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Tag Archives: Kid-Friendly

Friday Chi Faves: The Field Museum

My cousin Mike, his wife Candi, and their kids Cassidy, Dominick and Mason were visiting Chicago a couple weeks ago. I’m lucky to have a pretty flexible work schedule so I was able to spend a Friday afternoon with them at the Field Museum.

[The fam + Sue]

MAN was I impressed!! That place is cool. We literally spent the entire afternoon going from one exhibit to the next — from animals, to Africa, to Ancient Egypt … the Tsavo Lions, Underground Adventure and Extreme Animals — unending amazement. My favorite? Dinosaur Hall. When is the last time you saw dinosaur fossils? So impressive. We also took in The Story of Sue in 3-D “Waking the T. Rex“. And Sue! The largest, most extensive and best preserved T-rex specimen is quite a site. Overall I’m a huge fan. Great place to spend the day with family!



Open every day except Christmas. 9am – 5pm


Museum Campus: 1400 S Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605


Different admission levels, check it out here.

We did the All Access Pass — Adult $29, Kids 3-11 $20, Students & Seniors (65+) $24


Added bonus to any visit to Museum Campus? The view of the city. Post-Field Museum, we walked along the Lake and took in the view. Gorgeous!!


Friday Chi Faves: Ice Skating @ Millennium Park

There is something phenomenal about gliding across a slab of ice in shoes with a blade connected to the bottom of them. Ice Skating! People love it … and I’m one of those people. The McCormick Tribune Ice Rink is the perfect place to get your skate on. It’s right in the heart of Chicago in Millennium Park with gorgeous views of the city. Over 100,000 skaters visit the rink each year and in 2012, the girls and I are 7 of those people. It was AWESOME. And shockingly, no one fell. Don’t you think it’s about time that you become one of the remaining 99,993?


The McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park

Open daily thru Sunday, March 11, 2012

Mon thru Thurs: 12-8pm
Fridays: 12-10pm
Saturdays: 10am-9pm
Sundays: 10am-9pm



Ice skate rental available for $10

More information go here.

Friday Chi Faves: Test out your artistic side!


Genius. It’s like a throw back to 5th grade art class. And it’s right here in Chicago at Glazed Expressions on Armitage.

I went to Glazed Expressions for a Baby Shower to celebrate my co-worker Amy’s future bundle of joy — now known as Caleb! I highly recommend this activity for baby showers, bridal showers, birthday parties, or just for fun. It starts by picking out a piece of pottery from a wide array of items — cups, plates, bowls, dragons, ornaments, etc. It’s up to you to paint it however you’d like — they supply the materials for that. They’ll fire the piece for you then you need to go back to pick it up a week or so later. Simple!



Studio Fees:

Adult $8

Kids (under 14) $6

Plus the cost of your pottery piece

Added bonus: it’s BYOB!

Friday Chi Faves: Shedd Aquarium

The Shedd.

I often pass the Shedd during warmer months because it’s on one of my running routes; however, recently Jenna, Lin and I decided to check out the water world.  The result?  Educational and fun.  2 for 1!!

The Shedd is located in Museum Campus, which is a crazy pretty area and has stunning views back at the city.

The big exhibit right now is the Jellies. But to see them you have to upgrade. We did the general admission tickets, which are only $8 for adults or $5 if you’re a teacher (Lin!) and kept us on the main floor. There’s something outstanding about seeing a fish twice as big as you and, in the next tank over, a fish the size of your pinkie nail. Maybe they’re besties? We also took a slight detour to see the belugas, dolphins, penguins, and the TOUCH TANK area — crazy!! Not sure if that was included in our tickets but it was my favorite part of our trip. Going to their aquatic show wasn’t in our cards, but is on my “someday” list. Overall it was a blast and I recommend an adventure with the fishies to one and all.


Special Edition: Thanksgiving Crafts

Twice a year, some of my favorite little people visit Chi: Natalie and Caroline! Having babysat for them throughout college in Des Moines (before they could talk or walk), I have watched the girls grow from babbling babies through potty-training toddlers into the amazing little ladies they are today. More like family than friends.

When their mom and my dear friend Janelle told me they’d be in town, I cleared my calendar for a night with the girls.

The agenda?

Thanksgiving Crafts!

Project #1: Turkey Puppets


  • Paper Bags (turkey body)
  • Colored Construction Paper (feathers, eyes, nose, etc)
  • Markers
  • Glue sticks
  • Scissors

Cut out feathers, eyes, nose, gobbler, feet … anything you want for your Thanksgiving turkey.  Assemble using glue sticks. Decorate using markers.  Enjoy!

Project #2: Thankful Wreaths


  • Thicker poster board
  • Colored Construction Paper
  • Markers/Glitter
  • Glue sticks
  • Scissors

Cut out a base for the wreath using the thicker poster board — a hollow circle. Select colored construction paper (Natalie chose red, orange and yellow; Caroline chose red, pink and yellow). Trace the kid’s hands on the construction paper and cut out. Glue hands to the base. Decorate using markers and/or glitter. The idea is to write what you’re thankful for on the wreath, but let the kids be creative! Natalie glued a piece of pink paper in the center of her wreath to write what she was thankful for (her fish!). Caroline just wanted glitter. They both look GREAT!

It was fun to see the girls be creative!!


Friday Chi Faves: Skydeck Chicago

Tallest building in the western hemisphere.

1,450 feet and 110 stories tall.

Skydeck Chicago on the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower (the old Sears Tower) is a Chi-town must see. Magnificent 360-degree views of sweet home Chicago. You can see 40-50 miles on a clear day, meaning you can actually see 3 other states from the skydeck (not kidding — this is real life). Wave to friends in Wisconsin, family in Michigan, or no one that I actually know in Indiana.

And then there is the Ledge — or I guess you could say ledges. Four glass-enclosed balconies that you freaking STEP OUT ON.  It seriously looks like we’re floating but we’re not:



Bottom line: great attraction, unique experience, family-friendly, and sure to result in a nice collection of photos. There is admission to enjoy this experience and there can also be a wait so plan ahead.

Special Edition: Pumpkin Carving

Special Edition.  That’s right.  Halloween is literally 3 days away.  Which means it’s time for my favorite Halloween tradition:


Sometimes I wonder, who seriously had a pumpkin sitting in their home one day and thought “Hmm I want to cut into that random fruit, dig out the innards and carve a face into it.”  Apparently it’s an old tradition from Ireland and Scotland  that the immigrants brought with them to America.  But whatever … it’s genius.

Every year I contemplate carving a happy pumpkin, a silly pumpkin or a spooky pumpkin OR thinking outside the box with one of those fancy designs like a sports logo or something else intense.  This year, the answer seemed clear: SPOOKY!

We got our pumpkin where all city folk do — the nearby grocery store.

Gave it a quick bath then it was time for carving.



Being a self-proclaimed “pumpkin carving pro” I enjoyed every minute of it.  Sticking my hand in the pumpkin’s guts, digging out the innards, and carving his spooky face … eyes then nose then mouth, the same order I used to do with my dad growing up.

Introducing … (drumroll please)

Our 2011 Halloween Pumpkin EGOR!

If you haven’t carved your 2011 pumpkin, there’s still time and I’m willing to freelance a creative face for you to carve.  My rates are reasonable.

Top 5 reasons to participate in this tradition stat:

5. It’s family-friendly.

4. It’s seasonal.

3. It’s affordable ($4.99 for the pumpkin, $3.49 for the optional carving kit).

2. It will enhance your enjoyment of Halloween.

1. I did it (everyone’s doing it) … you should too.

What’s your fave Halloween tradition? Did you carve a pumpkin this year?  Give me the deets!