Category: Living in Chicago

Cold-weather winter break destinations from Chicago

Photo: Quebec City, Canada courtesy Flickr/colros

As the days grow shorter and colder, the temptation to go south can be irresistible. But what if the winter season inspired your plans instead? Some of my family’s favorite vacations have been to northern destinations that delivered the perfect combination of festivity, coziness, and invigorating outdoor adventure.

This year, consider one of these escapes:

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin Festive decorations and seasonal activities for fami...

Posted on October 21, 2019 at 11:41 AM by Amy Orzel

Tips and tricks for a stress-free Halloween, from NPN staff

As parents of kids ranging from 2 months to twentysomethings, the NPN staff has survived a couple of decades of Halloweens in the city. Here’s our best advice.

“One year I bought LED fiber optic hair extension clips for my daughters’ butterfly costumes, and loved that it made them so easy to spot in the dark on a crowded sidewalk! Now we do those or something else that lights up every year.”— Elizabeth Knutson, NPN Executive Director

“For costume-shy toddlers, try at least one pract...

Posted on October 03, 2019 at 1:24 PM

The best neighborhoods in Chicago for trick-or-treating

We asked our members on the NPN Discussion Forum to spill the Halloween beans on the best Chicago neighborhoods for trick-or-treating. Here’s what we learned.

Burling St. between Fullerton and Wrightwood Aves.
“The entire block is closed to traffic, and virtually every house participates and kids from all over the city come. You can spend the whole night just doing both sides of the street and the candy is awesome (and usually there are people handing out other things like glowsticks)...

Posted on October 03, 2019 at 11:27 AM

Family-friendly summer bike rides in Chicago

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

Family biking in Chicago and the surrounding areas is fun, healthy, inexpensive and earth-friendly. You just have to know the rules of the road, and have a few family-friendly destinations in mind.

Step 1: Start small
Air up tires and adjust helmets so they are level to the ground, and won’t move around when your child shakes her head yes or no. To warm up, ride around the block or in a paved park or schoolyard. Try riding to a favorite park that i...

Posted on July 17, 2019 at 3:46 PM by Lesley Tweedie

Chicago's best beaches for babies

Photo: Megan Backes

Having a little one shouldn’t stop you from getting out and soaking up the rays. Here’s a roundup of some of the best sandlots around the city that are perfect for baby’s first trip to the beach. Stock your diaper bag with swim diapers and sunscreen, and get ready to introduce baby to Lake Michigan!

Great for South Siders
Margaret T. Burroughs (31st Street) Beach
3100 S. Lake Shore Drive
Burroughs Beach stretches from 31st Street to 26th Street and offers amaz...

Posted on May 23, 2019 at 3:17 PM by Sitaara Jones

Where to eat outside in Chicago with your kids

Photo: Waterfront Cafe

It’s the first 70-degree day in months and you have visions of a perfect outdoor dining experience with the fam. There’s no time to research in between playdates, soccer matches and diaper changes. But we’ve got you covered thanks to crowdsourced recs from trusted parents. These dining dreams promise good food, great patios and enough room for the whole clan. In a city that loves to eat, narrowing the list to a few is challenging, but here’s our best effort for f...

Posted on May 22, 2019 at 11:01 AM by Rebekah Pajak

Mother's Day ideas for Chicago moms

Moms are incredibly resilient and inspiring. We play instrumental roles in shaping the lives of our children. The communities we live in rely on us and our dedication. Our households function under the faith that we’ll always be there to maintain order (or at least the perception of order!). It’s no question that we are the backbones of our families.

These are just some of the many reasons why there is a national holiday for us! Every generation of moms inspires the next, just like the...

Posted on May 09, 2019 at 9:18 AM by Keisha Mathew

3 reasons I'm happy my kids aren't growing up in the suburbs like I did

Parenting in Chicago is hard. Two recent events reminded me of this.

The first, running our two daughters out to the car parked in front of our house in what seemed like biblical rains — no attached garage to keep us dry. And the second, wading into the Chicago Public Schools application process. After reading about three different ways to apply to preschool, I realized this was the first step in a nebulous 18-year-plus journey.

These are surface examples of a subtler thought that h...

Posted on April 03, 2019 at 4:31 PM by Rebekah Pajak

Share the stories of these notable Chicago women with your kids

During my daughter’s bedtime reading, we’re exploring all the extraordinary women in history. Though we love learning about women all over the world, it began to pique my interest to see what kind of gems Chicago has produced. Fortunately, I found and rediscovered many reasons to be proud to be a Chicagoan. 

Here are just a few notable Chicago women who have broke ground and a few ceilings.

Throughout Chicago’s rich history, women have played pivotal roles in bringing forth real and...

Posted on March 18, 2019 at 3:20 PM by Keisha Mathew

What living in Chicago has taught me about the world

Photo: courtesy Keisha Mathew

As a parent and a long-time resident of Chicago, I often feel a great deal of conflict toward my changing city. Its natural and man-made beauty, as well as its diversity, are what makes many locals feel so proud to live here. Yet and still, there are things that cause feelings of shame and anguish to surface in many residents, myself included.

I like how Chicago blends modernization and world-class charm with our simple family values. It’s why so many t...

Posted on October 09, 2018 at 9:27 AM by Keisha Mathew