Category: Living in Chicago

5 Playgrounds Picks & Features to Explore (no H2O)

Chicago - Are you ready to explore & play outside?  There is no better way to kick off spring than a "trip" to a new Chicago Playground.  NOTE: Depending on your child, the weather, and your mood - these playgrounds do NOT have a water features to fenagle.

5 Spring Play(ground) Picks - the perfect way to play(ground) out those rainy day blues!  

#1. Portage Park Playground (4100 N Long Ave. (Central and W. Irving Park))

Check out: Canoe structures, “Kids Only” clubhous...

Posted on April 29, 2013 at 7:00 AM by Mistie Lucht

Field Play for Turkey Day

This week, we will be exercising our mouths (eating lots of yummy food), and our patience (hanging with family and out-of-town guests), but what about our bodies? 

You don’t need a gym membership or an indoor play space to get moving over the Thanksgiving Holiday.  Here are 5 fantastic Chicago playgrounds with large, adjacent green space for that game of football, tag, or any other all-family games you may play, perfect for all ages and ability levels.  AND bonus this year:  The Thanks...

Posted on November 21, 2012 at 6:00 AM by Mistie Lucht

Learning All the Time and Everywhere

The fall season typically invokes the excitement of a new classroom, new school supplies and a brand new year of learning for our children. But it also means a return to the school-day routine and assignments—a busy schedule that can leave the more open-ended explorations of summer a distant memory. However, those adventures need not be a seasonal phenomenon.

From playing in the living room to visiting the grocery store or taking a trip to the park, library or museum, out-of- school ex...

Posted on November 02, 2012 at 6:00 AM by Natalie Bortoli

Summer in the City- Activities for Babysitters & Kids To Explore this Summer

As a mom, does the word "summer" call to mind both joy and trepidation? Why not hire a babysitter and put your feet up for an afternoon or two each week? Summer sitters can be a welcome change for both parents and kids; someone young and energetic to splurge on ice cream and lead the charge to a museum or water park -- perfect!    

When you find your perfect summer sitter, here are a few activities around town that the kids are sure to love.


Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum: ...

Posted on May 29, 2012 at 7:10 AM by Jenny Rowland

Toy Picks for Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

When planning a trip with your kiddos by air, sea, or lots of roads, all parents need to think about their "bag of tricks"!  Here is a list of 5 parent-approved toy picks to make your adventures a whole lot less stressful:

#1. Squeeze Rockets.  Launch these soft, safe foam rockets by squeezing air from the hand-held bulb. It's fun to pop them around the car or run after the rockets in motion. These are super light to pack and a big suprise for when you arrive!

#2. Key Crayons.  Nev...

Posted on April 19, 2012 at 7:00 AM by Katherine McHenry

Free Fun Every Day of the Week

Like all parents I know, I am constantly on the hunt for fresh ideas for FREE fun for the kiddos.  Here are seven great ideas for filling your week with free fun!


SUNDAY – Explore nature and check out the glass-enclosed beehive at the North Park Village Nature Center.

MONDAY - Be transported into a fabulous fantasyland with a great story read by The Storybook Mom at Little Threads every Monday at 11am.

TUESDAY –Jam with the under 10 crowd Toys et Cetera in Andersonville...

Posted on April 10, 2012 at 5:10 AM by Cindy McCarthy

Explore Chicago with your Wee Ones!

We had a great time at the NPN Wake Up & Boogie Down Family Festival!  We loved meeting so many Chicago families, and watching everyone bust-a-move!

On the go handed out walking/strolling maps of four kid-friendly Chicago neighborhoods at the event.  Our hope is to inspire you to go explore a new neighborhood with your family. Each map contains a park and a handful of kid-friendly businesses and restaurants.  You can play, shop and eat your way through these great spots!  The highl...

Posted on March 07, 2012 at 8:30 AM by Cindy McCarthy

10 Reasons to Take Your Little Ones to ChiTAG

Come out and play! ChiTAG, the Chicago Toy and Game Fair, is two days of unforgettable fun for all ages - hands on play time, Star Wars Breakfast, stage events, life-sized toys & games, contests galore, costumed characters and so much more.

Plan your visit to ChiTAG this weekend (Nov. 19 & 20 @ Navy Pier).  Download and bring your special access pass just for NPN Families - just $10 for a Family Ticket (normally $30 for a family of 4!).  PLUS enjoy early 9am access Sunday Nov. ...

Posted on November 16, 2011 at 8:00 AM by Katherine McHenry

My Neighborhood: Family Fun in Kenwood & Hyde Park

NPN connects families in neighborhoods across Chicago.  Get inspired to check out a new part of the city or discover something fabulous just around the corner.  This stop:  Kenwood & Hyde Park with Geri - All aboard!  And then explore our other NPN Neighborhoods

Our family has spent the last ten years in and about the neighboring communities of Kenwood and Hyde Park.  The Hyde Park area spans north to 51st Street, south to 60th street, east to the lake and west to Washington Park. ...

Posted on September 27, 2011 at 8:50 AM by Geri Redd

My Neighborhood: Family Fun in Ukranian Village

NPN connects families in neighborhoods across Chicago.  Get inspired to check out a new part of the city or discover something fabulous just around the corner.  This stop:  Ukranian Village with Sarah - All aboard!  And then explore our other NPN Neighborhoods

We moved to Ukrainian Village a little over 2 years ago after living in Lincoln Park for many years. My husband and I wanted a neighborhood that was quiet and family friendly for our three kids, ages 5, 3 and 1.  We certainly fou...

Posted on September 13, 2011 at 10:33 AM by Sarah Davis