Archive for 2013

101 Things to do with your Chicago Kid

  I am reposting this entry from March 1, 2010 because I came across it in my archives and it really is a pretty darn good list if I do say so myself. I’ve got to really focus if I want to get to all of these things before my kids head off to college.... Read more »

The Morton Arboretum debuts new Illumination Tree Lights Experience

The Morton Arboretum debuts new Illumination Tree Lights Experience
Beginning tomorrow, The Morton Arboretum’s (already lovely) trees will be transformed into an interactive kaleidoscope of color and light during its first-ever winter lights event, Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum. From November 22, 2013 to January 4, 2014, Illumination will offer a holiday experience far beyond traditional twinkling lights, featuring trees that respond to touch and sound, and vivid, electric colors throughout. Combining cutting-edge light technology with the wooded landscape of the Arboretum, Illumination takes visitors on a mile-long, paved walking trail winding around the Arboretum’s Meadow Lake and down its Conifer Walk with plenty of surprises along the way. ...

Mancow Muller says the city of Chicago is "unlivable for families"

In a Chicago Tribune article published today, “shock jock” Erich Mancow Muller says that he recently moved from the city to Wilmette because, “I think they’ve done a good job of making the city unlivable for families.” And he also called kids who go to public school stupid. You know…. because he is a shock... Read more »
Advertisement:

Dose does adorable: Dose Market puts the spotlight on kids and families on November 10

Dose does adorable: Dose Market puts the spotlight on kids and families on November 10
I love Dose Market. And I love it even more now that it takes place just a couple of blocks from my house every Sunday.  Dose Market is always a family-friendly event, but this week the entire market is dedicated to little ones and their moms and dads. Offering a full day of activities and a market filled with bites and delights for everyone inside, this Sunday's Dose Market emphasizes community and bridging connections between families and those who provide the products and services that make life with little ones easier, better and more fun. Here is a short list of the market highlights planned for tomorrow: FREE ACTIVITIES: A Muse makes it a 'Very Merry Unbirthday' art-making activity with movement, drawing from the imagination and collaborative sculpture: smocks will be available for all in addition to mimosas for moms, dads and guardians; photographer Melissa Salvatore of Heritage Littles sets up a sweep and snaps photos of the little ones and lays down a track on which kids can test drive the beautiful Heritage balance bikes; The Land of Nod offers a craft-making station featuring a number of interactive projects kids can participate in alongside a playscape in which kids are invited to let their imagination reign. MARKET FINDS: In addition to a curated selection of adult-focused Dose Market offerings ranging from clothing to accessories to housewares to gifts, Fat Blossom Farm offers Fairy House Kits: sweet, easy-to-assemble building sets made from all-natural, farm-sourced elements; Monica + Andy, a just-launched line for kids newborn to 3T, Doses sweet blankets and impeccably-designed clothes for adventurous boys and girls; Ashley Lillis sells hand-knit kids hats, headbands, scarves and sweaters to keep kids cozy all season long; 7M Woodworking brings beautifully hand-carved building block sets and chopping blocks for busy family kitchens; kids are invited to sit for a Fine Line Studio photo used by the artist to create a hand-cut silhouette. FAMILY EATS: Petit Organics Doses wholesome, fresh, organic baby food, sampling their all-natural offerings alongside store-bought, jarred baby food so parents can taste the difference and enter to win free product. Free drinks for adults will be provided by Chop Shop and Dose Market food offerings will include easy lunch options for all, breakfast baked goods, Dark Matter coffee, old-fashioned confections and more. In all, over 25 Dosers will be participating in this carefully curated Dose Adorable, a Sunday experience designed to bring families together from all over Chicagoland...

Kicking off the Holiday Season in Style: The 16th Annual Nutcracker Family Dinner

Kicking off the Holiday Season in Style: The 16th Annual Nutcracker Family Dinner
The Nutcracker is a family holiday tradition at our house. And while the performance itself is beautiful, the Family Dinner Event makes the experience truly memorable (especially for families with younger kids). The Women’s Board of The Joffrey Ballet presents the 16th Annual Nutcracker Family Dinner which will be held on Sunday, December 8th, 2013 at the Standard Club (320 S. Plymouth Court). This experience will feature entertainment for children and adults alike, a delicious family-friendly dinner, and a matinee performance of Robert Joffrey’s holiday favorite, The Nutcracker. Audience members will revel in the unforgettable holiday tradition complete with brilliant costumes, larger than life scenery, entrancing storytelling and Tchaikovsky’s iconic score. The event begins at 2:00 pm with The Joffrey’s performance ofThe Nutcracker at the Auditorium Theatre.  Following the ballet, guests will be whisked away on festive trolleys to The Standard Club of Chicago for cocktails, lively entertainment and “Activity Stations” the entire family can enjoy...

Snow Much Fun at the Chicago Children's Museum opens November 8, 2013

Snow Much Fun at the Chicago Children's Museum opens November 8, 2013
So the trick-or-treating is officially over. Is it too early to talk about winter? Not really, right? Sure the leaves are still on the trees but gusting winds and sub zero temps are just around the corner. Happy Winter Chicagoans! Chicago winters aren't all bad. There is local fun to be had. Add the Chicago Children’s Museum to your list of winter must-do's. An all-new Snow Much Fun, the museum’s much-loved winter experience, opens November 8th. This family favorite has been re-imagined as an immersive snowy cityscape that’s the perfect setting for winter fun—no mittens required! The all-new Snow Much Fun exhibit features a variety of indoor, frosty fun activities, including...
Advertisement:

Here's to moms helping moms

Here's to moms helping moms
Sometimes women can be truly shitty to one another. This was true in the fifth grade when playground spats broke out over who is REALLY your best friend. This same dynamic really gets going in high school when the mean girls truly come into form and prey upon the vulnerable and the awkward (I was squarely in the latter category). I've also experienced variations on this girl-on-girl meanness in the workplace as women compete for promotions, recognition, etc. and generally try to keep each other down instead of lift each other up. But all of this catty bull shit doesn't compare to how mean moms can be to one another. It is brutal. This isn't a overt kind of a mean. It is more of a snide, judgey, "I'm nodding my head and saying one thing but inside I'm thinking about all of the ways that I am a better mom than you" kind of a thing. Even though one might expect that mothers with young kids would have a "we're all in this together" vibe going, that just isn't the case. Moms are constantly judging other moms. It is disheartening really. But sometimes there are notable exceptions to this unfortunate rule...

My Perfect Family Day in Chicago as featured on Peek.com

My Perfect Family Day in Chicago as featured on Peek.com
I was recently contacted by a website called Peek.com. This website is all about finding the best activities and destinations in cities all around the world AND scoring the best deals on those recommended activities. peekdownload The folks at Peek.com wanted to know what some of my family favorites are in Chicago. I happily shared some of our favorite spots and out-of-the way hidden gems.  I was surprised to see that MY perfect Chicago day feature was published alongside a similar feature about how Nate Berkus likes to spend his days when he is in town. Let's just say that it looks like Nate and I are into different things. ...

The Chicago Children's Theatre presents A Year with Frog and Toad

The Chicago Children's Theatre presents A Year with Frog and Toad
We love the Frog and Toad series by Arnold Lobel. And we love the Chicago Children's Theatre. So we really, really loved A Year with Frog and Toad presented by the Chicago Children's Theatre. This show manages to capture the personalities of these beloved animal characters on their adventures through all four seasons. Readers of the Frog and Toad series will recognize familiar story lines woven throughout the hour-long performance. Those who are new to the tales of frog and toad will be charmed by the antics of grumpy Toad and his loyal and steadfast friend Frog. ...
Advertisement:

Conde Nast Traveler "Global Tasting Tour" kicking off in Chicago on Sunday, October 27th

Conde Nast Traveler "Global Tasting Tour" kicking off in Chicago on Sunday, October 27th
It isn't every day that my seven year-old son Brendan and I hang out at BellyQ with Chef Bill Kim. But that is how we are spending our Sunday night!
Our evening at BellyQ is part of the Global Tasting Tour, a week of once-in-a-lifetime dinners celebrating cuisines of the world. At each private dinner, leading chefs including Sarah Grueneberg, Bill Kim, and Ann Shovers will personally introduce the one-time-only menus along with inventive wine and spirits pairings, special ingredients, and a take-home gift. Each dinner is a private, ticketed event available solely to MasterCard holders.
GTT Logo
Here are the events taking place in Chicago this week. Space is still available.
  • Sunday, October 27 – BellyQ – Chef Bill Kim's American BBQ – A Family Dinner Event
For one night only, chef Bill Kim will take a detour from Asian classics to offer a family menu of American barbecue favorites with a twist. The fun-filled evening menu will include beef ribs, corn bread with kimchi and bacon, and cole slaw with nuoc cham and mint—plus cocktails for the adults and refreshing drinks for the kids. Chef Kim will lead a hands-on spring roll demonstration and the winning creation will be featured on the bellyQ menu!
5:00 PM - $100 for 1 adult & 1 child under 12
...