Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Monday 9/7 - Sunday 9/13

My apologies for the late blog posting this week.  A Labor Day weekend road trip with the family has me a little behind. We are way off schedule, bribery with sugary snacks has reached a new level, and in car DVD watching has reached a new high.  Road tripping with a two year old while 7 months pregnant may not sound like a good time to many people, but it is definitely worth it as we've already made a thousand memories that will last a lifetime.  It will be our last major trip before this family goes from 3 to 4 so we are treasuring every moment.  Except maybe the pre-dinner romp in the fountain that left my soaking wet child pant-less and caused me to reach way down in my mom-bag of tricks to figure out a way to hide the fact that he was wearing only a diaper from the waste down from the wait staff and patrons of the restaurant where we dined.  


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.
When: Wednesday • 5p-7p
Where: Gompers Park • 4222 W Foster, Chicago

Sign and Stride:  Baby Signs (sign language class for parents and their babes) and Stroller Strides (fitness class that moms can do with their babes) are teaming up and offering a free class on Wednesday.  Learn some signs with your little one, get a little exercise, meet Beebo the Baby Signs Bear, enjoy story time and songs.  FREE
When: Wednesday 11a-12n (allow extra time for parking)
Where: Diversey Harbor • 141 W Diversey Parkway (Meet at Windy City Field House in the event of rain)

Harvest Fest:  Summer is winding down and sadly, so is the festival season.  Make sure to take advantage of the few fests left on the calendar while we enjoy some of the best weather of the year!  Harvest Fest is a family friendly event which will include carnival rides, games, and music for the kiddos.  You can feel good about the $5 donation as it benefits the Jahn World Language School. 
Where: 1900 W Belmont
When: Friday 3p-10p • Sat 12n-10p • Sun 12n-9p

Wake Up and Boogie Down Festival:   You've got to love that this NPN event starts at 9am on Saturday! My only complaint about the plethora of fests in the city of Chicago is that most of them start at noon, a tough putt when you have a 1p nap deadline.  Anyway, NPN's inaugural fundraiser features musical entertainment by Little Miss Ann, arts and crafts, maraca making, kid-friendly food and drinks, and more.  It sounds like it is going to be somewhat similar to Baby Loves Disco minus the disco.  $20 for adults and $10 for kids over 1 year old.  $50 for a family of four.
Where:  LaSalle Power Company • 500 N LaSalle
When: Sat 9a-12n

57th Street Children's Book Fair: It's a book fair and family festival rolled into one!  Head to Hyde Park to enjoy music, dancing, food, and crafts.  Book characters such as Curious George, Clifford, Miss Spider, Winnie the Pooh, Madeline, will appear and parade throughout the fest.
Where: 57th Street between Kenwood and Kimbark
When: Sunday 1p-6p


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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