Category: Birthday & Holiday Planning

5 must-haves at your baby's 1st birthday party |

Photo credit: girlfriend_kmc/Flickr



Your baby's first year of life is filled with many amazing milestones—smiling, laughing, sitting, crawling and more. But out of all of these milestones, one of the most anticipated is celebrating her first birthday. Being part of your family for one full year is a momentous occasion that deserves an extra-special celebration. To help get the planning process started, here is a look at the top five must-haves a...

Posted on April 29, 2016 at 12:38 PM by Olena Fedorova

Life advice for my daughter, on her 1st birthday |

Photo credit: Fandl Photography

My wife started planning our daughter’s first birthday party months ahead of time.

It was an intricate circus theme, including 19 documented ideas that I will spare you of except for these: wine bottles whose labels were entitled “cirque du vin” or had circus elephants on them; three flavors of homemade popcorn served in bright red pails with chrome-plated scoops and red and white striped peanut bags; and mini circus-animal cake pops.

If you want t...

Posted on April 15, 2016 at 11:42 AM by Jeff Grabowski

Kid birthday party etiquette—for parents |

Every party, big or small, has a pooper—don’t let it be you. What am I talking about specifically? Birthday party etiquette for parents. If you are in any local Facebook mom groups or have checked out the NPN forum, you will see that parents are making party fouls left and right that end with tears from both kids and adults. Here’s how to avoid kid birthday party blunders:


If you're throwing a party...

No one likes to be left out. So err on the side of caution and invite ever...

Posted on March 18, 2016 at 1:27 PM by Amanda Simkin

12 things to put in Easter baskets that aren't candy |

Photo credit: Nicki Dugan Pogue/Flickr

For parents trying to limit their kids' candy intake and the little dollar-store toys littering the living-room floor, figuring out how to populate an Easter basket or coming up gifts for the Easter Bunny to hide can be tough. One NPN parent asked for creative ideas for Easter gifts on the discussion forum this week, and our members had some great ideas.

Here are some of their suggestions:



Spring PJs


Posted on March 18, 2016 at 12:24 PM by Laura Baginski

Forum quorum: Favorite ways to celebrate the holidays in Chicago

Many of us parents like to plan (often to have our uncooperative children thwart those plans). And with the holidays upon us, there's so much to do in the city that you'll want to mark events on your calendar. What are the best things to do with kids during the holidays? One member posed that question on our main discussion forum, and our members had great suggestions.

Here they are, in no particular order:

Christkindlmarket (Nov. 20-Dec. 24): This German-style open-air ho...

Posted on November 12, 2015 at 12:27 PM by Laura Baginski

8 Tips for Planning a Birthday Party

Well, we did it. We threw an epic birthday party to celebrate our 35th Birthday and hosted nearly 600 of or closest friends. This event took us about nine months to plan, which seems insane but to be honest, it was a ton of fun. I’d say, throwing a party for this many people is not for the faint of heart. It’s labor intensive and detailed but we’re getting some really wonderful feedback already and people are asking how we did it, so I thought I’d take a moment to share my top 7 tips for t...

Posted on March 30, 2015 at 8:10 AM by Christa Reed

Top Tips for Creating a Smooth Christmas Day

It's finally here--the day of magic, and presents, and wonderment about whether the stories from the North Pole are true. Parents have been planning for months or hurriedly putting it all together and adjusting it daily based on their kids' fantastical stories of what Santa is going to bring them. Everyone has great expectations for Christmas Day. You may be setting yourself for some breakdowns if you're not prepared. We put so much energy and high hopes into this holiday, it's hard to liv...

Posted on December 18, 2014 at 7:00 AM by Katherine McHenry

Top 5 Chicago Museum Memberships for Kids

We hear it as early as Halloween....the grandparents already asking what your kids want for the holidays when all you can think about is gaggle of toys that has already taken over your house (and the amount of toys headed your way from aunts and uncles). Yeah, in my experience there's no way to really go toy-free, nor would you want to but there are some other GREAT gifts that grandparents can purchase that don't take up anymore space on your living room floor. As a self-admitted membershi...

Posted on December 16, 2014 at 7:00 AM by Christa Reed

Top 4 gifts for teachers this holiday season

We’re so busy during the holiday season, it’s sometime hard to brainstorm thoughtful gifts for the wonderful people that care for you child(ren) on a daily basis. We scoured the forums and interviewed teacher friends of our own and asked them what their favorite holiday gifts from students have been. Here's our list of the top most commonly mentioned gifts.

1. Cash. Collaborate with other families if you can. I know it sounds a little tacky and you may even think there’s not much ...

Posted on December 15, 2014 at 7:00 AM by Christa Reed

Top 5 Stocking Stuffers/Hanukkah gifts of 2014!

The holidays are upon us and we know you probably haven't even begun to think about those smaller gifts for Hanukkah or for your kiddo's stocking. No worries, we've done all the reserach and have five amazing gifts that'll cost you next to nothing. 


1. Don't deny it. Your kids aren't over Frozen yet. Check out these Frozen Bling Necklaces. 

2. Have yourself a Nano Christmas with this Holiday HEXBUG Nano. This limited edition Nano sports a pair of antlers and pulls Santa's ...

Posted on December 04, 2014 at 6:26 PM by Katherine McHenry