family will love.
Where: Jay Pritzker Pavilion Millennium Park
When: Monday 6:30p

Little Diggers Classes:  The Botanic Garden starts a series of classes in September for 2, 3, and 4 year olds focused on nature activities including fruits, vegetables, animals, changing seasons, etc.  Kids will pot plants, take nature walks, and participate in greenhouse activities.  This is not a drop off program so mom, dad, grandma, the nanny, or another nature loving adult needs to participate as well.  This week kicks off the series of four classes which cost $56 for members and $64 for non-members.  Click the above link for class schedule by age group.  
Where: Botanic Garden • 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe
When: First class starts either Wednesday or Thursday

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 turtles and other animals, participate in nature-themed art projects, and listen to live performances by artists from Old Town School of Folk Music. FREE.
When: Wednesday • 5p-7p
WhereMcKinley Park • 2210 W Pershing Rd, Chicago

Sign and Play in the Park: Wendy Auffant, a local mom/speech therapist/baby sign language class instructor, is offering a baby/toddler signing class for FREE this week.  And bonus: you and your baby/toddler can enjoy this week's class in the great outdoors at Welles Park!  Her free class includes learning starter signs, songs, story time, and learning signing games you can play at home with your wee-one.  Bring a blanket or towel unless you like to sit on soggy grass. RSVP for this week's free class by emailing:  Click the link above for some great tips on signing as well as class info. 
Where: Welles Park • 2333 W Sunnyside, Chicago
When:  Thursday 10a-10:45a or 11a-11:45a

Chic-A-Go-Go: Millennium Park is pulling out all the stops for it's final week of Family Fun Fest.  Come down to dance and meet Ratso, Miss Mia, and Crew for the two Chic-A-Go-Go performances on Friday. 
Where: Target Family Fun Kids Tent • Millennium Park
When: Friday 1p and 1:45p

Bring the Movement 5K Run/Walk: This family friendly 5K, brought to you by the Chicago Dance Institute, is good for you and good for the community as it benefits Arts Education in Chicago Public Schools.  Bring your kids swimsuits and a towel as River Park has a great water spray playground area that the kiddies can cool off in post-race. Click on the above link to register online through Wednesday 12m.  Adults $25 children under 12 who are running/walking $15.
Where: River Park • Argyle and Francisco, Chicago
When: Sunday 9a • Day of registration is at 8a

Malott Japanese Garden Children's Festival:  There's many reasons to hit the Botanic Garden on Sunday including a Farmer's Market, a Chef Series, and various family drop in activities.  Make sure to stop by the Malott Japanese Garden to learn about children's celebrations in Japan. There will be music, folk tales, a tea ceremony, and crafts such as origami and paper doll making. This week's theme is Japanese kites so expect some kite making activities.
Where: The Botanic Garden • 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe
When: Sunday 11a-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 TimeAre 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 ZooIn 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 GardenStarting 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 ConservatoryEvery 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 MarketVisit 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 Upwhen 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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