Category: Birthday & Holiday Planning

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 holiday m...

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 membership j...

Posted on December 16, 2014 at 7:00 AM

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 thoug...

Posted on December 15, 2014 at 7:00 AM

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

The Switch Witch

Many parents find themselves asking, "What do we do with all the Halloween candy?" Earlier this year, we discovered my son had sensitivities to just about every food imaginable. Thus began our clean eating regmine, free of all gluten, corn & artificial dyes (easier said than done). Needless to say, I knew that Halloween, once our family's favorite holiday, risked becoming a battle if I didn't figure out how to get the sacks full of candy that he could no longer indulge out of the house...

Posted on October 29, 2014 at 6:00 AM by Melanie Schlachter

Halloween Traditions Around the World

One of the best parts of October is celebrating Halloween! In the U.S., Halloween means costumes, candy and creepy décor! But other cultures celebrate this holiday differently. Cultural Care Au Pair is teaming up with NPN to share Halloween from around the world.


In China, the Halloween festival is call Teng Chieh. The Chinese place food and water in front of pictures of deceased family members and in the meantime, bonfires and lanterns are lit to light the paths of these fa...

Posted on October 24, 2014 at 8:00 AM by Marcie Wolbeck

Lions and Tigers and Halloween, Oh My!

I know, it seems crazy to think about Halloween already but I'm not gonna lie, once that first pumpkin spice latte hits the lips, it's on. 

Like a switch, it's time for costume brainstorming, apple picking, weekend orchard chaos, all while figuring out what new foods I can force pumpkin flavoring into. Because we love the season so much we've got an action-packed Autumn ready to take your mind off of the glory that was Summer 2014. Here's our top five events you CANNOT miss: 


Posted on September 10, 2014 at 8:00 AM by Christa Reed

Top 5 Things to Do on MLK Day

Martin Luther King Day is this Monday, January 20th and we've compiled a list of some of our favorite To-Dos if you've got the day off of work and school. 

What does it mean, Dr. King?, Chicago Children's Museum @ 11am, 1, 2 and 3pm.

FREE DAY at the Museum of Science and Industry, @ 9:30am

Family Festival: Martin Luther King Jr Day, Art Institiute of Chicago @ 10:30am 

Special Holiday Kids Cooking Class, The Kid's Table @ 10:30am and 1pm

All Ages Drop-in Art Class ...

Posted on January 19, 2014 at 8:00 AM by Christa Reed