Articles by Annie Tandy

Insider Tips for Planning Your Visit Brookfield Zoo

Our family has been going to Brookfield Zoo for years, both with a membership and without. We live about 10 minutes from the zoo, so we’ve had tons of opportunities to learn the ins and outs of what to bring, when to go, and what to explore when you get there. The coronavirus pandemic added another layer to planning the…



Exciting New Playgrounds in the Western Suburbs

We’ve heard from almost all of the park districts now that playgrounds are open! Please note that they are not being sanitized regularly, so they are “use at your own risk”. (We have included overall guidelines below.) Our wonderful local park districts have been busy planning and executing playground replacements! Check out the new playgrounds that were just completed as…


Cosley Zoo Set to Open on July 6 with Pre-reserved, Timed Tickets

Cosley Zoo will reopen on July 6 and 7 for members and July 8 for the general public! Pre-reserved, timed tickets will be required for all admissions and will only be available online beginning July 1 for members and July 3 for the general public at cosleyzoo.org.  Cosley Zoo’s reopening plan includes modifications that will ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. …


Navigating Photo Sessions During COVID-19

Doing anything in the age of COVID-19 has its challenges, including having professional photographs taken of our family. Do we need a mask? How close can we stand to one another? How many people is too many? As Illinois moves from one phase to the next, the level of confusion increases just when we seem to have the hang of…


Brookfield Zoo is Reopening! Reservations Required

Brookfield Zoo will be open for members starting July 1 and to the general public July 8, 2020! A number of enhanced operational protocols and procedures have been set in place, and it is highly recommended that you read through them at CZS.org/KnowBeforeYouGo prior to visiting Brookfield Zoo. New Brookfield Zoo Timed Ticket Registration To ensure safe social distancing, a reserved timed-ticketing system…


In-Person Classes, Camps at Jo’s Footwork Studio This Summer

Jo’s Footwork Studio is offering classes and camps this summer at their Western Springs studio! Their classes start this coming Monday, June 22 and they have made modifications to keep everyone healthy and safe. After the four week dance program, camps begin at Jo’s Footwork! Cuties at a Jo’s class, from a time when social distancing wasn’t even a thing!…


Where to See Waterfalls Near Chicago

Finding waterfalls in Chicagoland is not common, so when you spot one it makes hikes that much more special! We’ve been spending more time in nature lately and find these waterfalls so beautiful and peaceful. It’s also fun to race floating sticks down the rapids and an extra bonus if our kids can splash in a nearby creek! Fullersburg Woods…


Blackhawk Waterfall: The Hidden Waterfall in South Elgin

Blackhawk Waterfall in South Elgin, known as the hidden waterfall, is located right off Route 31 and McLean Boulevard and part of Jon J. Duerr Forest Preserve. It’s a natural waterfall as opposed to waterfalls made from dams, which seem to be more the norm in the Chicago area. There isn’t a lot of information about how to find this…



Gemini Now Offering Outdoor Gymnastics Classes

Gemini Gymnastics Academy in La Grange is now offering classes outside for ages 6 years old and up! They do a wonderful job creating a nurturing and positive environment so we were excited to hear they are continuing to provide classes in a safe environment this summer. Outdoor Classes at Gemini The coaches will instruct, encourage, and inspire kids through…