Category Archives: Chicago Kids Activities

Marriott Theatre’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’ Is Charming And Colorful

The Marriott Theatre’s children’s production of Sleeping Beauty is an engaging and charming performance for the little ones. While many kids will be familiar with the Disney production of Sleeping Beauty, this story is a bit different than what they will be expecting. That said, the characters are fun, bright, three dimensional, and a joy to watch.

The story begins with Topaz, and elf who speaks both Spanish and English, who lets us know that a baby is about to be born. We next meet the king, who is hilariously terrified for this new step, and then the three colorful fairy creatures, Marigold, Ruby and Periwinkle, who are there to bestow gifts on the little one. When the scorned Magenta comes in after the birth, she puts a spinning-wheel curse on the little one (you may be familiar with this part!), and Ruby attempts to change the curse by giving the gift of love. Should Princess Amber be kissed by her love when she is sixteen, she will awaken.

This show does an excellent job of elbowing out of the standard story and letting us know a bit more about each character. Teenage Amber wants to see the world and explore, and not be kept in a box or made to be prim and proper. Prince Hunter (her childhood friend) has a habit of sneezing whenever he is scared of something – which is always! The three fairies each have distinct personalities (sassy, emotional, and positive) that make their scenes particularly fun, and the fact that Topaz speaks two languages much of the time has a heart-warming inclusivity that I wish other performances would adapt.

Then, there is the dragon. Created in three parts that move as one, the dragon stalks on and off-stage in a bit of a jaw dropping manner. The entire audience was gawking at how incredibly cool it was that there was a dragon in this performance – including me! Nothing to be scared about with this dragon. The only special effects are a bit of smoke and a dragon voice.

All in all, this is lovable show for audiences of all ages – and I truly mean all ages. If your child has not been introduced to the theatre yet, this is the show to start with. You will see little ones as young as a year old, and all of these professional actors are used to the tiny comments from the audience. The children get excited, they talk to their parents, they have to go to the bathroom – this is normal and the cast is used to it. Bring them! They’re going to love it.

Marriott Theatre: Sleeping Beauty Chicago ReviewSleeping Beauty is playing at Marriott Theatre through 12/30/17. Tickets can be purchased by calling (847) 634-0200. Marriott Theatre is located at 10 Marriott Drive in Lincolnshire.

Museum of Science And Industry Discount!

Museum Of Science And Industry DiscountThe best science museum in town is the Museum of Science and Industry. This is where many of us saw our first chicks in an incubator, took a walk on Yesterday’s Main Street and saw our first Fairy Castle. Currently – and for a limited time – you can also get a Museum of Science And Industry discount!

Groupon is offering your choice of two deals on The Museum of Science and Industry tickets.

$69 for Individual Premium membership ($118 value)

  • Free Museum Entry for member and two guests
  • $6 off parking
  • Three free or discounted passes to special exhibitions
  • Six free Omnimax passes per year, plus 50% off additional tickets
  • Regular membership perks

$89 for Household membership ($155 value)

  • Free Museum Entry for two adults, all household children under 18 (or up to four grandchildren), and one guest
  • Free indoor parking
  • Four free or discounted passes to special exhibitions
  • 10 free Omnimax passes per year, plus 50% off additional tickets
  • Regular membership perks

The Groupon expires Oct 31st, 2015. Valid only for new members, or members lapsed for 1 year or more. Not valid for renewals. Limit 1 per household; may purchase 3 more as gifts.

The scientific method has helped humans answer the universe’s most puzzling questions, such as how many times a lab partner will fall for the old rubber-paramecium prank. Unlock nature’s secrets with this Groupon.

Current Visiting Exhibit: D23 Presents: Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives, a collection of more than 300 artifacts celebrating the iconic animation studio’s hold on the American imagination. Spanning nine decades, the exhibition includes drawings, props, and costumes from films and attractions as well as an interactive opportunity to create your own animation. Ends January 4, 2015.

The interactive Coal Mine experience has been one of the Museum of Science and Industry’s favorite attractions since the Museum’s first visitors arrived in 1933. The Museum has added more and more attractions over the decades, but it’s always remained true to its founding mission: to inspire the inventive genius in everyone.

The Museum of Science and Industry is located at 5700 S Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, Illinois 60637 in Chicago.

Chicago Family Staycation Ideas – Enjoy Your City!

Chicago Family StaycationChicago Family Staycation Ideas

Summer is the time when our kids get out of school, the weather is warm and people like to travel. The biggest problem with that is that is that travel can get expensive! You’re talking about hotels, plane tickets, gas money and more. Perhaps it’s time for a Staycation! Here are some Chicago Family Staycation ideas for you to help you enjoy your own city and do it on a budget:

Chicago Museums & Tours

Chicago Kids Activities

Downtown Chicago Activities

Chicago Zoos

Chicago Sports Activities

Chicago Amusement and Water Parks

Other Notable Chicago Activities

This list is just a beginning for your Chicago Family Staycation ideas! Chicago is such a large city that I’m sure there are many more. Feel free to leave additional Chicago Family Staycation ideas in the comments and I’ll update the list!

Here are some other cities to check out:

A – D

Phoenix, Arizona — Saving For Someday
Fresno, California — Living A Frugal Life
Orange County, California — More With Less Today
San Diego, California — Southern Cali Saver
Denver, Colorado — Bargain Blessings
Washington, District of Columbia — Kidventurous

F – I

Disney World, Florida — The Happy Housewife
Jacksonville, Florida — Saving The Family Money
Orlando, Florida — Coupon Mamacita
St Augustine, Florida — Simply St. Augustine
Tallahasse, Florida — SwagGrabber
Tampa Bay, Florida —
Atlanta, Georgia — Pretty Frugal Diva
Dahlonega, Georgia — Kathys Cluttered Mind
Savannah, Georgia — This Mommy Saves Money
Aurora/Chicago, Illinois — A Savings WOW!
Indianapolis, Indiana — Chaos Is Bliss

K – P

Lexington, Kentucky — Homeschool Village
Louisville, Kentucky — The Kennedy Adventures
Northern Kentucky, Kentucky — Simply Sherryl
Carroll County, Maryland — Looking at life CreativLEI
Boston, Massachusetts — Maven of Savin
Battle Creek, Michigan — Pichea Place
Grand Rapids, Michigan — Give Me Neither
Metro Detroit, Michigan — Saving Dollars and Sense
Kansas City Area, Missouri/Kansas — Redefined Mom
Omaha, Nebraska — Family Fun in Omaha
Central, New Jersey — Our Good Life
Cincinnati, Ohio — Adventure Mom
Cleveland, Ohio — Kosher on a Budget
Columbus, Ohio — Cleverly Simple
Dayton, Ohio — Savings Lifestyle
Mansfield & Richland County, Ohio — The Traveling Praters
Miami County, Ohio — Something 2 Offer
Northeast, Ohio — Sisters Shopping on a Shoestring
Portland, Oregon — Frugal Living NW
Harrisburg/Central, PA — Family Balance Sheet
Erie, Pennsylvania — Growing Kids Ministry
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — Moms Need To Know
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — The Coupon High

R – W

Arlington, Texas — Grocery Shop For FREE
Fort Worth, Texas — Coupons and Freebies Mom
Houston, Texas — Melissa’s Bargains
Katy, Texas — Moms Confession
San Antonio, Texas — How to Homeschool My Child
Tyler, Texas — iLoveMy5Kids
Charlottesville, Virgina — How to Have it All
Norfolk, Virgina — The Talking Suitcase
Richmond, Virgina — Vacation Maybe
Seattle, Washington — Thrifty NW Mom
Tacoma/South Puget Sound, Washington — Queen Bee Coupons
Oshkosh, Wisconsin — A Little Bit of This and That

Kids Bowl Free Chicago Locations!

Kids Bowl Free Chicago LocationsKids Bowl Free Chicago Locations

Summer is upon us and that means that it’s a new year for the Kids Bowl Free program! This is an option for children to have somewhere safe and constructive to go each and every day of the summer, not to mention develop a skill and have some fun! For those of us in Illinois, there are a lot of Kids Bowl Free Chicago locations participating! You will want to check the site for the full list in other states as well as locations outside of the Chicagoland area, but here are the Kids Bowl Free Chicago locations that are participating:

Arlington Lanes

Castaways Bowl

Lawn Lanes
Waveland Bowl

Mardi Gras Lanes

Tivoli Bowl

Elk Grove Bowl

Lisle Lanes

Lakeside Lanes

Wheaton Bowl

Willowbrook Lanes

Wood Dale Bowl

Here is the description of the program from the website:

Select bowling centers and schools around the country are participating in the first ever Kids Bowl Free program. This program is designed by bowling centers to give back to the community and provide a safe, secure, and fun way for kids to spend time this summer.

Children whose age does not exceed a limit by a participating bowling center are eligible to register for 2 free games a day, all summer long, courtesy of the participating bowling centers along with the schools and organizations.

Whether the kids are in camp for the summer or you are just looking for a last minute, air-conditioned activity, sign up for this great program and enjoy the  perks this summer!

Interested in more? Read about activities that are Free In Chicago and other Chicago Kids Activities.

Free White Sox Kids Club And Baseball Game Tickets!

Free White Sox Kids ClubFree White Sox Kids Club

It’s another baseball season and another chance to join the Free White Sox Kids Club in Chicago! This is a fantastic opportunity for kids to get involved with supporting a team while actually getting to attend a free baseball game with the family! That’s right, when your child joins the free White Sox Kids Club, they will be given four free tickets to a game.

There are a few options when it comes to the White Sox Kids Club. The Free White Sox Kids Club option is called the Slugger Membership and it gives your child the following:

  • Official Membership Certificate
  • Official Welcome Postcard
  • Chris Sale Wall Cling
  • White Sox Beach Ball
  • White Sox Eye Black
  • 4 Game Ticket Coupons

Each household is limited to 5 Slugger Memberships, but if you have a family of eight, you can register two children per year for two years and be able to attend two games for free with the entire family!

There is also a paid White Sox Kids Club option called the All-Star Membership. This will cost you $37 with $2 in handling fees, but you do get a lot more. Here is what’s included in this membership:

  • Official Welcome Postcard
  • Chris Sale Wall Cling
  • White Sox Beach Ball
  • White Sox Eye Black
  • White Sox Baseball Braided Necklace
  • White Sox Cap
  • White Sox Lunch Bag
  • White Sox Flashlight
  • Southpaw Keychain
  • 6 Game Ticket Coupons
  • 2 Kids Club Parade Passes
  • A Birthday Card from the White Sox
  • 3 Editions of Pinwheels, the official Kids Club newsletter
  • 1 Brookfield Zoo pass
  • Invitation to private All-Star member events

If the All-Star pass benefits sound good to you, you’re actually getting an incredible deal. Tickets to see the White Sox run about $17.50 each for the cheapest seats. By investing in the All-Star Membership, you’ll essentially be paying for just over two tickets to the game and getting everything else for free!

The membership of your choice will be mailed to your home approximately 4 weeks after you apply. There are select games at which you can use your free membership tickets, so be sure to look at the calendar and book a date sooner rather than later. Available dates currently include:

9, 26, 27, 28

9, 10, 11, 17, 18, 30

1, 2, 4, 21, 22, 23

4, 5, 18, 19, 20, 26, 27, 28

8, 9, 10, 12, 25, 26

Whether you choose the free White Sox Kids Club or the All-Star Membership – either way your child will be thrilled. Give them the benefit of baseball!

Interested in more? Read about what’s Free In Chicago and other Chicago Kids Activities!

Fairy Festival And Breakfast In Chicago – May 3rd

Fairy Festival And BreakfastFairy Festival and Breakfast

If you have a little fairy fluttering around your house, you may want to take them to the Fairy Festival and Breakfast! This is event is located at Pilcher Park (2501 Highland Park) in Joliet, a suburb outside of Chicago. It runs from 9AM-2:30PM on May 3rd, 2014. Here is a description of the event:

“Join us for a for a Fairy Fest, Nature Center Style! Enjoy fairy flower walks, discover fairy food, make enchanted crafts and be entertained by winged hostesses! Come dressed in wings, make a wand, learn a few magic words ad indulge your inner child.”

You can choose from two options for this event:

  • Participate in the Fairy Festival only and it will cost you $10 per person
  • Participate in the breakfast at 9AM as well as the Fairy Festival and it will cost you $15 per person. Breakfast includes pancakes, sausage and a beverage with special fairies visiting the table.

The Fairy Festival and Breakfast is one of those unique opportunities to give your child a place to explore their inner fairy! And if we’re being honest, don’t we all want to do that? For more information call the Pilcher Park Nature Center at (815) 741-7277.

Interested in more? Read about additional Chicago Kids Activities.

Photo Credit

Free Comic Book Day 2014 – Saturday May 3rd!

Free Comic Book Day 2014Free Comic Book Day 2014 is upon us, so it’s time to mark your calendars, Chicago! This year, Free Comic Book Day is Saturday May 3rd.

If you aren’t familiar with it, Free Comic Book Day is a day where you can visit participating comic stores and receive a completely free comic book! Some stores also provide additional events or sales, so you will want to be sure to check the free Comic Book Day 2014 store locator to make sure you know what to expect and what time you might want to plan to arrive.

In the Chicagoland area there are a bunch of stores participating, so you should have no problem finding one that’s accessible to you. A few of the stores I’ve looked through on both the North and South sides have creator appearances, sales, food and/or entertainment in addition to the free comic book giveaway. Mark your calendars and make a day of it!

One thing to consider when planning for free Comic Book Day 2014 – think about bringing your child, nice, nephew, grandchild or a young friend with you to this event. Comic books are a great way to get children reading – particularly those who either struggle or really have no desire to engage in a book. Many kids have never been to a comic books store or seen an actual comic book. Exposing them to this kind of an event might just open up their world to lots of new possibilities. And speaking as a parent myself, there is nothing better than when my kids are climbing all over each other to tell me about something great that they experienced. This is an easy way to give them something fun to do while giving them the gift of reading on the sly. And even better, since Free Comic Book Day is now a yearly event, you can make it an annual tradition for your family!

Interested in more free activities that you can do around Chicago? Read about those here.

Marriott Theatre: Schoolhouse Rock Live!

Marriott Theatre: Schoolhouse Rock Live!Marriott Theatre: Schoolhouse Rock Live!

Finding live theater to take your children to can be a bit of a challenge. Here in Chicago, we are lucky to have as many options as we do, but we don’t always know where to look. One great option is the Marriott Theatre: Schoolhouse Rock Live!, located in Lincolnshire, Il. I have seen several productions there with my children and we thoroughly enjoyed them. They run for about an hour, they are bright, lively and colorful and best of all, the actors are used to hearing the chirping of small voices.

Marriott Theatre: Schoolhouse Rock Live!: The Marriott Theatre is currently putting on a production of Schoolhouse Rock Live! through May 4, 2014. The show runs for an hour and all productions take place at 10AM Thursday-Sundays. You can purchase tickets online or by calling 847-634-0200. There are group sales options available. Here is more about the show:

“Meet Tom, a nervous school teacher who learns how to win his students over with imagination and music, through such songs as “Just A Bill,” “Lolly, Lolly, Lolly,” and “Conjunction Junction.” The Emmy Award-winning 1970’s Saturday morning cartoon series that taught history, grammar, math, and more through clever, tuneful songs will light up the Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences stage!”

You can be comfortable taking a child of any age to the Marriott Theatre: Schoolhouse Rock Live! production. My son was five and my daughter was two when we first visited a Marriott Theatre production and I saw many children who were younger than mine. This is an excellent way to get your children involved in live theater and start their appreciation young!

Looking for more? Find additional Chicago Kids Activities and Chicago Theater information here!

Museum Of Science And Industry Free Days 2014!

Museum of Science and Industry free daysMuseum of Science And Industry Free Days

I was born and raised in Chicago – as most of you know – and I also attended Chicago Public Schools. When I was in high-school, my friends and I would occasionally skip school, hop on the train and then hop on the bus to go to the Museum Of Science And Industry. Yes, we were those kids. Who needs math class when you can go learn on Museum Of Science And Industry free days! I’m not advocating for skipping school, but my husband and I have had long talks about the fact that if our city-raised children are going to ditch (and we know they will), hopefully they’ll opt for city culture over other options.

Whether you’re going on the up & up or not, you can also visit on the Museum of Science and Industry free days! During the 2014 calendar year, these are the days that are currently listed as free:

May 5
June 1-6
September 8-12, 15-19, 22-26, 29
October 6, 7
November 3
December 8

On Illinois Free Days, Museum Entry is free for all Illinois residents who show valid proof of residency. Omnimax films, Coal Mine and optional U-505 onboard tours and certain temporary exhibits are not included in Museum Entry, and require separate admission.

The Museum of Science and Industry is one of those special locations in Chicago that you can visit over and over and always find something new. There are unique exhibits as well as films and other nooks and crannies that you likely haven’t explored. This is the time to do it! Mark your calendar now with the Museum of Science and Industry free days and enjoy some Chicago culture!

Interested in more free activities that you can do around Chicago? Read about those here.

Scooby Doo Live Musical Mysteries Chicago Discount!

Scooby-Doo Live Musical Mysteries Chicago DiscountScooby Doo Live Musical Mysteries Chicago Discount

Scooby Dooby Doo, where are you? That’s a question that many of us have been singing for years and we still don’t have the answer! Well hopefully this production of Scooby Doo Live! Musical Mysteries at the Rosemont Theater will give us some answers along with a discount.

“Based on the beloved children’s cartoon, Scooby-Doo Live! Musical Mysteries takes audience members on a fun yet goose-bump-inducing jaunt as they watch the Mystery Inc. gang and their gumshoe great dane, Scooby-Doo, solve a brand-new case. The fashionable Daphne, preppy Fred, bookish Velma, spacy Shaggy, and of course, the easily frightened Scoob, all load up the Mystery Machine to race to the scene of the latest paranormal crime—a local theater haunted by a rascally ghost. As they break out into choreographed song-and-dance numbers, from the whimsical TV theme to original tunes such as “We’re Mystery Inc.” and “Round Every Corner,” the gang runs into a host of colorful characters in the form of a tap-dancing skeleton and a singing barbershop duo. Fans can expect well-known bits from the show, laughing in familiarity at Scooby-Doo’s broken English, the reveal of the culprit, and tips from Shaggy on how to grow a beard only on your chin.”

Scooby Doo Live Musical Mysteries Chicago Discount: For a limited time you can get tickets to see Scooby Doo Live! Musical Mysteries at the Rosemont Theater for only $25. You have your choice between Saturday, May 3 at 1:00 PM or 4:00 PM. There is a limit of 8 tickets per person and it does appear that this show is appropriate for children or adults.