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Take time for thanks

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Your child is our mission. Apply now for: Pre-Kindergarten and Junior Kindergarten 2019-20 Senior Kindergarten Regular Decision 2019-20 Senior Kindergarten Early Decision 2020-21 Sacred Heart is a Catholic, independent, PK-8 school that warmly welcomes children of all faiths. Inspired teaching, personalized learning, and a supportive community ensure that our students thrive academically and grow in goodness, self-knowledge, and service to others.

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British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park is an international private school for children ages 2 to 11 years old. Visit us to learn more about our Juilliard-Nord Anglia Performing Arts Programme, which prepares our students for the world’s stage and our STEAM curriculum in collaboration with MIT, which will have your young inventor learning how to build the future. Our global community of 56 schools provides meaningful and tangible international experiences for our students building their intercultural understanding and global perspectives.

Visit our Open House! November 3, 2018 & January 13, 2019 - 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Register at www.bischicagolp.org/openhouse bischicagolp.org admissions@bischicagolp.org admissions@bischicagolp.org | 773-907-5000 | www.bischicagolp.org 773.907.5000 2 November 2018 ChicagoParent.com

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4 November 2018 ChicagoParent.com

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Tamara L. O’Shaughnessy MANAGING EDITOR


Katina Beniaris ART DIRECTOR


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NOVEMBER 2018 | VOLUME 34 | NO. 11


Jill Wagner


22 37 41 45

ALL I WANT ... It’s beginning to look a lot like .. shopping THANKFULFILLED FUN 6 activities to discuss gratitude with your family IT FEELS LIKE HOME A House in Austin provides community and strength for families SUSPEND SCHOOL STRESS Tips to help kids keep school anxiety in check


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WOW ’em Top local toys under $50



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Cover kid: Lennox Simms, 4, of Romeoville Photography: Thomas Kubik of TK Photography Design: Jacquinete Baldwin

Chicago Parent is published monthly by Wednesday Journal, Inc. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Chicago Parent, 141 S. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park, IL, 60302. © 2018 Wednesday Journal, Inc. All rights reserved.

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A story on a stick As the colorful leaves fall from trees and shrubs, the branches are left bare. That makes it easier to read the stories they tell. How can a branch tell a story? Because that’s where a tree or bush grows, and the way that it grows gives us clues. Look closely at a low branch or one that has fallen to the ground. (The twigs on big trees are too high to see without a helicopter!) Do you see a circle going all around a twig, just an inch or two from the end? That circle shows you where the twig stopped growing last fall. The part from the circle to the tip grew this year. You may be able to see other circles along the twig. Every year, it gets longer and also fatter, until it becomes a big branch. Do you see a mark like a half-circle or a heart shape? That’s where a leaf or a bud was attached. The tree used its leaves all summer to make food from the air and the sun, and when fall came, it let them go. Do you see a little nubbin on the tip of the twig? That’s a bud, ready to grow next spring. As long as the twig is attached to the tree, its story is not over.

A jump on shopping I admit I’m a big Amazon Prime girl. You can’t beat the convenience and access to things you discover you need right now (and might not need at all). But there is still something really special about shopping in a brick and mortar store, particularly the wonderful independent stores we TAMARA L. have throughout Chicago and the O’SHAUGHNESSY suburbs whose owners are truly passionate about helping you find the perfect gift for each person on your shopping list. year, Hillary also went a We’re actually pretty little retro, finding a few lucky we have so many gifts that will remind you great independent toy how much you loved to stores. They take the play with them term “shop local” and now will to a whole new inspire your own level, making it all kids. very personal and As a mom of satisfying, something two sweet littles Amazon will never herself, she paid be able to do. particular atThis issue tention to duis one of my rability and favorites of the creativity year because so you can it features also our huge consider toy guide. this guide Managing mom Editor Hillary tested. Bird spent Since this hours and is her first hours over the Squishables year doing the toy past few months guide, Hillary did discover with local toy experts— a downside: She wanted those passionate local toy to buy everything for her store owners—to find the own gift list (and admits best toys on the shelves she’ll be going back soon to this holiday season. do her shopping). I know The majority of the toys you’ll find something in it we’re featuring are under no matter what holiday you $50 so they won’t break celebrate. the bank, but you’ll also Happy November. find a few splurges. This

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6 November 2018 ChicagoParent.com

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Enjoy our new exhibit through Jan 13! THE PLACE WHERE AWESOME LIVES

CHICKA CHICKA BOOM BOOM. Text copyright © 1989 by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault. Illustrations copyright© 1989 by Lois Ehlert. Used by permission of Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon &Schuster Children’s Publishing Division. All rights reserved. Peter Rabbit™ © Frederick Warne & Co., 2011. Spot © Eric Hill/ Salspot Ltd.,2011. IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE. © 2000 by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond. Used by permission of HarperCollins Publishers. © 2012 Minnesota Children’s Museum. All rights reserved. Storyland: A Trip Through Childhood Favorites™ was created by Minnesota Children’s Museum. This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.

FLUENT IN THE POWER OF PLAY. Explore your favorite stories throughout Storyland! From the gardens of The Tale of Peter Rabbit to the urban snowscape of The Snowy Day, discover why we’re The Place Where Awesome Lives!


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Grateful for family on

ChicagoParent.com A time to reflect


With the holiday season fast approaching, it’s important to practice gratitude before the big turkey dinner. There are so many opportunities in Chicago to volunteer and teach new lessons to your children. Find out ways you and your family can simply give thanks at ChicagoParent.com/GiveBack.

Start your holiday shopping The holidays will be here before you know it! We’ve got you covered with our best toys right here in our print issue. If you’re looking for more gift ideas for the entire family, check out ChicagoParent. com/HolidayGifts.

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You’ve got nothing to lose with our exciting giveaways at ChicagoParent.com/Contests. Enter for your chance to win a family pack of tickets to Illumination: Tree Lights at The Morton Arboretum, Chicago Toy & Game Fair and the Harlem Globetrotters. Even better, help lighten the load from Santa by winning some awesome toys featured in our holiday gift guide!

Listen in

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Worried about spending too much during the holidays? On our Masters in Parenting podcast, we talk to a finance expert later this month on how to save while enjoying the season with your family. Listen to all of our latest episodes at ChicagoParent.com/ Podcast.

8 November 2018 ChicagoParent.com

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Jenny LeFlore

u Founder and the mama behind Mama Fresh u Spouse: Obie LeFlore u Child: ObieQ, 2 u Parenting musthaves: A fanny pack (It is a game changer for me and I’m never going back); the Pearachute app and the community of women that I built that assures me I’m not the only person feeding my child chicken nuggets for a week straight or that my toddler is not the only one that speaks in roars and chants.



he hardest thing for you after becoming a mom: Thinking that I could have balance. I have to let go of that version of Jenny and I really have to approach the new and evolving version. If you keep holding on to that old norm and chasing that, for me I kept feeling unfulfilled because I didn’t have that time for myself, the same relationship with my husband. Once I accepted that there was this new version of me, Jenny 2.0 after ObieQ, I was able to transition into it a lot easier.

You recently wrote a great blog post on MamaFresh.com about

accepting your post-baby body. So many moms struggle with this. I’ve always been super aware of it because I was in the fashion industry before I stayed home with my son. ... As far as sizes, I probably fit back into my same jeans, but my body is just not the same. I’ve been nursing my son for two years; these boobs are like a sad-looking emoji. My relationship with my body has changed so much; I love it and I have so much respect for what my body can do, the strength I didn’t even know I had. It is very foreign to me. BUT I am on a journey of falling back in love with my body and that’s an important thing. I am speaking very kind to myself and

speaking very grateful words to myself and learning that it’s OK. Where do you see Mama Fresh helping? I just focus on being a beacon of light, being the solution so moms don’t feel isolated. That’s why my Mama Fresh Strolls, independent bookstore storytimes are so important because it gets you out of your house, gets you around other families. ... What I’m really all about is connecting families and the inclusion of all types of families in Chicago. All of my events are hosted with that in mind.

Life in Chi

Fresh talk with mom in the know

“I just focus on being a beacon of light, being the solution so moms don’t feel isolated.”

10 November 2018 ChicagoParent.com

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REAL LIFE Do you have a Thanksgiving tradition? Our Thanksgiving is two parts. On actual Thanksgiving, we go and visit with family at my aunt’s house and my husband’s family. So, very traditional. Because of my dietary restrictions (I’m a Hear more from Mama pesceterian), Fresh Jenny LeFlore but I still on Chicago Parent’s want that Masters in Parenting good food food podcasts at so I cook chicagoparent.com/ an entire learn/podcast. Thanksgiving


dinner at home. On Friday, my girlfriends all come over to my house and I just put all of our leftovers out. We just all hang around, we have wine and beer and it’s like a Friendsgiving, just the day after. No pressure. We just put movies on all day, people come over with their kids. It’s turning into a day I look forward to as much as I do Thanksgiving.

Photo taken at hellobaby Play Place, Chicago What are your three most favorite places in Chicago for fall/winter: I love the lakefront all times of the year. Chicago Park District is always on my list. We live on the South Side of Chicago and everyone knows that means

UniverSoul Circus (runs through Nov. 4 in Washington Park); it brings fun family-centric energy to our neighborhood. The Garfield Park Conservatory is our winter jam when it’s too cold outside.

Winter bre ak camps Dec 26-28 Jan 2-4!


2521 Waukegan Road, Bannockburn 847-230-0330 tastebudskitchen.com/bannockburn ChicagoParent.com September 2018 11

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A great school is one thing. But a great school that is also part of a world-class research university? Now that is something entirely different. > NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR ALL GRADES Because the Laboratory Schools are part of the world-renowned University of Chicago, the importance of intellectual life— ideas, exploration, creativity— infuses everything we do across all aspects of our curriculum.

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12 November 2018 ChicagoParent.com

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Wild weather, adventurous arts


ure, October was full of tricks and treats, but November’s when the really wild stuff starts to happen. Cozy up with your favorite daredevil—and get ready to choose your own adventure with these three madcap picks.


Wild Kratts LIVE 2.0 Activate Creature Power From the small screen to the big stage, this is one that your creature lovers won’t want to miss. For two shows only, PBS stars—and legit zoologists—Martin and Chris Kratt will bring their hit show,

fresh from its sixth Daytime Emmy nom, to the Cadillac Palace for a blend of live-action comedy, loads of animation and up close and personal adventures with some of the world’s most fascinating critters. New Creature Powers and animal factoids galore? Check. Onscreen help from Aviva and the Tortuga HQ gang and thwarting from a “villain”? Check. And cheerfully suitedup (and seated) audience members ready and willing to call out answers on this epic journey to rescue a new pal? Oh, check. Two shows Nov. 11, Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St., Chicago; wildkrattslive.com

Photo by Suzanne Plunkett

‘Bunnicula’ File this one under New Pet Cautionary Tales: When the Monroe family brings home a lost bunny after a Dracula screening one (dark and stormy) night, Chester the cat is suspicious. Jealousy? Or maybe the fact that the new member of the family just happens to have fangs? The wonderfully non-spooky musical adaptation of Deborah and James Howes’ 1979 book about embracing

our differences is best for kids 5 and up, and runs one hour without intermission. Somebunny want more interactive fun? On Saturdays and Sundays (after the 11 a.m. show and before the 1 p.m. one), join Lifeline for the Stories Come Alive! hour, complete with storytelling, theater games and completely normal (and non-drained) vegetables. Through Nov. 25, Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago; lifelinetheatre. com

‘The Adventures of Robin Hood’ Can a story about the great divide between the haves and the have-nots still be incredibly fun to watch? (Absolutely.) Adventure Stage Chicago is bringing its company premiere of Oliver Emanuel’s The Adventures of Robin Hood to the Vittum Theater, under the direction of physical theater expert Adrian Danzig (500 Clown Trapped) for a modern—and irreverent—twist

on the beloved medieval legend. Featuring only three actors, this impressively energetic story has more heroes and villains than you can shake all of Sherwood Forest at—while still being anchored in enough heart to explore what it means to be the Good Guy. Through Nov. 24, Vittum Theater, 1012 N. Noble St., Chicago; adventurestage.org

Photo by Josh Darr

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CONNECTING STUDENTS TO THE FUTURE GEMS World Academy Chicago prepares students in preschool through high school to solve nextgeneration challenges. Our rigorous International Baccalaureate curriculum, innovative use of technology and integrated Field Studies program give students the skills and richness of thought they need to be transformative global leaders.

Our Innovative Upper School building opens fall 2019! Learn more at one of our upcoming admissions events: gemschicago.org/events

14 November 2018 ChicagoParent.com

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In defense of Fortnite


A letter came home from my sons’ school suggesting that the devil himself was behind the video game phenomenon Fortnite. It was described as a dangerous epidemic. Crack cocaine for the middle school set!

My kids have engaged in many fads over the years: Angry Birds, Pokemon, Bakugan, Fidget Spinners, Bottle Flipping and Dabbing to name a few. Some of these were all-consuming obsessions. They typically resulted in the standard school abolitionist letter warning that continued engagement could only result in a life of poverty and petty crime. Whatever. Not that I am a fan of video games. My boys were very late entrants into the whole video game arena, and even then, choices were carefully monitored. No blood. No prostitutes. No brain matter. I initially put the kibosh on Fortnite because guns were involved. But after a while, I realized there was also communication! The boys implemented teamwork and strategy to win. For the last several years, I’ve noticed a depressing shift in behavior. Once rambunctious boys I had to shush in the car were now zombie-like pre-teens staring at their phones.

I rejoiced at the return of banter. Of joking. Of kids being kids. Then there was the dancing. Never before in recorded history have so many boys suddenly mastered an arsenal of choreographed and somewhat ridiculous dance steps. There was The Floss, The Shoot, Best Mates and The Default Dance. Sure, I might have preferred an injection of the occasional Tango or Waltz, but beggars can’t be choosers. People criticized the atmosphere and implied violence. I then reminded them that Pac-Man was a cannibal. And the ghosts were clearly members of the occult. As is true with most red-hot fads, Fortnite interest is waning, another casualty of fickle kids. But unlike the whole bottle-flipping craze that left me twitchy, I am a little sad to see this one go. For once, my boys actually danced like nobody was watching. You know, in between building panic walls.

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My daughter, Viva, loves toys. She has castles for Princess action figures, fortresses for Superheroines and hulking dollhouses for Barbies. Spoiled? Perhaps. Groomed towards consumerism? Likely. But how can she not love toys when her old man likewise fills the house with his hulking Voltrons, nunchucking Turtles and swashbuckling Jedi?

Toys R Us may be gone for now, but our family consists entirely of Toys R Us kids. I was raised in the first Golden Age of Toys, the 1980s. When corporate synergy made every cartoon a 30-minute toy commercial (“We’ve enlisted new Autobots—shaped ILLUSTRATION BY STEPHEN SCHUDLICH like Dinosaurs!”) with an attendant comic book and breakfast cereal. George Lucas and Kenner filled every bedroom with 3 ¾-inch Landos and Lobots, and, in a spasm of Reagan-era excess, I became the proud owner the 6 ½-foot-long G.I. Joe aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Flagg. Every kid needs a missile-laden toy the size of a sofa whose primary function is to hold more toys. And so my child has picked up my habits. She begs for gender-typically marketed plastic folderol. It sounds regressive— until you hear her play! As a toddler, Viva’s princesses shared her problems—she voiced these tiny royals as they asked one another to help reach things or sit on chairs too tall to climb. By junior kindergarten their adventures involved lava and magic spells, and now that she’s in first grade, I overhear the toys quarreling over social power struggles. I love watching her creativity flourish. I love hearing her imagine and resolve conflict, think divergently and invent narrative. I love seeing her fine motor skills develop as she works tiny buttons or puts wands in tiny hands, and I love it when she memorizes mythologies, then stretches their boundaries through play. We play together and mix up our toys. Batgirl, Belle and Captain America face off against Maleficent, Mumm-Ra and Skeletor. The Lego Friends are imperiled by the First Order, and the Netflix Voltron defends the Universe right alongside the version from redubbed Japanese cartoons once shown on Channel 50. Are we rotting our brains? If so, we’re doing it together. Viva Toys. Viva Viva. Viva Daddy. Viva is 7 years old. Daddy is about 6x that age. They live happily with Mommy in Chicago.

16 November 2018 ChicagoParent.com

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There is no limit to what you can achieve! Personalized Learning

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Enhance your strengths and passions in subjects and activities that appeal to you. On top of personalized instruction and small classes, we offer High School students chances to travel the world, intern with leading companies, and take part in 55+ clubs and sports. We prepare you for a higher education community best suited to your needs and interests. OPEN HOUSE: November 10 1 – 4 p.m. Submit application: bischicagosl.org/admissions Schedule a tour: (773) 998-2472 Ask questions: admissions@bischicagosl.org

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Glam on the go


With November comes holiday parties and programs as well as the test of your super ninja-mom scheduling skills. If you are like me, changing in the front seat of your car before heading into yet another event is not an odd occurrence. So how can you successfully transition from a work function to a social outing without a rolling rack in tow? The key is mixing and matching pieces that seem simple but provide totally different looks when paired together.

The clothes How often does that tired suit skirt do anything but sit behind a desk? It is time to make that piece pull a double shift by adding pattern during the day and blending it into a monochrome look for night. Leopard is definitely the king of the fashion jungle this season, and it isn’t just for the catwalk. This short sleeve sweater (upper corner) is still conservative in the cut but bold in pattern. I paired it with a cream suit skirt for daytime meetings, adding black slip-on mules with closed toes to keep it formal but don’t scream WORK! when I keep them on in the evening. For nighttime, add a top with texture like silk, velvet or lace to create interest. If you wear one color on both top and bottom it gives the illusion that you are wearing a completely different outfit, even if all you did was take off your top layer. I found a vintage slip in a similar color at a thrift shop to pair with this

The extras

Ann Taylor skirt (right), creating a winter white ensemble that will stand out in a sea of basic black (and I call this my “kid-free” look because…white). Want to go casual yet classy in the evening? Bring slim denim to pair with that leopard sweater and add a few bracelets to coordinate with your earrings.

A statement necklace and the same basic earrings you wore to work take your top half to the next level at night. I love big, bold pearls—go with off-white as opposed to true white to make them look more luxe. How about hair and makeup? I asked my stylist at Mario Tricoci about the hottest trends in formal hair, and she immediately said braids and buns. An easy option is to put your hair in a ponytail and braid it, then wrap the braid around the base of the pony and secure with pins. One tip that works for all hair lengths and textures is to add a vintage clip. Part hair to the side and sweep the smaller portion back with a blingy bauble over your ear. In terms of product, texturizing sprays are multi-taskers so that means fewer things to carry in your purse— they are a combo of dry shampoo + hairspray and can add wave (my fave is Oribe).

18 November 2018 ChicagoParent.com

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Shriners Hospitals for Children — Chicago, offers a sports medicine program specializing in the treatment and rehabilitation of injuries to the shoulders, elbows, hips, knees and ankles. It involves physicians, surgeons and therapists collaborating to create care plans unique to each injury. Our team offers hope for young athletes looking to resume competition, or simply to get active again. We offer hope in our other areas of expertise as well. For over 90 years, parents and children in need of orthopaedic care, specialized plastic surgery, and spinal cord injury care have seen their hopes realized right under our roof — by physicians, nurses, and specialists using the latest technology, innovative research, and a collaborative, family-centered approach. It’s how the 22 Shriners Hospital locations have provided care for over 1.3 million children.

Do You Know a Child For a consultation, or to refer a patient, call: Who Needs Expert Shriners Hospitals for Children — Chicago Specialty Care? 773-385-KIDS (5437)

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encounters. Stay at French Lick Springs Hotel (frenchlick.com/hotels/frenchlick), a gorgeous historic hotel featuring an array of family-friendly activities such as FootGolf, bowling, hiking, horseback riding, a KidsFest Lodge with activities, indoor and outdoor pools, a spa and a range of restaurants.


ince Indiana is known as “the Crossroads of America,� you’ve probably driven through it. But there is more to explore in the Hoosier state than what you can see from the expressways.


Bathe elephants Once spring returns, treat an African elephant to a “spa day� at Wilstem (wilstem.com) in the rolling hills of southern Indiana, in Paoli. You can spray Lovie, Lou or Makia with water and suds them up. They’ll even splay their big, beautiful ears so you can get behind them. Then finish with a little oil on their toenails to keep them radiant. After bath time, learn more about these majestic, gentle creatures during an educational encounter. The trainers are happy to gush about their size, their smarts and anything else you’d like to know. Afterwards, the elephants

Put these surprises found in Indiana on your todo list

are released to roam in a huge habitat on the 1,100-acre property. (Elephant encounters end Nov. 4 and reopen in March. Reservations are required.) Wilstem also offers giraffe and kangaroo encounters open year-round. Jeff “the bear man� Watson and his two grizzlies, Bob and Screech, who were featured on Animal Planet’s Project Grizzly and Discover Channel’s Porter Ridge, offer bear safety educational

Glide down the quarter-mile refrigerated track of Pokagon State Park’s Toboggan Run near Angola (in.gov/ dnr/parklake/4699.htm), in the northeast corner of Indiana. Drop 90 vertical feet during the course of an exuberant 30-second ride that reaches up to 40 mph. Open Nov. 24-Feb. 25, this historic slide offers thrills with or without snow on the ground. Sleds hold up to four people and are rented per hour. Stay at the Potawatomi Inn (in.gov/ dnr/parklake/inns/potawatomi) for its location on the beach and the game room downstairs, with table tennis and other fun activities for after-dinner bonding.

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Come Together

and enjoy the Wonders of Winter

Zipline Scenic outdoor activities, rustic charm and an artistic downtown are reasons to make the four-hour drive just south of Indianapolis to Nashville. Zip through the trees at Rawhide Ranch (rawhideranchusa.com/ zip-lines-brown-county.php). This 90-minute experience is hosted by two hysterical guides who take groups of 10 out into the woods.

Enjoy the natural beauty of Brown County while you hike, bike, kayak or canoe. Gem mining, paintball, ATV and horseback riding adventures await. Afterwards, quell your hunger at Big Woods Restaurant at Hard Truth Hills (bigwoods restaurants.com/hard-truthhills), a great new craft food eatery next to a distillery on 325 acres in the hills.


Whitewater raft When summer comes around again, grab a paddle and catch the thrill of whitewater rafting closer to home. East Race Waterway (eastracewaterway. gr8.com) offers an affordable, urban outdoor adventure. The only of its kind in the Midwest, this waterway is open weekends June-August and recommended for families with older children. While in South Bend, be sure to tour Notre Dame (nd.edu), recognized as one of the most beautiful campuses in America, and the Studebaker National Museum (studebakermuseum.org) to see historic automobiles and other artifacts like President Lincoln’s carriage.

Feast Fort Wayne, the second largest city in Indiana, is a sweet little escape from the bustle of Chicago. While things move at a slower pace, the vibe is modern artsy and the food is phenomenal. Not only can you savor rich chocolates on the DeBrand Fine Chocolates tour (debrand.com), be sure to

also delight in the farm-to-fork goodness at Tolon (tolonrestaurant.com) and sink your teeth into incredible tacos at The Hoppy Gnome (hoppygnome. com). Families especially love the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo (kidszoo.org), which reopens for the season April 27. ChicagoParent.com November 2018 21

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It’s beginning to look a lot like .... shopping

All I want... By HILLARY BIRD


ou’ve checked your list—at least once or twice— and it’s only November. With major assists from local independent toy store owners all across Chicago and the suburbs, we found more than 50 great toys under $50 that your kids will love. With new toys, and a few from the wayback machine that you loved to play with, we’ll help you cross off names from every age group on your list. And maybe, even help you find a thing or two for “kids” age 20 to 99.

Baby (0-12m)

Lennox Simms Photo by Thomas Kubik Baby Lit Th e Nutc racker

The good people at Baby Lit can’t stop introducing little ones to well-loved literature. New this year, and in time for holiday magic, is The Nutcracker. The “Dancing Primer” is full of new words and concepts and a great first read for little minds. Baby Lit The Nutcracker, $9.99 ● ● ● Hudson is a pup whose back lights up and his legs are chewy, great for new teethers who will also like the little bit of noise—good for babies, not annoying for parents. Kid O Hudson Glow Rattle, $24.99 ● ● ● Hudson Glow Rattle

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Fat Brain Dimpl


RETRO Did you crave avocado toast during your pregnancy? Maybe downed your share of guac? Drop an avocado—or avocado toast—friend into your child’s new friend rotation. Squishable, $40 ● ● ● Each puppet in the line is one-of-a-kind, made from recycled water bottles and sweaters. Save the earth and save playtime in one unique puppet. Cate & Levi Puppet, $24.99 ● Cate & Levi Puppet

The cause and effect is kind of mesmerizing with this one. As one side of the toy pops in, the other side pops out, allowing repetition to be the name of the game. Fat Brain Dimpl, $12.99 ● ● ● ● If you’re worried about what your new kiddo is putting on his face—or in his mouth—MiYim is back. A reintroduction into the U.S., the line of puppets, blankets and chewies is made of organic cotton and soft as a baby’s fuzzy hair. MiYim Blanket, $15.99 ● If your nursery—or ursery—or playroom ayroom or kitchen—needs that Modern Moose extra pop of whimsy, these Pendulum clocks come in shapes from Clocks Sockmonkeys to (baby) Sharks. The pendulum on each adds to the playfulness: fish bones on the shark, a unicorn with a rainbow or an alien spaceship with an abducted human. Modern Moose Pendulum Clocks, $50 ●


Where we shopped ● Becky & Me Toys, Evanston ● Building Blocks Toys, Lakeview & Wicker Park, Chicago ●*play, Logan Square & Lincoln Park, Chicago ● Moore Toys & Gadgets, Wheaton

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Toddler (1-3) This isn’t your average marble tower. Made for youngsters, there’s a cause-and-effect action with this one, as the balls don’t roll until the bottom ball is picked. Stay busy all afternoon. Fat Brain Roll Again Tower, $49.99 ● ● ●

Fat Brain Roll Again Tower

Food friends for a little older set, these come in a variety from a yucca plant to a pineapple purse that little fingers can open and close to, yes, an avocado. Jellycat Amusables, $32 ● ●

Jellycat Amusables: yucca plant

• Lite Brite Wall • Climbing Wall

Not all snap beads are created alike. In addition to being dishwasher safe (score!), these screw together instead of snap, so taking them apart is as doable for a 1-year-old as it is a 3-year-old. Fat Brain Lalaboom, $30 ● ● ● Fat Brain Lalaboom

• Transportation Station • Engineering Mega Station • Tubes and Tunnels • Water Play • Dress up Stage • Toddler Area • Private Birthday Parties


4701 Oakton Street, Skokie • (847) 674-1500, ext. 2700

While you’re on a cause-and-effect kick, so is Fat Brain Toys. Push one ball in, another one pops out. Keep it going figuring out which ball causes another to eject and the fun lasts past the opening of the box. Fat Brain Klickity, $29.99 ●● Fat Brain Klickity

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odof wo e r a h arm ir s ur fa down the iling o y d e m d push the s , up an bably wagons of seeing our kiddo o r p y g n r o n e i i t You o l t f e e l ta he fe good led s comp pane couch. T wheel is duced— ation r a o e e r f h t n rest o behind t on is rein a new ge g le peop as the wa river—to onados. fici on, ng d too, smili toy car a tion Wag a with t of S e ●● r Pric Fishe $34.99

Everything in the Green Toys line is made in the USA from recycled milk jugs. The pull toys are durable and jaunty with a driver that pops up and down as the toy is pulled. Green Toys Dune Buggy Pull Toy, $19.99 ●

A toy that ages with your kiddo is perfect at every stage—and great that you don’t have to store it after six months. Stacked with the power of magnets, the blocks won’t fall over on unstable surfaces. Bonus points for the towersaving champion. People Blocks, $19.99 ●

People Blocks

As kiddo’s first words are animal sounds, mixing and matching horse tops with sheep bottoms only adds to the learning fun. My First Farm Animals, $21.99 ●●●

Green Toys Dune Buggy Pull Toy CONTINUED ON PAGE 26

My First Farm Animals




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3-5 Preschool Even if you think your toddler is past the cuddle stage, a new friend comes along to remind you they won’t grow up too fast. Friends come in varying, squishable shapes from tired bears to pillow-like baby sharks. Cuddle Pals, $25

The reintroduction of My Little Pony is everything you loved: the colors, the hair, the starry eyes. If yours are still saved in your parents’ attic, add a few new ones to the stable and let your little play with them all. My Little Pony, $14.99 ● ● ●

Cuddle Pals

Schleich Advent Calendar

What a Citizen Can Do

If your little activist-to-be is still learning about his role in the world, there’s a book that teaches without taking a side. Learning about society takes the first step toward kindergarten. What a Citizen Can Do, $17.99 ● ●

Starting an animal action figure set seems daunting, unless the hand-painted masterpieces come in their own set. Win the holidays all month long with a calendar of Schleich figures and accessories. Schleich Advent Calendar, $44 ● ●

Made of wood and plastic parts, the building of the maze tracks for this ride that takes cars AND marbles is all downhill. Designed for littler hands, the cars wind up on friction and the marbles have a smile on their faces. Haba Kullerbu, $49.99 ● ●

Haba Kullerhu

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Magnatiles Stardust

There’s more to building than just magnets, and the addition of glitter and mirrors is here to add some dazzle. For those new to the magnet tile game, these are collection-building and addictive at any age. Magnatiles Stardust, $29.99 ● ● ● ● When your driveway and This fluffy dough isn’t sidewalk look k like necessarily new, young van Gogh ogh but its small, has taken over, travel-friendly r, trave there’s a compactness com chalk for is happy to you. Made jjoin the to look like market. unicorn Builder— and narand car— whal horns, rready, doughnuts the pods th or even pizza,, are toddler inspiration can approved. Mad n appr strike with a new Mattr Pods, $9 P kind of writing ng instru●●● Mad ment. Twee Sidewalk Mattr Pods Chalk, $4 ● ● CONTINUED ON PAGE

Twee Sidewalk Chalk

Tickets are on sale now!

Call 773.871.3000 or visit EmeraldCityTheatre.com

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5-7 Early Elementary Creativity for Kids Sequin Pets

In case there’s any worry about everyone opening the same toy at the holidays, Sparkles the Unicorn comes with felt “stickers” to add glasses, pizza or a rainbow for a little dazzle and individuality. Creativity for Kids Sequin Pets, $24.99 ● ● ●●

n Jelly Horizo

sh-o’s Squoo

Budding scientists can mix two substances together for a creature to appear. Lots of creatures to discover, so multiple mixes are on the horizon. Learning Resources Beaker Creatures, $25.99 ● ●


NOVEMBER 16-25 chicagotheatre.com/grinch © 2018 MSG Holdings, LP. All rights reserved. TM & © 1957, 2018 Dr. Seuss Enterprises, LP.

This DIY takes the fun of stress T balls ba and turns it into a craft. The T expanding water beads make for extra-sensory fun. Horizon Jelly Squoosh-o’s, $9.99 ●

Learning Resources Beaker Creatures

Crazy Aaron’s is a fidget putty that doesn’t stick, doesn’t dry and doesn’t wear out. It’s the thinking kid’s Thinking Putty, and this holiday season comes in a mini-kit with neon colors, bright enough to match every personality. Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty neon, $19.99 ● ● ● Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty neon

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Diggin Slimeball Light Glove

The biggest thing parents hate about the great slime movement is when it sticks to the walls, the carpet, the walls. Slimeball lets your slime lover run with glowing, no-mess slime to throw at (also glowing) targets. Diggin Slimeball Light Glove, $29.99 ● ● Looking for an answer to cabin fever? Three ribbons per ninja player means extra chances to dodge, snatch, move and exercise indoors. Think flag football, without the ball or the damage to the walls. Fat Brain Ribbon Ninja, $19.99 ● ● Fat Brain Ribbon Ninja

Instead of the pounding and tapping on the side of a room-sized machine, this hand-held pinball game teaches the basics to turn your novice into a wizard. Brio Pinball, $49.99 ● ●

They’re cute, they’re slow and they have videos on YouTube of how adorable they eat. Now your kiddo can grow his or her own sloth, watching it emerge from its tree “home.” Toysmith Grow Sloth, $7 ● ● ● CONTINUED ON PAGE 30 Toysmith Grow Sloth

Visit the Christkindlmarket at

Naper Settlement!

November 23 through December 24 523 S Webster Street



Holiday Cheer Open select days For more information: www.christkindlmarket.com/naperville

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On Trend Stax


7-10 Late Elementary Building blocks are still cool when they’re magnetized and come in all shapes and sizes. The magnets in Stax allow entire cities to be built by a single hand. On Trend Stax, $24.99 ● ● ● For the young reader just starting a Harry Potter journey, a whiff inside the world of Honeydukes is just what Prof. Dumbledore ordered. Chocolate Frogs, Flying Whizbees and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, yup, they’re all in there. Scholastic Harry Potter Honeydukes Scratch & Sniff book, $12.99 ●


Boneyard Pets

Scholastic Harry Potter Honeydukes Scratch & Sniff book

After a tremendous response on Kickstarter, the dino pets—made and distributed out of Brooklyn, N.Y.—are malleable and easy to play with once built. With a variety of dinos to design, the real question is how much time is ready to be devoured? Boneyard Pets, $38 ●

Just when tic-tac-toe becomes old school, enter a game that makes matching three in a row even harder and a four-person battle royale. The gamesmanship increases with additional tacs to tic. Marbles Otrio, $47 ●● Marbles Otrio

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RETRO Just when you think your pre-tween is past stuffed animals, a perfect purse or pack charm will remind you of their real personality. Soft, fluffy and full of charm, this one can be on a purse, or be a purse. Jelly Cat Glad to be Me, $15 ● Handstand Kitchen

Remember when your mother talked you into making gifts for your teachers for the holidays? Introducing a Cross Stitch kit for a new generation, complete with instructions— in case your how-to was wiped from your memory after your kid’s first diaper blowout. Kahoots Stitch Kits, $14.99 ● ●

Peaceable Kingdom Gnomes at Night

If your kiddo pair won’t share, sit still or even hold a conversation, a round of a cooperation game is in the cards. Players can’t see the maze on the other side of the board and need to talk to each other and work together to find their way to capturing all of the objects. Peaceable Kingdom Gnomes at Night, $21.99 ● ● ● ●

If you’re tired of picking up product stuffing along with wrapping paper, Kids Made Modern has the answer. Every kit comes packed to the gills with craft items, no filler needed. The instructions are there, but imagination is all that’s needed for your future maker. Kids Made Modern Jewelry Jam, $19.99-$39.99 ● ● Kids Made Modern Jewelry

For your budding Stephanie Izard or Jeff Mauro, Handstand Kitchen makes learning to cook and bake fairly elementary. In addition to usable tools and bakeware, the intro set includes recipe cards that will teach basics and give you a sous chef. Handstand Kitchen, $29.99 ● CONTINUED ON PAGE 32

EXPERIENCE A SPARKLING HOLIDAY TRADITION! Select Dates November 23–January 6 Open 4:30–9 p.m. Free Admission Activities: • Incredible 3D displays • Warm spiced wine, frosty beers and festive snacks • Holiday gift shopping • Live ice-sculpture carving • Strolling carolers • Light Maze (ticketed) • Musical light shows

Detailed schedule and tickets: lpzoo.org/zoolights SPONSORED BY

verage, Pepsi logos]

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10+ Teens/Tweens Today is Art Day Art History Heroes

If your teen is more Monet than Marvel, there’s an action figure out there to inspire. From the Renaissance to the moderns, great minds can play alike. Today is Art Day Art History Heroes, $29.99 ●


This generation of smartphone users missed out on what it means to shake a Polaroid picture. Even photos with #filters can be printed with a new device that will turn any phone photo into a scrapbookable instant #instagram. Kii Pix, $39.99 ● ●

Greams Cable Bite

For the plugged in and always on, there’s a chance to ruin a few cables pulling them out of phones or computers or iDevices. Your tween and teen can add personality to the technology with a jaunty animal to keep the cord in place and fray-free. Dreams Cable Bite, $6 ●

With nine engineering projects to try, future builders will learn to climb a tree with Pepper Mint and take a test run through her treehouse. Thames & Kosmos Pepper Mint, $39.99 ● ●

At sports practice, in the park, on North Avenue Beach, kids are connected to their phones. A wireless, bluetoothless speaker that plays music from an iPhone is the answer to soundless worries for tunefilled times. On Trend Goods Boom Brick, $35 ● ●

Thames & Kosmos Pepper Mint

On Trend Goods Boom Brick

A game for the generations, it asks questions to make lists and lets sheer knowledge answer. It’s a great way for your teen to play with friends or grandparents. I Gotta Go With, $25 ●


Made from laser-cut wood, the models are mobile after they’re assembled. Legs move on the horses, doors open and wheels rotate. Stay away from gadgets by making your own. Ugears, $40 ●

Ann Williams Group Potted Felt Succulent

I Gotta Go With

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In addition to creating a few plants that won’t die, there’s also a shot at making the pot the plant lives in. Creative hands won’t stay idle long. Ann Williams Group Potted Felt Succulent, $17.99 ●

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You spent their babyhood keeping their fingers out of electricity, now is a good time to get their hands dirty learning about it. This dough works as a conductor while your kiddo experiments to learn about how circuits and sounds are made. Tech Will Save Us, $55, 5+ ● Lampy Pets

For late-night feedings or before-bed readings, this adorable lamp comes with a nightlight at the bottom and a bright light on the top. There are enough in the line to match any nursery décor. Lampy Pets, $59.99, 0+ ●

Tech Will Save Us

With just three strings, even toddlers can start their American Idol career. By shrinking the circumference of the neck of a guitar, Loog has made making music preschool friendly, at a sub-$100 price tag. Loog Guitar, $79.99, 3+ ●●


Santa-worthy Splurges

“truly, the stuff of magic” —Chicago Sun-Times

“4 STARS!” —Chicago Tribune

Loog Guitar

Ravensburger Gravitrax

Not your average marble run, Gravitrax adds an app aspect that allows young builders to try out blueprints first, then see the marble’s-eye view of the run through the tracks. Ravensburger Gravitrax, $59.99, 8+ ● ●

Designed by an artist, Draw Bag lets your kid’s personality shine. Weather-treated to withstand Mother Nature in the Midwest, the lined bag comes with special markers for artists and engineers to make their mark or friends to autograph. Draw Bag, $55, 10+ ●




50 East Congress Parkway, Chicago



The Joffrey Ballet. | Photo by Cheryl Mann.

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Not all fidget balls are made alike, and this one you can make yourself. Coming with the required ingredients, including the expanding water beads, it’s as DIY as gooey ball-making comes. Horizon Jelly Squoosh-o’s, $9.99 ●

Special needs Designed as a balance board for young snow boarders and surfers, this is a great gizmo to convert to a chair for sitting and spinning. Learning the body balance is just a bonus. Spooner Balance Board, $44 ●●

Horizon Jelly Squoosh-0’s

Cupcake & Cartwheels Flash-A-Saurus

Step once on these floor tiles and they’ll quickly react to your touch, changing color and creating bubbles inside the tile. Move a little to the right or left and the floor reacts again. Just one is fun, or tile a whole room in the colors. Cleaning each is as easy as a wipe with a cloth. Spooner Liquid Floor Tiles, $44 ●

Spooner Balance Board

Drop the T.rex on the ground or shake him up and he’ll light and squish through the sides of his belly. Cupcakes & Cartwheels Flash-A-Saurus, $8 ●

all h Gumb Nee-Do

Not your average “stress” ball, this one is a little bigger and can stretch, smush and squish. Easy to clean and hard to put down. Nee-Doh Gumball, $4 ● ● ● ● Spooner Liquid Floor Tiles


Scholars Please join us for a site tour Register Now! Serving children ages 2 through 6 years for fall available for private enrollment

400 East Randolph St Suite 6B 312.819.1760 www.lakefrontchildrensacademy.com 34 November 2018 ChicagoParent.com

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Light up Chicago Great places to appreciate what’s all around us


trands of lights evoke something purely wonderful—and add the much-needed ‘bright’ to ‘merry and bright’. Here are some of Chicagoland’s favorite ways, plus one new one to try out, to indulge in joy while making lasting memories as a family.

Chimes For the first time in the U.S., a light interactive art display pops up at Gallagher Way outside Wrigley Field later this month. A gust of wind or even a slight movement in the crowd will transform the light show of 30 lights and eight speakers into a unique light show that will stop busy kids in their tracks. While at Gallagher Way, check out ice skating, watch holiday movies (Elf on Nov. 23 and Home Alone on Nov. 30) and visit Santa’s workshop. 3-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Sunday, Nov. 23-Jan. 27

Illumination: Tree Lights Quickly becoming a must-do family tradition, Illumination: Tree Lights, that beautiful brilliance of colored lights in the trees, is back at Morton Arboretum. And this year, it is even better. New is a one-of-a-kind creation featuring five giant sculptures called Crown of Light, created by Northbrook native Yelena Filipchuk and worldrenowed HYBYCOZO. The sculptures will be lit from within and project gingko, oak and birch leaves on the ground. Sue Wagner, vice president of education and information, called it “a real visual treat for everybody.” Also new is Woodland Wonder where visitors will be surrounded by thousands of pinpoint laser lights and

sound for another unique, immersive experience. Symphony Woods is back, with the trees dancing to popular renditions of the Sugar Plum Fairy from The Nutcracker recorded by greats such as Penatonix and Lindsey Stirling. Plus, s’mores, hot chocolate and warming fires make for happy memories while the arboretum reminds families the gifts trees give us. “It’s a great tradition,” Wagner says. Opening night, Nov. 16, is geared to adults only, but the arboretum also added new weekday programming on less busy times Tuesdays and Wednesdays for families. Nov. 16-Jan. 1, Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle; mortonarb.org

Christ Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light

J.B. Spector/Museum of Science and Industry

Th Museum of Science & Industry’s The fantastic Christmas Around the World and fan Holidays of Light exhibits feature more Ho than th 50 trees, representing countries, ccultures and Christmas and non-Christmas ttraditions around the globe. Other draws to this must-see exhibit incclude “snow” falling every half an hour on the Museum’s Main Floor, Santa visits and th performances from local cultural groups. pe It opens early this year, Nov. 15, all to give you ttime to visit more than once. You’ll want to take advantage of that, trust us. Nov. 1 15-Jan. 6, Museum of Science & Industry, 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago; msichicago.org

ZooLights This should be a staple on your family’s holiday to-do list every holiday season. ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo is the best free outing you could ask for, with more than two million lights illuminating the zoo sky and holiday cheer everywhere you turn. Opens Nov. 23-25, Nov. 30 and days throughout December until Jan. 6, Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark St., Chicago; lpzoo.org Keely Flynn

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Discover your capable, confident Montessori child. Children learn best when they’re working with activities they love. At Guidepost, your child will enter the wonderful world of Montessori lessons and learning materials, designed to captivate and inspire. Montessori Spanish Immersion is now available for toddlers through kindergarten-age children.

Guidepost Montessori at Wicker Park

guidepostmontessori.com/wicker-park (773) 663-4732 1530 N. Damen Ave., Chicago, IL 60622

Visit us online today to RSVP for an event or schedule a tour!


Guidepost Montessori at Magnificent Mile guidepostmontessori.com/magnificent-mile (312) 796-9400 226 E. Illinois St., Chicago, IL 60611


Toddler • Preschool • Kindergarten Spanish Immersion programs now available.

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6 activities to discuss

gratitude with your family

Thankful-filled fun BY MEGAN MURRAY ELSENER


t’s turkey season! But there is obviously way more than turkey to talk about during the Thanksgiving holiday. Find time to bring attention to the real reason for the season with the idea of gratitude. Here are a few games and ideas to do as a family to jump-start your thankfulness and appreciation as Thanksgiving approaches.

Gratitude sticks This is an easy game that you can create at home with colored Popsicle sticks or straws. With the Gratitude Sticks game, create a colored code map and each color represents a category, such as places, food, things or whatever you want. Each time you pick up a stick or straw, you reference the color code to say what you are thankful for. It’s a fun way to get kids thinking about all the different things in their lives they can be grateful for. It would also be a good ice-breaker game for Thanksgiving during cocktails and appetizers.

Turkey on the Table This is literally an adorable stuffed turkey that you place on your table. Available at local toy stores or Amazon, Turkey on the Table is a book and activity that encourages families to express and display their gratitude. The stuffed turkey starts featherless and then each day in November family members write down what they are thankful for on a feather and add it to the turkey. Another idea is to use the feathers as place cards on your Thanksgiving table and have guests fill out and dress the turkey centerpiece. It’s a great way to get conversations started about thankfulness and life’s

blessings. The best part is 10 meals will be provided to someone in need with each Turkey on the Table sold through their partnership with Feeding America. CONTINUED ON PAGE 38

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Photo scavenger hunt This entertaining gratitude photo scavenger hunt is a fun way to take time to notice the small stuff. Plus it’s an incredible activity to do after everyone is stuffed with turkey to get people off the couch and moving! Divide into small groups and each group needs a camera phone, then set time limits and boundaries for the scavenger hunt. Give Gi v out a list of items to hunt for ve and an d take photos. The list can say “Something I’m grateful for” and then “Som “S om create cr reaa up to 10 items. To get started try: tr y nature, that tastes good, that ssmells sm e amazing, that is older than me, something I recently learned, m that makes me laugh, that makes th me cry, that represents my culture, m that inspired me, etc. When the th ttime ti m is up, have each team share ttheir th hei eirr photos for each category.

Break out the books It’s never too early to expose your babies, toddlers and preschoolers to the idea of gratitude, and the absolute best way to do that is with some picture and story books. Where is Baby’s Turkey by Karen Katz is a sweet lift-theflap board book where little ones can interactively look on each page for baby’s stuffed turkey animal. Another great board book option is Llama Llama Gives Thanks by beloved author Anna Dewdney. The short and simple rhyming text tells the story of Thanksgiving time for Llama Llama and his family and how giving thanks is always here, despite the holiday coming only once a year. Another fun read for all ages is Twas the

Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey. It’s a playful adaptation of Clement Moore’s classic Christmas poem that tells a wacky tale of school children rescuing turkeys on Thanksgiving eve. CHICAGO PARENT’S ANNUAL GIFT GUIDE

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Thankfulness chain We always count down to Christmas or the end of school, so start a new tradition to countdown to Thanksgiving by creating a Thankfulness Chain. All you need is markers, a stapler and colored construction paper cut into two-inch-wide strips. Each day of November, list one thing on a strip of paper that as a family you are thankful for. Then make a chain by linking the papers through each other, creating a loop and stapling them. Keep adding each day and continue the month-long conversation as a family about your blessings.

Nurturing the Potential Within Each Child Develop your child’s potential • Ages 15 months through Elementary • Beautiful, bright new building • Regular informational tours • Now enrolling Accredited through age 12 by the by Association Montessori Internationale (AMI)

Mindful yoga Express gratitude for all that your body and mind give you by doing yoga as a family. Kids Yoga Stories suggests trying a Thanksgiving Yoga sequence inspired by the book, Thank You, World, where you give thanks to nature with poses. Start by saying, “I am grateful for the…” Sun and sky: Stand tall and reach your arms up to the sky. Trees: Stand on one leg, place the sole of your foot on your inner thigh and balance and sway like a tree. Rain: Bend your upper body, reach for your toes and pretend to be falling rain. Flowers: Sitting on your butt, lift your legs to balance on your sit bones. Touch the soles of your feet together and weave your arms under your legs to blossom like a flower. Stars in the sky: Lay on your back with your arms and legs stretched out like a star. Breathe and rest. Or create your own yoga sequences based on what you are thankful for in nature!

Gateway Montessori 4041 N. Pulaski Rd, Chicago, IL 60641 www.GatewayMontessoriSchool.org 773.539.3025 • info@gatewaymontessorischool.org

Megan Murray Elsener is a frequent Chicago Parent contributor and mom of three.

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www.ThePGGames.com | 847-373-6925

Book Fall & Holiday Events

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It feels like home A House in Austin provides community and strength for families


BY MEGAN MURRAY ELSENER ak Park mom Erica Hilgart never intended to start a nonprofit organization. She was simply struggling in her role as mom to three young children. “Parenting is hard for everyone and I needed support,” says Hilgart, a former Chicago Public Schools teacher on Chicago’s west side. When she found a Musikgarten class, her life’s passion was recharted. Photos provided by Erica Hilgart

“Music class was a place where I could completely focus on my kids and find other parents to be in a community with,” she says. With firsthand knowledge about the disparity of resources with nearby Chicago’s Austin neighborhood, she decided she wanted the same for parents there. In January 2016, Hilgart found a space in the Austin neighborhood that allowed her to use a room and started the Boppin’ Babies and Toddlers Music Class. It began as a once-a-week class with breakfast and

playtime for community building and bonding. As the classes started to grow and families returned each week, Hilgart realized her vision could be even bigger.

Creating a home Hilgart created a nonprofit called A House in Austin. “Our name is inspired by a nonprofit in the South Bronx called A House on Beekman where I

volunteered with my son in their Mommy & Me program,“ Hilgart says. “I saw firsthand the power of parents being in community together and the power of love, support and education in changing lives.” That’s what she wanted with A House in Austin. Hilgart sought out Rebekah Martin, a mom of four experienced in social work, to become director of Family Services. CONTINUED ON PAGE 42

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“I started coming to music classes at a time in my life that was hard, I was feeling isolated and I needed community more than I even knew,” Martin says. “Coming to music class provided the opportunity to connect to others.” In addition to leading groups, she started visiting families in their homes. “Our home visiting program provides a way for our parents to believe in themselves, build attachment with their children, grow as parents and have support along the way,” Martin says. “As the parents learn a different message to give to their children, they start to hear it for themselves as well.” Currently, AHIA offers a morning and afternoon parent-child music class, a home visiting program, weekly Parent Cafe + The

Parent Chat Hour with free childcare, and family yoga on Saturdays. The four staff members are all moms who live on the west side of Chicago. “AHIA provides the opportunity to love other moms in your community in such a beautiful way,” Martin says.

Big next steps After Hilgart learned more about the home situations of members of her classes, she realized how comforting and life changing it could be for families to meet in a house with a kitchen table and cozy chairs. “I had a vision of a real home as a gathering space for families and we found it at 533 N. Pine Ave,” Hilgart sys. “It has a larger city lot for gardening and outdoor space and the charm and

Dive into holiday fun at Shedd Aquarium Experience Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in 4-D, visit Santa at a Holiday Breakfast, or sleep with the fishes on an overnight!

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How to help  A House in Austin needs volunteers for childcare for Parent Cafe + The Parent Chat Hour 10 a.m.12:30 p.m. Thursdays.

For the past 25 years, the Rose K. Goedert Center for Early Childhood Education has been providing children with high-quality care. Housed on Dominican University’s Priory Campus, the center welcomes children of Dominican University students, faculty and staff as well as children from neighboring communities who are between 2 and 5 years old. Contact us

The Rose K. Goedert Center for Early Childhood Education is licensed by the Department of Children and Family Services and accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children with a Gold level of quality from ExceleRate Illinois.

 Email contact@ ahouseinaustin.org.

A place where budding minds grow.

A place where budding minds grow

To learn more and schedule a visit, please call (708) 714-9150 or send an e-mail to preschool@dom.edu.

 Monetary donations always welcome.

Rose K. Goedert

Early Childhood Education Center

Amanda Cardin Director (708) 714-9150 preschool@dom.edu dom.edu/goedert

 If you can’t volunteer, it also needs healthy snacks, such as cut-up fruit and yogurt or cheese sticks.

Rose K. Goedert Early Childhood Education Center 7200 Division St River Forest, IL 60305

We offer:

• Safe, diverse environment that fosters socialization

• Rich learning experience that enhances basic skills and concepts and stimulates creative and critical thinking

The facility features individual play areas for each of its five classrooms as well as a large playground for the children. The center also includes observation rooms with one-way mirrors to give teachers-in-training and educational professionals the opportunity to observe activities without distracting children.

• Year-round, all-day long program that includes nutritionally sound lunches and snacks

The Center is staffed by early childhood educators, who are committed to preparing children in the Dominican tradition of educational excellence, ensuring a seamless transition to kindergarten. Children at the Center also benefit from interaction with students who are enrolled in the University’s early childhood and related education degree programs in Dominican’s College of Applied Social Sciences. A safe environment for exploration

Outstanding education, passionate care *Immediate openings are available for three - and four-year-olds. Please contact the center at (708) 714-9150 or preschool@dom.edu. • State-of-the-art facility with areas for studying the natural world and engaging in indoor and outdoor play

The facility features individual play areas for each of its five classrooms as well as a large playground for the children. The center also includes observation rooms with one-way mirrors to give teachers-in-training and educational professionals the opportunity to observe activities without distracting children.

• Year-round, all-day long program that includes nutritionally sound lunches and snacks

• Rich learning experience that enhances basic skills and concepts and stimulates creative and critical thinking

The Rose K. Goedert Center for Early Childhood Education is licensed by the Department of Children and Family Services and accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children with a Gold level of quality from ExceleRate Illinois. • Safe, diverse environment that fosters socialization We offer:

For the past 25 years, the Rose K. Goedert Center for Early Childhood Education has been providing children with high-quality care. Housed on Dominican University’s Priory Campus, the center welcomes children of Dominican University students, faculty and staff as well as children from neighboring communities who are between 2 and 5 years old. Contact us

To learn more and schedule a visit, please call (708) 714-9150 or send an e-mail to preschool@dom.edu.

Amanda Cardin Director (708) 714-9150 preschool@dom.edu dom.edu/goedert

A place where budding minds grow

Rose K. Goedert Early Childhood Education Center 7200 Division St., River Forest, IL 60305

Rose K. Goedert

Rose K. Goedert Early Childhood Education Center 7200 Division St River Forest, IL 60305

Early Childhood Education Center

contributor and mom of three.

Outstanding education, passionate care

Outstanding education, passionate care

Megan Murray Elsener is a Chicago Parent

• State-of-the-art facility with areas for studying the natural world and engaging in indoor and outdoor play

The Center is staffed by early childhood educators, who are committed to preparing children in the Dominican tradition of educational excellence, ensuring a seamless transition to kindergarten. Children at the Center also benefit from interaction with students who are enrolled in the University’s early childhood and related education degree programs in Dominican’s College of Applied Social Sciences.

house, Hilgart is looking at the future. “My ultimate goal is for families to be supported and nurtured by the program of AHIA as they raise up the next generation,” she says. “Mother Teresa said, ‘If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.’ That’s our work and it’s challenging, but by being together, we can love our families better.”

A safe environment for exploration

character of a beautiful old house.” But the house was in disarray and needed a complete rehab. She hopes to finish it this January and then begin adding evening and weekend programs, family counseling and early intervention therapy sessions. “The best part, though, is it will be able to offer parents a quiet, peaceful place to sit on the floor and play blocks with her child,” Hilgart says. “The house will offer the gift of time and peace to just be together.” Tina Bond, a Chicago stay-at-home mother, has been coming to AHIA for the last two years with her daughter. “It’s such an important place to me because we can go to learn and experience new things. It’s a place full of love and happiness,” Bond says. “I love that the parents can get together and share what we go through in life and to learn we experience the same things with our kids or just in life. It has made so many thing easier for me and my daughter.” As she prepares to open the

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Suspending school stress Tips to help kids keep school anxiety in check



or parents of kids with school anxiety, some of the signs and signals are well-known. But actually finding ways to help kids cope can be difficult. So we turned to Jacqueline Rhew, a consultant and liaison with AMITA Health who works with children and adolescents and cofounded the Center for Emotional Wellness, for tips.

Chicago Parent: What is the difference between clinical school anxiety and “I just don’t want to go to school today”? Jacqueline: When children are anxious typically we see things like: they’re overwhelmed, they’re having a hard time managing their stress. Children, as well as adults, who have anxiety will often use phrases like “I just can’t do it,” “It’ll never get better,” “It’s always like this, it’ll never be different.” CP: Is anxiety hereditary or do you find that it’s something that can be passed on because kids pick up on a parent’s anxiety? J: ...I’ve actually moved away from using terms like “anxiety” and using terms more like “discomfort” or “stress.” You want to be mindful of how you respond to kids with anxiety. Three things, for instance, that do not help anxiety are reassurance, distraction and avoidance. If

you’ve noticed your child has anxiety, you want to avoid a lot of excessive talking, a lot of reassurance and developing a lot of avoidance patterns. CP: It’s interesting that the words that we use as parents can cause anxiety. J: Or reinforce it. I think a lot of parents will tell me “I struggle with my child, I have a really hard time when they’re unhappy. I want to go in and fix it.” For instance, I was working with a father and he recognized when daughter approached the car from school, she would look sad and he would say: “what’s wrong?” Then they would spend a lot of time on the way home talking about something that was difficult about her day. I had to work with the father to shift his way of thinking and look at the day as a day CONTINUED ON PAGE 46

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where a lot happens, and if we just focus on one of the aspects that was difficult, we’re sending a message to his daughter that “things are supposed to be great all the time and if something’s wrong, there’s a problem.” So he shifted his questioning to, when she would come to the car, even if she looked sad, he would say: “Hey! How was your day? Tell me something that was really good about today.” And he would really prompt her first to find something that was positive, and then move towards “OK, what was something that was more difficult?” CP: If you are a parent with your own anxiety, how do you work through that so you don’t pass that along? J: For parents, I ask them to identify what’s difficult in their parenting. What causes you to emotionally react? Is it when your child is unhappy, is it when your child is maybe playing alone without their friends, is it when your child starts to struggle? Recognize those things in your parenting that cause you to emotionally react and start to be in tune to those reactions. ...When we’re in that rational mindset we can identify that’s not helpful, but when anxiety and worry takes over, what happens is that a lot of times we emotionally react. We do a lot of talking and a lot of reassurance and we want to protect our kids, but ultimately that can create reinforced patterns that aren’t healthy. CP: Does this kind of anxiety show up in grades? J: It can. I have a lot of kids that have performance anxiety as well as social anxiety. I had one young lady I worked with, she was 8 years old, and she didn’t want to go to school on days there were math tests. She was very, very stressed and anxious about her math tests, and she was worried about not performing well. I talked to her and (her) mom, and one of the things I noticed is that Mom, several times throughout the session, said things like “Jackie,

my daughter is really gifted and really bright.” And I noticed when Mom said that that the girl’s face looked down. For this 8-year-old girl, it caused her a lot of fear of failure when she heard how gifted and bright she was because that created an expectation for her that she had to perform at a higher level. ...When kids aren’t able to create realistic expectations for themselves, they feel like a failure or they feel like they’re not measuring up. I hear that from so many kids: they just don’t feel like they’re measuring up. So we work on “What’s realistic for you? Can you manage? What’s going on in your day?” Kids really need down time, they need to learn to experience down time and be OK with it. ... Today a lot of times you walk into a coffee shop and the child’s on the iPad and the mom’s on the phone and why this is so important is that this is such a vital time to work on social skills, communication ... so making sure you just really spend time with your kids every day without any electronics, just really having some basic down time. I will hear from kids more often than not “I just don’t get a lot of that face time, everybody’s busy, everyone is on their phones.” And kids will say to me, “I just want someone to talk to.”

Listen to the Masters in Parenting podcast In November, hear a money expert share tips for keeping finances in check during the holiday spending and share a few laughs with a panel of moms, Mama Fresh and Dr. Kiarra King, over convincing kids to eat their veggies.

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Lake Michigan Association


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// special advertising section // www.lmais.org

Discover Independent Schools & Uncover Educational Excellence

Independent schools are dynamic learning environments that provide students with the academic and emotional skills necessary to succeed in college and beyond.



Exceptional LMAIS Schools In & Around Chicago IN CHICAGO: ANCONA SCHOOL 3 Yr–Gr 8 | Hyde Park | anconaschool.org BERNARD ZELL ANSHE EMET DAY SCHOOL 3 Yr–Gr 8 | Lake View | bernardzell.org BRICKTON MONTESSORI SCHOOL 24 Mo–Gr 8 | O’Hare | brickton.org CATHERINE COOK SCHOOL 3 Yr–Gr 8 | Old Town | catherinecookschool.org CHICAGO ACADEMY FOR THE ARTS Gr 9–Gr 12 | River West | chicagoacademyforthearts.org CHICAGO CITY DAY SCHOOL 4 Yr–Gr 8 | Lake View East | chicagocitydayschool.org CHICAGO WALDORF SCHOOL 27 Mo–Gr 12 | Andersonville | chicagowaldorf.org

MORGAN PARK ACADEMY 3 Yr–Gr 12 | Beverly | morganparkacademy.org

ELGIN ACADEMY 3 Yr–Gr 12 | Elgin | elginacademy.org

NEAR NORTH MONTESSORI SCHOOL 6 Mo–Gr 8 | Bucktown / Wicker Park | nnms.org

FOREST RIDGE ACADEMY 3 Yr–Gr 8 | Schereville, IN | fra.edu

NORTH PARK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 3 Yr–Gr 8 | Ravenswood | npeschool.org

HYDE PARK DAY SCHOOL LEMONT Ages 6–15 | Lemont | hydeparkday.org

ROGERS PARK MONTESSORI SCHOOL 2 Yr–Gr 8 | Andersonville | rpmschool.org

HYDE PARK DAY SCHOOL NORTHFIELD Ages 6–15 | Northfield | hydeparkday.org

SACRED HEART SCHOOLS 3 Yr–Gr 8 | Edgewater Beach | shschicago.org

LA LUMIERE SCHOOL Gr 9–Gr 12 | La Porte, IN | lalumiere.org

UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO LABORATORY SCHOOLS 3 Yr–Gr 12 | Hyde Park | ucls.uchicago.edu

LAKE FOREST ACADEMY Gr 9–Gr 12 | Lake Forest | lfanet.org

WOLCOTT SCHOOL Gr 9–Gr 12 | West Town | wolcottschool.org

LAKE FOREST COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL 2 Yr–Gr 8 | Lake Forest | lfcds.org


NORTH SHORE COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL 4 Yr–Gr 12 | Winnetka | nscds.org

FRANCES XAVIER WARDE SCHOOL 3 Yr–Gr 8 | Chicago Loop | fxw.org

AVERY COONLEY SCHOOL 3 Yr–Gr 8 | Downers Grove | averycoonley.org

FRANCIS W. PARKER SCHOOL 4 Yr – Gr 12 | Lincoln Park | fwparker.org

BAKER DEMONSTRATION SCHOOL 3 Yr–Gr 8 | Wilmette | bakerdemschool.org

HYDE PARK DAY SCHOOL CHICAGO Ages 6–15 | Hyde Park | hydeparkday.org

BEACON ACADEMY Gr 9– Gr 12 | Evanston | beaconacademyil.org

LATIN SCHOOL OF CHICAGO 4 Yr–Gr 12 | Lincoln Park | latinschool.org

CHIARAVALLE MONTESSORI SCHOOL 6 Mo–Gr 8 | Evanston | chiaravalle.org

LYCÉE FRANÇAIS DE CHICAGO 32 Mo–Gr 12 | Ravenswood | lyceechicago.org

COUNTRYSIDE DAY SCHOOL 16 mo–Gr 8 | Northbrook | countrysideday.org

QUEST ACADEMY 3 Yr–Gr 8 | Palatine | questacademy.org ROYCEMORE SCHOOL 3 Yr–Gr 12 | Evanston | roycemoreschool.org SCIENCE & ARTS ACADEMY 4 Yr–Gr 8 | Des Plaines | scienceandartsacademy.org THE STANLEY CLARK SCHOOL 3 Yr–Gr 8 | South Bend, IN | stanleyclark.org WOODLANDS ACADEMY OF THE SACRED HEART Gr 9–Gr 12 | Lake Forest | woodlandsacademy.org

 Visit LMAIS.org for a schedule of admissions open houses and tours. LMAIS is a non-profit association of 37 independent schools fully accredited by ISACS located in the Chicago Metropolitan and Northwest Indiana area.

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www.lmais.org // special advertising section //


BOOK SMART & LIFE SMART From preschool through 8th grade our engaged students learn to make good decisions. Nurtured in a climate of creativity and computational thinking, they explore problem solving in fresh and useful ways. They graduate as empathetic, culturally competent students able to confidently adapt to an ever-changing world.

APPLICATIONS DUE December 21, 2018 catherinecookschool.org

Preschool through 8th Grade Located in Chicago’s Old Town 226 West Schiller--2 miles from the loop 312.266.3381

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i // special advertising section // www.lmais.org Reasons to choose an independent school It’s much more than just a great education By SHANNAN YOUNGER


arenting means constantly making choices for your little ones, ranging from small things like what to feed them for dinner to big things, such as determining your approach to discipline. One of the most significant decisions a parent makes is what kind of school is the best fit for your child and your family. Luckily, families in Chicago have an abundance of options, including independent schools. When asked to define what an independent school is, Michael Roberts, head of school at Catherine Cook School in Chicago, says it is a “self-governing and self-supporting entity, meaning that

it doesn’t report to a larger institution. It has its own special personality. Independent schools are deeper learning schools and considered bestin-class in many cities and parts of the world, including Chicago.” Roberts suggests that parents do their homework when

it comes to the big decision of selecting a school for their child. To help get you started, here’s a primer on some of the reasons people select independent schools for their children. MEANINGFUL MISSIONS Roberts says the mission


statement offers insight into the defining characteristics of an independent school, noting that it is unique to each school. “When you read it, you’re reading something crafted to describe, as accurately as a governing body can, who the school serves and what the outcomes should be for its students,” he says. Often, independent schools have mission statements that combine learning with life. That’s an integral aspect of education at independent schools, according to Wendy Calise, head of school at Countryside Day School in Northbrook. “Learning is not separate from life but part of everyday living,” she says. While life skills are integral to the Montessori philosophy

Cultivating Character Where Learning Meets Life At Countryside Day School, we believe how your child learns is as important as what he or she learns. 1985 Pfingsten Rd Northbrook, IL 847-498-1105 www.countrysideday.org

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www.lmais.org // special advertising section // found at Countryside Day, it’s also a common philosophy found at a wide range of independent schools. Roberts agrees, noting that the goal at Catherine Cook is to encourage kids who are inquisitive life-long learners. CLASS SIZE Independent schools typically offer smaller class sizes, and that can make a big difference in instruction. Low teacher-to-student ratios make it possible for students to progress through the curriculum at their own pace, “whether that’s moving faster or allowing extra time to make sure there’s understanding before we move on,” says Calise. Families focused on differentiated instruction are often drawn to independent schools for that reason. FOCUS ON GIVING BACK “Service learning is a big part of independent school life. To whom much has been given, much is expected,” says Roberts. He notes that independent schools devote significant resources to student’s character education and focus on that goal in a way other schools may not. Calise says that’s true of her students, noting that they see themselves as “agents of change in the world.” She says that students find opportunities to give back at all levels, both in the classroom where older students assist younger

students both academically and socially, and in the broader community. Students participate in programs with Covenant Village retirement community, and both older and younger participants have reaped tremendous benefits from each other. SHARED VALUES Roberts encourages parents to consider what cultural and religious values they have for their family. Once they’ve identified those values and how they fit in with the goals they have for their children, then they can find a school that fits them. He says schools undertake the same process. “We ask ourselves what we want our graduates to be like and what kind of people do we want them to be. Then, we work backwards from that,” says Roberts. When those values and goals match up, not only is the school a good fit for the child, it’s a good fit for the family. Independent school families often find that friendships are easily formed with other families because of those common beliefs and perspectives. Calise says that many families form social relationship because they have similar parenting expectations for their children and those bonds can be very strong. “It’s not unusual for families to find their dearest friends at independent schools.”


A school for those who will greet their future with eyes wide open and full of wonder. Nationally recognized for educational excellence, we balance academic rigor with whole child development, giving students the skills, stamina and ethical framework to succeed in life. PS-8th grade students thrive in our innovative, experiential learning environment.

We invite you to JOIN US at the following admissions events: Sat. Nov. 3, Interactive Open House, 11am-1pm; Thurs. Dec. 13, Open House for Parents of Rising Kindergarteners, 9-10am; Thurs. Dec. 13, Tour & Explore 4th-8th Grade, 1:30-4pm (for parents and students). Please RSVP or book an individual tour at admissions@bakerdemschool.org or call 847-425-5800.

bakerdemschool.org 201 Sheridan Road, Wilmette (located on the border of Evanston)

Come In. Stand Out.

OPEN HOUSE RSVP fwparker.org/openhouse Upper School (Grades 9–12) Saturday, November 17 • 10 a.m. Apply to Parker Visit fwparker.org/apply • Accepting applications for Grades JK–12 • Need-based financial aid available



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i  // special advertising section // www.lmais.org Creating community in Chicagoland How independent schools are earning an A+ By SHANNAN YOUNGER


he school bell may signal the end of class at around 3 p.m. each day, but the reach of the educational community created at an independent school lasts far beyond that, and often throughout a student’s lifetime. Independent schools are known for creating a strong sense of community among students, families, faculty and the broader community in which the school is located. We asked some independent school administrators about how they do so and what the impact is at each level. Kids learn best when they feel like they are in an environment where they are safe and where they belong, and

for independent schools, that’s an essential part of the classroom experience. Creating a strong sense of community is something Avery Coonley School in Downers Grove prides itself in doing so that school feels comfortable, almost like

home. In fact, the youngest students’ classroom is in a building that used to be the Headmaster’s home. At the Ancona School in Chicago, a sense of community is fostered in each mixed age classroom by honoring the gifts of each


student. “All children come to us with their own strengths. Everyone is contributing in some way, whether social or academic dynamics. Each plays a significant role in the classroom community,” says Nancy Nassr, head of school at Ancona. What students learn from being in the community with each other is a vital part of the learning process, according to Carly Andrews, head of school at Baker Demonstration School in Wilmette. “The community of the school is the one thing we can provide kids that’s radically awesome.” Andrews explains: “Parents can take kids to the lake and do chemistry at home, but they can’t reproduce the other kids around the child who are all very different with

Experience Modern Montessori Chiaravalle inspires independent, compassionate, and innovative thinkers. 425 Dempster, Evanston, IL | www.chiaravalle.org 52 November 2018 ChicagoParent.com

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www.lmais.org // special advertising section // various racial and religious background who are all in this class together. There’s richness in the way that the children grow when exposed to different perspectives.” Events involving the full school community are one way that Baker seeks to foster a sense of school community between students, family and staff. Andrews notes that while educating children is serious business, “moments of play are important,” too, and fun is had at communal gatherings like the Fall Bonfire along the lakeshore. Similarly, at Avery Coonley “we celebrate everything and we welcome everyone,” says Paul Druzinsky, head of school. The ethnic, religious, cultural diversity of its families is celebrated at Friday night potluck dinners. In addition to strong classroom and school communities, independent schools focus on educating students

to be community contributors, and that can happen at any age. “Even at 3 years old, we are encouraging students to realize that they are not in this world alone and we are encouraging them to think about the world and what their responsibility is to those around them,” says Aaron Winter, director of admissions


at Daystar School in Chicago’s South Loop. Daystar is “focused on the idea of city as classroom” and it uses experiential learning opportunities throughout the city, he says. Independent schools see experiential learning as both a part of the curriculum and a way for students to see their role in the broader commu-


nity outside the school walls. Examples of this include Baker students participating in a school-wide science project on the water quality of Lake Michigan and Ancona students starting a water drive for the residents of Flint, Mich. The focus on community is a constant at independent schools. Andrews says. “Community is the important piece out of which everything else happens and it is dynamic, not fixed. That means we always need to be thinking about how we can foster and best serve it.” Nassr agrees. “Community doesn’t just happen, you actively have to work at it.” While creating community is a continual effort, the impact can be long-lasting. “Many of our alums describe the school first and foremost as a warm, caring community,” Nassr says.

Come for coffee and stay for twelve years! To reserve your spot at one of our school tours and information sessions, visit nnms.org.

November 2 & 16, 2018 December 7, 2018 January 11 & 18, 2019 February 8 & 15, 2019

MONTES soaring

What a way to learn. What a way to fly. From the day we first opened our doors more than 50 years ago, we made a commitment to every student that here, they will discover an extraordinary place to learn.

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i // special advertising section // www.lmais.org A closer look at Independent Schools The Ancona School

(Located on the border of Evanston) (847) 425-5800 admissions@bakerdemschool.org Bakerdemschool.org

PreK - 8th Grade 4770 S. Dorchester Avenue, Chicago (773) 924-2356 anconaschool.org In a community of cultural and economic diversity, Ancona’s Montessori-based progressive, social justice curriculum educates students to become creative problem solvers, confident risk-takers, and life-long learners. Join us for an Open House: November 17, 2018 December 5, 2018 January 16, 2019

Nationally recognized for educational excellence, Baker balances academic rigor with whole child development, giving students the skills, stamina and ethical framework to succeed in life. Our students thrive in our innovative, experiential learn-

ing environment. Family Open House: Sat., Nov. 3, 11am-1pm For Parents of Rising Kindergartners, Dec. 13, 9-10am For Parents & Students, Tour & Explore 4th-8th, Dec. 13, 1:30-4pm

Preschool - 8th Grade

Catherine Cook School

Chiaravalle Montessori

226 W. Schiller Street, Chicago (312) 266-3381 catherinecookschool.org

Ages 0-14 425 Dempster St., Evanston (847) 864-2190 www.chiaravalle.org

Nurturing, technology-rich environment inspiring personal excellence and community values. Open House: Nov. 4, 2018 See website for Parent Tour Schedule

Chiaravalle’s modern Montessori approach inspires kids to flourish as independent, compassionate, and innovative thinkers. Meet our vibrant community and explore the LEED Platinum North Wing. Prospective Parent Tours, 9-10:30 am, RSVP Nov 6, 8, 27, Dec 6, 13, Jan 8, 10, Feb 12, Mar 5, Apr 2

The Avery Coonley School 1400 Maple Avenue Downers Grove Fax (630) 969-0131 averycoonley.org

Chicago Waldorf School

Looking for an extraordinary education for your child? Register for The Avery Coonley School’s Admission Tours: November 12 (Early Childhood); November 13 (Junior Kindergarten and K-8th). averycoonley.org/admissioncalendar

5200 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago (773) 465-2662 chicagowaldorf.org Where every child is a mathematician, writer, scientist, artist, musician, and athlete. It’s how we teach that changes everything. RSVP for a tour today!

Baker Demonstration School Preschool-Grade 8 201 Sheridan Road, Wilmette


JANUARY 23, 2019 Grades 1–3 | Coffee and Conversation 9:00–10:30 a.m. Old St. Patrick’s campus

FEBRUARY 5, 2019 Grades 4–8 | Information Night 6:30–8:00 p.m. Holy Name campus

fxw.org Holy Name Cathedral Campus Grades 4–8 751 N. State St., Chicago 312.466.0700

Enter code FXW2019 for 10% off your application fee through Dec 31. Application deadline is February 15. Old St. Patrick’s Campus Preschool–Grade 3 120 S. Desplaines St., Chicago 312.466.0700

Full and Partial Need-Based Scholarships Are Available

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www.lmais.org // special advertising section // Countryside Day School 16 months - 8th grade 1985 Pfingsten Rd., Northbrook (847) 498-1105 www.countrysideday.org We bring real world experience into the classroom to help students meet their academic potential while instilling the character traits: respect, responsibility and resourcefulness.” Parent Information Session: November 13, 6:00 -7:00 p.m.

The Frances Xavier Warde School Preschool-8 West Loop Campus (PS- Grade 3) 120 S. Desplaines St., Chicago Gold Coast Campus (Grades 4-8) 751 N. State St. , Chicago

(312) 466-0700 fxw.org FXW provides an academically excellent, values-oriented education to students of all ethnic, religious, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds in a child-centered urban environment. Grades 1-3 Coffee and Conversation January 23, 2019 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Old St. Patrick’s campus 120 S. Desplaines Street

Registration opens one month

prior to the event Via www.fxw.org Grades 4-8 Information Night February 5, 2019 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Holy Name campus 751 N. State Street Registration opens one month prior to the event Contact the FXW Admissions Office if you wish to schedule a school tour.

Latin School of Chicago 59 W. North Blvd., Chicago www.latinschool.org Latin School of Chicago provides its students with a rigorous and innovative educational program in a community that embraces diversity of people, cultures and ideas.

Near North Montessori School Parent/Infant through 8th grade 1434 W. Division St., Chicago (773) 384-1434 nnms.org Located in Wicker Park, Near North Montessori is one of the oldest and largest private Montessori schools in the country. We believe independent thinking, self-sufficiency, and creative problem solving will prepare our students for the complicated, challenging world ahead. School tours, which run from 9-11:15

i 

am, are available on the following dates: November 2, November 16, December 7, January 11, January 18, and February 8.

Sacred Heart Schools Grades served: PS-8 6250 N. Sheridan Rd., Chicago (773) 681-8418 shschicago.org Catholic, Independent school for all faiths; single-gender classrooms on coed campus; bus service  to several neighborhoods; Senior Kindergarten  Early Decision option; New Preschool opening Fall 2019. Upcoming Open Houses: Thursday, November 15 Friday, November 30 Wednesday, December 12 Wednesday, February 13 Friday, March 22 Wednesday, May 1

The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools Serving grades nursery 3 through 12th 1362 East 59th Street, Chicago (773) 702-9451 www.ucls.uchicago.edu High School Open House Saturday, October 27, 2018, 1 pm

Science & Arts Academy The Gifted Choice® 1825 Miner Street, Des Plaines (847) 827-7880 www.scienceandartsacademy.org Science & Arts Academy educates Junior Kindergarten through 8th grade gifted students from over 60 Chicagoland communities. Attend our Open House on November 3rd at 1:00pm to learn more. PHOTO COURTESY OF COUNTRYSIDE DAY SCHOOL





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// special advertising section // www.lmais.org

chicago waldorf school

pre-k thru 12th grade

It’s how we teach that changes everything. The Chicago Waldorf School is redefining rigor. While traditional schools teach to the test, we provide real-world experience and, with a 100% college acceptance rate, get real-world results. Colleges want Waldorf students. On average, Waldorf graduates receive over $95,000 in merit-based scholarships per student each year from top universities and colleges.

New Andersonville Campus Located at 5200 N. Ashland Ave

Now Enrolling All Grades!

School Tours: November 15 / December 6 January 17 / February 7 / April 4 / May 16 High School Info Sessions: November 10 / January 12 / February 28

To learn more, visit: chicagowaldorf.org 56 November 2018 ChicagoParent.com

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Top Schools

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At Mary Meyer Preschool we learn through purposeful play P R O J E CT:

Mary Meyer Original Paints



Introduction to color theory and language arts

Students mix and name their own paint color

HO W W E P L AY E D : We read books, observed, explored and talked about color and what happens when it is mixed; plain old “green” became “frog green” and “pea green”. Each child took turns with our Resident Artist to choose and mix their own paint and name their color.

A gorgeous array of paints created by children who have gained an understanding of color theory. Students’ language skills developed and their vocabulary expanded. Skills of independence and self-confidence are fostered as children learn to do things for themselves.


Come get to know us better at a Prospective Parent Night. CALL 773.549.0870 TO REGISTER www.marymeyer.org

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special advertising section Top Schools St. Chrysostom’s Day School Celebrating 40 years of excellence inDay Early Childhood Education St. over Chrysostom’s School

Celebrating over 40 years of excellence in Early Childhood Education

Our carefully crafted and time tested developmentally appropriate play based curriculum makes it possible to offer: • Wonderful opportunities for developing enhanced social and cognitive skills through play and classroom routines • Small classroom size with teacher to pupil ration 1:5 • Experienced Masters level teachers

1424 North Dearborn Parkway | (312) 642-3422 | saintcdayschool.org Prospective Parent Open House Dates: October 25th at 6pm | November 29th at 9am RSVP to dayschooloffice@stchrysds.org!

As an added value to our students and parents, The Gardner School provides a full suite of on-site, optional enrichment classes during the school day, giving families more time together in the evenings.

Easy access to fun subjects from karate to cooking to music New learning experiences in small groups outside the classroom


Taught by specialized instructors Cost-effective convenience for parents

Schedule a tour today at thegardnerschool.com NOW O PE N


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Top Schools

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Focus on the future Schools are always preparing kids for what’s next By SHANNAN YOUNGER “The days are long but the years are short” is a quote by Gretchen Rubin about parenting that resonates with many parents, and it’s especially true once children are in school. It feels like you blink, and they’re in the next grade. While you might wish you could make time stand still, schools are always working to make sure that students are prepared for the next step, whether that’s the next grade, next school or next life stage. They do so in a variety of ways.


CAREFULLY CONSIDERED CURRICULUM Curriculum is the foundation of the academic experience. Schools put great


UNdErstaNd thE world.

effort into making sure their students have the knowledge necessary to make a smooth transition to the next level of education. “We take care to provide an appropriate level of academic challenge while also offering a rich, meaningful, developmentally appropriate curriculum,” says Karen Boyle, director of teaching & learning at the Science and Arts Academy in Des Plaines, which serves academically gifted children through eighth grade. The shift from lower to middle school there is incorporated into the curriculum literally, with a class called “Transition to Middle School” for the first session to ensure kids have the skills and support they need to succeed.

An IB World School

Prepare for the Possibilities.

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Pre-K through Grade 8 Sign up for an Open House or schedule your Private Tour today!

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1726 w Berteau ave | Chicago, il 60613 60 November 2018 ChicagoParent.com

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special advertising section The curriculum is designed with the understanding that “many of our students are learning advanced coursework, which they may or may not be allowed to place out of in high school,” Boyle says. She says that great efforts are taken “to ensure that high school does not become an encore performance of middle school for our students.” At the German International School in Chicago, the curriculum is designed with the knowledge that its student body is highly mobile. Some students go on to schools in Chicago, Germany and around the world. “We offer students an IB diploma so they can go to any university, because those diplomas are recognized worldwide,” says Katharina Koch Staley, the IB coordinator. She adds that, using the IB philosophy, they also incorporate Common Core standards as well as rigorous standards from Germany.


KNOWING STUDENTS WELL Knowing how students learn is just as important as what they learn. Teachers at independent schools prioritize knowing their students well and meeting them where they are at. Small class sizes make both easier to accomplish. “It’s easier to know each student as an individual, and that’s a big key to getting learning to differentiate so that you reach every single student,” Koch Staley says. Connections with students in small groups outside of class helps as well. Students transitioning from the lower school to the middle school at the Science and Arts Academy are placed into advisory groups. Daily meetings “allow time for advisors and their advisees to check in with each other and engage in activities

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that address the academic and social-emotional needs of middle schoolers,” says Boyle. Weekly workshops at the German International School are intended to allow students to not only discover new interests but also widen their social circle. Students are also matched with a faculty mentor with whom they have a connection. They work on skills together to ensure they are prepared for what lies ahead.


EASING STUDENTS OUT OF THEIR COMFORT ZONE Koch Staley says an overlooked benefit of dual language instruction is that it creates more resilient learners. Students get used to feeling frustrated. New language learners become more accustomed to being out of their comfort zone, and that’s often where their best learning takes place, according to Koch Staley. Students who push through the challenges and find success are more likely to fight through difficulties in other subjects, knowing that they are capable of overcoming them.


FOCUS ON THE PRESENT Educators believe that students focusing on doing their best work on present assignments is a good way to prepare for the future. “We design engaging programming that keeps them focused on the present,” says Boyle. She adds that the focus is on broad skills such as critical thinking and self-advocacy, not just being ready for a specific program or course of study. “We emphasize the importance of becoming an effective learner, rather than simply preparing for high school,” says Boyle.

A comprehensive Catholic education for Pre Kindergarten–8th grade.

Join us for a Tour & Coffee November 9

December 14

November 14

January 11

To Register: 773.549.0909 or stjosaphat.net The only elementary school in Chicago named a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence twice. 2245 N. Southport Ave. • Chicago • 60614 ChicagoParent.com November 2018 61

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Educating the whole child What schools are doing for learning beyond the books By SHANNAN YOUNGER

They involve prayer, positive affirmations, fun music and even appearances by Mohawk, the school mascot. Students are involved in planning the events, which gives them a chance to cultivate their leadership skills as well as deepen their faith.


hile teaching reading, writing and math are essential elements of the school experience, educators recognize kids need to develop in all areas of their lives to reach their full potential. “Human beings are multifaceted creatures and we need to not forget about these different areas. If you focus on only one area at the expense of others, you do a disservice to the they blossom and grow. child,” says Sarah Silverman, head of school at Guidepost FOSTERING FAITH Montessori in Chicago’s At St. Josaphat School in Wicker Park. Chicago’s Lincoln Park, the Here are some of the ways staff aims to promote chilthat top schools around dren’s academic and spiritual Chicago are working to edudevelopment. “Everything VanguardChicagoParentAd_10_2018V3.pdf 1 10/5/18 2:23 PM comes down to our faith,” cate the whole child so that


explains Principal Nel Mullens, and the school works to integrate it into the day at a level that students can both comprehend and enjoy. In addition to prayer in class and Mass, Mullens recently instituted “Faith-filled Fridays.”

SUPPORTING SOCIALEMOTIONAL LEARNING “When you get to the heart of a child, they blossom and grow,” says Beth Blaetz, head of school at Vanguard Gifted Academy in Batavia. “Focusing on social-emotional learning allows kids to be more productive and more satisfied with their achievement because they are comfortable in their own skin, with who they are.” Since Vanguard serves gifted students, Blaetz says

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special advertising section they are in particular need of an environment that welcomes them at both their academic and developmental levels. St. Josaphat School emphasizes social-emotional learning as well, with Mullens saying it helps students be in the right frame of mind to learn. Silverman echoed the same sentiments, adding that the benefits of social-emotional learning can be seen in the classroom because it helps kids become more confident. “Children are more interested and motivated when they’re confident. Nothing kills learning like fear, but if you’re confident, you’re willing to try,” she says.

people, and that means their social-emotional, academic and extracurricular lives are all integrated into their work,” says Cabell King, head of school. When GCE students have an assignment where the goal is to express content understanding, teachers turn it into an opportunity for self-expression and encourage creativity. Students can demonstrate their mastery by creating a video, podcast, visual art piece or written work. “Within the curriculum, we invite students to be themselves and express themselves

in their own way,” King says. LIFE SKILLS Schools also are working to incorporate life skills into their curriculum so that students are able to succeed in the real world. As King notes, we adults don’t often write academic essays in our daily lives. He says that while there is a place for that in the classroom, there is also a place for skills like public speaking, given that adults are often called upon to express themselves coherently in front of others.

ENCOURAGING SELF-EXPRESSION At the GCE Lab School in Chicago, “classes don’t fit into familiar boxes because our students don’t, either. We approach them as integrated


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Practical life activities are an important part of the Montessori philosophy. At Guidepost Montessori, it’s typical to see even the youngest students perfecting their buttoning skills, washing dishes or practicing pouring, juicing and chopping. The life skills are often practiced at mealtime, when students also learn manners and what’s known as “grace and courtesy,” which combined socialemotional learning with life skills. Blaetz notes that opportunities to teach life skills can be found in unexpected places, including geometry class. For instance, when students were working with shapes, they created a large geodesic dome out of cardboard and in the process developed assembly skills. Hopefully, they’ll hang on to those skills and assembling Ikea items for their first apartments will be a breeze.

Coming in January THE

MAKING GRADE Your best guide to CHICAGOLAND schools Learning gets personal

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For more information, call (708) 3865555 or visit ChicagoParent.com ChicagoParent.com November 2018 63

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Top Schools

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Top Schools in focus The Critical Thinking Child Class locations in Chicago’s Southloop and Evergreen Park (855) 646-3747 www.thecriticalthinkingchild.com Discover your child’s academic strengths with fun learning opportunities. Learn how you can best support their academic potential in reading, math and critical thinking? Upcoming drop-in date:  Nov 11th

The Gardner School Schaumburg (847) 592-2513 Lincolnshire (847) 415-5420 West Loop (312) 229-4299 Bucktown (773) 661-0151 Naperville (630) 657-5029 Glenview-Northbrook (847) 770-6260 Oak Brook (630) 576-4740 Lincoln Park (773) 661-0232 thegardnerschool.com As an added value to our students and parents, The Gardner School provides a full suite of on-site, optional enrichment classes during the school day, giving families more time together in the evenings. Schedule a tour today.

German International School Chicago Now enrolling Preschool through Grade 8 1726 W Berteau Ave, Chicago (773) 857-3000 www.germanschoolchicago.com

Offering a bilingual, international education in a supportive, individualized learning environment that nurtures curiosity and creativity while fostering global awareness. Open Houses Friday, November 9, 10:00 am - 12:00 noon Friday, December 14, 10:00 am - 12:00 noon

Guidepost Montessori at Wicker Park 1530 N. Damen Avenue, Chicago (773) 663-4732 guidepostmontessori.com/wicker-park At Guidepost, your child will enter the wonderful world of Montessori lessons and learning materials, designed to

captivate and inspire. Visit us online at guidepostmontessori.com/wickerpark.

Guidepost Montessori at Magnificent Mile 226 E. Illinois Street, Chicago (312) 796-9400 guidepostmontessori.com/ magnificent-mile

Sonnets Academy

Guidepost Montessori is a new, beautifully-prepared preschool in the heart of Chicago. Visit us online for more information at guidepostmontessori. com/magnificent-mile. Open House Dates: November 10 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Yoga, Yogurt, and Open House)

Science Academy of Chicago 501 Midway Drive Mt. Prospect (847) 258 5254 www.saoc.org

Boundless learning through play. Six weeks to six years. Lincoln Park: 1932 N. Clark St. (312) 951-1024 River North: 430 W. Erie St. (312) 344-1926 West Loop: 229 S. Peoria St. (312) 733-7580 Hyde Park: 5548 S. Hyde Park Blvd. (773) 891-0029 sonnetsacademy.com

St. Chrysostom’s Day School

At SAC you will find a dedicated team who inspire, challenge and care for

1424 North Dearborn Parkway Chicago (312) 642-3422 www.saintcdayschool.org Open houses: October 25th at 6pm and November 29th at 9am rsvp to dayschooloffice@stchrysds.org

Gateway Montessori

St. Josaphat School

4041 N. Pulaski Road, Chicago (773) 539-3025 www.GatewayMontessoriSchool.org

2245 N Southport Ave (773) 549-0909 stjosaphat.net

To nurture the potential within each child is Gateway’s mission. Programs from age 15 months through Elementary. Visit online and call for an informational tour. Upcoming Open House dates: November 5th December 3rd February 4th

Located in Lincoln Park, St. Josaphat School, serves grades PreK-3 to 8th. We are the only elementary school in the city of Chicago to receive the National Blue Ribbon Award of Excellence twice. At St. Josaphat School, we strive to build a rich learning community that  enlightens  our students’ spiritual development,  empowers  students to take on new challenges, and enables  students to  excel  in their endeavors.

GEMS World Academy Chicago 350 East South Water Street, Chicago gemsworldacademy-chicago.com

Vanguard Gifted Academy

GEMS World Academy Chicago prepares students in preschool through high school to sold next-generation challenges through our IB curriculum, innovative technology and field study programs.

1078 E. Wilson St., Batavia (224) 213-0087 Vanguardgiftedacademy.org


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Last month the Chicago Child Care Society - Chicago’s oldest social services nonprofit - hosted its Wind in my Sails Party at the Chicago Yacht Club. It was a send-off to summer on Lake Michigan where guests enjoyed inspiring words from Cook County Board president, Toni Preckwinkle, live music from Buddy Frambro, cocktails and good company while raising much-needed funds and awareness about the Chicago Child Care Society and its mission to strengthen Chicago’s under-resourced families and children.

Wine Pull

Andrew Kelly & Toni Preckwinkle

Funds raised through a lively auction and wine pull helped the over 2,000 people the organization serves build better futures. Items for auction included: an evening at TAO Chicago and a private sunset sail on Lake Michigan, among other exclusive items. • 95% of children ages birth to three in their Home Visit Programs meet or exceed their cognitive and physical goals that correlate with academic success. • 100% of expecting mothers have access to prenatal and postnatal care. • 100% of high school seniors in the Next Step College Readiness Program graduated from high school and enrolled in college this year. • 80 young men in 8th - 10th grade chose to join the KALU Mentoring Program that leads to higher graduation rates and social-emotional growth.

Alex Sabbag & Dara Munson, CEO, Chicago Child Care Society

For more information visit cccsociety.org 66 November 2018 ChicagoParent.com

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calendar NOVEMBER


Before you check out the new ay’s movie about the holiday’s er, favorite green character, me dip your hands into some Grinchy Green Science. With art, activities, goop and crafts on deck, there’s a chance to let your Grinch show or become a Whovillan at heart. Free with museum admission. Nov. 23-24.. Rockford Discovery Center, 711 N. 6769, Main St., Rockford. (815) 963-6769, discoverycentermuseum.org.


The costumes are cool, the sets are amazing and the music is historic. So, the Harris Theater is letting the creative team behind Opera Atelier tell the story of the making of an opera. Learn about everything from performance style to sets to costumes in the one-hour presentation. The event includes an ALS interpretation to add to the inclusive nature. $10-$15. 2-3 p.m. Nov. 17. Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph Drive, Chicago. (312) 334-7777, harristheaterchicago.org.


Holidays in the city mean hot chocolate, shopping and lots ts of great parades. The Magnificent Mile Lights Festival kicks off the parade season—literally and figuratively—with a weekend of events Nov. 16-17. The fest includes a parade (5:30 p.m. Nov. 17), the switching on of the lights on Michigan Avenue and concerts with meet-and-greet events. Also, set your alarms—if you’re not already up with the turkey—for 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day for the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade, a tradition with floats, ats, bands, acts and giant character parade balloons. alloons.


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a post-Halloween screening of Tim Burton’s cross-holiday movie. Follow along as Jack, the Pumpkin King, attempts to bring the Christmas spirit to his spooky hometown. The film is brought to life with a concert performance featuring the Chicago Philharmonic. 7:30 p.m. Visit website for tickets. Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Parkway, Chicago. (312) 922-2110, auditoriumtheatre.org.

2 | FRIDAY PLAY IN A DAY. Through acting

games and exercises, students will create unique characters based on the theme of the day. These characters will then be used to create a short play to be performed at the end of the day. Today’s theme: Fairy Tale Camp. $80 and up. 8 a.m.-4 p.m. (presentation for parents from 3:30-4 p.m.) Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. (773) 3275252, stage773.com.

C ic Ch icag icag ago go To Toy oy & Ga G me me Fai ar See Nov. 17 Greg Rothstein



in robotic engineering with the one-day program. Design and build a cutting-edge robot and teach it to spin, slither, walk or drive in a Brickworld of your own creation. Participants will use Lego WeDo and WeDo2.0 motor and sensor system. Recommended for ages 7-12. $90, $81 members. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The Laboratory Chicago, 2349 W. North Ave., Chicago. (630) 8806458, thelaboratorychi.org.




pinching is totally allowed in the kitchen as you invent an original empanada shape that’s all your own and learn to cook the savory treat. This class is designed for kids and parents to cook together. Recommended for ages 5-8. $30 per child with one caregiver; registration is required. 5:30-6:30 p.m. Taste Buds Kitchen, 2521 Waukegan Road, Bannockburn. (847) 230-0330, tastebudskitchen. com/bannockburn.

night for kids 7-12 to play and meet other fans of the game. Each party is a supervised session of open play time, where kids may join private servers set up for the evening or play on public servers of their choice. $25. 5:30-8 p.m. Power Up Tech Academy, 2867 N. Clybourn Ave. (312) 659-3082, powerupTA.com.

natural items like stumps and seeds, brush up on your bird-watching or nature-hiking skills, or venture out on a family scavenger hunt. Families with kids of all ages welcome. Events are open-house style with varying stations. These are rain or shine events. 10 a.m.-noon. Calumet Park, 9801 S. Avenue G. chicagoparkdistrict.com.


make Unicorn Cupcakes complete with sparkle ear, a unicorn horn and a rainbow mane. Recommended for ages 2-5, this class is designed for kids and parents to cook together. $30 per child with one caregiver; registration is required. 9-10 a.m. Taste Buds Kitchen 2521 Waukegan Road, Bannockburn. (847) 2300330, tastebudskitchen.com/ bannockburn. MEET & GREET: FRUIT BATS.

Find out where bats live, what they eat and why they are so important to us and our ecosystem. Appropriate for ages 3 and up. Children must be accompanied by a paying adult; fee is per person. $10 resident; $12 non-resident. 10-11:30 a.m. Emily Oaks Nature Center, 4650 Brummel St., Skokie. (847) 677-7001, skokieparks.org. PUMPKIN SMASH AND BASH. Bring Halloween pumpkins

for the Pumpkin Roll competition. Afterward, have fun smashing your pumpkins. 1-2 p.m. Flick Park, 3600 Glenview Road, Glenview. (847) 724-3337, glenviewparks.org.


a line-up of scary (and silly) stories featuring creepy twins that appear in photos, talking potatoes getting lost in the woods, Malcolm X fighting zombies and other spooky scenarios imagined by Chicago elementary school students. $5-$20. 3 p.m. NeoFuturist Theater, 5153 N. Ashland Ave. barrelofmonkeys.org.

SUBURBS SMASHING PUMPKINS. Convert your porch décor into a pumpkin projectile and explore Newton’s laws of motion using a giant trebuchet. Plus, construct a mini-catapult of your own, create a craft, design autumn artwork, and fashion a feeder for feathered friends. Free with museum admission. Noon-4 p.m. Discovery Center Museum, 711 N. Main St., Rockford. (815) 9636769, discoverycentermuseum.org.

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learn how to make holiday hors d’oeuvres that won’t bust their family’s calorie budget. 4:30-5:30 p.m. Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital Community Kitchen, 300 Randall Road, Geneva. nm.org.


Works opens early the second Thursday of every month for kids up to 8 with special needs. They are then welcome to stay when the museum opens to the public at 10 a.m. $5 per person. 9-10 a.m. Wonder Works Children’s Museum, 6445 W. North Ave., Oak Park. wonder-works.org. NIGHT OWLS: OWLS. Bring your

little night owls out to the Children’s Neighborhood Museum for an evening of fabulous feather fun in honor of owls. Recommended for ages 2-6. $10 resident; $12 non-resident. 6-7 p.m. Robert W. Rolek Community Center, 814 Hart Road, Round Lake, rlapd.org.


building natural shelters, leaf crafts, hiking and tending a campfire. Half-day options, for the morning and afternoon, are available. Recommended for ages 6-10. $35 resident, $42 non-resident 9 a.m.-4

p.m. Emily Oaks Nature Center, 4650 Brummel St., Skokie. (847) 677-7001, skokieparks.org.


Learn to make gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and hot cocoa at the fire. Appropriate for parents and kids ages 3 and up. $20. 3-6 p.m. Angelic Organics Learning Center, 1547 Rockton Road, Caledonia. (815) 389-8455, learngrowconnect. org.




stage show is based on the hit animated television series Wild Kratts. Martin and Chris Kratt engage the audience in a classic Wild Kratts story. Starting off in their headquarters, the “Tortuga,” the Kratts receive a message about an animal in trouble. The adventure doesn’t work as planned, which results in hilarious pratfalls and slapstick fun. $42+ 1 p.m. & 4:30 p.m. Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St. (312) 977-1700, broadwayinchicago.com.

12 | MONDAY PLAY IN A DAY. Through acting

games and exercises, students will create unique characters. These characters will then be used to create a short play to be performed at

About the calendar The deadline for submitting listings for the December issue is Oct. 29. All events are subject to change. Please call the event sponsor at the number listed to confirm before you go. Events taking place on four or more dates during the month are listed in Ongoing Events, beginning on page 79.

Searchable listings updated daily ChicagoParent.com/calendar ChicagoParent.com November 2018 69

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CALENDAR the end of the day. Today’s theme: Detective/Spy. $80 and up. 8 a.m.-4 p.m. (presentation for parents from 3:30-4 p.m.) Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. (773) 3275252, stage773.com. VETERANS DAY CAMP: ANIMAL ATHLETES. Kids in PreK-4th grade

will explore the zoo and participate in a variety of activities focused on animal diversity, environmental conservation and the ways Lincoln Park Zoo cares for animals at the zoo. $70, $60 zoo members. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Lincoln Park Zoo, 2200 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago. (312) 742-2000, lpzoo.org. MOVIE SCIENCE: WRECK-ITRALPH. Bring the world of Wreck-

It-Ralph to life using physics and engineering to build a Sugar Rush Speedway and design air-powered mini-cars to race. Recommended for ages 7-12. $90, $81 members 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The Laboratory Chicago, 2349 W. North Ave., Chicago. (630) 880-6458, thelaboratorychi.org.

Lycée Community


groups to design and build their best Minecraft world or creation in two hours while using teamwork, communication and creativity. $35. 10 a.m.-noon, 1-3 p.m. Power Up Tech Academy, 2867 N. Clybourn Ave., Chicago. (312) 659-3082, powerupTA.com. CRAZY ABOUT CHEMISTRY.

From oodles of fizz, columns of foam and color changes galore, learn about chemical changes. Free with museum admission. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Discovery Center Museum, 711 N. Main St., Rockford. (815) 963-6769, discoverycentermuseum.org.

Lycé ée French Fr h M rk Ma rket ett Seee No N v.17


$81 members 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The Laboratory Chicago, 2349 W. North Ave., Chicago. (630) 880-6458, thelaboratorychi.org.

powers of science to uncover your secret superhero identity, discover your superpowers and learn how to save the world without destroying it. Recommended for ages 7-12. $90,

BABY & ME YOGA. Connect with your baby through breathing and explore gentle yoga postures to build strength, increase flexibility

and melt away tension. Baby can play on the mat next to you or participate in the practice with you. No prior yoga experience required. For adults and babies ages 4 weeks to 12 months. No registration required. 9:30-10:30 a.m. Niles-Maine District Library, 6960 W. Oakton St., Niles. nmdl.libnet.info.

Navy Pier, Chicago


NOVEMBER 17 & 18

SAT. 10AM - 6PM & SUN. 10AM - 5PM VISIT US AT WWW.CHITAG.COM ACTIVITIESINCLUDE Beer Garden with Popular Adult and Party Games Baby and Toddler PlaySpace • i-Top Hourly Challenges Meet Santa Clause and Meet Princess-Etch-A-Sketch Young Inventor Challenge • Stratego National Tournament Interactive Exhibits, Test out Products Before They Hit Retail Shelves Photo Ops: Snap a photo with some of your favorite characters from Star Wars! Meet Toy & Game Inventors from Around the World Shop for the Hoˆest New and Classic Toys for the Holidays Yo-Yo Championship, Ben’s Giant Bubble Show Giveaways, Stage Events, Magic Shows, Contests Meet Greedy Granny! Be careful stealing her cookies!




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holiday season with two days of free, family-friendly activities. The Kids Zone in Pioneer Court (401 W. Michigan) is loaded with activities. The celebration culminates in an evening tree-lighting parade along North Michigan Avenue. See website for schedule. 4-8 p.m. North Michigan Avenue from Oak Street to Wacker Drive, Chicago. (312) 4095560, themagnificentmile.com. HOME SCHOOL FRIDAYS. Pilcher

Park Nature Center plans science and nature programs just for homeschooled students. This is a perfect addition to ecology, biology & geology curriculum. Program intended for children ages 6-12. $10 residents, $12 non-residents. 2-3 p.m. Pilcher Park Nature Center, 2501 Highland Park Drive, Joliet. (815) 741-7277, jolietpark.org. TASTE OF FRANCE. A three-hour

evening workshop for ages 5-12 to learn how to make delicious pastry dough from scratch and create tasty sweet and savory treats, from Madeleine Cookies to Mini Quiche Fromage. $60, registration is required. 5-8 p.m. Taste Buds Kitchen, 2521 Waukegan Road, Bannockburn. (847) 230-0330, tastebudskitchen.com/bannockburn.

17 | SATURDAY CHICAGO LYCÉE FRENCH MARKET. This annual event transforms Chicago’s bilingual Lycée Français de Chicago school into a bustling French market where local and French artisans sell fine and decorative arts, home décor, jewelry, apparel, accessories, gourmet food and more. Guests can also enjoy the Bistro, which offers a menu of authentic French recipes. $5 donation. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The Lycée Francais de Chicago, 1929 W. Wilson Ave., (773) 665-0066, lyceechicago.org.


This fair offers families, teachers, kids and toy and game enthusiasts the chance to preview new toys and games, meet Toy and Game Inventors, have a picture taken with Star Wars characters and more. New this year is a baby-toddler play space with companies showcasing toys for younger audiences. $7 and up. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave. Chicago (312) 595-PIER (7437), chitag.com. WHAT’S UP, KING TUT?

Find out the real story of what makes King Tutankhamun famous, find his artifacts in the gallery, and decipher the hieroglyphs on his 17-foot-tall statue. 1-3 p.m. Oriental Institute Museum, 1155 E. 58th St. (773) 702-9514, oi.uchicago.edu. OPERA ATELIER’S MAKING AN OPERA. Featuring narration

from Opera Atelier’s creative team, the program will explore excerpts from Actéon, the 17th century opera based on a story from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, illuminating how sets, costumes and performance style combine to create a mythical world onstage. This presentation will include ASL interpretation. $10-$15. 2-3 p.m. Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph Drive. (312) 334-7777, harristheaterchicago.org. MINECRAFT PARTY. A social night for kids 7-12 to play and meet other fans of the game. Each party is a supervised session of open play time, where kids may join private servers set up for the evening or play on public servers of their choice. $25. 5:30-8 p.m. Power Up Tech Academy, 2867 N. Clybourn Ave. (312) 659-3082, powerupta.com. THE BMO HARRIS BANK MAGNIFICENT MILE LIGHTS FESTIVAL. See Nov. 16. Today’s

schedule: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Parade steps off at 5:30 p.m.

SUBURBS TURKEY CUPCAKES. Learn how to make a chocolate cupcake

Photo by Jade Albert

Learn more at

autismspeaks.org/signs Some signs to look for:

No big smiles or other joyful expressions by 6 months

No babbling by 12 months

No words by 16 months

© 2012 Autism Speaks Inc. "Autism Speaks" and "It's time to listen" & design are trademarks owned by Autism Speaks Inc. All rights reserved. The person depicted is a model and is used for illustrative purposes only.

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Toys and games for all at ChiTAG


he latest and greatest innovations in toys and games are coming to Chicago, even before they hit the shelves for the shopping season. At the annual Chicago Toy & Game Fair, families with kids of all ages can play their hearts out and find plenty of things to do to keep everyone entertained. Take photos with favorite Star Wars characters, check out yo-yos like those never seen before in the Yo-Yo Championships and even let the kids play while parents take some time to learn new games. Whether this is a first or 16th time, there’s something new to check out on this play-tastic weekend: u Say hello to Santa Claus at his workshop created from Magformers. u Who says kids are the only ones who can have fun? At the Grown-up Games Beer Garden, adults can try out the latest party games while hanging out enjoying a cold one. Those younger than 21 can also have fun in a separate section with family-friendly games that

everyone can enjoy. u Little ones can play with the newest baby toys at the Baby and Toddler PlaySpace. u See who comes out the winner in the Killerspin Celebrity Ping Pong Tournament. u Show off your skills at the Stratego National Championship. u The WTTW BIG IDEA

Tour will be take the stage on Saturday. Using STEAM concepts (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math), a WTTW Kids Lab Guy will show you that learning can be fun. u Moms, need an hour alone? Join the Moms TimeOut and meet some of Chicago’s favorite mom bloggers. Cheryl Eugenio

16th Annual Chicago Toy & Game Fair

u 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Nov. 17, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 18 u Navy Pier, 840 E. Grand Ave., Festival Hall A & B, Chicago u $14 ($15 at the door) adults, $7 ($8 at the door) children

Fall Registration is Open

Testing for Selective Enrollment Schools? PreK - 3rd Grade

Critical Thinking Boot Camps • Tutoring for classical and regional gifted tests • Play focus games & exercises to build attention



Save 10% with Promo Code PREPNOW18 Register at thecriticalthinkingchild.com/register 72 November 2018 ChicagoParent.com

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decorated to look just like a turkey. This class is designed for kids ages 2-8 and parents to cook together. $30 per child with one caregiver; registration is required. 9-10 a.m. Taste Buds Kitchen, 2521 Waukegan Road, Bannockburn. (847) 2300330, tastebudskitchen.com/ bannockburn.



Bannockburn. (847) 230-0330, tastebudskitchen.com/bannockburn.

SETTLERS DAY. Visit with costumed living history demonstrators, representing American history from French fur trading days, pioneer times, and the Revolutionary and Civil War periods. Free, donations of money or food accepted. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sand Ridge Nature Center, 15891 Paxton Ave., South Holland. (708) 868-0606, fpdcc.com.

Kids ages 6 and older (with a parent) will learn to prepare a homemade snack in five minutes. 10-11 a.m. Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital Community Kitchen, 300 Randall Road, Geneva. nm.org.



tury farm families preserved meat and other food for the long winter. Features authentic demonstrations, craft activities, wagon rides and refreshments. $3 per person, $12 per family, free kids 3 and under. Noon-4 p.m. Spring Valley Nature Center & Heritage Farm, 1111 E. Schaumburg Road, Schaumburg. (847) 985-2100, parkfun.com.

ball, dodgeball, volleyball, soccer, swimming or a little of each. The Chill Zone is available to challenge for a game of table tennis, bags or snacks. Kids are responsible for signing themselves in and out of the program. For 6-8 graders. $7. 7-9 p.m. Fountain View Recreation Center, 910 N. Gary Ave. Carol Stream. csparks.org.





Families are invited to bring their kids of all ages to laugh, dance, play and meet other “#Jazz Babies.” Ravenswood Loft is a kid-friendly environment for all ages. Snacks and adult or youthbased “treats” are welcome. $5 child, $10 adults, pre-registration recommended. 2:30-4:30 p.m. Ravenswood Loft, 4437 N. Ravenswood. ravenswoodloft.com. LYCÉE FRENCH MARKET. See

Nov. 17. Today’s schedule: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. CHICAGO TOY & GAME FAIR. See Nov. 17. Today’s schedule: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

secret tricks behind working with yeast and preparing pizza dough from scratch. This class is designed for ages 9 and older and parents to cook together. $45, registration is required. 5-7 p.m. Taste Buds Kitchen, 2521 Waukegan Road,


Kids ages 8-16 will make their own gemstone jewelry to keep. Choose two different types of jewelry to make with stones from the Museum Shop and learn how to work with



SUN, NOV. 11


SUN, NOV. 24


SUN, NOV. 25

DISNEY ON ICE KIDS TICKET GIVEAWAY Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana Kia Dealers



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features live performances, equestrian units, marching bands and the sky-high balloons. 8-11 a.m. State Street Congress to Randolph, Chicago, chicagofestivals.org.

23 | FRIDAY GRINCHY GREEN SCIENCE. Dabble in art and science activities, including green bubbles, Grinch Goop, Whoville hats and more. Included with museum admission. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Discovery Center Museum, 711 N. Main St., Rockford. (815) 963-6769, discoverycentermuseum.org. Gallagher Way


HOLIDAY MOVIES. Catch a holiday movie at Gallagher Way at


The University of Minnesota is seeking women who are currently less than 20 weeks pregnant to participate in a research study examining the effect of exercise and wellness on mood following childbirth.

La Universidad de Minnesota está buscando mujeres con menos de 20 semanas de embarazo para participar en el estudio de investigación que examina los efectos del ejercicio y la salud del estado de ánimo posterior al parto

• Program delivered to you via the mail and phone • Must be 18 years of age or older • Must not currently exercise regularly • Must not take antidepressants • You will receive $100 & a FitBit for your time (you will be allowed to keep the FitBit after the study is over) • Program can be delivered in English or Spanish • Must be considered low-income, defined as: -Enrollment in any government assisted program (e.g., WIC, SNAP) AND/OR -Annual income that is considered low (less than $45,510 for a family of four, less than $30,044 for a family of two, and less than

• Programa ejecutado vía correo o teléfono • Debe ser mayor o igual a 18 años de edad • No debe hacer ejercicio regularmente • No debe tomar antidepresivos • Debe considerarse de bajos ingresos, lo cual se define como: -Inscripta en cualquier programa asistencial del gobierno (por ejemplo, WIC, SNAP) y / o - Ingresos anuales considerados como bajos (menos de $ 45,510 para una familia de cuatro, menos de $ 30,044 para una familia de dos y menos de $ 22,311 si es soltera). • Usted recibirá $100 y un FitBit por su tiempo (será permitido quedarse con el FitBit después de la culminación del estudio)

To see if you qualify for this research study: English Speaking: Call or TEXT to 612-345-0325 or mompro@umn.edu.

Llama al 612-237-1004, envía la palabra “TEXTO” al 612-237-1004, o un email mompro@umn.edu para ver si califica para éste estudio

Wrigley Field. Today’s movie: Elf. 6 p.m. Gallagher Way, 3637 N. Clark St., Chicago. gallagherway.com.

24 | SATURDAY SUBURBS FAMILY DAY/OPEN HOUSE. Meet Lenny, Squiggy & Oscar, new rescued raccoons and possum, and other wildlife including eight wolves, a Siberian tiger, black bear, cougar, skunk and porcupines. Listen to animal lectures and take guided or unguided tours. $6 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Big Run Wolf Ranch, 14857 Farrell Road, Lockport. (815) 588-0044, bigrunwolfranch. STAR WARS NIGHT. The Chicago

Wolves host a Star Wars Night, encouraging fans to dress up and share their passion for the movie series at the game against Grand Rapids. Ticket prices vary. 7 p.m. All-State Arena, 6920 N. Mannheim Road, Rosemont. (847) 635-6601, chicagowolves.com.

Coming in January


jeweler’s tool. $12, reservations required. 1:30 p.m. Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art, 220 Cottage Hill Ave. (in Wilder Park), Elmhurst. (630) 833-1616, lizzadromuseum.org.

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P LU S in f o y o u n e e d a b out . . . P r e s c h o o ls , E le m e n t a r y, H ig h S c h o o ls , E n r ic h m e n t , Tu t o r in g S e r v ic e s a n d mor e

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For more information, call (708) 3865555 or visit ChicagoParent.com

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Nov. 23

29 | THURSDAY SKATE WITH SANTA. Visitors can skate with Santa at Gallagher Way. $5 over 13, free 12 and under. $10 skate rental. 4:30-6:30 p.m. Gallagher Way, 3637 N. Clark St., Chicago. gallagherway.com. A NIGHT WITH THE GRINCH.

Dress to meet the Grinch and play in our Round Lake Area Park District Children’s Neighborhood Museum Whoville Neighborhood. Preregistration required. Recommended for ages up to 7. $14 resident; $16 non-resident. 6-7:30 p.m. Robert W. Rolek Community Center, 814 Hart Road, Round Lake. rlapd.org.


the sounds of the motion picture

soundtrack, passengers on the Amtrak train will relive the magic of the classic story as they are whisked away on The Polar Express for a one-hour trip through the tunnels, rail yards and neighborhoods along the Chicago River. Hot chocolate and a cookie is served by dancing chefs. Passengers read along with the classic children’s book, The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg. Santa greets passengers and each guest is given the first gift of Christmas—a silver sleigh bell. Union Station, 210 S. Canal St., Chicago. chicagothepolarexpressride.com. KRIS KRINGLE MARKET.

Children’s activities and holiday crafts are included as well as a visit from Santa. Crafters and vendors will sell their wares in time for the holidays inside a heated tent. 5-9 p.m. Friday. Municipal Parking Lot, 12217 S. Harlem Ave., Palos Heights. palosheights.org.

Wh W hat’s ’s s Up, p, K ng Tut Ki ut? t? See Nov.. 17


German heritage and the holiday season. Listen and sing along with Elmhurst’s authentic German choirs. Jolly Old St. Nick will join the festivities and take photos with guests. Hot cocoa and sweet treats provided. Children are encouraged to wear pajamas. Cash donations for the giving tree to support Yorkfield Food Pantry accepted. 6:30-8 p.m. Yorkfield Presbyterian

Church, 1099 S. York St., Elmhurst. elmhursthistory.org. GINGERBREAD HOUSES. Teens

ages 13-18 can design and decorate a gingerbread house. $45; registration is required. Taste Buds Kitchen, 2521 Waukegan Road, Bannockburn. (847) 230-0330, tastebudskitchen. com/bannockburn. HOLIDAY MOVIES. See Nov. 23. Today’s movie: Home Alone.

Holiday Dance Showcase // advertising Ballet Legere’s 34th Annual Production of THE NUTCRACKER

The Nutcracker presented by Ballet Legere

Dec 6-10 Dominican University Performing Arts Center balletlegere.org (708) 488-5000

North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie presents Salt Creek Ballet’s THE NUTCRACKER Dec 15 & 16, Sat. 1pm & 5pm; Sun 2 pm Northshorecenter.org (847) 673-6300

THE NUTCRACKER Dec 1 - 30 Auditorium Theatre Joffrey.org/nutcracker (312) 386-8937

The Nutcracker Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts

Nov. 30 at 7:30pm, Dec. 1 at 1pm and 5pm, Dec. 2 at 1pm and 5pm, Dec. 7 at 7:30pm, Dec. 8 at 2pm and 7:30pm, Dec. 9 at 1pm and 5pm. prairiecenter.org (847) 895-3600

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palos hills riding stables, inc


Additional photos by JHFusion Photography




10101 So. Kean Avenue, Palos Hills, IL 60465 (708)598-7718 www.phrsinc.com 76 November 2018 ChicagoParent.com

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Play inside the book


he brand, spanking new Storyland exhibit at Kohl Children’s Museum is touchable, wonderful, eye-opening fun. If your kids know all the books or just one, they’ll love the interactivity that lets them touch what they’ve only imagined as you’ve read their favorite books.

The exhibit uses the plots from seven kiddie lit books— including some you’ve already memorized—and finds ways to make them interactive: Play with Spot from Where’s Spot? Explore Mr. McGregor’s garden from The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Crunch through the snow of The Snowy Day. Mix a batch of cookies with Mouse from If You Give a

Storyland Mouse a C M Cookie. ki Soar over Manhattan and climb through the Statue of Liberty with Rosalba and her grandmother from Abuela. Learn how time and frogs fly in Tuesday. Whether you or your kids can recite every word in each of the seven books by heart, or are just learning of some of these titles now, won’t alter the experience. The books are available at each station to read with your child first or let him or her read aloud. There are also tips for parents

Ballet Légere’s Ballet Légere’s

u Kohl Children’s Museum, 2100 Patriot Boulevard, Glenview u $13 kids and adults, free babies under 12 months u Exhibit open now through Jan. 13. The audio and visuals are in English and Spanish. about how to make reading as important as baths in the everyday schedule, just more exciting. The best parts of Storyland are the reminders to let books inspire everyday play. Hillary Bird

Read the books u Abuela, by Arthur Dorros u Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, by Bill Martin Jr. & John Archambault u If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, by Laura Numeroff u The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats u The Tale of Peter Rabbit, by Beatrix Potter u Tuesday, by David Wiesner u Where’s Spot, by Eric Hill

Appearing courtesy of the Cincinnati Ballet, Artistic Director, Victoria Morgan

th th 3434 Annual Production of of Annual Production

THE THENUTCRACKER NUTCRACKER December 6-10, 2018 December 6-10, 2018

Chicagoland’s longest running Nutcracker

Chicagoland’s longest running Nutcracker Dominican University Performing Arts Center

Dominican University Performing Arts Center

Tickets can be purchased on line at www. balletlegere.org can purchased line708-488-5000. at www. balletlegere.org OrTickets through thebe Dominican Boxon Office Or through the Dominican Office 708-488-5000. For more information, Box contact Ballet Légere For more information, contact Ballet Légere 773-237-1874 or balletlegere@yahoo.com

773-237-1874 or balletlegere@yahoo.com

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save the date


Handmade Goods featuring South Side Artists | Family-Friendly Creative Activities | Live Demos & Culinary Programs | Soundtracked By Djs | Marshmallow Roasting + Hot Cocoa | Artists-In-Residence Open Studios

Situated between King Drive and Prairie Avenue along Garfield Boulevard in historic Washington Park.

Arts Block 301 E Garfield Blvd Chicago, IL

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Immerse yourself in the history of Chicago blues of the 1960s through pictures, and experience the blues by playing guitar, designing an album cover, writing lyrics, and singing karaoke. Free with admission, free 18 and under Illinois residents. Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark St., Chicago. (312) 642-4600, chicagohistory.org. ART ON THEMART. A first-of-its-kind, curated digital art installation across 2.5 acres of theMART’s river façade, adding to Chicago’s vibrant public art scene. The digital artworks use 34 projectors to illuminate the river façade of theMART. 6:30 p.m. WednesdaysSundays. The Merchandise Mart, 222 W. Merchandise Mart, Plaza #470, Chicago. artonthemart.com.

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2018 Year of Creative Youth, the exhibit brings together 18 artists and 33 works of painting, photography, video art, fashion design and musical composition from Chicago high school students. Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State St., Chicago. (312) 747-4898. chipublib.org. CHANGE: THE STORY OF COINS. This interactive display

teaches how coins are important financial, cultural and political tools. Free with admission. National Hellenic Museum, 333 S. Halsted, Chicago. (312) 655-1234. nationalhellenicmuseum.org. CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD AND HOLIDAYS OF LIGHT. This Chicago tradition began

in 1942. The museum’s 45-foot Grand Tree takes center stage in the Rotunda, surrounded by more than 50 smaller trees decorated by volunteers from Chicago’s ethnic communities to represent their various cultures and holiday traditions. 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. daily. Free with museum admission. Museum of Science & Industry, 5700 S. Lake


Shore Drive, Chicago. (773) 6841414, msichicago.org. DORA AND DIEGO – LET’S EXPLORE! In this interactive

exhibit, children learn how to solve problems, be a good friend and care for animals and the environment. Through the world of Dora the Explorer, her animal-rescuing cousin, Diego, families can explore Isa’s Flowery Garden, help Tico gather nuts, join the Pirate Piggies’ crew to uncover pirate treasure and help baby animals in the Rainforest maze. Free with museum admission. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago. (773) 7555100, naturemuseum.org.

protest African-American exclusion from the fair. Free with museum admission. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. TuesdaysWednesdays and Fridays-Sundays; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursdays. American Writers Museum, 180 N. Michigan, 2nd Floor, Chicago. (312) 374-8790, americanwritersmuseum.org. KUNGSHOLM MINIATURE GRAND OPERA. Puppets, ornate

sets and costumes, and related paraphernalia from the 1940s opera puppet theater will be on display. Free with museum admission. Swedish American Museum & Brunk Children’s Museum of Immigration, 5211 N. Clark St., Chicago. (773) 728-8111, swedishamericanmuseum.org. THE SCIENCE BEHIND PIXAR.

FREDERICK DOUGLASS AGITATOR. Highlights excerpts from

speeches and writings, some recorded by students from Young Chicago Authors. Other excerpts include Douglass’ speech on Haiti at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition and “The Reason Why “ pamphlet he and Ida B. Wells distributed to

Get a unique look into the Pixar process and explore the science and technology behind beloved animated characters. This exhibit, with more than 40 interactive elements, showcases how STEM concepts bring the films to the big screen. Requires a timed-entry ticket. Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S. Lake

Shore Drive, Chicago. (773) 6841414, msichicago.org. STORYLAND: A TRIP THROUGH CHILDHOOD FAVORITES. Allows

kids to immerse themselves in the life-sized worlds of award-winning children’s books through imaginative, interactive experiences and dramatic play. Free with museum admission. Kohl Children’s Museum, 2100 Patriot Blvd., Glenview. (847) 832-6600, kcmgc.org. TROLL HUNT. Visitors journey to find the larger-than-life guardians of the forest. The 15- to 20-foottall trolls invite visitors to interact with them, while elements of the exhibition encourage visitors to consider their personal responsibility as stewards of our environment. Some trolls are in plain sight, while others are hidden among the trees. Free with arboretum admission. Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle. (630) 968-0074, mortonarb.org. UNDERWATER BEAUTY. Get a

glimpse of the grandeur beneath the

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ONGOING EVENTS waves as 100 species from around the world come together. Watch sea jellies pulse, eels ribbon and a rainbow come alive with reef fishes. Free with admission. Shedd Aquarium, 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago. (312) 939-2438, sheddaquarium.org.


their parents. Enjoy a complimentary cup of coffee and muffins the first week of every month. $7 in advance; $9 at door; free kids 2 and under. 10 a.m.-noon Tuesdays. Legoland Discovery Center, 601 N. Martingale Road, Schaumburg. (847) 592-9700, legolanddiscovery center.com/chicago. ABLE ENSEMBLE. A.B.L.E.—

The festival is the oldest and largest children’s film festival in North America and features more than 250 films from 40 different countries, multiple workshops with visiting filmmakers, and fun activities for the whole family. $10, $6 kids; $75 Family Pass. Visit website for schedule; Nov. 1-9. Chicago. (773) 281-9075, cicff.org.

Artists Breaking Limits & Expectations—is launching a 10-week weekly program for adults 22 and older, with the option of morning or afternoon sessions or full day. All actors will then join together for a one-of-a-kind variety show. $375 for one session, $600 for full day. 10 a.m.-noon, 1-3 p.m. Tuesdays. Menomonee Club, 1535 N. Dayton St., Chicago. (312) 6644631, ableensemble.com.



Discovery Center Chicago opens early on the second floor exclusively for kids 5 and under and

Guided activities designed to help children develop focusing skills and strengthen self-regulation through


oral storytelling, read alouds and mindful awareness games. Free with museum admission. 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays. Wonder Works Children’s Museum, 6445 W. North Ave., Oak Park. wonder-works.org JUICEBOX. A music and performance series for the stroller set. Performances are on the first and third Friday at the Chicago Cultural Center and first and third Saturday at Garfield Park Conservatory. Parents and young children can enjoy Chicago’s best music, dance and theater in a kid-friendly setting. Parents are welcome to bring snacks and juiceboxes. 11-11:45 a.m. cityofchicago.org/specialevents. LITTLE SQUIRRELS STORYTIME. Stories and songs

celebrating classic literature for preschool-age kids. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Saturdays. American Writers Museum, 180 N. Michigan, 2nd Floor, Chicago. (312) 374-8790, americanwritersmuseum.org.


Opens Nov. 23. Hear a variety of choral groups and join them in a holiday sing-along at “The Bean” in Millennium Park. Santa comes at 5 p.m. and caroling starts at 6 p.m. Michigan Avenue between Randolph and Monroe streets, Chicago. (312) 744-3316, millenniumpark.org. CHRISTKINDLMARKET CHICAGO. Discover a traditional

centuries-old holiday market in the heart of downtown Chicago. Christkindlmarket features German and international vendors who display hand-crafted ornaments, toys and unique gifts as well as traditional German foods, sweets and beverages. School groups, professional singers and dance groups perform. Special events include appearances by the Christkind and the annual Children’s Lantern


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Parade, which celebrates St. Martin’s Day. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday, begins Nov. 16. Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St., Chicago. christkindlmarket.com. CHRISTKINDLMARKET NAPERVILLE. Enjoy a special

suburban edition of the Chicago

German-American Holiday Market. Includes hot beverages, German food, and gift shopping—just like at Daley Plaza. Thursdays-Sundays, begins Nov. 23. Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville. (630) 420-6010, napersettlement.org. DICKENS OF A CHRISTMAS. Lighted holiday

parade takes place 6 p.m. Nov. 24 in downtown Wheaton along Front Street. Carriage rides and visits with Santa start Nov. 25 and continue every Saturday through Dec. 23. See website for information about Santa hours and carriage rides. Fees for some activities. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. visits with Santa; noon-3 p.m. carriage rides. 108 E. Wesley St., Wheaton. (630) 682-0633, downtownwheaton.com. FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS.

20,000 twinkling lights and handdecorated trees transform Cosley Zoo into a fairy tale winter wonderland. Visit the animals and buy a cup of hot chocolate, your tree, wreath and holiday gifts. Runs daily beginning Nov. 23. 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Cosley Zoo, 1356 Gary Ave., Wheaton. (630) 665-5534, cosleyzoo.org. HOMETOWN HOLIDAY: IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE IN ELMHURST. Experience the nostal-

gia and sentiment of the classic holiday film though Richard Goodson’s

private collection of rare memorabilia including vintage movie posters, photographs and more. Additional seasonal items from the Elmhurst History Museum’s collection will be on display, including handmade Christmas ornaments from Dresden, Germany, and holiday cards created by former Elmhurst resident Lee Sturges, a well-known American artist and etcher. 1-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays & Sundays; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays beginning Nov. 16. Elmhurst History Museum, 120 E. Park Ave., Elmhurst. (630) 833-1457, elmhursthistory.org. HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS AT THE RIALTO. Festivities include

holiday movies, concerts and plays, including a Teddy Bear Tea on Nov. 23; a showing of the movie “The Polar Express” at 1 p.m. on Nov. 24; a showing of the 1947 version of “Miracle on 34th Street” at 7 p.m. on Nov. 30 and “A Magical Cirque Christmas” at 8 p.m. on Dec. 7. The season kicks off at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 19 with “A Very Rialto Christmas,”



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ONGOING EVENTS a concert for the family. Cost varies by event. Visit the website for a complete schedule. Rialto Square Theatre, 102 N. Chicago St., Joliet. (815) 726-6600, rialtosquare.com. LONG GROVE HOLIDAY FESTIVITIES. Victorian buildings

trimmed in lights, a covered bridge and cobblestone walkways lined in luminaries in beautiful historic Long Grove. There will be costumed carolers, strolling musicians and Santa and Mrs. Claus on weekends. Free horse-drawn carriage rides on Sundays beginning Nov. 23. Check website for costs and schedule. 308 Old McHenry Road, Long Grove. (847) 634-0888, longgrove.org. NAPER LIGHTS. Experience a magical holiday lights celebration, presented by The Sunrise Rotary Club of Naperville. 4-7 p.m. Thursdays, 4-6 p.m. Sundays, and 4-9 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays beginning Nov. 24. Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville. (630)

420-6010, napersettlement.org. THE POLAR EXPRESS. Chris Van Allsberg’s best-selling book comes alive, including a visit from Santa and a small present for all aboard. Trains board from the Jon J. Duerr Forest Preserve picnic grove, on Route 31. Advance purchase of tickets required. Copies of the book can be purchased for $18. $35. 2:05 p.m., 3:15 p.m., 4:25 p.m., 5:35 p.m., 6:45 p.m. weekends beginning Nov. 18. Fox River Trolley Museum, 361 S. LaFox St. (Ill. 31), South Elgin. (847) 697-4676, foxtrolley.org.

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indoor and outdoor lighted displays, designer wreaths and trees, and garden-scale trains that wind their way over bridges and through tunnels, and past more than 80 miniature versions of Chicago landmarks, all handcrafted with natural materials. $13, $10 kids. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. begins Nov. 24. Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook

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winter wonderland. The event is complete with visits from Santa himself, ice sculptors, holiday crafts and activities, and sweet treats. 4:30-9 p.m. Nov. 23-25 and 30; Dec. 1-2, 8-23, 26-31; Jan. 1-6. Lincoln Park Zoo, 2200 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago. (312) 742-2000, lpzoo.org.


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Let’s go exploring!

Dora and Diego take on Chicago


new exhibit featuring our favorite friends, Dora the Explorer and Diego, has arrived in Chicago. Dora and Diego—Let’s Explore! at Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is the perfect playground and refuge for the cold winter months ahead of us.

Run, jump and play with your favorite group of friends—Dora, Diego, Boots, Map, Backpack, Isa, Tico and Swiper. With eight interactive adventures to choose from its perfect for kids 2-9. You’ll find learning opportunities amongst each of the installations.


Butterfly wings are the coolest. Now you can pretendfly through this lovely garden with your very own wings. You can also pick flowers and interact with the birds, butterflies and other insect puppets.

The Purple Planet

This is not just a really cool slide that your kid is going to want to go down five times in a row, but also an opportunity to learn more about planets, colors and more.

2Rocket Ship

Zip around outer space pace through this sweet ride! Want to be a certified astronaut? Put on the spacesuit, test your ability to memorize the planets (through puzzles and games) and get flying through the sky!


Isa’s Flowery Garden

5 3


Want to learn about star groupings? Help Dora and Boots with mapping out the patterns and the stars will light up a constellation.

Tico’s Tree and Car

This fun game encourages hand-eye coordination as well as sharing skills. At Tico’s tree, the acorns are falling from the tree and Swiper is here to the rescue to fill Tico’s basket. Tico’s family car runs on acorns so enjoy filling that “gas” tank to get them going on their family picnic adventure!


Pirate Ship

Ahoy Mateys! The Pirate Piggies are here to set sail. But first, you better count that pirate loot. Kids can count the gold coins in a money counter “piggie bank.” Don’t forget to have someone steer that ship and look through the telescopes to spot even more treasure and see the stars!

Dora and Diego— Let’s Explore! u Open through Jan. 27

u Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago u naturemuseum.org.

Rescue 7Animal Center Diego loves animals and is an animal rescuer. Want to be a big helper? From X-rays to first aid to post-treatment, assist Diego with the stuffed animals at this clinic.

8Rainforest Maze

Monkey around in this tropic rainforest. Yes, we’re encouraging you to monkey around! Climb, swing and jump through the obstacle courses. Some additional educational opportunities to mention are how Spanish is immersed in the entire exhibit. To help introduce another language to young children, both English and Spanish are presented in the instructions and story at each station. The mission of the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is to instill curiosity and education about nature all through fun and engaging ways. Stephanie Benavidez

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the commoners of Nottingham. Who will stand up to the injustices? Robin Hood and his Merry Men. This medieval legend with a modern twist places a cast of three at the center of the story, reimagining the tale with enthusiasm, tenacity and vigor. $7$17. 4 p.m. Saturdays, begins 11 a.m. Nov. 23. Vittum Theater, 1012 N. Noble St., Chicago. (773) 342-4141, vittumtheater.org. BUNNICULA. In a musical adaptation of the 1979 book, the Monroe family discovers an abandoned rabbit at a showing of Dracula one dark and stormy night. When they bring him home, Chester the cat suspects the worst after spying gleaming fangs in the bunny’s mouth. Recommended for 5 and up (children under 2 not permitted). Runs about one hour with no intermission. $15. 11 a.m. & 1 p.m. Saturdays & Sundays through Nov. 25. Autism/sensory-friendly performance 3 p.m. Nov. 3. Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago. (773) 761-4477, lifelinetheatre.com. BALLET FOLKLORICO QUETZALCOATL. Watch the stage

come to life with dazzling costumes, infectious music and energetic traditional folklore dance found in the villages of Mexico’s different regions. 7:30 p.m. Nov. 10; 3 p.m. Nov. 11. Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress Parkway, Chicago. (312) 922-2110, auditoriumtheatre.org. CHICAGO LATINO MUSIC FESTIVAL. This annual festival

showcases an expansive range of classical music and celebrates Spanish and Latin American. Nov. 418; check website for event schedule at various Chicago locations. Price varies. latinomusicfest.org. DISNEY’S “WINNIE THE POOH KIDS.” Pooh is once again in search

of honey in the Hundred Acre Wood. Along the way, he meets his pals, Tigger, Piglet, Rabbit and Owl, but soon discovers that Christopher Robin has been captured by the

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mysterious Backson. As they prepare for a rescue operation, the animals learn about teamwork, friendship and, of course, sharing snacks. $8 students, $10 adults. 5 p.m. Nov. 3, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. Nov. 4. Vero Voce Theatre, 951 State Ave., Suite F, St. Charles. (630) 5840139, verovoce.com. HELLO, DOLLY! The story of

matchmaker Dolly Levi’s adventures stars Betty Buckley as Dolly. Popular songs include “Hello, Dolly,” “Put On Your Sunday Clothes” and “Before The Parade Passes By.” Recommended for 9 and older. $27 and up. 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays and Sundays; 2 p.m. Wednesdays, Saturdays-Sundays; 8 p.m. Saturdays through Nov. 17. Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St., Chicago. (800) 775-2000, broadwayinchicago.com. HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS! THE MUSICAL.

Max the Dog serves as the story’s narrator as the scheming Grinch plans to steal Christmas from The Whos, the loveable characters that understand and embrace the true meaning of the holiday. The stage adaptation will feature the hit songs, “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”

and “Welcome Christmas,” both from the original animated television special. $35 and up. See website for schedule, begins Nov. 16. Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., Chicago. (312) 462-6350, (312) 902-1500 (box office), thechicagotheatre.com. JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT. In

its 50th year on the stage, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a reimagining of the Biblical story of Joseph, his father Jacob, 11 brothers and the coat of many colors in a musical extravaganza. $20. Check website for schedule; performances begin Nov. 14. Citadel Theatre, 300 S. Waukegan Road, Lake Forest. (847) 735-8554, citadeltheatre.org. LEO LIONNI’S FREDERICK.

A musical based on the beloved author’s Caldecott Award-winning book about Frederick the mouse. While other mice are working hard gathering food for the winter, Frederick is daydreaming. But when dreary weather comes, it is Frederick who has stored up something special to help his companions survive. Recommended for all ages. $20-$45 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Saturdays, 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Sundays through Nov. 12. The Station, 100 S. Racine Ave., Chicago. chicagochildrenstheatre.org. THE REAL LIFE ADVENTURES OF JIMMY DE LAS ROSAS. In the

family-friendly play, a 13-year-old Mexican-American boy living in Pilsen spends his days playing baseball, helping his abuela with her elote cart and hiding the fact that he has telekinetic powers. When his mother, an undocumented factory worker, mysteriously disappears, Jimmy is determined to find her. With the help of two “pirates,” he finds himself facing a pack of mutant Chihuahuas and a ruthless sweatshop owner in a high-stakes battle to reclaim the streets of his neighborhood. Free or pay what you can. 7 p.m. Thursdays & Fridays, 2:30 p.m. Saturdays through Nov. 17. Free Street Theater, 1419 W. Blackhawk Ave., Chicago. (773) 772-7248, freestreet.org. RHODA AND THE FOSSIL HUNT.

An opera written for children about the adventures of Rhoda in the museum. Based on a true story, legendary paleontologist Dr. Henry Fairfield Osborn has an incredible collection of fossils at his museum,

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PERFORMANCES and turns to Charles R. Knight, the famous naturalist artist, to create vivid paintings that bring these ancient creatures to life. When Knight’s granddaughter, Rhoda, accompanies him to the museum, she is awestruck by these exciting fossils and the life-like images that her grandfather creates. $10 ages 17 and under, $20 adults. 2 p.m. & 4 p.m. Nov. 10-11. Francis W. Parker School, 330 W. Webster Ave., Chicago. lyricopera.org/rhoda. SHREK THE MUSICAL. Characters will be available for photos following each performance of this fun fairy tale. $18.23. 10 a.m. most Wednesdays through Sundays in November, occasional 12:30 p.m. performances; see event website for schedule. Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences, 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire. (847)634-0200, marriotttheatre.com. WITCH. When the emotionally conflicted son of the local lord and

an ambitious newcomer come into conflict, help presents itself to both of them in the same guise— as the Devil himself. $35-$80. 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, 3 p.m. Saturdays, 2 p.m. & 6 p.m. Sundays. Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe. (847) 2426000, writerstheatre.org. THE WIZARD OF OZ. Dorothy adventures to the land of Oz. $36-$69. Begins Nov. 14, visit event website. Paramount Arts Centre and Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora. (630) 896-6666, paramountaurora.com.

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YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN. The musical explores a day

in a life through the eyes of Charlie Brown and his colorful friends in the Peanuts gang. Recommended for 3 and older; running time 60 minutes. $10-$12. 7 p.m. Fridays, 11 a.m. & 2 p.m. Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, Nov. 2-18. Hal and Martha Hyer Wallis Theater, Northwestern University, 1949 Campus Drive, Evanston.


Kick off the yuletide season with this comic take on the classic poem. When Santa’s Naughty or Nice list has gone missing, it’s up to a pair of dancing mice, a spunky girl and an

Elf-B-I agent to solve the mystery before Santa boards his sleigh. Recommended for families with kids 3-13. $16 and up. 10 a.m. SaturdaysSundays beginning Nov. 3, and Nov. 21 & 22. Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, 175 E. Chestnut St., Chicago. broadwayinchicago. com.

Through a series of catchy, clever songs like “Just a Bill” and “Conjunction Junction,” this lively performance introduces a whole new generation of young people to the Emmy Award-winning 1970s pop-culture cartoon phenomenon.

Book by George Keating, Kyle Hall & Scott Ferguson Music and Lyrics by Bob Dorough, Dave Frishberg, George Newell, Kathy Mandry, Lynn Ahrens & Tom Yohe

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Lil’ gobblers Transform those fall pumpkins and gourds into Thanksgiving decor

Materials: u Mini pumpkins or gourds u Foam paper sheets (brown, yellow, red) u Fall leaves (real or fake) u Googly eyes



ive your leftover Halloween mini pumpkins and gourds a new purpose. These turkey pumpkins make adorable decorations or even place cards for your holiday table.

u Scissors u Glue gun



Select a mini pumpkin or gourd that has a sturdy stem because the head will attach to the stem.


With the brown foam paper, cut out two feet and an oblong shaped head. Use the glue gun to attach the two feet to the front side of the pumpkin.


Cut a triangleshaped beak from the yellow foam paper. Then cut a waddle from the red foam paper.


Put together the turkey head by using the glue gun

to attach two googly eyes, the beak and waddle to the brown foam head. Then attach the finished head to the stem of the pumpkin with the glue gun.


With either fresh or fake leaves, use the glue gun to attach three to six leaves to the back of the pumpkin to appear like feathers.


If using as Thanksgiving place cards, write the name of your guests on the front body of the turkey pumpkin with a Sharpie.

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Profile for Chicago Parent

Chicago Parent November 2018  

Chicago Parent November 2018