It's hard to beat classic backyard games for kids when it comes time to entertain them during the long school-free summer months. From hide-and-seek to ghost in the graveyard, these outdoor games are sure to keep your crew, and whichever neighborhood kids stop by, busy for hours and away from their screens. Best of all, play almost all of these games listed below without spending any money. Let’s load up the sunscreen and head outdoors!
Lauren LaRoche has been a working writer and journalist for more than 12 years. When she’s not writing, she and her husband are chasing after their dog and three children in Chicago. Her career includes work in marketing, in graphic design, and as a lifestyle and events editor for CBS Chicago. To check out more of her writing, visit her website at ldesignchicago.com.
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Chicago has some amazing beaches and splash pads, but a water park takes water play to a whole new level. If a day at the water park is on your summer bucket list, we’ve got you covered. From great local pools with amazing slides to giant water amusement parks, we’ve rounded up our favorite water parks near Chicago. These water parks are jam-packed with lazy rivers, slides, splash pads, beaches, and diving boards. There’s something for everyone, from thrill-seeking teens (and adults) to the smallest water-loving toddler. It's time to start splashing at the best outdoor water parks in Illinois.
In the Midwest, there's nothing like summer on a lake. From kayaking to jumping off the swim pier, kids make memories that last a lifetime. To help plan a relaxed, sandy, summer vacation, we've rounded up our favorite family-friendly lake resorts. These resorts near Chicago range from lake resorts on nearby Geneva Lake or Green Lake to northern lake resorts in Door County, Wisconsin and Northern Michigan.
Each of these resorts features outdoor and indoor swimming options, water recreation, quaint nearby towns, and family-friendly suites, cottages, and accommodations. Parents can also enjoy nearby or on-site spas, golf, and plenty of lakeside sunsets.
Seeking even more inspiration for summer travel? Check out our Family Travel Guide for loads of family travel destinations, whether you're looking for day trip inspiration or you are ready to book a longer holiday at a family-friendly resort.
It’s been a year to remember (or forget?). Moms deserve a day to relax and enjoy some much-needed family fun time. If you’re looking for some things to do this year in Chicago for Mother’s Day, you’ve come to the right place: From brunch to fine art to well-deserved pampering, everything on this list not only kid-friendly but designed with mom in mind. Get out and enjoy some time celebrating all the moms in your life—especially if that includes you!
Happy Mother’s Day, from all of us at Mommy Poppins.
It's officially farm season! It's time to get out and enjoy a little fun down on the farm. If you’re looking for the best Chicago family farms for kids, we’ve got you covered. From hand-picking flowers to milking a goat to hayrides, these local farms have something for everyone in the family.
Fresh air and time spent in nature are so important for kids of all ages. As urban dwellers, it can be hard to give kids a farm-to-table experience without spending hours in the car. Whether it's picking apples, taking a train ride, or learning how to care for (and cuddle) adorable baby animals, we know the best spots for your family to get their farm fill, right here in (or very near) Chicagoland. Check out our list of the best Chicago family farms to visit with your little ones.
While the first year with your baby can be a wild ride filled with sleepless nights and seemingly endless diaper changes, it's also a time filled with family fun and exploration. If you live in Chicagoland, there’s no shortage of great things to do with babies. These outings help keep wee ones entertained—and parents sane.
Your little one may not have been able to explore the city as much as you would have hoped this past year. But now it's time to get out there! This list of activities are all outdoors or places where it’s easy to social distance. Best of all, they are all perfect for babies under the age of one. From the zoos to the beaches, here’s our round-up of 20 things every Chicago baby should try before their first birthday.
Sometimes, mama (or daddy) just needs a minute to get something done! If you need to keep your baby or toddler occupied while you work, cook, or finish a project, we’ve rounded up ten highchair activities that keep little ones both busy and happy. The best part is that everything on our list gets attached to the highchair—you won’t need to constantly pick things up off the floor.
From ice cubes to masking tape to toy cars, these baby activity center ideas are all made from things you already have in the house. These activities are both no cost and no mess, as well: you won't pay for 20 minutes of entertainment with an hour-long clean-up. These baby and toddler activities are also great for helping your little one explore all five senses, learn colors, and figure out cause and effect.
For quarantine babies, the first year of life probably looked a little different. That doesn’t mean their birthday should be any less special. It’s your baby’s first birthday and you’ve been parents for a year—that’s something to celebrate! To help you with some special first birthday ideas, we’ve rounded up a few fun ways to host a quarantine birthday party for babies, with social distancing in mind.
Because a first birthday is also a celebration for the parents, we're going beyond just first birthday cakes and serving up treats for adults, too. Whether it’s virtual or in-person, we've got plenty of first birthday party themes and ideas to help mark this momentous occasion safely. Happy quarantine birthday, baby.