Author - Christa Reed


Christa joined NPN while expecting her son in 2011. She comes to us with a passion for connecting local families and trying new things. Born and raised a Chicagoan, she considers herself a “lifer” and loves taking her toddler to the zoo and exploring new parks in the area. With ten years of media experience, she holds a degree from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in Television Production and recently earned her Master’s Degree in Communication Management from the University of Southern California.  She lives with her son, and husband in her dogs' East Lakeview home.  

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

Springfest at the Beat Kitchen THIS SUNDAY!

It's time to shake off winter and kick off the Spring Concerts for Kids season with a PARTY!!! Fun for all ages, the SPRINGFEST (on 3/15) brings 4 local kindie favorites to the same stage, with a little fun in between from the Laser Comedy Show! They will have games, crafts, face painting, glitter tattoos and MORE all FREE with the price of admission.

Check out the line up:
11:00 - Mary Macaroni - Chicago's favorite magical musical clown! Great for the younger kids, and later she'll...

Posted on March 11, 2015 at 6:48 AM by Christa Reed

NPN's 35th Birthday Party: Get Your Tix NOW!

When our staff realized that we were approaching our 35th birthday, we knew we couldn't just throw a run-of-the-mill party. We are humbled and amazed by the continuous support we get from the local community. We truly believe Chicago is a wonderful place for children and want to do what we can to empower parents, with everything from providing social networks to parent education. Our larger events like these are what we like to call FUNdraisers. They help us continue in our mission and sup...

Posted on March 09, 2015 at 9:55 AM by Christa Reed

8 reasons to join NPN, Chicago's top parenting resource |

Obviously, we think joining NPN is an essential part of being a connected, informed and happy parent in Chicago. And for today, February 29 (a.k.a. Leap Day), only, new memberships and renewals are just $29 with promo code LEAPDAY2016. That kind of deal only happens every four years—take advantage here!

Need more convincing? Check out our list of stellar member benefits below.

But first, a little background on NPN: We are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is dedicated to ...

Posted on February 26, 2015 at 11:20 AM by Christa Reed

Warm Up, Get Out & Play with NPN!

So, the ridiculousless of the storm from Super Bowl Sunday is behind us. You've dug the car out, no excuses. Shake off your boots and warm up with NPN this February with 15 playdates all over the city! Don't let the slush prevent you from getting out and meeting news friends this winter. 

2/7 - Valentine's Day Building Project Playdate

2/12 - Western Springs Wiggleworms Class

2/12 - Playgroup at Skokie Exploritorium

2/13 - Valentine Playdate At Kidville

2/13 - Playdate ...

Posted on February 06, 2015 at 11:00 AM by Christa Reed

Make NPN Work For You: When You're Expecting

We are constantly meeting new families that are looking for the resources they need as they begin the exciting journey of parenting in Chicago. Whether you are new to the city or born and raised (like myself), NPN has some really amazing resources for the newly pregnant family. 

Here are 5 AWESOME ways to get a GREAT value out of your NPN membership when you're expecting:

5. Parent Perks. Your NPN membership gives  you thousands of dollars of potential discounts including deals fro...

Posted on January 30, 2015 at 6:00 AM by Christa Reed

A Parent's Guide to Simplifying Life With Tech

I get it. You're busy. Holiday cards barely made it out by New Years and you're at least four loads of laundry behind. Here are my top five tech helpers that every Chicago parents needs to know about.


No more running out to the store for the fifth time in a week because you forgot an ingredient. Instacart is a personal shopping service that will go to seven local stores (Mariano’s, Whole Foods,  Trader Joe’s, and Costco to name a few) and can arrive at your doorstep in l...

Posted on January 28, 2015 at 6:00 AM by Christa Reed

Ready to Rock with NPN?

I've got cabin fever and the only prescription is more cowbell....or a super fun concert for kids and parents alike!

NPN is thrilled to be presenting Concerts for Kids at the Beat Kitchen every Sunday this Winter. Most shows are $6/ticket (non-walkers are free), doors open at 11:00, music starts at noon. The Beat Kitchen has a full bar and brunch menu with lots of favorites for little tummies! You can purchase tickets by clicking on the links below. NPN members get a discount on all Co...

Posted on January 16, 2015 at 6:40 AM by Christa Reed

Learn with NPN this Winter!

Need something to get you out of the house? Need something to empower you to be the best parent you can be? Check out our calendar of great parent-related workshops this winter! 

·       1/13 - Private School Parent/Teacher Mixer @ Erikson Institute

·       1/17 - Adoption 201: Basics of Domestic Adoption @ St. Michael's Parish Center

·       1/22 - 1-2-3 Magic with Dr. Thomas Phelan @ St. Stanislaus Kostka School (FILLING FAST!)

·       2/2 - Separation & Divorce in Il...

Posted on January 12, 2015 at 7:00 AM by Christa Reed

Parenting Advice from Parents Like You!

Our Parent to Parent newsletter features unique advice and family tips; the articles are written by NPN business, school and family members. Parent to Parent is a must-read for information, advice and sharing for Chicago-area parents. Download the new issue now (may take 1-2 minutes to complete). 

Some of the article in this issue include:

The New Year's Resolution That Pays: College Savings

Hiring A Nanny

Choosing the Right Camp for Your Child

It Takes A Vill...

Posted on January 11, 2015 at 4:00 PM by Christa Reed