Category: Chicago Happenings

Things to do with your kids this fall in Chicago

Photo by Scott Webb from Pexels

Over the last year, I have read—well, listened to—two books that have changed the way I think about spending time with my children. The Conscious Parent by Shefali Tsabari is a great reminder to be present and grateful for the fortunate role we have as guides to our children on their journeys to adulthood. The second is called The Power of Moments, by Chip Heath and Dan Heath, and is about how we remember moments in our lives because they elevate us, con...

Posted on September 18, 2019 at 2:22 PM by Desiree Vargas Wrigley

Things to do with dads and kids in Chicago on Father's Day

Fathers are often the overshadowed parent when it comes to how we honor them. But lest we forget, there are so many dads, poppas and other positive male role models that deserve recognition.

Father’s Day is more than giving your favorite guy in your life a new tie or other gender-based gifts; it’s for showing honor to the men who have a genuine and nurturing presence in the lives of those who cherish them. Here is a list of innovative, fun and nonconforming ideas to honor all the fathe...

Posted on June 05, 2019 at 11:58 AM by Keisha Mathew

7 places in Hyde Park to explore with your family

Photo: J.B. Spector/Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago

As a child growing up in Chicago, I only thought of Hyde Park as where the Museum of Science and Industry lived. I'd go there on family trips or field trips, once or twice a year, always making sure to pay a visit to the baby chicks. On one memorable visit, my 8th-grade class ran into Davy Jones inside the Hall of Nobel Prize Winners. 

But for all the times I traveled to Hyde Park, I never truly visited the neighborhood. As...

Posted on January 15, 2018 at 11:45 AM by Jill Morowitz

Move for kids like Miles at Move for the Kids 5K Walk/Run



After turning blue during “tummy time,” three-month-old Miles was rushed to Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago’s Emergency Department. It was there that his family received the news no family wants to hear: Their son was in heart failure.

“We were told Miles was in critical condition, and that the only way he would survive would be to have a heart transplant,” says Roxanne, Miles’s mom. “Miles didn’t have the usu...

Posted on April 27, 2017 at 10:25 AM

Step up for kids like Mary Cate |


She may look different on the outside, but five-year-old Mary Cate, this year’s Aon Step Up for Kids patient champion, is just like any other kid on the inside.

Diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Apert Syndrome, which affects the shape of the head and face and prevents the skull from growing normally, Mary Cate has undergone several major surgeries at Lurie Children’s with more procedures still to come. It is Family Services prog...

Posted on December 07, 2016 at 9:00 AM

6 reasons to go to Chicago Toy & Game Fair |

Don’t let the 60-degree weather in Chicago fool you—lights are going up on trees and holiday music is taking over the airwaves. The holidays are almost here! And if you are anything like me, coming up with great gifts for the kids in my life is a struggle. I mean, I don’t want to be stepping on small figurines every time I walk through my living room, nor do I want to spend a ton of money on poorly made toys that fall apart within a week. That’s why my family and I are taking a trip to Ch...

Posted on November 15, 2016 at 2:34 PM by Amanda Simkin

The top fall family activities in Chicago

It’s that time of year when there is pumpkin-flavored EVERYTHING and the weather is absolutely perfect for exploring before old man winter comes and sends us all into a seasonal depression (c’mon, I know I’m not the only one who goes crazy being cooped up inside with energetic little ones, right?!?!).

So make the most out of fall in Chicagoland and create your own family fall bucket list. Need some inspiration? Here’s what is on ours—and be sure to keep up with our autumnal activities ...

Posted on October 03, 2016 at 9:41 AM by Amanda Simkin

Overheard on the NPN forum: Apple orchards near Chicago


This weekend is forecasted to be downright gorgeous, so get out there with your kids and enjoy it! This is prime time at apple orchards around Chicago, where kids can do way more than just pick apples—many also have hay rides, mazes, petting zoos and more.

Right now on the NPN discussion forum, parents are recommending their favorite orchards close to the city for a fun weekend outing. Get in on the conversation by offering your own favorites or learning about a new spot. 

Posted on September 25, 2015 at 11:26 AM by Laura Baginski

Top 4 Last Minute Summer Camp Options

Ok, believe it or not, Summer is finally here. Whether you like it or not, your kid(s) are going to need a break from you and the rigors of preschool/elementary school. Here are some amazing camp options that still have availibility this summer. Bonus: Each of them offer a very special discount only to NPN members. 

Little Beans Cafe: They have two great locations with super flexible options. The Chicago locations takes children ages 3-6 and their brand new Evanston locations take...

Posted on June 03, 2015 at 1:25 PM by Christa Reed

Top 6 Spring Survival Apps

Playground Pointers ($1.99)

An NPN favorite and worth every penny. Playground Pointers is a searchable iPhone app that will guide you to the best Chicago playgrounds close to you. If you want to explore a new neighborhood, run an errand yet want to give your kids the chance to play outside, or want to meet another family for a playdate in a new area, Playground Pointers is a must-have. It gives you location information, pics and even notes on the ambiance (i.e. the el rumbles a little ...

Posted on April 21, 2015 at 7:30 AM by Christa Reed