Articles by Rachel Matuch

Best Libraries for Kids in the Western Suburbs

We asked Kidlist readers: What are the best libraries for kids in the western suburbs? And wow, there are some incredible libraries nearby, all with free, educational fun. Remember that at most libraries, you can use any local library card to check things out, so don’t be afraid to check out a new spot. Downers Grove Public Library • 1050 Curtiss Street • Downers Grove The Downers Grove…


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…


Where to Find Healthy, Kid-Friendly Recipes

Now that my son eats what we eat, I’ve found myself searching for healthy and kid-friendly recipes. Everyone’s definition of “kid-friendly” varies, of course—I once asked a first-grader what his favorite food was, and he told me “pan-seared salmon.” (My first-grade answer was “ice cream,” and to be honest, it hasn’t changed.) And our kids’ tastes are shaped by our cultural backgrounds and their own personal…


Now Open: Dream with Da Vinci at the DuPage Children’s Museum

Now at the DuPage Children’s Museum, the Dream with Da Vinci traveling exhibit captures the spirit of the original Renaissance man. Leonardo da Vinci applied his genius as a painter, inventor, sculptor, engineer, and more. This traveling exhibit based on his art and inventions is 2,000 square feet hands-on discovery and fun. You might think a da Vinci exhibit would be all about history, and it does…


Where to Find Halloween Costumes

Every year, out they come: an adorable parade of spooky ghouls, furry animals, dashing Disney characters, and other fun Halloween costumes. Great deals abound on secondhand costumes because they’re worn just once a year. But where to look? Facebook Sale Groups Check parent and area garage sale groups to see what local families are selling. If your child is dead-set on a specific…


Book Review: Imagine a City by Elise Hurst

Imagine a City invites children to explore a fantastical world where they could catch a ride on a flying fish or sip tea with a gargoyle. The rhyming text is minimal, taking a backseat to gorgeous black-and-white illustrations. The scenery infuses nostalgic settings with flights of fancy: butterflies cascade from the pages in an old-fashioned bookshop, while tree branches spill out of the paintings in…


Martial Arts Classes for Kids

Find local martial arts classes for kids on this list, sponsored by Pathway’s Tae Kwon-Do on Geneva Road at Pleasant Hill in Wheaton. Pathway’s Tae Kwon-Do is a not-for-profit, family oriented organization, established by Dr. Jim Langlas in 1996. Reduced cost options are available so everyone can afford to participate. There are no contracts or cancellation fees. Tae Kwon Do training is…


Things to Do in Downers Grove

Looking for things to do in Downers Grove? You won’t be disappointed. During the three years I lived downtown in this western Chicago suburb, I loved walking to the farmers market, checking out the parks, and catching shows at the Tivoli. So whether you live here or are hopping on a train to visit, check out our round-up of the best things…


Do You Pay Your Babysitter Enough?

My husband and I decided to hire a paid babysitter for the first time last week. We’d made it a surprisingly long time without one, so I wasn’t sure: How much should you pay your babysitter? I turned to friends (including parents with kids of all ages and a few childcare pros) for advice. They gave me a lot of factors to consider, including: How…


5 Tips for Hiking Starved Rock with Kids

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I loaded up our 9-month-old baby and made the hour-and-a-half drive out to Starved Rock State Park. I’d hiked there pre-baby and loved the hidden waterfalls and canyon views, but bringing a kid made me nervous. What if we forgot something important? What if we got stuck up a cliff with a wailing baby? Our…