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  1. NPN Jana

    Chalk Howard Street

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    Chicago’s only chalk art festival Chalk Howard Street is proud to announce its entertainment programming and vendors list, as it makes a full return outdoor and in person for the first time since 2019. National and local street artists, neighbors, families, and street art lovers will transform the street surface into a creative canvas on Saturday, August 27, 2022 from 11 a.m.– 8 p.m., on Howard Street between Paulina and Ashland, east of the Howard Red Line ‘L’ stop. This free-admission street art festival features live music, local vendors, food and drinks, while offering striking and immersive street art experiences as well as street squares available for public purchase. The live music lineup includes DJ Slacky J (12-3 p.m.), Fruteland Jackson (3-3:45 p.m.), Kreyol Roots (4-4:45 p.m.), Urban Rhythm Band (5-5:45 p.m.), Cally & the Snag (6-6:45 p.m.), and Four Star Brass Band (7-7:45 p.m.). An interactive dance performance by professional dance artists from Synapse Arts Collective will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to enliven pedestrian intersections and invite residents of all ages, abilities,and identities for a suite of creative and therapeutic dance movements. Art, food, retail, and nonprofit vendors include and are not limited to Afterglow Art LLC, Athena Board, Game Cafe, Cricket Wireless, DELFA CHI Art, Designs By Uchita, Highest Dimensions 2D mixed media art, Legacy Barber College school and barbershop, Made with Love Organic Vinegar, Nourishing Hope, Silver Smith Solutions, and Small Business Advocacy Council. Chalk Howard Street returns to full scale outdoor for the first time since the festival’s 2019 debut, after being held in alternative forms from 2020-21 due to the pandemic that included Virtual Chalk Howard Street that highlighted local businesses, a pop-up in-person live chalk art drawing session, and a self-guided walking tour Walk Chalk Howard Street. This is a free event and no RSVP is required. Neighborhood parking available. This is an external partner event. Please contact the organization directly with any questions or concerns: louise@silvermangroupchicago.com
  2. NPN Jana

    Printers Row Lit Fest

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    Printers Row Lit Fest, the largest outdoor literary showcase in the Midwest, returns with 100% free programming for book lovers. Printers Row Lit Fest features new, old, rare, and hard-to-find literary treasures in tents stretching out over five blocks of Dearborn Street from Polk Street north to Ida B. Wells Drive in Chicago’s historic Printers Row neighborhood, in addition to engaging literary events with local and national bestselling authors and more than 100 independent and diverse booksellers—plus spoken word performances, readings, writing workshops, and more. This year’s festival features a dedicated poetry tent with programming by The Poetry Foundation and a multitude of events geared towards children and young adults. Programs include Theatre on the Hill Presents Choose Your Own Once Upon A Time, an opportunity for children to decide the fates of their favorite fairy tale characters in a live, interactive theatrical event, and Carlos Theatre Productions presenting bilingual Latin American theater for children. The Poetry Foundation will host child-centric programming including a presentation of the fantastically illustrated The Book of Questions featuring the poetry of Pablo Neruda with illustrator Paloma Valdivia and translator Sara Lissa Paulson. Meanwhile, parents can hear Dr. Dana Suskind in conversation with Heidi Stevens about her recent book Parent Nation: Unlocking Every Child's Potential, Fulfilling Society's Promise. This event takes place, Saturday, September 10 and Sunday, September 11, 2022 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. This is a free event and no RSVP required. Street parking available. This is an external partner event. Please contact the organization directly with any questions or concerns: katy@silvermangroupchicago.com
  3. NPN Jana

    Taste of Greektown

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    Chicago’s popular Taste of Greektown festival returns for its 32nd year this summer with the city’s largest celebration of Hellenic cuisine and culture, Friday, August 26 through Sunday, August 28, along Halsted Street from Adams to Van Buren. The neighborhood’s acclaimed Greek restaurants are the stars of the show, along with Live music and entertainment, Greek dancing, unique shopping and retail, family-friendly activities and more. Opa! The neighborhood’s acclaimed Greek restaurants are the stars of the show, including 9 Muses Bar and Grill (315 S. Halsted Street), Artopolis Bakery, Cafe and Agora (306 S. Halsted Street), Athena Restaurant (212 S. Halsted Street), Mr. Greek Gyros (234 S. Halsted Street) and Spectrum Bar & Grill (233 S. Halsted Street). Live music and entertainment at Taste of Greektown includes Hellas 2000 on the Devanco Foods main stage on Friday from 5 pm to 10 pm as well as Saturday and Sunday from 2 pm to 10 pm, playing a mix of traditional and nostalgic tunes as well as more updated, modern Greek music. On the second stage, DJ Yianni will play music on Friday from 5 pm to 10 pm and on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 10 pm. The 5th Annual Devanco Foods Gyros Eating Contest takes over the second stage on 6 pm on Saturday. The 32nd annual Taste of Greektown festival is presented by the Greektown Chamber of Commerce with additional support from Greektown SSA #16. The festival will be open Friday, Aug. 26, from 4-10 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 27, from Noon-10 p.m.; and Sunday, Aug. 28, from Noon-10 p.m. An optional $7 donation is suggested for attendees. No RSVP required. Paid Parking available at 765 W. Adams St., Arkadia Tower Garage. This is an external partner event. Please contact the organization directly with any questions or concerns: nicole@silvermangroupchicago.com
  4. NPN Jana

    Poemtime

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    Spend part of your weekend at the Poetry Foundation with Poemtime, a weekly story time that introduces poetry through fun, interactive readings, songs, and art projects! Children ages two to five and their caregivers are invited to join library assistant Evalena Friedman for a lively morning of poetry. Walk-ins welcome; registration recommended. This event is free and has additional dates available: Saturday, August 13, 2022, 10:00 AM - 10:30 AM Saturday, August 20, 2022, 10:00 AM - 10:30 AM Saturday, August 27, 2022, 10:00 AM - 10:30 AM This a free event, but RSVP is recommended. Please go here to register. Paid street parking available. This is an external partner event. Please contact the organization directly with any questions or concerns: eoconnellthompson@poetryfoundation.org
  5. NPN Tareema

    Volunteer at Cradles to Crayons with NPN

    until
    Join NPN program manager, Tareema, and other NPN members at the Cradle to Crayons Giving Factory. We will help sort and organize donations in the Cradles to Crayons warehouse. If you are bringing a child or children they must be at least 5 years old. Cradles to Crayon adult to child ratios are as follows: 1 adult for every 3 elementary aged children, 1 adult for every 5 middle school aged children, and 1 adult for every 10 high school aged children. Registration is a 2-step process. You must complete both steps to secure your spot. 1. RSVP with NPN. You will immediately receive an event confirmation email from NPN. 2. Complete the Cradles to Crayons registration link included in your NPN event confirmation email. Cradles to Crayons is located at 2500 W. Bradley Place, Chicago IL 60618. The GPS will not take you directly to our section of the property. We are behind Climb Zone, Power, and the other businesses in the front of the complex. Please go all the way to the back side of the complex near Elite Baseball Training and Windy City Ninjas and look for our purple Cradles to Crayons sign. We have parking spaces in front of our building that are first come, first serve. All adults and children must wear a mask over their nose and mouth. (Volunteers must wear the mask provided by Cradle to Crayons for the duration of their shift) Spaces are limited. Please honor your RSVP. RVSP no later than October 1st, 2022! Postpone your RSVP only if the following apply: - Diagnosed with COVID-19 and have not yet been cleared as non-contagious by state or local public health authorities. - Exposed to a person with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days. - Experiencing symptoms of illness such as a fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Questions? Contact Tareema at tareema@npnparents.org
  6. NPN Jana

    Storytime LIVE! @ Kiddie Academy

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    Join us for a story time with Curious George! This event is FREE and our very special character will be available for photos in between readings and crafts. This a free event. No RSVP required, but you can find more information about this event here. Free parking in lot in front of building (shared with McDonalds). This is an external partner event. Please contact the organization directly with any questions or concerns: jackie.sheahan@kiddieacademy.net.
  7. until
    Enjoy FREE Kemps Moose Tracks Ice Cream to help raise $10,000 for the Greater Chicago Food Depository. The event will take place downtown Chicago at Pioneer Court. 10,000 scoops of Moose Tracks will be served as a part of the largest ice cream social around: the 10,000 Scoop Challenge. For each scoop served, Moose Tracks will donate $1 to the Greater Chicago Food Depository, with the hopes to raise $10,000 for vital community programs. Paid parking is available at or near Pioneer Court. This is an external partner event. Please contact the organization directly with any questions or concerns: akirn@lambert.com
  8. NPN Jana

    Netflix Family Summer Truck Tour

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    Highlighting engaging, must see movies and series available for families on Netflix this summer, the truck offers family fun giveaways, character meet-and-greets and an immersive photo experience. Costume character “Po” from Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight and "Blippi" from Blippi's Adventures are confirmed to make an appearance in Chicago! This is a free event! No advanced registration required. Paid parking at Navy Pier. Event is at Navy Pier Polk Bros Park Promenade. This is an external partner event. Please contact the organization directly with any questions or concerns: lara@bogenriefPR.com.
  9. NPN Tareema

    NPN Playdate: STEAM Sunday at Bennett

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    NPN Playdates are back! Join us for STEAM Sunday at Bennett Day School. There will be fun STEAM activities for kids and light snacks. Parents, grab a cup of coffee, relax and enjoy as your kids experience some fun activities! This event is for kids aged 2 - 5 years old. Spots are limited so register today! Bennett Day School is located at 955 W. Grand Ave. Enter the school from the double doors on Morgan St. Ring the buzzer when you arrive and stop at the front desk to check-in. Parking/Public Transportation Information: If you are planning to drive, you can park for free in the gravel lot on the NW corner at Morgan and Hubbard (across the street from Bennett's campus). There is also free parking available on the west side of Morgan and south side of Hubbard, or metered parking on Grand Ave. Bennett is two blocks west of the Grand Blue Line stop and the Halsted 8 bus, and 2 blocks north of the Pink/Green Line Stop at Morgan if those options are convenient to you.
  10. NPN Tareema

    NPN Playdate: STEAM Sunday at Bennett

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    NPN Playdates are back! Join us for STEAM Sunday at Bennett Day School. There will be fun STEAM activities for kids and light snacks. Parents, grab a cup of coffee, relax and enjoy as your kids experience some fun activities! This event is for kids aged 2 - 5 years old. Spots are limited so register today! Bennett Day School is located at 955 W. Grand Ave. Enter the school from the double doors on Morgan St. Ring the buzzer when you arrive and stop at the front desk to check-in. Parking/Public Transportation Information: If you are planning to drive, you can park for free in the gravel lot on the NW corner at Morgan and Hubbard (across the street from Bennett's campus). There is also free parking available on the west side of Morgan and south side of Hubbard, or metered parking on Grand Ave. Bennett is two blocks west of the Grand Blue Line stop and the Halsted 8 bus, and 2 blocks north of the Pink/Green Line Stop at Morgan if those options are convenient to you.
  11. NPN Jana

    Poemtime

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    Spend part of your weekend at the Poetry Foundation with Poemtime, a weekly storytime that introduces poetry through fun, interactive readings, songs, and art projects! Children ages two to five and their caregivers are invited to join library assistant Evalena Friedman for a lively morning of poetry. Walk-ins welcome; registration recommended. Please go here to register. Paid street parking available. This is an external partner event. Please contact the organization directly with any questions or concerns: eoconnellthompson@poetryfoundation.org
  12. NPN Jana

    Festival on the Square

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    Chicago’s Congo Square Theatre Company, one of the nation’s premier African American theatres, celebrates the Juneteenth holiday with two festive “Homecoming”-themed programs at the Zhou B Art Center. The celebration begins with the return of the company’s popular Festival on the Square, taking place from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. This lively, family-friendly, and FREE program is inspired by the original Congo Square located in New Orleans, and aims to celebrate arts, healing, and Black joy. Themed around “Homecoming,” this year’s Festival will showcase a vibrant collection of live performances, theatrical readings, and Black owned vendors. For more information on this afternoon program, visit congosquaretheatre.org/fos. Street parking available. This is an external partner event. Please contact the organization directly with any questions or concerns: alannah@silvermangroupchicago.com
  13. NPN Jana

    Family Fun Fair

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    Join Camp Lakeshore for our Family Fun Fair! An afternoon of fun - from slime making, bounce houses, inflatable slides, face painting, carnival games, food & drinks, and more! Members of Lakeshore SF and non-members welcome! Free parking available! RSVP required. Please email Membership@LakeshoreSF.com to register. This is an external partner event. Please contact the organization directly with any questions or concerns: SaraN@lakeshoresf.com
  14. I moved to Andersonville shortly before my oldest child was born. My husband and I were previously living in a one-bedroom condo in Bucktown, and we knew we wanted to start a family. Andersonville was appealing because of the easy access to the lake and parks, quiet streets with lots of trees, historic architecture, low crime, a diverse community and walkability to many shops and restaurants. Housing can be expensive in Andersonville, especially now. The single-family homes in the Lakewood/Balmoral historic district usually run over a million. However, for those open to condo living, there are plenty of options in the neighborhood. Andersonville feels like a small town within a big city. There are a lot of young families in the neighborhood. Many of the businesses along Clark Street have been around for many years, and there are less chains compared to other neighborhoods (let’s hope it stays that way!). People say hello or good morning when passing by on the sidewalk. Andersonville is known for its Swedish heritage, but nowadays Andersonville is celebrated for its acceptance of LGBTQ families, the Hispanic/Latinx community, and the Asian and African communities in neighboring Uptown and Edgewater. After five years, we are now a family of four. I am so grateful we decided to start a family in Andersonville. Here’s why. Parks The most prominent park in the area is the lakeshore. Most families congregate on Foster Beach on hot summer days or take bike rides along the bike path. There are many playgrounds in the area and each one is special in its own way. [Related: Family neighborhood guide to Logan Square] Schools The local neighborhood primary school serving most Andersonville families is Peirce School of International Studies, which is an authorized International Baccalaureate World School. The local high school, Nicholas Senn High School, is also an IB school. For families interested in private education, there are many options to choose from: Rogers Park Montessori School, Chicago Waldorf School, Chicago Friends School, St. Thomas of Canterbury School, Northside Catholic Academy and Sacred Heart Schools are all located in the area. Diversity The racial makeup of Andersonville is predominately white. There is also a sizable Hispanic/Latinx community, and the local public schools are very diverse. The Andersonville business community is supportive of social justice issues and the local public schools. Restaurants & Sweets Andersonville is not known for fine dining or cutting-edge restaurants but there are some good options, especially for kids. The Israeli restaurant Fiya has a large indoor and outdoor space and offers something for children and adults. My kids love their Challah French Toast. Parson’s Chicken and Fish recently opened a location on Clark Street with a very large patio. Calo Ristorante is an Andersonville institution and serves solid Italian American cuisine. A summertime favorite is George’s Ice Cream & Sweets. Our family likes to go late in the afternoon and then take our ice cream to the Andersonville Playlot around the corner on Ashland and Farragut. For amazing birthday cakes and Mexican bakery goods head to LaBaguette Panaderia. For grocery shopping, there is a Jewel Osco on Clark and Bryn Mawr and across the street is Edgewater Produce, which provides fresh and affordable produce and Mexican staples. [Related: Family neighborhood guide to Old Irving Park] Arts, Culture, & Other Fun Stuff The feminist bookstore, Women & Children First, has been in Andersonville since 1990. It has a large selection of children’s books and pre-COVID, they hosted a story time every Wednesday morning. The Swedish American Museum on Clark Street contains a Children’s Museum of Immigration (currently closed due to COVID-19). To celebrate Andersonville’s Swedish roots, the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce hosts a Midsommarfest in mid-June. There's also a family pride parade in June, as well. I always felt that Andersonville was the perfect mix of city living in a family-friendly environment. From toddlers to hipsters to the LGBTQ community to Black Lives Matter supporters, everyone has a place in Andersonville.
  15. NPN Jana

    STEM Adventures

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    Join Kiddie Academy for STEM Adventures! You and your children can participate in activities that show how we make learning about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math fun, relevant and exciting! This event is FREE and open to everyone, so bring a friend or two. Parking is available in lot in front of building. This is an external partner event. Please contact the organization directly with any questions or concerns: jackie.sheahan@kiddieacademy.net
  16. NPN Jana

    Community Baby Moon

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    Join us at Northcenter Town Square for a free community celebration to connect new and expectant parent with meaningful community resources, and allow for outdoor fun through dance, story time, crafts, balloons, raffle and community. We are accepting diaper donations at the event which takes new and open packages of diapers. Neighborhood parking on Lincoln Avenue and Damen Avenue This is an external partner event. Please contact the organization directly with any questions or concerns: Ariel@Birthcenterofchicago.com
  17. When I bought my first home in Logan Square back in 2005, the neighborhood was more edgy than hip. I found an old fixer-upper I could afford, crowdsourced a roommate on Craigslist, and called it a day. I was 27, single, and could not tell you the name of the school down the street. A decade later, with a husband and new baby in tow, my starter home on a busy street wasn’t ideal. Still, we knew we wanted to stay in leafy, low-key Logan Square. Our neighbors, mostly in their 60s, were moving to make way for younger families, and the neighborhood schools were growing as a result. Restaurants and retail were popping up like crazy, but the wide boulevards and squares kept the ’hood from feeling crowded. We saw the writing on the wall: If we didn’t upgrade within Logan ASAP, we’d get priced out by the time our daughter was in kindergarten. [Related: Family neighborhood guide to Sauganash] In the end, we landed within walking distance of our first-choice school and our favorite restaurant, and found an incredible daycare up the block. As much as Logan Square has changed since my 20s, I’ve changed with it — and can’t imagine raising my daughter anywhere else. Here’s why. Parks With two separate playgrounds, Unity Park is great for toddlers and big kids alike. There’s a splash pad there, too, plus a big grassy area for lounging. Palmer Square has only a few little climbing sculptures, but it’s massive and features a half-mile track, great for beginning bike riders. Haas Park has a pristine soccer pitch and playground, and tiny Grape Park is, well, tiny! Just a short drive south is Humboldt Park, second only to Lincoln Park in size and beauty. Schools We’re a Brentano family, and love its Cinderella story: It survived the chopping block of mass school closures in 2013 thanks to the community’s involvement to help it grow. Darwin and Goethe are also good elementary schools in the neighborhood, while St. John Berchmans is a popular parochial school. Walkability Thanks to its wide, shady boulevards, Logan Square is incredibly walkable and stroller-friendly. It’s a large neighborhood with lots of little pockets, which means quiet residential streets far outnumber the noisier ones. The main “square” surrounding Centennial Monument and the Blue Line station is on deck for a major pedestrian-friendly redesign, and traffic-calming measures are implemented along the boulevard during the summer months. [Related: Family neighborhood guide to Old Irving Park] Diversity Though gentrified portions of Logan Square have caught a lot of flack from the Latinx community that’s dominated the neighborhood for the past generation, many newer residents have added to its diversity. In recent years, Centennial Monument has become a hub for all walks of community groups to make their voices heard to the Mayor, who lives a few blocks west. Restaurants & Sweets Lula Cafe, one of the country’s o.g. farm-to-table spots, is still serving the community 20 years in, and yes, it has a colorable kids’ menu. For treats, Pretty Cool Ice Cream, Black Dog Gelato, and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams are open year-round, while Miko’s Italian Ice and The Freeze are popular summer spots. For pizza, we favor Dante’s for slices and Paulie Gee’s for pies; Parson’s Chicken & Fish on the Humboldt border is great for brunch and dinner. Unfortunately, there isn’t a centrally located grocery store, so we shop around: Cermak Fresh Market on the west side for produce and pantry staples, Fresh Market Place on the east side for incredible meats, and Dill Pickle in the heart of the ’hood for staples and specialties. Arts, Culture & Other Fun Stuff Our family loves the handful of street fests that take over MIlwaukee Avenue during the warmer months, and the farmers’ market on the boulevard is one of the biggest in the city. During the summer, there’s almost always some kind of band performing at the monument, and the nonprofit–led Comfort Station across the square hosts everything from record swaps to avant-garde jazz and book fairs. The local library is pretty fantastic, and there's an incredible Halloween Parade down the boulevard every year. For all of the ways that Logan Square has changed over the past several decades, it feels like it's just becoming more and more family-friendly.
  18. NPN Tareema

    Volunteer at Cradles to Crayons with NPN

    until
    Join NPN program manager, Tareema, and other NPN members at the Cradle to Crayons Giving Factory. We will help sort and organize donations in the Cradles to Crayons warehouse. Each adult may bring one child. If you are bringing a child, register for 1 adult and 1 child. Children must be at least 5 years old. Registration is a 2-step process. You must complete both steps to secure your spot. 1. RSVP with NPN. You will immediately receive an event confirmation email from NPN. 2. Complete the Cradles to Crayons registration link included in your NPN event confirmation email. Cradles to Crayons is located at 4141 W. George St., Chicago, IL 60641. There are 33 parking spaces in front of the building that are first come first serve. There is also street parking. Please do not drive past the concrete barriers that separate the shipping and receiving area of the building. All adults and children must wear a mask over their nose and mouth. (Volunteers must wear the mask provided by Cradle to Crayons for the duration of their shift) Spaces are limited. Please honor your RSVP. RSVP no later than January 12th, 2022! Postpone your RSVP only if the following apply: - Diagnosed with COVID-19 and have not yet been cleared as non-contagious by state or local public health authorities. - Exposed to a person with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days. - Experiencing symptoms of illness such as a fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Questions? Contact Tareema at tareema@npnparents.org
  19. NPN Tareema

    Volunteer at Cradles to Crayons with NPN

    until
    Join NPN program manager, Tareema, and other NPN members at the Cradle to Crayons Giving Factory. We will help sort and organize donations in the Cradles to Crayons warehouse. Each adult may bring one child. If you are bringing a child, register for 1 adult and 1 child. Children must be at least 5 years old. Registration is a 2-step process. You must complete both steps to secure your spot. 1. RSVP with NPN. You will immediately receive an event confirmation email from NPN. 2. Complete the Cradles to Crayons registration link included in your NPN event confirmation email. Cradles to Crayons is located at 4141 W. George St., Chicago, IL 60641. There are 33 parking spaces in front of the building that are first come first serve. There is also street parking. Please do not drive past the concrete barriers that separate the shipping and receiving area of the building. All adults and children must wear a mask over their nose and mouth. (Volunteers must wear the mask provided by Cradle to Crayons for the duration of their shift) Spaces are limited. Please honor your RSVP. RVSP no later than January 1st, 2022! Postpone your RSVP only if the following apply: - Diagnosed with COVID-19 and have not yet been cleared as non-contagious by state or local public health authorities. - Exposed to a person with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days. - Experiencing symptoms of illness such as a fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Questions? Contact Tareema at tareema@npnparents.org
  20. “A season of shivers” is the prediction from the Old Farmer’s Almanac. In Chicago we’ve been bracing ourselves. These are some of the winter traditions that our family looks forward to, as we countdown to warmer times. 10. Bundle Up And Get Outside – What else can you do? Build a custom snowman and challenge each other to a (gentle) snowball fight Project a (short!) holiday movie outside Go sledding on the nearest hill 9. Enjoy Decorations Galore – A little magic is essential Pick out a tree to decorate together Visit the Lincoln Park Zoo's festive ZooLights Take a pajama car tour of the decorations downtown 8. Reach Out to Friends – Remember who’s important Send paper cards with handwritten messages Plan holiday socials (recently held outdoors or virtually) Facetime or Zoom with family far away [Related: How to survive a Chicago winter with kids] 7. Undertake A Giving Project – Truly embrace the meaning of the season Deliver food in person Make bedazzled cards with heartfelt messages Fulfill holiday wishes 6. Make And Eat Special Foods – Enjoy the delicious Bake family cookie and shortbread recipes Create a (truly unique!) gingerbread house Indulge in a home hot chocolate bar (with current favorite: unicorn poop marshmallows!) 5. Meld Our Cultures – …while exploring others Invite our American Elf on the Shelf to come out on December 1st Pull English crackers to reveal paper hats and silly jokes Recognize and learn about other cultural holidays through crafts and stories 4. Respect Family Traditions – Take the best of the past Play together as a family, raiding the games closet Lay an extra place setting on feast days, to welcome unexpected guests Walk off over-eating on Boxing Day (December 26th) and be at one with nature 3. Connect With Santa — Socially distant, of course Send a letter to Santa (one that generates a return!) Wave to the CTA Holiday Train Enjoy a meet-and-greet with Mr. Claus (most recently virtually, with fabulous video recording) [Related: Holiday activities in Chicago for special-needs kids] 2. Cozy Up Inside — Embrace hygge season Watch any version of The Grinch during movie nights with homemade popcorn (on repeat!) Gorge ourselves on s’mores around the fireplace Visit the Art Institute, the Museum of Science and Industry's holiday exhibit, or a family-friendly installation — all warm and indoors! 1. Welcome The New Year — Celebrate a fresh start Make our own party poppers (with toilet rolls, balloons and confetti) Take in the London fireworks live (conveniently at 6 p.m. CST) Create New Year Intentions collages to pin up and refer to during the year ahead Despite the bitter temperatures, there are plenty of activities to do during a Chicago winter. By the time of the first snow fall, our family is ready for our annual winter activities. Over the years we’ve come to realize that you just need to embrace the change of season, not resist it!
  21. until
    Join Snapology for the holidays at Ambassador Chicago! In this workshop, students will immerse themselves in the city of Whoville and the story of the Grinch! They will design machines to help the Grinch with his sneaky mission to ruin Christmas, build the city of Whoville, and create sleds to get from the top of Mt. Crumpit down to the city of Whoville! No matter what the Grinch says, it’s going to be a blast! And parents don't worry. While you are out enjoying your dinner away from the kids they will get to enjoy and nice meal provided by Ambassador Chicago of Chicken Tenders or Grilled Cheese. And because it's the Holidays, Santa may leave a small gift behind for all the kiddos! This costs $36 per child and RSVP is required. Please go here to register. Street and valet parking available. This is an external partner event. Please contact the organization directly with any questions or concerns: chicago@snapology.com
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    Come enjoy Greektown’s annual holiday tree-lighting ceremony at Elysian Field (southeast corner of Halsted & Van Buren Streets) As the tree is illuminated, students from Chicagoland Greek schools will sing traditional Greek Christmas carols (kalanta) and additional Greek and American holiday tunes will be played by DJ Yianni. The holiday tree-lighting event is sponsored by Greektown SSA #16 with additional support from the Greektown Chamber of Commerce and nonprofit Chicago Greektown Educational Foundation. Complimentary treats included! This is a free event. Advanced registration required. Please go here to register. This is an external partner event. Please contact the organization directly with any questions or concerns: nicole@silvermangroupchicago.com
  23. NPN Jana

    Hyde Park Holly-Day

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    Hyde Park Holly-Day is back for 2021! We've planned some great (FREE!) outdoor activities for you to enjoy in Hyde Park from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. (indoor activities canceled due to COVID-19). Activities: ICE CARVING DEMONSTRATION 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. | Harper Court Watch an ice artist carve a sculpture right before your eyes and enjoy a free hot chocolate sample from Stan’s Donuts ICE SCULPTURE STROLL All Day | 53rd Street from S. Lake Park Avenue to S. Woodlawn Avenue Find all 12 ice sculptures – take a photo/video and tag us at #hphollyday LIVE REINDEER – FREE FAMILY PHOTO - BUDDY THE ELF 2-4 p.m. | Hyde Park Shopping Center Courtyard Meet two live reindeer, get a free family photo, and hang out with Buddy the Elf HYDE PARK HOLLY-DAY AUGMENTED REALITY PHOTO Can’t be here in person? Take a fun photo, video, or boomerang at hphollyday.com/arphoto For event details go to hphollyday.com Interactive Hyde Park online map and app – welcometohydepark.com Street parking, paid parking at Harper Court, free parking at Hyde Park Shopping Center. This is an external partner event. Please contact the organization directly with any questions or concerns: acsrodon@uchicago.edu
  24. Three-bedroom new-ish house with a yard on a quiet street in a diverse area, within walking distance of a good CPS neighborhood school, close to an El stop, with parks and restaurants nearby. These were our requirements when my husband and I were looking to move out of our cramped two-bedroom condo in Edgewater with our then 2-year-old son back in 2015. A tall order, for sure. But Old Irving Park, a small neighborhood straddling 90/94 on the Northwest Side, delivered on all points — and then some. "It's a little bit of suburbia in the city," I often say to people unfamiliar with Old Irving. Houses with decent-size backyards can often be found for less than $1 million; the community is tight knit (I'm a member of the Old Irving Park Association and the Irving Park Garden Club); my son's school, Belding Elementary, is a 2-block walk from our house and nearly all the kids on our block go there; and we know our neighbors — especially the many parents of kids my sons' ages. Here are a few of our favorite family spots in and around OIP: [Related: Family neighborhood guide to Sauganash] Parks Our go-tos are Mayfair Park (cute water feature in the summer), Independence Park (giant slides, climbing structures, and a zip line), playgrounds at Belding Elementary and Disney II , LaBagh Woods (wide open grassy areas, the southern start of the North Branch Trail, toddler-friendly hiking trails along the Chicago River), Portage Park (great pool with kids' spray park, big playground), and Gompers Park (fun playground and a perfect hill for sledding). Yeah…we go to a lot of parks! Schools We're partial to Belding, of course, but there are plenty of other top-notch schools nearby, including St. Edward Catholic School, Disney II Magnet School, St. Viator Catholic School, and lots of great daycares. Diversity Our kids interact with other children from different countries, ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds every single day. Belding is majority minority, more than 25 languages are spoken there, and my son is learning both Arabic and Spanish. Restaurants One drawback to living in Old Irving is its lack of retail density. Coming from Edgewater, where you could quickly walk to countless restaurants and bars, a Whole Foods, and independent shops, it was a bit of an adjustment to have to drive to pick up groceries or shop for clothes and gifts. That said, a number of great spots have opened in the past few years that are family-friendly and have great food (a rare combo!). [Related: Family neighborhood guide to Buena Park] We love Backlot Coffee for donuts, Eris Brewery and Cider House for its big outdoor patio, Community Tavern for its generous and delicious kids' meals (kids eat free Tuesday–Thursday and Sunday — score!), Old Irving Brewing for its cornhole area where kids can burn off energy (or just hoard beanbags like my kids do), and Easy Street Pizza for its delicious pizza and enclosed patio. Other fun stuff The beautiful, light-filled Independence Library is a great way to spend a couple hours — we can't wait for the wood toys in the kids' corner and child programming to come back. The Irving Park YMCA ties the community together with social events, affordable summer camp, swim and sports lessons, and a kids' club where little ones can play while parents work out. Chicago Costume is just a few blocks from our house — the place is bananas and a fun stop even when it's not Halloween. Old Irving Park does more than check all our boxes — it's the first neighborhood we've lived in that really felt like home. When so many families seem to be moving to the suburbs, we continue to be thankful for our city/suburb hybrid 'hood.
  25. NPN Jana

    Soccer Fright Fest

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    West Loop Soccer Club invites children born 2015-2008 to join us for a Soccer Fright Fest on Sunday 10/31 at Skinner Park in the West Loop neighborhood. This is a beginner friendly event in which kids will take part in friendly scrimmages against their peers. Halloween Costumes are welcome! Advanced registration required. Please email info@westloopsoccerclub.com to register. Cost is $20 / child. Free parking on both Adams and Monroe streets. This is an external partner event. Please contact the organization directly with any questions or concerns: info@westloopsoccerclub.com

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