Explore Chicago neighborhoods with your kids this summer

Photo: The author's son having a close encounter with the art at the National Museum of Mexican Art.

We all get stuck in it: the “neighborhood rut.” We know our parks, our coffee shops, our favorite routes. Months can go by, even years, and we realize we haven’t left our zip code—short of the odd errand to Costco or inconveniently located birthday party.

Then one day we realize that we live in a city with 77 neighborhoods, and we’ve barely been to a quarter of them. I was exactly th...

Posted on June 19, 2017 at 8:29 AM by Kathleen Dragan

5 tips for throwing an awesome kids' birthday party

*SPONSORED POST BY LAINE TOO*

As a special event and corporate entertainer for many years, one of the most common questions I get is how to plan and throw a successful children’s event that both parents and children can enjoy. Parents and planners alike get frustrated throwing the same old cake and coffee party every time they have a celebration for their child. Whether you’re needing to plan a small party at your home, a mitzvah, graduation or something as large as a fundraiser, these...

Posted on June 14, 2017 at 11:53 AM by Melaine Rubin

NPN parents: Get 50% off twirling at Tutu School

*PARENT PERK BY TUTU SCHOOL*

A brand new children’s ballet school has opened in Roscoe Village – Tutu School! Classes and ballet birthday parties are open to little dancers 18 months to 8 years old starting… NOW!

One more thing: All former students of the school that previously occupied our studio space may attend their first full month of classes absolutely free. We heard many of you lost tuition when that school (Baby Take a Bow) closed. We’re so sorry, and we want to do what we c...

Posted on June 13, 2017 at 7:00 AM

How I lost all of the baby weight -- twice

Photo: courtesy Charlotte Tsou

 

Having a child is just like having an open heart surgery, once your chest is cut open, you are never the same.

Becoming a mother greatly changed my mentality and priorities in life, but it also altered my physical well-being. I am not talking about squeezing into that old, small bikini, which is highly desirable, but building back my physical strength and stamina. I came to realize that I needed them desperately to stay healthy and take care of my...

Posted on June 07, 2017 at 12:04 PM by Charlotte Tsou

NPN parents: Get a free night out with Chime by Sittercity!

*PARENT PERK BY CHIME*

Chime is the latest innovation in on-demand babysitting by Sittercity. Via Chime’s website or mobile app, you can find, book and pay great babysitters in your neighborhood. The Chime team does the legwork by running background screens, checking references, and meeting every sitter in person. All you have to do is enter the date and time you need a sitter, review video profiles, and connect instantly with your favorites. Build a bench of your family’s sitters, vie...

Posted on June 06, 2017 at 7:00 AM

How moms can make it in the new gig economy

Photo: courtesy Colleen Keilers

*SPONSORED POST BY THE MOM PROJECT*

 

“I am so sorry to do this, Colleen,” the text began. “But I am flying to California tonight to move in with my sister. I can no longer be your nanny.”

It was 9pm on a Sunday. My husband and I had been deliberating on the state of our careers. He had recently started a new job that would involve 50–60% travel. I had been working as a manager at a digital marketing agency, but shoehorning a full-time workload ...

Posted on May 30, 2017 at 8:19 AM

NPN members get 1 adult exam & 1 pediatric exam for $30

*PARENT PERK BY ADVANCED SPINE & SPORTS CARE*

Advanced Spine & Sports Care offers a variety of services to benefit every walk of life! Advanced Spine & Sports Care offers a variety of services to benefit every walk of life!

We pride ourselves in our commitment to excellence and customer care. Our award-winning board-certified Doctors of Chiropractic are a perfect fit for a wide variety of families. We have been in practice for over 20 years, with doctors specializing in ...

Posted on May 30, 2017 at 7:00 AM

NPN members, get moving this summer!

Gather your family and friends for a family-friendly morning along Chicago’s beautiful lakefront! The annual Move for the Kids 5K Walk/Run, presented by C.H. Robinson, takes place Saturday, June 10 at Soldier Field.

Whether you walk, run or move, you’ll be making a difference for the patients cared for at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

Fundraising for the event supports the nearly 200,000 children cared for at Lurie Children’s each year. Your fundraising effor...

Posted on May 23, 2017 at 7:00 AM by Jana Kline

Play all day? That's exactly what your preschooler should be doing

“Play is often talked about is if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” —Fred Rogers

As a parent, I always thought play is play. Sure, I knew kids learn through play—after all, that’s pretty much what preschoolers do all day—but it looked to me as if they were simply imitating what they saw adults doing, often turning recent experiences into play. When I was a child and my whole family got very ill wit...

Posted on May 18, 2017 at 1:31 PM by Annette Gendler

Parents can't slow down time, but they can make family time count

My parents live in the suburbs and don't get to see our almost one-year-old son as often as they'd like. So my wife and I do our best to email them photos and updates so they can feel like they’re experiencing our boy’s growth each step of the way. Maybe we need to do a better job updating them because one of the first things my mom said about our son during a recent visit was: “He’s changing so much. You probably don’t even realize it.”

It took me a second to respond.

“Yeah, I gues...

Posted on May 15, 2017 at 12:35 PM by Matt Beardmore