Articles by Jill Kowalski

Parent-Child Dates: Local Ideas for One-on-One Time with Your Kids

A 70-year study came out in 2018 that listed a few keys to being a good parent — and most of them were simple matters of showing up. Just being present while talking with and listening to your child is half the battle. Sounds simple, but in the busyness of life, that connection can get lost. Parent-child “date nights” are…


The Votes Are In: 10 BEST Indoor Playgrounds and Play Spaces

Thank you to all our readers who voted to help create our second annual list of best indoor playgrounds! You would not believe how much has changed in a year. New places have been added and others have left, but the top 3 remain the same. If you would like even more indoor play places to choose from, check out…


Free February Fun in Chicagoland

February in the Chicagoland area tends to be pretty miserable. Most of us have had enough of the cold, and to add insult to injury, we have an extra February day in 2020! Don’t worry, we have you covered. We have some awesome ideas for free February fun that will have you flying through February and looking ahead with bright…



Review: Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light Exhibits at MSI

Now through January 5, 2020 the Museum of Science and Industry is showcasing their Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light exhibits. We always love visiting the Museum of Science and Industry and the extra bonus of seeing beautiful Christmas lights, celebrating the season, and learning about world traditions makes it special. Being indoors while enjoying all of it…



Go Green This Halloween: Smash Your Pumpkins on Saturday!

The pumpkin smash is Saturday, November 2, 2019! What is a pumpkin smash, you ask? Communities all over are holding events to collect jack-o-lanterns and prevent them from heading to landfills. Instead, they’ll be composted, which helps decrease greenhouse gas emissions and provides soil with much-needed nutrients. It’s an annual event, held the first Saturday after Halloween. So go green…


Kids Eat Free and Other Scary Good Deals for Halloween 2019

Halloween is increasingly becoming known as a day for restaurants to offer Halloween-themed discounts . . . especially to those in costume! After the kids have come down off of their sugar high and need a good meal, take them out to one of the restaurants below. All of the details for the discounts are included, but please check before…


Climb to the Top of These Indoor Rock Climbing Walls in Chicagoland

Rock climbing walls are popping up all over the suburbs! They’re a great activity for kids and their families alike. That’s why we rounded up all the indoor rock climbing destinations in Chicagoland, from the city proper to the suburbs. It’s never too early to start rock climbing: many locations accept children as young as five years old and Ackerman…


2019 Family-Friendly Halloween Events

We added even more family-friendly Halloween fun! Thank you to all of the local businesses, organizations, and community members that contributed to this awesome list of all the festive events going on this month. Halloween is a time to scare, but also a time to share- share fun memories with your little ones and families. Luckily for you, the west…


2019 Fall Festivals and Oktoberfests

As the seasons change from summer to fall and then fall to winter, Chicagoans find themselves looking for opportunities to maximize the outdoors. Fall festivals and Oktoberfests are aplenty in the the suburbs. September and October are full of opportunities to celebrate the autumn season. Check out out awesome list of events near you! This article is sponsored by the…


Apple Picking: U-Pick Apples Near Chicago and the Suburbs

Apple picking is one of the most popular fall activities for making family memories in the midwest. Lucky for us, there are quite a few orchards within a reasonable distance of Chicagoland. Choose one of these nearby orchards and pick your own delicious, healthy apples! The map below shows the locations of each orchard so you can easily find them…