If your kids have a love for LEGOS then make sure to watch for the date announcement for BRICKWORLD Chicago 2019!
Here are some highlights from this year.
Also check out Snapology to learn more about their fun programs.
A trip into the city was just what we needed to kick start the beginning of lazy days and care free summer schedules. I sometimes forget just how easy it is to hop on the train and spend a few hours exploring the parks and taking advantage of the great people watching. Our plan was simple and the main goal was to walk Madison street all the way to Millennium Park.
Like any well planned trip we had to make multiple pit stops before the real fun could be found. 3 blocks into our arrival someone was hungry = a stop at Pret A Manger. Someone had sore feet = a stop at CVS for Advil. Someone was cold = stopping at 4, yes 4, different stores until we could find sweatpants that fit.
My kids love the sights and sounds of the city. We always play happy tourist and take pictures and capture the moments of the day.
The Lyric Opera House has always been a favorite. It amazes me that it was built just 22 months after it was planned! Start to finish! And I love that every seat has been refurbished to its original 1929 elegance.
Everyone was excited to head (no pun intended) to Crown Fountain and see the faces. I did a little research and found out there are over 1,000 Chicagoans whose faces appear on the video towers. The School of Art Institute Chicago put out a call and asked for people to come have their pictures taken. And Voila! They have become the most famous faces of Millennium Park.
The next stop was The Bean! This is a family favorite and never gets old. We love watching everyone there WATCH themselves. You can’t help but love a 110 ton kidney bean structure that gets polished several times a day. It’s a Chicago must see.
Beyond the Bean was the real destination! Maggie Daley Park was top on our list that day.
It’s the creme de la creme of playgrounds! Plus the views are spectacular. Here is a link to FAQs http://maggiedaleypark.com/about/faqs/
After all the fun was had the kids were starving and we had a train to catch. Dinner at Pizano’s Pizza and Pasta on Madison street was the perfect stop.
It was a great day and the kids loved living it up in the city for a few hours! So, the next time your kids say they’re bored pack up some snacks, Advil and sweatpants and hop on the train!
Orzo Pasta with Chicken
Baked Chicken with Roasted Red Peppers
Brownie Fruit Kabobs
Grilled Cheeseburger Wraps
Chicken Taco Cups
Italian Sub Sandwiches
Canapes with garlic herb cream cheese and avocado
Sunny Summer Salad
Who doesn’t love this time of year when the peonies are in full bloom, the temperatures climb and summer is peaking around the corner. Peonies are a staple for backyard gardeners but from what I’ve learned they’re not so easy to get started. Here are a few tips to help get these colorful blooms in your garden.
Peonies are hearty plants that do great in our Chicago climate but they do take patience and a little practice. First, find a full sun area and make sure to plant at the right time, which is fall! They can establish their roots and benefit from being in the ground during the long winter. Plant no more than 2 inches below the soil. If planted to deep they will not bloom, I’m speaking from experience. OOPS! Once planted make sure to mulch the area and water thoroughly.
Space is critical and planting a few feet apart will greatly benefit them. They need room to grow and planting to closely will lead to fungal diseases and limp stems.
Be patient! It can take two years before they start blooming. They require a little more work up front but once in bloom they thrive. Every house we have lived has had well established peonies that come back year after year. These pictures are proof of how magical they are but the key is getting them started!
This fall I will be planting peonies and using this neighbors house as an inspiration. These beauties (not mine) are a Glen Ellyn favorite! Perfectly planted, grown with patience and showing us that peonies are possible! Good luck 🙂
Books we love.
Do your kids have allergies and asthma? Check out this book on the possible link between what we eat and how it relates to the allergy epidemic.
a bad-tempered or surly person.A man called Ove. Not the man next door, or is he? He’s a curmudgeon with the heart of a loyal dog. You can’t help but love him and his cranky ways. I think we all have a bit of Ove in each of us (maybe I have more in me than I care to admit). Genuine emotions throughout the whole book. Sometimes you have to resort to the fact that your life is not your own. What you think should happen isn’t always in your control. A charming book that takes you into the life of a man who finds love, selflessness, and a family.
Glen Ellyn and Surrounding Areas
photo courtesy of Glen Ellyn Park District https://gepark.org/recreation/camps/
Cosley Zoo https://cosleyzoo.org/programs/summer-camps/
CYT formally Spotlight Theater http://www.cytchicago.org/summercamp
Glen Ellyn Park District https://gepark.org/recreation/camps/
Kids Science Labs https://kidssciencelabs.com/camp-overview
Forest Preserve http://www.dupageforest.org/things-to-do/camp-for-kids-teens
Marcel’s Cooking Camps https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/MarcelsCalendar_June2018.pdf
Morton Arboretum Science Camp http://www.mortonarb.org/news/registration-now-open-2018-summer-science-camp-morton-arboretum
Out on a Whim Clay Camp http://www.outonawhim.info/index.php
Rising Stars Summer Show Choir Camp https://www.risingstarscamps.com
School of Rock Glen Ellyn Music Camp https://glenellyn-sor.pike13.com/categories/14091
St. Francis High School Summer Camps for kids 1st-12th grades https://sfhs.8to18.com
Village Links Junior Lessons http://villagelinksgolf.com/course/practice-lessons/junior-lessons/
Wheaton Park District https://wheatonparkdistrict.com/programs/camps/
Know of a great summer camp not listed! Please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
When menu planning stick to the same theme for each night of the week.
Wednesday: Pasta or Salmon
Thursday: Pork or Beef
Saturday: Soup or Salad
Sunday: Crockpot or One Pot
*Most weeks we eat leftovers the following night but it is so helpful to have the ingredients and recipes on hand!
MONDAY: Herb and Citrus Oven Roasted Chicken
TUESDAY: Mini Taco Stuffed Peppers
WEDNESDAY: Salmon with Dill Sauce and Roasted Baby Potatoes
THURSDAY: Pork Loin with Cherry Vinaigrette
FRIDAY: Apple Cranberry Walnut Salad
One Pot Pasta
Monday: Chicken in a Hurry
Tuesday: Creamy Mexican Corn Chowder
Wednesday: Pepperoni Pasta Salad
Thursday: Roasted Herbed Beef Tips
Friday: Not cooking tonight!
Saturday: Autumn Crunch Pasta Salad
Sunday: Slow Cooker Jamaican Jerk Chicken
Monday: Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken
Tuesday: Skinny Beef Enchiladas
Wednesday: Lemon and Dill Chicken Pasta
Thursday: Homeade Shake & Bake Pork Chops (mustard sauce optional)
Saturday: Chipotle Pumpkin Soup with Barley (more time consuming but DELICIOUS!)
Sunday: Sheet Pan Garlic Butter Shrimp
Monday: Parmesan Chicken with Caesar Roasted Romaine
Tuesday: Beef Taco Salad Pizza
Wednesday: Creamy Avocado Pasta Salad
Thursday: Balsamic Marinated Flank Steak
Saturday: Corn and Cheese Chowder
Sunday: Slow Cooker Honey Pork Roast
Monday: Oven BBQ Chicken Drumsticks
Tuesday: Chicken Fajita Stuffed Peppers
Wednesday: Panko Crusted Salmon
Thursday: Pork “Saltimbocca” with potatoes
Friday: You choose!
Saturday: Chili Tortellini
Sunday: One Pot Teriyaki Chicken
Monday: Sheet Pan Honey Balsamic Chicken
Tuesday: Layered Mexican Chicken
Wednesday: One Pot Wonder Tomato Basil
Thursday: Roasted Pork Chops and Peaches
Friday: You decide!
Saturday: Cobb Salad with French Bread
Picture this. Sandy beaches, crystal clear water, kids running up and down the sand dunes. Swimming, hiking, great restaurants, plenty of shopping, and at the end of the day you’re relaxing by the lake sipping a cocktail. Sounds like the perfect destination for a family getaway. We thought so!
The car was packed and we were ready to trek up to Traverse City. The drive was about 5 1/2 hours from Glen Ellyn but well worth it. I suggest visiting during the week because the weekends tend to harbor more tourists.
We stayed at the Bayshore Resort. It was a bit of a walk to get to the heart of downtown. The hotel was a little dated but VERY clean and the staff was incredibly friendly. Just a typical up north hotel, nothing fancy, but right on the water with their own swimming beach. If you go early June the kids will welcome the heated pool. When booking your reservation make sure to get a bayside room so you can take in the lake view.
spend the day shopping. My kids loved the amazing (not so little) Horizon Books.
And the food! There are so many great places to eat. We didn’t get a chance to enjoy all of the top notch restaurants with the kids in tow. Instead we ate fabulous pizza at Paesano’s and had great burgers at Bubba’s. Our favorite was the local, all natural, organic ice cream at Milk and Honey.
We will for sure go back and do a culinary tasting tour 🙂 As far as getting around there is plenty of public parking. You are better off finding a lot and parking rather than driving around hoping to score a meter.
As much as we loved spending time downtown our highlight was driving to Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore. AMAZING!! On the way up we ate at Horizons and Sunsets in Empire. It’s like eating at a hole in the wall gas station (minus the gas) but the Mahi Mahi Tacos were the best, plus our family loves a good dive restaurant.
Our first adventure was the Dune Climb. Lucky for us the weather was perfect. When planning your getaway take that into account because the sand can be hot on little feet!
Next on the list was Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. The overlook to Lake Michigan is spectacular. I thought to myself are we still in Michigan? The water was so blue and crystal clear. It looked like the Caribbean (I started pining for a pina colada).
It was a star-spangled celebration in Glen Ellyn. This is one of the many reasons we love our charming village. Red, white, and blue covering the town in true American style.
The The New Philharmonic Orchestra was amazing!