Articles by Rachel Matuch

‘Frederick’ at the Chicago Children’s Theatre Review + Tips for Your Trip

Chicago Children’s Theatre’s Frederick turns Leo Lionni’s classic picture book into an exuberant family musical. It’s the tale of Frederick, a field mouse too amazed by the world around him to worry about mundane things like collecting food for the winter . . . much to the chagrin of the other mice, especially nervous Nellie. And as winter closes in, the…


2018 Fall Festivals and Oktoberfests in the Western Suburbs

As summer heat turns to crisp autumn air, fall festivals and Oktoberfests spring up across Chicago’s western suburbs! These family-friendly events usually feature seasonal fun (think hayrides, pumpkin patches, and cups of steaming cider) as well as fest favorites such as rides, live music, and food trucks. Oktoberfests add a German twist with traditional food, music, and the chance to…


Local Escape Rooms: Are You Up to the Challenge?

The first time I went to an escape room, I was pretty skeptical — I don’t love puzzles and I’m the kind of person who Googles a riddle to find out the answer. But when we emerged an hour later (victorious, might I add), I was buzzing with adrenaline and completely converted. Good escape rooms have a variety of puzzles and…


2018 Free Summer Fun in the Western Suburbs

The best kind of summer fun is free summer fun! Save those dollar bills for the ice cream truck (or a family vacation): there are plenty of options for free summer fun in the Western suburbs. This huge list of free summer fun is sponsored by the Glen Ellyn Park District! Winding slopes, streams, bridges, and tunnels add to the challenge at…


Classic Car Shows for Summer 2018

Classic car shows are a staple of suburban summers. Whether you love vintage rides, have a kid who adores anything on wheels, or just want an excuse to take a stroll with the family, car shows are a fun destination. Check out all the events going on in our area this summer! Summer 2018 Classic Car Shows in Chicago’s West…


What You Need for Your Second Baby (and What You Really Don’t)

When we were getting ready for Baby #2 (about five months later than we’d started getting ready for Baby #1), I started wondering: What do we really need for this second baby? Don’t we already have everything packed away in the attic? But I quickly realized it wasn’t going to be quite that easy. We definitely needed less the second time around,…


A Visit to Cosley Zoo in Wheaton and Tips for Your Trip

Cosley Zoo in Wheaton is one of my absolute favorite places to go with kids in the Western suburbs. It’s especially great for younger kids (uh, and parents) who find themselves flagging with all the walking and crowds at larger zoos. And you can really get up close to all the animals here! Read on for some tips to help…


Perfect Pairing: Local Coffee Shops with Parks Nearby

There are few things I love more than a great local coffee shop. I love the ambiance, the aroma of brewing coffee, and… oh yeah, the coffee. My toddler enjoys a good coffee shop visit, too! He’s more interested in the pastries than the java—and he’s good for about 10 minutes before he starts getting rowdy and catching side-eye from…


Vacation Bible School (VBS) Summer 2018

Vacation Bible School is a fun week for kids to learn about Bible stories through games, lessons, crafts, and snacks. There are VBS events happening all over the west suburbs! You do not have to attend church to send your kids to VBS. In general, VBS is for ages 3 through 12. Registration starts soon and often fills up, so…


A Visit to Knoch Knolls Nature Center in Naperville

Knoch Knolls is one of the most idyllic spots in Naperville, and the new (in 2014) nature center makes it even better. We visited on a rainy afternoon and enjoyed all the hands-on exhibits! Knoch Knolls Nature Center in Naperville 320 Knoch Knolls Road Naperville, IL 60540 (630) 864-3964 See the website for current hours, which vary by season. What…


25 Things to Do with Kids on a Rainy Day in the Western Suburbs

It’s easy to run out of things to do with kids on a rainy day. That’s especially true in spring, when it’s a drag to be cooped up again after a long winter mostly indoors! This list of rainy-day fun around town (and at home) will help transform long, gloomy days into opportunities for cozy time together. 25 Things to Do with…