Articles by Rachel Matuch

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…


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…



The Teal Pumpkin Project and Other Allergy-Friendly Halloween Ideas

As a first-time mom of a trick-or-treater with a peanut allergy, I’ve been feeling spooked about Halloween. This year, he’s young enough that he won’t notice Dad sneaking his Reese’s, but what about next year? My friends have older kids with food allergies, too, and I want to be an allergy-friendly Halloween stop on their route. So I reached out to Food Allergy…


Glow in the Park at Lake Ellyn

Glen Ellyn Park District’s Glow in the Park lantern walk on Sunday, September 17 will offer food, activities, live kids’ music, and a magical sight! As the sun sets over Lake Ellyn, lighted lanterns will bob and sway in procession, casting their glow on the crowd below. Best of all, it couldn’t be easier for your family to be part…


Family-Friendly Weekend Getaways from the Chicago Suburbs

There are so many weekend getaways within driving distance from the Chicago suburbs that it can be hard to narrow down your options! We asked our readers for their recommendations of favorite spots for a short, but sweet vacation. Check out our list, then let us know if we missed your favorite spot in the comments (or on our Facebook…


Summer Activities for Babies and Toddlers

Summer activities for babies and toddlers look a lot different than what’s fun for bigger kids. I still remember taking our then-nine-month-old to a pool play area last summer… and dashing to snatch him out from under a giant water-dumping bucket. A year later, he still seems to toddle right in the path of the big kids running around, and those kids are a whole…


Tips for Taking Kids to a Baseball Game

Baseball season is here, and a family trip to the old ballgame makes for a memorable day out. We just got back from taking our 18-month-old to his second Cubs game (he waited so long for that championship), so I did some research on how to make a trip to a baseball game with kids as smooth as possible. 1. Decide where you’re…


Review: LEGOLAND Discovery Center Chicago (LEGOLAND Schaumburg)

I’d never been to LEGOLAND in Schaumburg before their sneak peek event for the new Star Wars and Heartlake City exhibits (more on those here). I wasn’t sure what to expect. I wasn’t a LEGO-obsessed kid (though we all spent afternoons building from my brother’s giant box of bricks), and I have a toddler to whom all those lovely choking…


Sneak Peek: What’s New at LEGOLAND (and a Coupon!)

Last night, LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Schaumburg hosted a sneak peek at the return of their Star Wars Episode IV MINILAND display and the new LEGO Friends Heartlake City exhibit. I’d never been to LEGOLAND before, and may I first say this place is so stinkin’ cool? I would have loved it as a kid. I loved it as a grown-up, actually. If…


Nature Centers in Chicagoland: Bring the Outdoors Inside

Nature centers offer a dose of the great outdoors, even when the weather isn’t cooperating. I had no idea these existed until recently, when we were driving past the new Knoch Knolls center and stopped in to explore. Now I know the secret: nature centers are a great source of (usually free) fun in any weather! These Chicagoland nature centers that have walk-in visitor…


Winter Car Seat Safety Tips to Keep Kids Safe AND Warm

When I told my husband our one-year-old shouldn’t wear his winter coat in the car, he looked at me skeptically. “Won’t he be, uh, cold?” he asked. “Why can’t he wear a coat?” I wasn’t entirely sure. So I called Jill Braselton, the Lead Outreach Specialist at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital, for a better explanation of winter car seat safety. “In a car…