Chicago doesn’t lack for indoor fun zones for kids, and when it comes to indoor birthday party places, there are so many awesome options you’ll never have to celebrate in the same spot twice. As things open up in Chicago, many of our favorite indoor birthday party places are booking parties again—and some have found really innovative ways to keep the parties socially distant. From bounce houses to cooking classes to climbing walls and beyond, here are the best ways to celebrate a birthday indoors in Chicago.
Latest posts by Siobhan Adcock
Located within a former industrial storage complex along the waterfront in Sunset Park, Industry City has evolved into a cultural and foodie hub. The eight formerly derelict, city-block-sized buildings, running from 33rd to 37th Streets between Second and Third Avenues, are now home to artist studios, workspaces, great shopping, art exhibitions, a chocolate factory, a Brooklyn Nets training facility, an international food hall, and even one of our favorite ice skating rinks.
It's the perfect spot for shoppers, food-lovers, and young families, offering a unique mix of tastes, sights, art, and family programming. While certain activities and businesses have closed in the current pandemic, there's still a great deal to see and do in Industry City. Its large outdoor areas are perfect for socially distanced get-togethers, too.
Read on for 17 ways to make the most of a trip to Industry City with kids.
Chicago's 2020-2021 school year has been unlike any we’ve ever experienced. Parents have had to stay up-to-date and roll with the punches more than ever, and now there’s finally an update for Chicago school kids: CPS and the teacher's union have reached a deal, and kids are headed back to in-person learning as soon as this week.
Read on for all the dates and details of the current 2020-21 school year plan—and let us help you navigate the challenges of pandemic-era parenting with the Mommy Poppins Stay-at-Home Guide.
When summer comes, smart Chicago parents make sure they've always got a sprinkler "go bag" packed and ready in the trunk, stroller, or tote: towel, sunscreen, water shoes, swim diaper (if you've got a really little mermaid), and spare clothes. Because in a city with this many awesome water playgrounds, splash parks, and spraygrounds, it pays to be prepared.
Although many Chicago spraygrounds have temporarily closed for the summer 2020 season due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of some suburban splash pads have reopened. We've rounded up our favorite spots with interactive sprinklers, sprayers, cannons, and gushers so everybody can get good and soaked. Be sure to check if you need to make reservations or will have a limited time to play before heading out.
Note: NYC schools are doing remote learning for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year due to COVID-19. We have updates on NYC school news and other impacts on NYC families and educational resources and activities while at home with kids.
If you've got a child in public school, you live by the school calendar. Many local NYC preschools follow the public school schedule, too. The New York City Department of Education's calendar for the 2019-2020 school year is below, and you'll want to bookmark it now for reference—and to help with planning family vacations and school break camp coverage.
As a surprise (and welcome) early holiday present, the Department of Education announced on September 24 that schools will also be closed on Monday, December 23. The previously released version of NYC's school year calendar originally had kids and teachers showing up for a one-day school week on the Monday before Christmas...but happily, that day is now scratched from the official calendar.
With the exception of the occasional unplanned snow day or case of the sniffles, these are all of the dates you can count on your kiddos being out of school during the 2019-2020 school year.
A little bit of winter weather never stopped a true Chicagoan from getting out there and enjoying the city…Except when the city is in the grip of a polar vortex, of course. Or when just getting outside also involves putting boots and five layers of winter gear on a troop of small people.
So yeah, sometimes it can be hard to get motivated to head out into the cold for all the kid-friendly events happening in Chicago. But to help, we've compiled a list of 50 awesome places for kids to run, jump, bounce, learn, create, and get cultured indoors this winter. And some are even FREE.
It's a great time to be a kid in NYC: Ice rink bumper cars are returning to Midtown on January 17.
The bumper cars, which debuted last year at Bryant Park's FrostFest and made the trip out to Brooklyn in late 2019, are back in Bryant Park from January 17 to February 28, 2020. Can't wait to take one for a spin? Read on for all the details, plus how to reserve your spot.
Winter 2019 is shaping up to be an epic season to be a kid in NYC: Aside from all the usual seasonal must-dos around town, there's the world's biggest Lego exhibit in Queens, a toy-testing lab in Flatiron, a brand-new indoor water park and theme park twenty minutes across the Hudson, a holiday lantern show in every borough, and museums dedicated to slime and ice cream. Oh, and there are bumper cars on ice in Brooklyn. Yep: Bumper cars on ice. Is this a great town or what?
You might recognize the colorful ice rink bumper cars from their sold-out run in Bryant Park last winter. This season, they're taking over the indoor rink at Aviator Sports Center at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn. Read on for the details on this season's slippery slide-y fun.