parenting

Brainwave motivation: creativity edification for kids and educators

WENDY CITY MOM: the parenting column. Chicago-area educators are in for a real treat May 3-4. The International Conference on Creativity, Thinking & Education, which takes place at the historic Congress Plaza Hotel, will provide intellectual and inspiring fodder — keynote speakers, authors and educators, …

Be good, do good, feel good: support SOS Children’s Villages

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WENDY CITY MOM. the parenting column. Lynn Croneberger, CEO of SOS Children’s Villages USA, has been helping disadvantaged orphaned and abandoned children around the world, including right here in the Chicago area. SOS, which began operating in 1949, is the world’s largest independent NGO that …

Moms: this one is for you

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WENDY CITY MOM · the parenting column · From the first rooster crow until long after the sun has gone down, mothers — working or stay-at-home — are on the clock. The entire day is an exhausting whirlwind for these superwomen, which more often than …

An insider perspective on Montreal, Canada

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WENDY CITY MOM · the parenting column · One of my girlfriends, a dual citizen of the United States and Canada as well as a flight attendant for Air Canada, believes Montreal to be one of the most kid friendly Canadian cities.

All aboard at a trail-blazing, model-train restaurant

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WENDY CITY MOM · the parenting column · Among Des Plaines' oldest restaurants, with its inception in 1951, and arguably the most authentic, The Choo Choo restaurant is stocked full of charm and character with its vintage mechanical train ride, stainless steel equipment, wood paneling and naugahyde stools. 

How to capture your family on film 

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WENDY CITY MOM · the parenting column · Mary Rafferty Gerstein, of Mary Rafferty Photography, knows a thing or two about photographing kids and families. Having grown up in a large family with seven kids and then having two kids of her own, she understands how unique and different each child and family can be.

5 kid-friendly beaches in Chicago

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WENDY CITY MOM · the parenting column · Chicago has several fantastically free beaches that are open from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, and they each offer something a little different. Experience either the thrilling chaos or the cathartic shores of Lake Michigan.

Lincoln Park Zoo educates, inspires children through hands-on learning experiences

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WENDY CITY MOM · the parenting column · Lincoln Park Zoo has established some new flagship initiatives that are sure to get young ones involved and engaged throughout their trek through the zoo. Thematic, inquiry-based and learner-focused Mobile Learning Stations give kids a hands-on, active learning encounter while expert educators or volunteers teach them new facts about the animals. 

Morton Arboretum leaves your children entertained, tricks them into learning 

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WENDY CITY MOM · the parenting column · Established in 1922 and open every day of the year, the Morton Arboretum collects and studies trees, shrubs and other plants (190,000 specimens) from around the globe. Children will undoubtedly learn and develop a passion for nature.

First dental exam scares the parent more than the child

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WENDY CITY MOM · the parenting column · You're not alone if going to the dentist conjures up feelings of apprehension and dread alongside recollections of Steve Martin's portrayal of a sadistic dentist in Little Shop of Horrors. At a check-up, dental instruments that manipulate, inspect, repair and remove teeth lie in wait on a tray next to you while a bright interrogating light shines down from overhead. How could a toddler or preschooler possibly sit through a first visit without being traumatized?

Six Flags Great America's Fright Fest is a bone-chilling adventure

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WENDY CITY MOM · the parenting column · Scaring your children silly has never been easier with the help of Six Flags Great America and the indelible Fright Fest. From Sept. 29 through Oct. 28, this adventure-seekers' seventh heaven is transformed into a bone-chilling Halloween themed shriek-fest.

Members only: Gifts that occupy zero space, provide hours of fun and get kids out of the house

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Most parents can attest to the incredible amount of living space that is lost to toys and kid-centered items. As the holiday season rolls around the corner, the idea of receiving or purchasing more multi-hued presents for your child seems a bit overwhelming. A membership …

Say Om: yoga at any age

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WENDY CITY MOM · the parenting column · Bloom Yoga Studio, located on Rockwell Street in Chicago, offers yoga classes to women during every stage of their lives.

Jack Frost has nothing on you: 3 tips for surviving the cold

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WENDY CITY MOM · the parenting column · Winter is here. Fact. Part of what makes this season so difficult for parents is venturing outside in the frosty conditions. Kids need to be kept warm-hats, mittens, scarves, boots and coats all need to be worn. Backpacks and diaper bags need to be supplied with winter necessities. Multiply the number of kids in the household, and parents end up spending the better part of the morning tasked with Sherpa duties. Make your life easier by following these three tips. 

Spotlight on author and mother, Joelle Charbonneau

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WENDY CITY MOM · the parenting column · Joelle Charbonneau has it all. She is a stay-at-home-mom and a successful writer, producing quality books with a frequency that makes most other authors jealous. Many parents have to choose one or the other: career or full time parent, but Charbonneau has figured out how to have her cake and eat it. Below is an interview, conducted with Charbonneau on her rise to becoming an author- fulfilling her dreams and ambitions, without sacrificing her desires to have a family and be a stellar mother.

The ultimate mini-vaca: Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells

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WENDY CITY MOM · the parenting column ·  With snow stuck to the ground and chilly temperatures reddening midwestern noses, Old Man Winter seems to be winning. Double down on a retreat at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells: a smart bet to beat the winter …

A night at the museum: Dozin' with the Dinos

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WENDY CITY MOM · the parenting column ·  Some childhood experiences are so rich, so extraordinary and so inimitable that they are etched into our long-term memory well into adulthood. Spending the night at The Field Museum for the Dozin' with the Dinos program provides children …

Moms that fly

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WENDY CITY MOM · the parenting column ·  When it comes down to it, finding joie de vivre-joy of living-is what really inspires people to have new experiences, make rewarding friendships and even zero in on lifestyle choices that put happiness and passion at the top …

Sweet summertime at the Swissôtel Chicago

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WENDY CITY MOM · the parenting column ·  With lighter summer schedules and more opportunities for exploring and adventure, families are taking advantage of easy access to the vibrant city of Chicago. To-do lists are long and summer is short. A simple way to fit it …

Christmas in July: Santa’s Village Azoosment Park

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WENDY CITY MOM · the parenting column · Abandoned amusement parks are creepy-just search You Tube videos if you disagree. What was once a magical place of children's cheerful screams and laughter horrifically disappears into a ghost town of weed-infested, broken, rusty rides with chipped paint …

Seadog Cruises and Navy Pier: Expect the unexpected

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WENDY CITY MOM · the parenting column · Chicago's historic Navy Pier, a 3,300-foot long pier on the shoreline of Lake Michigan, attracts more than 8.6 million visitors per year. Tourists and locals mix together to: ride on the white-spoked Ferris wheel, tour the Chicago Children's …

One lump or two: Chicago Afternoon Tea for families

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WENDY CITY MOM · the parenting column · Test out your kids' table manners by taking them to Afternoon Tea in Chicago. They will love the mini sandwiches, scones and treats as well as the variety of caffeine-free loose tea that they can pour themselves. Adults …

Extraordinary Experiences and Stingray Touch at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium

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WENDY CITY MOM · the parenting column · Did you know that the Shedd Aquarium is home to 32,500 animals? Visitors can see species from oceans, rivers, islands and lakes such as: a giant pacific octopus and moon jellies in the Waters of the World …

Have a romantic adventure-date; kayak the Chicago River

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WENDY CITY MOM · the parenting column · Meet Charlie Portis, owner of Wateriders: Chicago Kayak Tours and Rentals. This man, and his team of affable urban cowboys, will guide you over powerboat-created wakes, under iron bridges and down the Chicago River alongside some of …

Flying trapeze with the greatest of ease in Chicago

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If I told you that you could knock 10 years off your age in one afternoon, would you believe me? What if I said that you could also bond with your kids, learn a new skill, meet new friends, get a great work out and …

Indoor trampoline park, Sky High Sports, entertains your energizer bunnies

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WENDY CITY MOM · the parenting column · When the temperature starts to drop, scouting out great indoor spaces to keep your kids entertained is increasingly more imperative.