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BRAVE Standing up against discrimination



























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18 What being

Real Life .................... 11

transgender looks like At just 7, Ella McCord is standing up for trans rights

Failing with Gusto ..... 14 Viva Daddy ................ 15

22 Fall fun on the go

Around Town ............. 17 Calendar .................... 38

Take your family on the Lake Michigan Circle Tour

Parenting Dilemma.... 56

28 The participation trophy debate Should we recognize kids for effort or ability?

On the Cover:


Our fall party guide, Celebrations

Chicago Parent is published monthly by Zoe Communications Group. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Chicago Parent, 332 S. MIchigan Ave., 9th Floor, Chicago, IL, 60604. © 2019 Zoe Communications Group Inc. All rights reserved.


Noella “Ella” McCord, 7, of Chicago

Photographer: Thomas Kubik

EditoR’s Note

Ella’s hope for LGBTQ rights My youngest daughter’s friend group includes students who are transgender, a few kids who are gay or bisexual, several who describe themselves as asexual, one who is pansexual, plus a bunch who are


heterosexual like she is. She and her friends don’t get hung up on pronouns or who loves who. Instead, they think everyone should be treated with kindness and believe in making their spaces places where everyone belongs. Though some of the sexual designations

might send us to Google for a quick definition, we parents are doing a good job raising a generation of kids who social researchers are calling the most accepting generation, particularly when it comes to gender identity. There is still work to do, of course. This past summer, Gov. J.B. Pritzker took a step to help Illinois get there quicker when it comes how the state’s schools support transgender, non-binary and gender nonconforming students. He created a 25-member Affirming and Inclusive Schools Task Force to recommend policies Illinois should adopt and directed the Illinois State Board of Educa-


tion to do more to support LGBTQ students’ rights. Only time will tell whether those efforts will be as effective as everyone hopes. Still, it’s a start and one our cover child this month, Ella McCord, was proud to be part of. What struck me this month as I read more about Ella is her wish that people see her simply as a smart girl who likes to have fun, one who likes to help other kids and who wants them to know she wants to be their friend. I hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as I did. Happy October.


our village Our

Happy pumpkin season Bring on the apple cider and trick-or-treat candy because fall is finally here! On ChicagoParent. com, you can find the best things to do for the season from apple orchards to Halloween events. While you’re out celebrating the season, share your family photos with us on Instagram by using our community hashtag #sharechicagoparent. KATINA BENIARIS

Enter to win Boo! at the Zoo is back at Brookfield Zoo this month and we’re giving away a family pack of tickets through Oct. 16. If you want to go to the movies, don’t miss your chance to win tickets to “The Addams Family” and “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” from Classic Cinemas this month. Enter these giveaways and more at ChicagoParent.com/contests.


Logan from Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, Instagram @citymom0f3

our village



Halloween debate Do you think Halloween should be moved to the last Saturday of the month? An online petition went viral in July asking for that change. On Instagram, we’ve asked 333 readers that same question and 63 percent said yes. Find spooktacular fun in the Chicago area at ChicagoParent.com/Halloween.


Listen in Our Masters in Parenting podcast talks to two experts this month on important topics for families. On Oct. 7, we ask Sabina Sewillo of Morgan Stanley about financial prep for kids. Then, on Oct. 21, hear some tips from Jacqueline Russell of Chicago Children’s Theatre on how to introduce your children to the arts.

Autumn is here and there’s so much we want to do on our family bucket list. Check out our fall fun guide filled with fests, corn mazes, pumpkin patches and more. Read the list at ChicagoParent. com/FallGuide.



Real life | Mom




driana Ellis has a tug-of-war going on in her heart. She’s a mom raising a daughter, Alexandria, 3, with a fatal disease, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, and is expecting her second, a genetically healthy baby boy, this month. When Alexandria was little and struggled to hold her head up, you say you couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong. Why is it so important to trust a mother’s intuition? As moms, we just know when something is off. You can read all of the books you want and can listen to all of the advice you can get, but ultimately I’ve come to realize is that even if it isn’t 100 percent accurate, our gut often leads us closer to the truth. What ran through your mind when you received the SMA diagnosis when Alexandria was just 6 months old? Hearing the diagnosis was like getting a life sentence to watch your child not be able to live the life you want her to live. But I’m an eternal optimist who hopes my daughter can defy the odds. I haven’t fully accepted that SMA is terminal, which keeps me forging ahead, for research, medicine and a cure. Tell us about your decision to have another child. Selfishly, we wanted to be able to experience some of the aspects of CONTINUED ON PAGE 12

SMA Warrior CHICAGOPARENT.COM October 2019 11

Real life | Mom CONTINUED FROM PAGE 11

Adriana Ellis ■ Spouse: Scott ■ Alexandria, 3, expecting baby No. 2 this month ■ Perfect family day in Chicago: Boating on

parenthood that we will never get a chance to. Having another child will also force us to live more, and it will bring some new energy and additional hope into the household. Plus, it will be great stimulation for Alexandria, who will be an awesome big sister. Since you and your husband are both genetic carriers of SMA, what process did you go through to ensure your son would be genetically healthy? We went through an IVF cycle with a frozen embryo transfer (after consulting with Dr. Asima Ahmad at Fertility Centers of Illinois). The embryos underwent genetic testing to screen


Lake Michigan and going to Cubs games ■ Parenting must-haves: An iPad to keep Alexandria entertained, coffee to kick off the morning

for SMA. Of the two chromosomally healthy embryos we ended up with, they were both marked as SMA carriers. We decided to implant one and hope for the best and keep one viable embryo remaining. When you found out you were pregnant, what sorts of mixed emotions did you experience? I was excited and terrified at the same time. I started asking a million questions, wondering whether my son could suddenly develop SMA. It took awhile for me to modify my mindset and realize that it was a blessing that my son was just an SMA carrier, rather than a child affected by the disease.



Let down by Abe My boys are definitely history buffs. Throughout their young lives, they have been obsessed with different eras, geographies and world leaders. I would puff up with pride when my boys would drone on to strangers about their latest historical research and knowledge.


“Did you know that this model of the Titanic is missing collapsible life

boat A?” Then it occurred it me. My kids weren’t so much fascinated with regular history per se, they were gripped by the DISASTERS. World Wars Assassinations The Holocaust The Hindenburg In predictable fashion, my youngest started clamoring on about visiting Springfield to see the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Nothing like war and assassination to get my boys motivated. We loaded up the minivan and headed south. The museum itself was simply amazing, loaded with artifacts, writings and re-creations involving arguably the greatest president the country has known. Yet one display really grabbed me. It was a re-creation of Lincoln in his Springfield law office lounging on a couch as his young sons ran amok. Apparently, the Lincoln youngsters were known as “The Terrors of Springfield.” Lincoln’s law partner would complain constantly, only to have his concerns fall on deaf ears. The lads would later interrupt cabinet meetings, play


pranks and damage everything within a five-mile radius. As it turns out, Abraham and Mary Lincoln were all about “boys being boys.” Hmph. Out of the two sons who made it to adulthood, one was largely illiterate and never attended formal schooling. On the ride home, I grumbled loudly to my sons about such permissive parenting and lack of discipline. My middle son, Jack, piped up: “Well, since they all died in, like, childhood, might as well have some fun, eh?” His argument didn’t sway me. I was reminded of a quote by another historical figure who always inspired me with her grace and practicality. Jacqueline Kennedy once said, “If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do matters very much.” I decided I’d leave the saving a nation to Honest Abe. I much prefer kids with the ability to actually read about him. Marianne Walsh, mom of three boys, is married to Chicago firefighter and lives on the South Side.


Peak Halloween Halloween is the best holiday. It’s all fun, no travel, no obligations, no gifts. Just festive dress-up, acquisition of candy, black humor and gourd evisceration. Strolling whilst holding Thermoses with questionable content in temperate (if fickle) weather, sharing communal smiles amongst punny


plastic tombstones. My daughter Viva’s completely invested in her costume,

still psyched for trick-or-treating, still wanting us to walk with her, still thrilled about obtaining a sack of loot. This year might be our Peak Halloween. But after you hit a peak, there’s nowhere to go but down, down, into the novelty graveyard. Depending on her predilections and her peer group, we may get a few more solid childhood Halloweens, but each year she’ll keep a wider distance from us on the sidewalk—be a little less stoked about her makeup and props— until finally it’s (shudder) teenage Halloween. We all know teens are at their least likable at Halloween, when they’re primarily vandalizing one another’s houses, shaking you down for candy long after dark, throwing shaving cream at children and, presumably, vaping. (They’re always vaping.) Gone will be my little girl we once dressed as a pumpkin and carried onto porches to gingerly ring the doorbell. In her place will be some surly creature in too much mascara leaping into a car to go throw shaving cream at her gym coach’s garage (or something). Fearing the twilight of our Halloween experiences with our daughter is just a symptom of a larger problem, of course: the dreadful notion of her growing

up. Like most parents, we’ll make do and turn our night that was once spent safetypinning princess costumes and counting Kit Kats into an older middle-aged Halloween hootenanny: No kids and novelty cocktails with dry ice. We’ll pretend we won’t miss the Smarties-fueled grade-schoolers complaining that their capes won’t stay on and that their friend got more miniature Snickers than they, but it’ll all be a lie. I’ll wring every candy corn’s worth of spooky joy out of this Halloween, but the real horror will be lurking behind a creaking door in my mind: the idea that Viva’s childhood won’t last forever. Viva Halloween. Viva Viva. Viva Daddy. Viva is 7 years old. Daddy is about 6x that age. They live happily with Mommy in Chicago.



Around town



Find more family fun ideas in Aurora at ChicagoParent. com/neighborhoodguides/aurora


EAT: Two Brothers Roundhouse. This family-friendly brewpub is located right next to the Metra stop. Not only does it offer tasty food for all ages and awardwinning craft beer, it’s also on the National Register of Historic Places. There’s a sit-down restaurant as well as a café with sandwiches and sweet treats to enjoy while playing board games. PLAY: SciTech Hands On Museum. Brains and imaginations of kids and adults will be engaged by the 200+ STEAM exhibits here. Each one is its own interactive mini experiment.

Find family-friendly fun on the Fox River



ead west, young families, and discover the fun town of Aurora. It’s easy to access from downtown Chicago by Metra train or by car right off I-88. The city was established in 1830s by the McCarty brothers, settlers from New York who thought the banks of the Fox River were perfectly suited for a community. Nearly two centuries later, people still agree, as it is the second most populous city in the state. Aurora earned the distinction of “City of Lights” when it became the first

city in the country to use electric lights to illuminate the whole city. The city’s many opportunities for family fun keep the spotlight shining on Aurora today.

SHOP: Chicago Premium Outlets. Whatever is on your list, chances are you can find it at one of the 170 stores at this sprawling outlet mall. HIDDEN GEM: Endiro Coffee. This coffee shop has six locations—five in Uganda and one in Aurora. While it has great coffee and smoothies kids love, it’s also a restaurant with a full menu, live music weekly and a shop featuring coffee, locally sourced sauces and honeys and handmade jewelry.

CHICAGOPARENT.COM CHICAGOPARENT.COM September October2019 2019 15 17





hile all eyes were on Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker as he signed a long-anticipated executive order aimed at promoting LGBTQ students’ rights in schools, at his side was a beautiful little girl wearing a pink tutu and giant bow in her hair, whose shirt read “This is what trans looks like.” Noella “Ella” McCord is one of Illinois’ biggest transgender rights advocates at just 7. Assigned male at birth, Ella socially transitioned to female at 4 ½ and legally transitioned at 6.

While she is thriving, things haven’t always been easy. When she was in kindergarten and other kids learned she had a penis, the teacher initially refused to read the children’s book I Am Jazz to help explain what it means to be transgender to Ella’s classmates. All the while, she was picked on, called names and left out of playdates, as many parents felt uncomfortable with their children befriending a transgender child. At the

same time, school administration refused to change Ella’s name in their system, and when Ella’s birth name was called daily for lunch, she refused to eat, fearing her friends would connect her to her boy name. “Until recently, the schools had a lack of regulations and standards on how to handle transgender situations,” says Ella’s mother, Dee McCord (who identifies as non-binary) who lives in Chicago’s West

Town neighborhood. “The new bill is a huge step for protecting trans kids and making sure they have training and support in schools.” Ironically, even before Ella’s existence, Dee worked as an independent child and family advocate, working with transitioning children to get them the right resources and attending school meetings to ensure their gender support plans are followed. While they believe the newly signed order CONTINUED ON PAGE 20



WHAT BEING TRANSGENDER LOOKS LIKE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 18 is a “step in the right direction,” Dee says society still has a “way to go,” especially when it comes to individual trans rights. “You never want your child to be in a position where they’ll face adversity or bullying,” Dee says. “Statistics speak for themselves on rates for trans individuals having depression, committing suicide and being the victims of hate crimes. While Ella lives in an affirming household and surrounds herself with those who accept her, knowing I have a child in that demographic will always frighten me.” Ella had what Dee calls a “rough go” at life and has come out on the other side. As a toddler, when Noella first started to communicate, she would tell everyone she was a girl. When she watched TV shows, she always gravitated towards the female character. And when she was old enough to dress herself, her mom says she insisted on pink and purple dresses. While Noella’s family was accepting of her non-binary gender, the outside world was not and Noella started to experience anxiety, depression and tantrums that lasted for hours at a time. It wasn’t until she visited the Gender Development Clinic at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago that things began to change. A psychologist asked if Noella is a girl, and she said yes without any hesitation. From that day forward, the pronouns became she and her, and the family never looked back.

Ella live a happy life. “As parents, it is our job to foster who our kids are, and make sure they are taken care of. The best thing we can do is affirm our children so they end up happy with who they are,” Dee says. There’s no doubt that Ella knows who she is—a typical second-grader who tattles on her younger brother, Levi, and goes crazy for glitter, unicorns, nail polish and

helpful girl,” Ella says. “I want them to know that I like to have fun and be like all kids. I am proud of being transgender and being in a queer family.” Ella says she also likes helping other kids and wants any child—trans or not—to know they can always be her friend. “All kids should feel happy and safe to be exactly who they are,” Ella says. Dee is looking forward to watching Ella

“I WANT PEOPLE TO SEE ME AS A SMART AND HELPFUL GIRL. I WANT THEM TO KNOW THAT I LIKE TO HAVE FUN AND BE LIKE ALL KIDS. I AM PROUD OF BEING TRANSGENDER AND BEING IN A QUEER FAMILY. ” “It was like someone flipped a switch,” says Dee, who calls Ella “the most selfassured person on the planet. Finally, my child could live their true identity.” When frequently asked about why they let Ella transition at such a young age, Dee points out that the decision had nothing to do with gender roles—it was about letting


makeup. Her mom calls her “the most feminine girly human that could possibly ever live.” Ella likes to have friends over, play outside, use electronics and compete in ballroom dancing. Her favorite school subjects are math and science. “I want people to see me as a smart and

continue to grow and turn into the person she is and was meant to be. In the next few years, she will start puberty blockers and hormones, and begin the physical transition process with gender surgeries at 16. “She so brave and fierce—a true force to be reckoned with,” Dee says. “I’m so thankful that I ended up with her as mine.”








amilies searching for a family-friendly road trip this fall to see wondrous sights, explore four states and enjoy nature in every direction look no further than the Lake Michigan Circle Tour. Follow state highways entirely around Lake Michigan that start in Illinois, head to Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin before making the trip back home. If you follow this plan, you will spend about 15-16 total hours in the car, travel about 1,100 miles, all the while taking time to visit a national park, state parks and three indoor waterparks.



PETOSKEY, MICHIGAN The next major stop on your journey will be Petoskey, where you can look for a famous Petoskey stone along the lake and take a chocolate-making tour at the original Kilwin’s (Monday through Friday only). For adventurous kids who would enjoy an easy hike, check out Bear River Valley Recreation Center.

TRAVERSE CITY, MICHIGAN There are plenty of nice stops between Chicago and Traverse City, but those would make a nice long weekend another time. Instead, opt to spend the first night in Traverse City and devote your exploring to the northern parts of Michigan and Wisconsin on this trip. Treat your kids to a stay at Great Wolf Lodge and enjoy the indoor waterpark before you head out into the natural beauty of Sleeping Bear Dunes, about a 45-minute drive from downtown Traverse City. The national park features perched dunes that are more than 400 feet above Lake Michigan. Your family can explore dozens of miles of shoreline and check out an island lighthouse, coastal villages and maritime history. Eat like a local at Traverse City Pie Company. The restaurant features a selection of sandwiches, soups, salads and pies and a relaxed setting. It even has a few board games for the kids. Order the cherry crumb pie and savor the fruit that made Traverse City famous.


HARBOR SPRINGS, MICHIGAN As you leave Petoskey, travel the upper peninsula along highway M-119, also known as the Tunnel of Trees and one of the state’s most iconic attractions. In Harbor Springs, let the kiddos do the gourd slingshot, take a tractor ride and visit the animals at Pond Hill Farm, and be sure to bring your appetite to Legs Inn (open for season through Oct. 20). Even without a map (you will have lots of spotty cellphone service, especially the farther north you travel), you will know when you arrive at this historic spot with authentic Polish cuisine and breathtaking patio views of the lake. CONTINUED ON PAGE 24








MACKINAC ISLAND, MICHIGAN Mackinac Island (pronounced Mack-in-naw due to its history of being occupied by both the British and French) has been a national landmark since the Victorian era, and while it may be most famous for its fabulous fudge shops and lack of automobiles, it has so much more to offer. If you can’t score a good deal on a room on Mackinaw Island itself (they can be quite pricey), plan to spend the night in Mackinaw City or St. Ignace as both are an easy ferry ride away. Be sure to choose a ferry ride to the island that leaves before noon and goes under Mackinaw Bridge for great photos. When you exit the ferry docks, everything you need to get started is within the first few blocks. Rent a bike to explore the eight-mile island or buy tickets for a horse carriage tour. Let kids explore Fort Mackinac and the butterfly gardens. Finish your day with dinner at the Pink Pony, an affordable and delicious island hot spot.



UPPER PENINSULA On your drive out of St. Ignace, stop by St. Ignace Deer Park to feed and pet the many varieties of deer, then head onto Kitch-iti-kipi Springs in Palms Book State Park. Kids will enjoy the self-operated raft ride 200 feet across the spring as they look down into the clear water and see many fish swimming along with them. Next, stop at the Escanaba Municipal Beach and show the kids the “top” of Lake Michigan. After they play in the sand, they will enjoy the large neighboring park. Tip: Before you get to the beach park, there is a McDonald’s with a gas station and convenience store with toys and snacks. My kids still talk about this place. CONTINUED ON PAGE 26







GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN As you enter Wisconsin, plan to spend the night at the Comfort Suites Green Bay with its own small indoor waterpark and free breakfast. Visit Bay Beach, a municipal amusement park with a long history of entertaining Green Bay families (closed for regular hours in September). The park hosts the family-friendly Boo Beach celebration on Oct. 11-12. If you miss the Boo Beach, check out the neighboring Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary, an urban wildlife refuge open yearround that features animal exhibits and miles of hiking/skiing trails. GREEN BAY SHORE

DOOR COUNTY AND SHEBOYGAN, WISCONSIN Follow the circle tour along the coasts of Door County and enjoy a day exploring a popular Midwest vacation spot with five state parks and 12 lighthouses. After your mini tour of Door County, head to the last indoor waterpark on the trip and stay at Blue Harbor Resort in Sheboygan. This resort is complete with surfing experience, mini golf, s’mores at the nightly campfire and breathtaking views of the rocky shoreline and lake. While in Sheboygan, check out the Sheboygan Children’s Museum. From Sheboygan, it is less than three hours to drive back to Chicago.




THE PARTICIPATION TROPHY DEBATE Should we recognize kids for



“I’m done dancing,” she announced. My daughter, who has been dancing since she was 2, had not been rejected before. I wanted it to stay that way, at least for a few more years. But it got me thinking about the larger issue: at what age do we make the switch from recognizing kids for their efforts to awarding them for their abilities?

A trophy for participation Recreational sports often award every child at the end of a game or season with ribbons, medals and trophies for simply participating. And it isn’t uncommon in sports leagues for younger kids to forget keeping score altogether to prevent them from feeling bad about themselves. Nick Glenn, a Chicago dad who coaches his 9-year-old son’s flag football team, believes

recognition for participation is an incentive to keep kids focused and to encourage them stickw with it. After every game—win or lose—young players are awarded medals. “We lost every game, but that wasn’t the takeaway for them,” he says. “Instead, we built a solid foundation on fun and camaraderie, which will eventually spark their drive to compete as they get older.” Charlie Friedman, director of Viking Gymnastics in Niles, says her facility follows similar suit. At the end of each class cycle, Viking hosts a showcase for young gymnasts to perform for family. They are then awarded ribbons or medals, something Friedman says serves as positive reinforcement. “We hope that starting them off by recognizing what they are striving for from the beginning will help them reach their goals of one day competing if that is their desire,” she says.

Fueling the growth of the entitlement generation While there are proponents of the “A for effort” line of thinking, there’s another group of parents who worry that embracing this mentality can lead to a

“ Research shows that disappointments can be actually beneficial for children.


arlier this year, my 6-year-old daughter Hayley auditioned for the school talent show. She and her friend performed the “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” ballet routine they had perfected in dance class. But when I picked Hayley up from school, I could tell that they didn’t make the cut. As it turns out, more than 60 kids auditioned for the talent show, which only had room for 20 acts.

culture of kids expecting praise for doing the bare minimum. A study in 2015 conducted by researchers at the University of Amsterdam found that children whose parents overvalued them are more likely to develop narcissistic traits, such as superiority and entitlement. Additionally, when it comes to dealing with disappointment later in life, the study found they also show an increase in depression and anxiety, as well as a lack of coping skills.

Preparation for the real world Katrina Perrone has grown accustomed to watching her 8-year-old daughter, Alyssa, excel in everything she does, both inside and outside of school. But her daughter recently received a harsh dose of reality when she, too, got cut from the school talent show—one she CONTINUED ON PAGE 30



SOUND OFF Should we recognize kids for their effort or ability? Join the conversation at facebook.com/groups/ chicagoparentvillage.

CP expected to be a shoo-in for. “She cried when she found out she didn’t make it, but I was glad she saw that she can’t always be number one,” Perrone says. “I think it’s good that Alyssa learns rejection now so she knows how to handle it.” Research shows that disappointments can be actually beneficial for children. Learning to deal with setbacks helps them to develop key characteristics they’ll need to succeed, such as coping skills and emotional resilience. Psychotherapist Kelly LaPorte of Naperville Counseling Center says when it comes to disappointment, the best thing parents can do for their children is to be there for them. While every child is different, she says parents can use some basic skills to help their children deal with the sting of rejection. Here are a few of her favorites: 30 October 2019 CHICAGOPARENT.COM

VALIDATE THEIR FEELINGS: Let your child know that they are being heard and that their feelings are valid. USE THE EXPERIENCE TO MOTIVATE THEM: If their team lost the soccer game, for example, use that experience going into the next game to gain new skills to apply and grow as a team. NORMALIZE THE EXPERIENCE: Your child will benefit greatly if you are able to show them to expect these moments every now and then. MODEL THE BEHAVIOR: Model positive ways to handle rejection and your kids will follow. TEACH YOUR CHILD COPING SKILLS TO USE WHEN THEY FEEL REJECTED: Breathing exercises, physical exercise and venting will help teach your child how to use negative energy and put it into something good and positive.







Big birthday party trends this fall


e all want a birthday party that clicks off a few boxes: It must be fun. It must be fabulous. It must be something everyone remembers. These latest party trends will make your child’s big day all that and more.

Bolder, brighter color palates are in Lindsey Mensch, owner of Lili Marie Parties, predicts that color schemes will get bolder in the months ahead. “The summer of 2019 was definitely the summer of pastels,” she says. “All adorable and looked beautiful, however, I foresee the color scheme at parties getting brighter over the winter.” Primary colors pair well with some of the more popular trends, including rainbow parties, Coco and the ubiquitous Baby Shark.

Better balloon options Many parents already know that there’s a helium shortage. Mensch has heard of parents scrambling between many Party City stores or even buying

expensive tanks to fill balloons themselves. It’s time-consuming, expensive and not great for the environment. “Helium is a non-renewable resource. Companies like local Luft Balloon Store make air-filled balloon installations, like the ones you see all over Instagram, at a range of price points. Even better, their balloons are organic and

“The summer of 2019 was definitely the summer of pastels. All adorable and looked beautiful, however, I foresee the color scheme at parties getting brighter over the winter.”


biodegradable,” says Candice Blansett-Cummins, chief experience officer of Wishcraft Workshop in Chicago. “We moved away from having balloons at our venue until this planet-friendly option came along.”

Make the birthday boy or girl the team captain Sports-themed parties are really popular. Whether your child is inspired by the U.S. Women’s National Team capturing the World Cup, a huge Cubs fan or an aspiring Bulls guard, kids want to run and play as they celebrate. The West Suburban Sports Complex in Lisle, which hosts more than 100 parties each year, says parents love that kids are worn out when the party is over. Baseball and basketball are their two most popular sports, according to manager Kelly Williams.

Incorporate seasonal touches Doughnuts are popular as treats and even as party themes for kids who really love them. Highlight the flavor of the season



party started










by offering apple cider doughnuts with cider. Blansett-Cummins says that creating leaf animals is always a hit with her partygoers. For those born in chillier months, consider celebrating with a snow-themed party. Have a hot chocolate bar with parents acting as baristas. For a craft, make DIY snow globes.

Interactive gaming parties are big Gaming parties are perennial favorites, but a recent trend of incorporating physical movement adds new levels of interaction and exertion.

Stop hunting for a theme for bigger kids and go with an escape room For tweens and teens, escape rooms are popular options. As an added bonus, kids are unplugged, using their brains and working together to beat the clock and earn their freedom. If you don’t want to handle transportation, Mobile Room Escape Chicago brings the challenge to you.




Do guests always have to RSVP?

Birthday party etiquette 411 The answers aren’t always obvious BY SHANNAN YOUNGER


irthday parties seem simple for kids, but they can raise some tricky etiquette questions for parents. We got answers to some of the trickiest from etiquette

experts Daniel Post Senning, author and spokesperson for the Emily Post Institute, and Sherry D’Amico, co-founder and etiquette consultant of the Etiquette School of Chicago.


“The first rule of etiquette for any guest is that you reply to an invitation,” says Post Senning, who says failure to RSVP is one of the biggest complaints he hears from people. Both experts recommend responding within one to two days of receiving the invitation.

If an invitation says “No Gifts, please” should you honor that request? Ideally, yes. “The child’s parents probably have a good reason for this choice and you should respect their wishes,” says D’Amico. If you feel like you absolutely must give something, Post Senning says “don’t make a big show about giving it in front of a lot of people because it brings awkwardness for the host and other guests.”

Is it OK to ask if siblings may also attend a birthday party? If you’re wondering if it’s a mistake that only one child’s name was on the invitation, chances are that it is not. “Invitations are extended to the people the hosts want to invite and no one else. I would stay away from asking if you can bring your other children,” D’Amico says.

What if I don’t know if I should stay or drop my child off at a party? Post Senning says that if a parent is unsure whether or not to leave kids alone or should stay, it is advisable to ask the host. It’s a perfectly reasonable question and the parent will appreciate you asking rather than assuming.









A Fairytale Ballet Lakeview, Bucktown, Evanston (773) 477-4488 (Lakeview and Evanston) (773) 606-0318 (Bucktown) afairytaleballet.com Your child’s favorite fairytale comes to life with one of our exclusive Fairytale Ballets. All children are dressed in main character costumes and dance the story with themed props & music. 2+yrs.

Brittany Lynn Studios 6502 Joliet Road, Unit G, Countryside (708) 921-0129 brittanylynnstudios.com An industrial photography studio to host your next event. Farmhouse seating, kids’ playhouse and you can even bring in your own food. Balloon garlands, doughnut walls and more available for parties.

DuPage Children’s Museum 301 N. Washington St., Naperville (630) 637-8000 dupagechildens.org/parties Memorable, easy and fun! Kids and parents have a blast celebrating and playing together. Packages include

time in a private party room and unlimited playtime in the museum.


their friends the full run of the facility, filling the celebration with instructorled games, music and fun.


River Forest Community Center 8020 W. Madison St., River Forest (708) 771-6259 ext. 208 rfcc.info Hassle-free private party in our Playland/mini gym, ages 3-6, or gym/ sports party ages 7 and older. Catered to child’s specific interests.

2050 Tower Drive, Glenview (224) 432-5435 2639 Aurora Ave., Naperville (630) 718-4327 funtopiaworld.com Funtopia hosts the most fun and active parties with attractions for all ages including fun climbing walls, ropes courses, realistic caves, giant slide and many more.

Main Event Entertainment

Kohl Children’s Museum

Orland Park (708) 479-2220 Chicago (312) 664-PUMP

701 W. North Ave., Villa Park (630) 530-4649 • safarilandfun.com Party Packages that ALL include: private room, host, pizza/drink, game card. Perfect for ages 4-14.

Rainforest Café

Skokie Park District

2100 Patriot Blvd., Glenview (847) 832-6923 • kcmgc.org/birthday New: Longer party packages available! All party packages include private room rental and full-day museum admission for all your guests.

The Little Gym of Chicago 3216 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago (773) 525-5750 thelittlegym.com/chicagoil An Awesome Birthday Bash at The Little Gym gives your birthday kid and

28248 Diehl Road, Warrenville (630) 393-9400 2575 Pratum Ave., Hoffman Estates (847) 645-1111 mainevent.com Main Event has the most FUN under one roof with bowling, laser tag, more than 100 arcade games and food!

Pump It Up Party

Chicago (312) 787-1501 Woodfield (847) 619-1900 Gurnee (847) 855 7800 rainforestcafe.com Wild Bunch Birthdays: Be the king or queen of the jungle! Celebrate your next birthday with the Wild Bunch and you’ll enjoy the royal treatment.

Safari Land Indoor Amusement

9300 Weber Park Place, Skokie (847) 674-1500 skokieparks.org/programs/birthdayparties Our party experts offer cultural arts, ice skating, nature center, mini-golf, swimming, Exploritorium and schoolage birthday parties!



25 family-friendly

events you can’t miss

OCTOBER Great Highwood Pumpkin Fest. Activities include all-youcan-carve pumpkins, trick-or-treating, costume contests, pumpkin parade, hayrides, pony rides, petting zoo, crafts and two entertainment stages Oct. 11-12 in Highwood.

Boo! at the Zoo. The not-so-scary and funfilled event has something for the entire family to enjoy including Zoo Chats about some of the zoo’s creepy critters on weekends beginning Oct. 13.

Spooky Pooch Parade. Dogs are allowed at Chicago Botanic Garden for a canine Halloween costume parade on Oct. 13. Lincoln Park Zoo Fall Fest

Fall Fest at Lincoln Park Zoo. Includes animal chats, music, a pumpkin patch and fall-themed enrichment. Fridays-Sundays through Oct. 27.

Not So Scary Hayride. For kids who Pumpkin Fest. Enjoy rides, a corn stalk tunnel and a pumpkin patch at Wheaton’s Cosley Zoo. Daily through October.

Mama Fresh Family Days. Enjoy family yoga, story times, music and crafts while checking out Hyde Park Farmers Market on Oct. 3.

Oktoberfest. Enjoy live music ranging from traditional German Oompah music to classic rock, children’s activities, oversized lawn games and a pretzel eating competition Oct. 4-6 in Naperville. Great Highwood Pumpkin Fest

Applepalooza. Games, apple food court, hay rides, storytelling and


more Oct. 5 at Chicago Women’s Park & Gardens.

Glass Pumpkin Patch. Delight in colorful

Lincoln Square Apple Fest. Enjoy all

glass sculptures and watch the artists in action Oct. 9-13 at Morton Arboretum.

things apple from pies to pizzas, and apple themed games for kids in the Kids Zone on Oct. 5.

Autumn Harvest Festival. Watch

don't like to be scared there will be friendly characters, hayrides and fun games, face-painting, music and more on Oct. 14 & 20 at Dellwood Park in Lockport.

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history come to life at the Heritage Farm and Merkle Cabin on Oct. 5-6 in Schaumburg.

Gigi Fest. Food,

games, inflatables, petting zoo, raffles and music Oct. 6 in Hoffman Estates.

Boo at the Zoo

Calendar Arts in the Dark After Party. Maggie Daley Park will be open for kids to play games, enjoy trickor-treating and play in the park after the parade on Oct. 19.

Chicago Donut Wars. Sample from handselected doughnut shops and pastry chefs from all across the city to crown a champion on Oct. 20.

Spooky Pooch Parade

Night of 1,000 Jack-o'-Lanterns. More than 1,000 hand-carved, real pumpkins light up the night at the Chicago Botanic Garden beginning Oct. 16.

Pumpkin Splash. Activities at The Water Works in Schaumburg include pool pumpkin picking, DJ, refreshments and pumpkin decorating. Oct. 18.

Donut Fest Chicago South Burbs. The

Naperville Plays! Four Naperville museums and children’s destinations will create themed hands-on activities along with storytelling on Oct. 19.

Arts in the Dark: Halloween Parade. Chicago parade with puppets, floats and performances in Halloween artistry begins at dusk on Oct. 19.

‘burbs get in on the doughnut action with sampling, a photo booth and a doughnut eating contest at 350 Brewing in Tinley Park on Oct. 20.

Halloween House Decorating Tour. See the best Halloween-decorated houses up for judging in Schaumburg on Oct. 23.

Lincoln Square Apple Fest

Night of 1,000 Jack-O'-Lanterns

Spookview. Includes a costume parade, games, crafts, inflatables and more on Oct. 26 in Oak Lawn.

Hofbräuhaus Chicago’s “Halloween Kinderfest.” The restaurant gears up with pumpkin decorating, face painting and magic on Oct. 27.

Day of the Dead Xicágo. Celebrate Dia de los Muertos with an ofrenda dedication celebration, live music, face painting and crafts Oct. 27 at Harrison Park.

Nightmare Before Christmas. Celebrate Halloween with a screening of Tim Burton’s crossholiday movie on Oct. 31 at Auditorium Theatre.

Pumpkins FOR THE ‘GRAM


hy use one pumpkin for a display, when many will do the trick? The master carvers behind “Jack's Pumpkin Glow” coming to Lisle this Halloween season are savants at creating displays from a patch-full of pumpkins as well as creative jack-o-lanterns. Families can see life-sized sculptures as well as princesses, superheroes, dinosaurs, pirates, movie stars and musicians along a trail of pumpkin art. Made for walking in the Sensory Garden Playground, there will be 1,000 fresh carvings each week throughout the season. With the carvers on hand, families can watch the artists at work, get tips from the pros and pick up a pumpkin. Hillary Bird

Jack's Pumpkin Glow Where: Sensory Garden Playground, 2751 Navistar Drive, Lisle When: Oct. 3-6, 10-13, 17-20 & 24-27. Sensory-friendly show Oct. 6. Tickets: $16.99-$27.99 Online: glowpumpkin.com CHICAGOPARENT.COM October 2019 39

Calendar Lincoln Square Apple Fest

2 | WEDNESDAY Stroller Tours. Caregivers discover the MCA’s exhibitions with a docent, exploring galleries without concern that babies or strollers will disrupt the tour. Free with admission. 11:30 a.m. Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. mcachicago.org.

3 | THURSDAY Mama Fresh Family Days. Enjoy family yoga, storytimes, free music, crafts and more while checking out vendors with produce, flowers, baked goods, and jams/ jellies, in addition to hand-crafted items by local artisans. 8:30 a.m.noon; visit website for performance schedule. Hyde Park Farmers Market, Chicago. facebook.com/ events/1240045816160172.

4 | FRIDAY Oktoberfest. Enjoy musical entertainment ranging from traditional German Oompah music to classic rock, children’s activities, oversized lawn games and a pretzel eating competition. $15, $10 ages 4-12, free members & children under 4. 4-10 p.m. Naper Settlement, Naperville. (630) 4206010, napersettlement.org.

St. Benedict’s Oktoberfest. Enjoy oom-pah bands, beer and specialty cuisine. Fees for food and rides. 3-10 p.m. Friday. St. Benedict Church, Chicago. stbensoktoberfest.com.

Pottery: Parents’ Night Out. Children ages 7-12 have fun learning basic hand-building techniques at pottery class. All materials provided; please wear old clothes. $27, $18 residents. 6-8 p.m. Studio One, Naperville. napervilleparks.org.


CYCLE at Big Marsh. The bicycle ballet is directed by Erin Kilmurray. 4-6 p.m. Big Marsh Park. chicagoparkdistrict.com. Applepalooza. Games, apple food court, hay rides, storytelling and more. $5 per child. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Chicago Women’s Park and Gardens. chicagoparkdistrict.com. Family First Saturdays. Learn about your favorite animals through hands-on activities, games, crafts and time behind the scenes with Shedd’s animal experts. Today’s topic: Penguin Adventures. $49.99, $29.99 members. 10 a.m.-noon. John G. Shedd Aquarium. sheddaquarium.org.


Lincoln Square Apple Fest. Enjoy all things apple from pies to pizzas, apple themed games for kids in the Kids Zone. $5 donation. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Lincoln Avenue between Lawrence & Eastwood. lincolnsquare.org/apple-fest.

St. Benedict’s Oktoberfest. See Oct. 4. Today’s

games and live string music on two stages. $20 family (max 6 people), $5 person, free 3 and under. Noon-4 p.m. Spring Valley Nature Center & Heritage Farm, Schaumburg. parkfun.com.

Oktoberfest. See Oct. 4. Today’s times: noon-10 p.m.

schedule: 1-10 p.m. SUBURBS


Little Red & The Big Bully Wolf. Follow Little Red and


meet her friends—the three little pigs, the boy who cried wolf, and more—as they learn to face their fears and stand up to the Big Bully Wolf. Aimed at children through third grade, this performance is fun for the whole family. Preregistration required. 2-3 p.m. Homewood Public Library, Homewood. (708) 798-0121, homewoodlibrary.org.

Midewin Geology Tour. See the rocks, hills and plains that show what was here 15,000 years ago. 9 a.m.-noon. Midewin Welcome Center, Wilmington. (815) 423-6370, fs.usda.gov/main/ midewin/home.

Autumn Harvest Festival. Watch history come to life at the Heritage Farm and Merkle Cabin. Available throughout the day are kids craft activities, 19th century

Lincoln Square Apple Fest. See Oct. 5.

Ecstatic Dance at Northerly Island. Ecstatic Dance is an extraordinary social dance gathering and practice, where people dance and move in any way they want, and feel free to be themselves. 1-5 p.m. Northerly Island. chicagoparkdistrict.com.

Secret Agent Storytime. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to sing, dance, read books, and make crafts with Agent Zach and your friends, parents and siblings. Recommended for junior agents ages 0-4 and their families. 11 a.m.-noon. The Wicker Park Secret Agent Supply Co. (646) 239-9625, facebook.com/ events/352704895576700.





GiGi Fest. Food, games, inflatables, petting zoo, raffles, pumpkin painting and music. Noon-3 p.m. GiGi’s Playhouse, Hoffman Estates. gigisplayhouse.org.

Columbus Day Open Gym at Fosco. Kids ages 6-12 enjoy

About the calendar The deadline for submitting listings for the November issue is Sept. 30. All events are subject to change. Please confirm before you go. Events taking place on four or more dates during the month are listed in Ongoing Events, beginning on page 50.

Grove Folk Fest. Costumed interpreters relive local history while visitors enjoy folk music, square dancing, hay rides and more. $5, $1 kids under 12. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. The Grove, Glenview (847) 299-6096, glenviewparks.org.

Searchable listings updated daily ChicagoParent.com/calendar

Autumn Harvest Festival. See Oct. 5.

St. Benedict’s Oktoberfest. See Oct. 4. Today’s schedule: 1-7 p.m.

11 | FRIDAY Little Beans Fall Festival. Bounce houses, games, face painting, live music, hot dogs and chips, snow cone, fun activities and play inside and outside. $25 children, $15 siblings, free adults. 5:30-8 p.m. Little Beans Café, Evanston. littlebeanscafe.com.





Ghosts of the Ammunition Plant. Tour the inside of one of the few remaining ammunition storage bunkers, and learn about the deadly explosion during World War II. Preregistration required. 10 a.m.-noon. Midewin Welcome Center, Wilmington. (815) 423-6370, fs.usda.gov/main/ midewin/home.

Open House Chicago

Perspectives on Indian Culinary Delights. Explore with chef and author Vikram Singh of Kama Bistro contemporary Indian “fusion” cuisine, along with perspectives on traditional Indian foods. Followed by a food tasting. $10 adults, $8 members; $9 ages 4-12, $7 youth members. 4-5 p.m. Naper Settlement, Naperville. (630) 420-6010, napersettlement.org.

open gym in the West Gym while ages 13-17 play in the East Gym. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Fosco Park, Chicago. chicagoparkdistrict.com.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun at Merrimac. Girls ages 9-13 participate in arts & crafts, sports, dance, fitness and CPR training. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Merrimac Park, Chicago. chicagoparkdistrict.com.

Theater in our Parks Fest. This one-day festival features performances and workshops from across the city. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Theatre on the Lake, Chicago. chicagoparkdistrict.com.

17 | THURSDAY New Music Chicago Presents. New Music Chicago members will play a contemporary concert. Noon-12:45 p.m. Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago. newmusicchicago.org.


Open House Chicago. Enjoy behind-the-scenes access to more than 250 buildings across Chicago. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Chicago Architecture Center. architecture.org.

Open House Chicago Family Festival. Families can tackle STEM projects before heading out to one of the Open House Chicago sites. Noon-4 p.m. Pritzker Pavillion. architecture.org.

Family Nature Days at Kilbourn. Engage in free play and build forts with natural items like stumps and seeds, brush up on bird-watching or nature hiking skills, and/or venture out on family scavenger hunts. 10 a.m.-noon. Kilbourn Park. chicagoparkdistrict.com. SUBURBS



Families can see the ranch’s wolves, Siberian tiger, black bear, cougar, skunk and porcupines. $7. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Big Run Wolf



for ages 6 & up. $20. 10 a.m.-noon and 1:30-3:30 p.m. Eugene Field Park. chicagoparkdistrict.com.

Ranch, Lockport. (815) 588-0044, bigrunwolfranch.org.

Naperville Plays! Enjoy themed hands-on and craft activities along with storytelling provided in partnership by the DuPage Children’s Museum, Naper Settlement, Knoch Knolls Nature Center and the Naperville Public Library. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Nichols Library, Naperville. napersettlement.org.

Mummies Night: 100 Years of Mummies. Make mummy crafts, compete in a Mummy Wrap Race, and catch a family photo at a Photo Op. Recommended for ages 4 and older. $5 donation. 4-7 p.m. Oct. 26. Oriental Institute Museum. (773) 702-1158, oi.uchicago.edu.

Pottery: Parents’ Night Out. SUBURBS

See Oct. 4.

Ghosts of the Ammunition Plant. See Oct. 12.



Chicago Donut Wars. Sample from hand selected doughnut shops and pastry chefs from all across the city that will show off their dough and fight for the chance to be crowned champion. Tickets sold for one of three sessions. Ticket includes gift bag. $35-$50, Free 5 and under. 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Revel Fulton Market. eventbrite.com.


Day of the Dead Xicágo.


Rock & Roll for Kids. The Rock and Roll Playhouse uses music to educate children and explore their creativity. Today’s artist: Music of Phish for Kids. $15 11 a.m. Thalia Hall. therockandrollplayhouse.com.

Open House Chicago. See Oct. 19.

SUBURBS $20. 4-6 p.m. Eugene Field Park, Chicago. chicagoparkdistrict.com.

Open House Chicago Family Festival. See Oct. 19. SUBURBS

Donut Fest Chicago South Burbs. Kids tickets include a doughnut sample from each booth, voting ballot to name Best Donut, photo booth opportunities, doughnut eating contest, doughnuts and swag and more. $15-$35. 1-5 p.m. 350 Brewing, Tinley Park. eventbrite.com.

21 | MONDAY Day of the Dead: Ofrenda Boxes. Kids ages 9 and older will learn about the Day of the Dead Holiday and make an ofrenda shadow box to honor ancestors.

Celebrate Dia de los Muertos with an ofrenda dedication celebration, live music, face painting and crafts. Families and individuals are invited to create their own ofrendas in Harrison Park, transforming the soccer field into a festive community gathering place. 3-8 p.m. Harrison Park. nationalmuseumofmexicanart.org.

24 | THURSDAY Day of the Dead Workshop: Sugar Skull making. Ages 5-12 will learn about the history of Day of the Dead, learn to make sugar skulls from scratch and enjoy some traditional Day of the Dead treats. $20, preregistration required. 5-7 p.m. Mayfair Park, Chicago. chicagoparkdistrict.com.

Meet the Author: An Evening with Garth Stein. Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain, will discuss his books, the writing process, and maybe even the beauty of old cars. $5, registration required. 7-9 p.m. Wauconda High School Auditorium, Wauconda. (847) 526-6225, wauclib.org.


25 | FRIDAY Supper with the Snakes. Eat dinner while learning fun facts about snakes. Activities are appropriate for ages 2-10. $25, $20 member, $10 kids 2-18, free kids under 2. 5:30-8 p.m. Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago. naturemuseum.org.

Juliette Low Birthday Bonanza.Celebrate the founder of the Girl Scouts on what would have been her 159th birthday. Since Juliette was born on Halloween, Scouts are allowed to wear a Halloween costume (without a mask). $13 scouts, $10 adults, registration required. 1-3 p.m. Naper Settlement, Naperville. (630) 420-6010, napersettlement.org.



Dia de los Muertos at Burnham. Enjoy music, crafts and

Thursday Tea Time with the Princess. Kids ages 1-5 will enjoy

spoken word performances. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Burnham Park. chicagoparkdistrict.com.

Day of the Dead Workshop: Sugar Skull. Participants will learn about the history of Day of the Dead and learn to make sugar skulls from scratch. Recommended

a reception with a member of the royal family. Encourage them to don their spiffiest clothes and come meet a princess, who will chat with them as they enjoy juice and snacks. $15, $3 member. 10 a.m.11 a.m. Nelly’s Playground, Wood Dale. nellysplaygroundllc.com.

Halloween Happenings Spooky Crafts at Maplewood.

Spooky Crafts at Edgebrook.

Kids will create spooky crafts for Halloween. Ages 4-7 will meet from 3:30-4:30 and ages 8-13 will meet from 4:30-5:30 on Oct. 14. $5. Maplewood Park. chicagopark district.com.

Kids, ages 2-5, create spooky crafts for Halloween. $8. 5:30-6:30 p.m. Oct. 22. Edgebrook Park. chicagoparkdistrict.com.

Halloween Extravaganza at Sheridan. Treats, costume con-

theme paint party for children ages 6-10 and parents. Cost includes easels and paint. $20. 6-8 p.m. Oct. 23. Taylor-Lauridsen Park. chicagoparkdistrict.com.

test, dance contest, face painting, inflatables and fun. Recommended for ages 3-12. $2. 4-6 p.m. Sheridan Park. chicagoparkdistrict.com.

Arts in the Dark: Halloween Parade. Parade with puppets, floats and performances in Halloween artistry. Dusk, about 6 p.m. Oct. 19. State Street, moving south from Lake to Van Buren. artsinthedark.org.

Halloween Campfire at Kilbourn. Activities will include arts & crafts, s’mores and face painting. $5. 2-5 p.m. Oct. 19. Kilbourn Park. chicagoparkdistrict.com.

Arts in the Dark Parade CHICAGO

Fall Fest at Lincoln Park

Zoo. Includes animal chats, music, a pumpkin patch and fall-themed enrichment. Features ticketed attractions throughout the zoo: corn maze, fun slide, inflatable obstacle course and more. Fees for ride tickets. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Fridays-Sundays through Oct. 27, and Oct. 14. Lincoln Park Zoo. lpzoo.org/fall-fest.

Fall Fest at Athletic Field. Activities include a pumpkin patch, face painting, petting zoo, live music and food. $1 per activity ticket. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 5. Athletic Field Park. chicagopark district.com.

Pumpkin Patch at Horner. Enjoy Halloween-themed carnival games, petting zoo, pony rides, a pumpkin patch and tattoos to complete a day’s worth of fall fun. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Horner Park. chicagoparkdistrict.com.

Fall Fest at Union. Kids ages 12 and under are invited for a goblin good time while enjoying a pumpkin patch, petting zoo, games, arts and crafts, jumpy house, pictures and more. 10 a.m.12:30 p.m. Oct. 5. Union Park. chicagoparkdistrict.com.

Arts in the Dark After Party. Play games, enjoy trick-orPumpkin Patch at Ada. Enjoy a pumpkin patch, pony rides, food, games, arts and crafts, treats, face painting, hayrides, pictures and more. Fees for some activities. Noon-4 p.m. Oct. 6. Ada Park. chicagoparkdistrict.com.

Harvest Fest. Enjoy Halloween-themed carnival games, petting zoo, pony rides and tattoos. Fees for some activities. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 6. Indian Boundary Park & Cultural Center. chicagoparkdistrict.com. Pumpkin Patch at Hale. Pumpkin patch, pony rides, food, games, arts and crafts, treats, face painting, hayrides, pictures and more. Fees for activities. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 12. Hale Park. chicagoparkdistrict.com.

Pumpkinpalooza at Skinner. Family fun, inflatables, games, arts & crafts, face painting and petting zoo. Recommended for ages 3-12. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 12. Skinner Park. chicagopark district.com.

Mini Pumpkin Patch at Bell. Enjoy games, crafts, inflatables, pumpkin painting and pick your own pumpkin. $5. Noon-3 p.m. Oct. 13. Bell Park. chicagoparkdistrict.com.

treating and play in the park. Open to kids ages 6 months to 12 years old. 6-10 p.m. Oct. 19. Maggie Daley Park. chicagoparkdistrict.com.

Pumpkin Patch at Portage. Pick a pumpkin, then enjoy Halloween-themed carnival games, petting zoo, pony rides, and tattoos. Fees for activities. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 19. Portage Park. chicagoparkdistrict.com.

Pumpkin Patch at Rainey. Enjoy a pumpkin patch, pony rides, food, games, arts and crafts, treats, face painting, hay rides, pictures and more. Fees for some activities. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 19. Rainey Park. chicagoparkdistrict.com.

Pumpkin Patch at Sheridan. Treats costumes, pumpkins, petting zoo, inflatables and face painting. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Oct. 19. Sheridan Park. chicagoparkdistrict.com.

A Walk for the Bear. Costumed walk to benefit pediatric cancer research. $15 ages 6-19, $25 adults, free 5 and under and cancer patients and survivors. 9 a.m. check-in, 10 a.m. walk, 11 a.m. post-walk Halloween activities, Oct. 20. Lincoln Park. (312) 214-1200, bearnecessities.org.

Mommy & Me Painting at Taylor-Lauridsen. Halloween

Halloween Dance at Hale. This Halloween Party for teens will include a costume contest, dance contest, face painting, arts and crafts, and games. $5. 6:30-8 p.m. Oct. 24. Hale Park. chicagopark district.com.

Halloween Party at Welles. Games and treats for costumed children 11 and younger. 4:15-5:15 p.m. Oct. 31. Welles Park. chicagoparkdistrict.com.

Community Halloween Party at West Lawn. Tricks and treats, games, costume contests and more. 4-6 p.m. Oct. 31. West Lawn Park. chicagoparkdistrict.com.

Trick-or-Treat Wicker Park-Bucktown-West Town. Neighborhood trick-or-treating extravaganza for families with more than 60 stops along the route. Participating businesses will have balloons on display to mark the way for the Halloween festivities. 3-6 p.m. Oct. 31. Wicker Park/Bucktown. wickerparkbucktown.com.

Haunted House at Fosco. Haunted house, pumpkin decorating, arts & crafts and prepared candy bags. Recommended for ages 6 and older. 6-8 p.m. Oct. 28. Fosco Park. chicagoparkdistrict.com.

A Night Out with Dracula at Olympia. Pizza and salad, color your favorite Halloween character, a “Kids Music Game Show” and a photo opportunity with The Count. $5, preregistration required. 6:308:30 p.m. Oct. 28. Olympia Park. chicagoparkdistrict.com.

Halloween on Southport at Sheil. Kids of all ages will enjoy the annual community Halloween Party with games, greats and fun. 4-6 p.m. Oct. 28. Sheil Park. chicagoparkdistrict.com


Halloween Happenings Nightmare Before Christmas. Celebrate Halloween with a screening of Tim Burton’s crossholiday movie. The film is brought to life with a concert performance featuring the Chicago Philharmonic. $30+. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 31. Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. tickets.auditoriumtheatre.org.


Haunted House at Foster. A ghoulish haunted house like no other. $3. 6-8 p.m. Oct. 31 Foster Park. chicagoparkdistrict.com. Halloween Party at Green Briar. Wear the scariest, funniest, most creative costume for carnival games, costume judging and candy. 4-6 p.m. Oct. 31. Green Briar Park. chicagoparkdistrict.com.

Bootiful Party at Lindblom. Enjoy games, food, costume contests, and win prizes.Recommended for ages 14 and younger. $1. 7-8 p.m. Oct. 31. Lindblom Park. chicagoparkdistrict.com.

Halloween Party at Rainey. Games, music, candy and costume contests. 4:30-6 p.m. Oct. 31. Rainey Park. chicagopark district.com. SUBURBS

Pumpkin Fest. Enjoy rides, a corn stalk tunnel and a pumpkin patch. Free with zoo admission; cost of pumpkins varies. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily through October. Cosley Zoo, Wheaton. (630) 510-5040, cosleyzoo.org. Boos And Bats. Kids ages 4-7 will enjoy a snack, craft and some games before going on a photo scavenger hunt. Adults must stay with their children during the event. $12, $8 residents. 6:45-7:45 p.m. Oct. 1. Pat Shephard Center, Schaumburg. parkfun.com/event/ boos-and-bats. The Scarecrow Trail. Decorated scarecrows are on display around the lake. Artistically decorated scarecrows from local Girl and Boy Scout troops are on display around Meadow Lake. Free with arboretum admission. 7 a.m.-sunset daily in October. The Morton Arboretum, Lisle. (630) 968-0074, mortonarb.org.

Jack’s Pumpkin Glow. More than 5,000 hand-carved pumpkins and other glowing foliage will illuminate with life-sized sculptures, classic Halloween characters, princesses, superheroes, dinosaurs, pirates, musicians and movie stars lining a leisurely trail in the park. $16.99-$28.99 6-10 p.m. Oct. 3-6, 10-13, 17-20, 24-27; sensory-friendly show Oct. 6. The Sensory Garden Playground, Lisle. glowpumpkin.com. Brick-or-Treat. Activities include spell-binding scavenger hunts, giant Halloween models, and meet and greets with the Lego Shark & Police Officer. $20.50. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 5-31. Legoland Discovery Center, Schaumburg. (847) 592-9700, chicago.lego landdiscoverycenter.com.

Pumpkin PlayLand. Families will enjoy barn tours and the petting farm, a straw bale climber, the corn box, a spooky wood shed and a crazy maze. $10, free 2 and under. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekends. The Children’s Farm at The Center, Palos Park. thecenterpalos.org. Trick or Trees. Play tricky games, fashion fun fall crafts and plant a tree seed to take home. Small pumpkins to paint will be


available for purchase. Free with arboretum admission. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. weekends. The Morton Arboretum, Lisle. (630) 968-0074, mortonarb.org.

costume contests, pumpkin parade, hayrides, pony rides, petting zoo, crafts, two entertainment stages, food and beverage vendors and a Superhero 5K Pumpkin Run/Walk. All jack-o’-lanterns will be placed Family Jack-O’-Lantern Hike. on walls throughout the festival, A family-friendly jack-o’-lanternAnne Frank, with Mayceremonial 1942. lightings Oct. lit hike to explore the night life Courtesy AFF/AFS. 11-12 and the grand lighting on of owls, bats and spiders at the Oct. 13. $3. Oct. 11-13. Downtown Ruby Bridges, 1960. arboretum. Decorate pumpkins Highwood. celebratehighwood.org. and roast marshmallows overDonated a fire. by Corbis. Children must be accompanied by Boo! at the Zoo. The not-soadult. $19, $16 member. Check scary and fun-filled event has website for times. Saturdays and something for the entire family Sundays. The Morton Arboretum, to enjoy, including the “Craized Lisle. mortonarb.org. Maize” corn maze, haunted hayrides, the ever-popular “Pumpkin Pumpkin Decorating. All Smasher,” professional pumpkin supplies are free, and kids will be carving demonstrations, a costume able to bring home their carefully parade and showcase, scarecrow crafted masterpieces. 5-6:30 p.m. building, and Zoo Chats about Oct. 8. Renwood Golf Course, some of the zoo’s creepy critters. Round Lake Beach. (847) 546Free with zoo admission. 10 a.m.-4 8558, rlapd.org. p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Oct. 13-28. Brookfield Zoo, Brookfield. Glass Pumpkin Patch. Delight czs.org/boo. in colorful glass sculptures and watch the artists in action. Free Cantigny Fall Festival. with arboretum admission. 10 Festival features hayrides, live a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 9-13. The Morton entertainment, inflatable jumpers Arboretum, Lisle. (630) 968-0074, and slides, pumpkin decorating, mortonarb.org. monster mural and face painting. Free; $10 parking. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Great Highwood Pumpkin Oct. 12. Cantigny Park, Wheaton. Fest. Activities include all-you-cancarve pumpkins, trick-or-treating, cantigny.org/event/fall-festival.


Halloween Happenings Boo Breakfast

punch and treats will also be served. $4, $2 resident; register by Oct. 11. 5-7 p.m. Oct. 18. Alsip Park District, Alsip. alsipparks.org.

$12, $8 residents; preregistration required. 6-8:30 p.m. Oct. 23. Community Recreation Center, Schaumburg. parkfun.com.

All Hallows Eve. Some of

Sycamore Pumpkin Festival. Features decorated

the scariest literature of the past and present comes to life. For ages 8 and up; not suitable for young children. $20. 6:30-10 p.m. Oct. 18-19. Naper Settlement, Naperville. (630) 420-6010, napersettlement.org.

Halloween Bash. Kids ages 1-5 dress in Halloween costumes or silly outfits for an evening of crafts, singing and a snack. $15. 6:30-8 p.m. Oct. 18. Schaumburg Park District, Schaumburg. activekids. com/schaumburg-il.

Pumpkin Splash. Activities include pool pumpkin picking, DJ, refreshments and pumpkin decorating. Scheduled pumpkin swims per age group throughout the evening in the zero-depth pool. $18, $14 resident 6-8 p.m. Oct. 18. The Water Works, Schaumburg. parkfun.com.

Lockwood’s Pumpkin Fest. Enjoy rides, a corn maze, pumpkin-themed games and activities. Fees for some activities. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 12-14. Lockwood Park, Rockford. (815) 987-8809, lockwoodpark.com.

Trunk or Treat/Touch a Truck. Try out your Halloween costume early with a Trunk or Treat and Touch A Truck event. Activities include food, crafts and games. 3-5 p.m. Oct. 12. St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic School, Romeoville. facebook.com/ events/662984214175727.

Family Fall Fest. Trick-ortreating, fall games, food trucks and more. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 12. Wild Meadows Trace Park, Elmhurst. (630) 993-8900, epd.org. Spooky Pooch Parade. Dogs are allowed in the garden for a canine Halloween costume parade. See website for entry admission; discounts available with advance purchase. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Oct. 13. Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe. (847) 835-5440, chicagobotanic.org.

Not So Scary Hayride. For kids who don’t like to be scared, there will be friendly characters, hayrides and fun games, face painting, music and more. $7, advanced sales only. Noon, Oct. 14 & 20. Dellwood Park, Lockport. app. hauntpay.com.

Night of 1,000 Jack-o’Lanterns. More than 1,000 hand-carved, real pumpkins light up the night. The LED-lit jack-o’lanterns will be staged along a festive, paved pathway, starting at the Esplanade. $16, $14 members, $13 ages 3-12, $11 member kids, free 2 and under. 6:30-10 p.m. Oct. 16-20 & 23-27. Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe. (847) 835-5440, chicagobotanic.org.

Hocus Pocus. Watch Disney’s Halloween classic on the big screen. Movie is rated PG and runs 1 hour, 36 minutes. $5. 7 p.m. Rialto Square Theatre, Joliet. rialtosquare.com. Boo-Bingo Bash. Families with kids of all ages can play Halloween bingo for fun prizes. Popcorn,


Great Pumpkin Celebration. Indoor trick-ortreating, face painting, carnival games, bounce house and an outdoor hayride and corn maze. 2-5 p.m. Oct. 19. Robert W. Rolek Community Center, Round Lake. (847) 546-8558, rlapd.org.

DIY Pumpkin Decorating. The Grove provides all materials for painting, carving and then does the clean-up. $18, $15 resident. 1-2:30 p.m. Oct. 20. The Grove, Glenview. glenviewparks.org. Family Pumpkin Carving. Each participant ages 1-14 receives a pumpkin to carve and decorate. Prizes will be awarded in various categories. An adult must be present with children at all times. $20, $15 resident 6:15-7:45 p.m. Oct. 22. Bock Neighborhood Center, Schaumburg. parkfun.com.

Halloween House Decorating Tour. Travel as a group around Schaumburg to see houses decorated for Halloween. Families will visit about 10 houses (Halloween House Decorating Contest participants are not permitted to participate in the judging, but can join the tour).

pumpkins, food booths, carnival, parade and more. Entry fee for craft fair. Oct. 23-27, visit website for schedule. Sycamore. (815) 895-5161, sycamorepumpkinfestival.com.

Touch-A-Truck & Treat. Dress in a Halloween costume and explore the trucks, tractors, heavy equipment, emergency vehicles and more. From 5-5:45 p.m. the vehicles will not use sirens, lights or loud noises for a sensory-friendly atmosphere. 5-8 p.m. Palos Pool, Palos Heights. palosheights.org.

Halloween Parade. Resident children ages 1 month to 11 years and their parents are invited to march in the costume parade, pick a pumpkin from the patch, watch a Halloween-themed movie and take home a goodie bag. 6-7:30 p.m. Oct. 25. 50-Acre Park, Evergreen Park. evergreenpark-ill.com.

Family Night: Pumpkins & Treats. Enjoy trick-or-treating and pumpkin decorating. There will be a “Teal Pumpkin” stop for all of those not wanting candy. Free; $5 parking. 5-7 p.m. Oct. 25. Cantigny Park, Wheaton. cantigny.org.

Halloween Boonanza. A Halloween carnival with crafts, inflatables, train rides and more. $12, $10 pre-registration; free parents and kids 2 and under. 6-9 p.m. Oct. 25. Community Recreation Center, Schaumburg. parkfun.com.

Spooktacular. A variety of spooky and not-so-spooky events. $5, $10 kids 3-14, free kids under 2; $4 members; $7 member kids 5:30-7 p.m. or 7-8:30 p.m. Oct. 25. Cosley Zoo, Wheaton. cosleyzoo.org.

A Haunting in the Valley. Costumed guides lead groups along a trail of Halloween fun. $8, $6 in advance. 6:15-9:30 p.m. Oct. 25-26. Spring Valley Nature Center & Heritage Farm, Schaumburg. (847) 985-2100, parkfun.com.

Halloween Happenings All Hallow’s Eve Carnival. Show off Halloween costumes early, decorate pumpkins and enjoy prizes and games. $5 advance, $7 at the door. 9:30 a.m.-noon Oct. 26. Alsip Park District, Alsip. alsipparks.org.

BatFest. Features trick-ortreating, pumpkin roll, contests and games. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 26. Batavia Riverwalk, Batavia. (630) 879-5235, downtownbatavia.com. Pumpkin Palooza. Scoop and squish in gooey pumpkin guts, build a FrankenBuddy, bring your own pumpkin to the DIY pumpkin makerspace, pump up your hairdo with fun, temporary styles from KidSnips and more. Free with museum admission. 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Oct. 26. DuPage Children’s Museum, Naperville. dupagechildrens.org. Monster Bash. Includes carnival games, crafts, bounce house, face painting and candy. Come in costume. $16, $14 resident; $3 adults 10 a.m.-noon Oct. 26. Exploritorium, Skokie. skokieparks.org.

La Grange Halloween Walk & Fall Fest. Trick-or-

face painting and magic. Fees for food and drink. 1-4 p.m. Oct. 27. Hofbrauhaus Chicago, Rosemont. hofbrauhauschicago.com.

Spooktacular Concert and Haunted Musical Open House. “Scary” music, holiday costumes and musical haunted house. Audience members of all ages are encouraged to wear costumes. $5 open house, $15 and up concert. 3 p.m. concert, 4 p.m. open house Oct. 27. Nichols Concert Hall, Evanston. musicinst.org.

Halloween Happening. Take a trip through four specially themed lands. Enjoy lots of fun activities, games and goodies. For ages 10 and under. 1-4 p.m. Oct. 27. Riverwalk Grand Pavilion, Naperville. napervilleparks.org.

Scary Stories Told in the Dark. Come hear spine-tingling tales ... that is, if you dare. Not appropriate for children under 10. $10, $8 resident. 6:30-8 p.m. Oct. 27. The Grove, Glenview. glenviewparks.org.

Boo Breakfast. A Halloween breakfast complete with visits from favorite characters. Costumes are encouraged. Check website for prices. 9-11 a.m. Oct. 27. The Morton Arboretum, Lisle. (630) 725-2066, mortonarb.org.

pumpkins, wearing costumes, trickor-treating and more for toddlers and preschoolers. Recommended for ages 1-5. $12, $10 members; registration required. 6-6:45 p.m. Oct. 29. Cantigny Park, Wheaton. cantigny.org.

Halloween Spooktacular.

Halloween Glow Hunt. Enjoy

Concert of young and professional musicians playing spooky music. Audience members are encouraged to come in costume and join in the Halloween spirit. $6-$16. 2 p.m. & 4 p.m. Oct. 27. Wentz Concert Hall, Naperville. (630) 7781003, dupagesymphony.org.

a glow-in-the-dark Halloween egg hunt at the Apollo Playground followed by an outdoor screening of a Halloween classic on the 20-foot screen. $6, $3 residents. 6-9 p.m. Oct. 30. Alsip Park District, Alsip. alsipparks.org.

Spooky Silly Halloween Concert. Preschoolers and early elementary music fans will enjoy a Halloween concert from Mr. Singer and the Sharp Cookies. Costumes encouraged. Preregistration required. 6:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 28. Berwyn Public Library, Berwyn. berwynlibrary.libcal.com.

Boo-riffic. Songs and musical activities about decorating

Boo Bash! A fun hour of notso-spooky activities and stories. Recommended for ages 3-5 with an adult. $12, $10 members, parking free. 10-11 a.m. Oct. 30. Cantigny Park, Wheaton. cantigny.org.

Trick or Treating at Spring Valley. Wear costumes and travel from building to building. 3-6 p.m. Oct. 31. Spring Valley Nature Center & Heritage Farm, Schaumburg. parkfun.com.

treat parade through downtown La Grange. Afterwards, enjoy activities like crafts and pumpkin bowling. 10-11:30 a.m. Oct. 26. Downtown La Grange. lgba.com.

Halloween 5K/1K. Children’s race and free activity area with bounce house, pumpkin decorating, face painting, Halloween activities, mummy race and more. $10 children’s run, $35 adult 5K. 9 a.m. 5K race, 10 a.m. children’s 1K race. Moraine Valley Community College, Palos Hills. morainevalley.edu.

Spookview. Includes a costume parade, games, crafts, inflatables and more. $10 wristband, $5 additional child; activities 50 cents$2. 11-4 p.m. Oct. 26. Oak View Community Center, Oak Lawn. (708) 857-2200, olparks.com.

A Family Halloween. Dress in costume and enjoy all kinds of spooky shenanigans. $10, free 2 and under. 3-6 p.m. Oct. 27. Historic Wagner Farm, Glenview. (847) 657-1506, glenviewparks.org.

Hofbräuhaus Chicago’s “Halloween Kinderfest.” Features pumpkin decorating,



Animal House. Meet the newest tree-dwelling additions to Peggy Notebaert’s Animal House. Free with admission. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago. (773) 755-5100, naturemuseum.org.

Apollo 11 Corn Maze

Apollo 11 Corn Maze. The Richardson Adventure Farm corn maze celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing with two astronauts, the Columbia, the Eagle, an American flag, Earth and stars. Activities also include wagon rides, pig races, a vintage carousel and a “park train” that runs on real tracks. Parking is free. $17 ages 13 and up, $14 for ages 3-12 on weekdays; $19 ages 13 and up and $16 ages 3-12 on weekends. Thursdays-Sundays. Richardson Adventure Farm, Spring Grove. (815) 675-9729, richardson adventurefarm.com.

Art on theMart. Curated digital art installation across 2.5 acres of theMART’s river façade. About 7-9 p.m. daily. The Merchandise Mart, Chicago. arton themart.com. Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape The Nation. A Smithsonian traveling exhibit explores the contributions of Indian immigrants and Indian Americans to the country. Naper Settlement layers in Naperville’s contemporary history, weaving in stories of 20th and 21st century Napervillians through arts, civic partnerships, education, entrepreneurship, family and more. Created by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. Free with museum admission. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. through Oct. 13. Naper Settlement, Naperville. (630) 420-6017, napersettlement.org.

Drop-in Acorn Express Adventures. Take a family-friendly tram-ride adventure through the arboretum. Seek out fun destinations to hike, make a craft and explore new topics each week. $5. 11-11:45 a.m. Wednesdays and Fridays. The Morton Arboretum, Lisle. (630) 7192468, mortonarb.org.

Fantastic Bug Encounters! Step into a larger-than-life version of their hidden world. Told from a bug’s point of view, Fantastic Bug

Encounters! invites you to take a closer look at the beauty, diversity and abilities of these resourceful creatures. Explore hands-on stations to learn about the unique superpowers of spiders and insects. $6+, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The Field Museum, Chicago. fieldmuseum.org.

Imagine the Moon Sky Show. The planetarium’s sky show, Imagine the Moon, takes a closer look at humanity’s relationship with Earth’s nearest neighbor. Adler Planetarium, Chicago. (312) 922STAR (7827), adlerplanetarium.org.

Nature Cat: Backyard and Beyond. In collaboration with WTTW, Kohl Children’s Museum features Nature Cat and his friends in an exhibit designed to encourage children to explore the natural world. Free with museum admission. Kohl Children’s Museum, Glenview. kohlchildrensmuseum.org.

The Pigeon Comes to Chicago! A Mo Willems Exhibit. Many familiar characters are featured including best friend duo Elephant and Piggie, faithful companion Knuffle Bunny and The Pigeon and the wily city bird best known for his antics in “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!” Activities give visitors the opportunity to make art inspired by Mo Willems and to learn about the rich social and emotional lives of the author’s characters. The exhibit also features prints of illustrations, including sketches and other preliminary materials, by Mo Willems.


Free with museum admission. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Chicago Children’s Museum, Chicago. chicago childrensmuseum.org.

The Power of Children: Making a Difference. Experience the extraordinary stories of three children—Anne Frank, Ruby Bridges and Ryan White— who used the power of words and actions to make a positive difference in the world. Visitors get to know each child’s story through thought-provoking audiovisual presentations, original artifacts and hands-on interactives. Immersive environments include the Secret Annex where Anne Frank and her family spent two years in hiding; the classroom in which Ruby Bridges spent an entire school year alone with her teacher; and Ryan White’s bedroom, filled with his treasured belongings. Exhibit is recommended for ages 8 and older. 1-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays & Sundays; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 13. Elmhurst History Museum, Elmhurst. (630) 8331457, elmhursthistory.org.

Remembering Dr. King: 1929-1968. Walk through a gallery of key moments in Dr. King’s work and Civil Rights Movement. Free with museum admission. Chicago History Museum, Chicago. chicagohistory.org/visit.

Troll Hunt. 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. Free with arboretum admission. Morton Arboretum, Lisle. (630) 968-0074, mortonarb.org.

UniverSoul Circus. New acts include a ballerina, trampoline, aerial act and a perch pole. $16 and up. See website for schedule, begins Oct. 2. Washington Park, Chicago. universoulcircus.com.

Wired to Wear. The first-ever exhibit dedicated to wearable technology—smart clothing and devices designed to extend the human body’s capabilities and make us healthier, stronger and safer. Recommended for ages 6 and older. $12, $9 ages 3-11, $6 members. Timed ticket required. Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago. (773) 684-1414, msichicago.org.


DAILY Story Time. Listen to a story selected for the littlest visitors, and then keep the fun going with games and activities. Free with admission. 11 a.m. daily. Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago. (773) 755-5100, naturemuseum.org.

SUNDAY Family Build Lab. Join experts

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION // A Fairytale Ballet & Academy Lakeview, Bucktown, Evanston (773) 477-4488 (Lakeview, Evanston) (773) 606-0318 (Bucktown) afairytaleballet.com Fairytale ballet with costumes & props, plus academy level classes for ages 2-17.

Codeverse 819 W. Eastman St., Chicago (844) 644-CODE • codeverse.com Codeverse is Chicago’s best interactive coding studio for kids!

Didier Farms Pumpkinfest

to DIY, touch a tractor and more fallfocused fun. 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 26.

Fall Fest at North Park Village Nature Center 5801 N. Pulaski Road, Chicago (312) 744-5472 chicagoparkdistrict.com Free annual celebration of autumn with crafts, storytelling, live music and a market. 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday & Sunday, Oct. 12-13.


16678 W. Aptakisic Road, Prairie View/Lincolnshire (847) 634-3291 • didierfarms.com A celebration of all things fall through Oct. 31, with pig races, animals, pumpkins, hayrides and more family fun for all ages.

2050 Tower Drive, Glenview (224) 432-5435 2639 Aurora Ave., Naperville (630) 718-4327 funtopiaworld.com Enjoy fun climbing walls, ropes courses, realistic caves, a giant slide and more.

DuPage Children’s Museum

Golf Mill Shopping Center

301 N. Washington St., Naperville (630) 637-8000 dupagechildrens.org/family-fun/ pumpkin-palooza Come in costume and build a FrankenBuddy, bring your own pumpkin

239 Golf Mill Center, Niles (847) 699-1070 • golfmill.com Attend the annual Boo Bash in costume for face painting and arts and crafts Saturday, Oct. 26, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. On Halloween night, Oct. 31, trick-ortreat throughout the mall 5-7 p.m.

Kohl Children’s Museum 2100 Patriot Blvd., Glenview (847) 832-6600 • kcmgc.org Experience 17 interactive exhibits, including the newest exhibit, Nature Cat: Backyard and Beyond!

Kuipers Family Farm 1N318 Watson Road, Maple Park (815) 827-5200 • youpickfun.com Family fun picking apples and pumpkins with pig races, jumping pillow, animals, games, slide and haunted forest with many more attractions for all ages.

Lincoln Park Zoo Fall Fest 2001 N. Clark St., Chicago (312) 742-2000 • lpzoo.org/fallfest Enjoy attractions throughout the zoo, including a Ferris wheel, corn maze, corn pool, inflatable obstacle course along with animal chats, a pumpkin patch and live music. Fridays-Sundays Sept. 27-Oct. 27.

Pumpkin Patch Sheridan Park, 910 S. Aberdeen, Chicago (312) 746-5369 chicagoparkdistrict.com Enjoy a fun traditional pumpkin patch


for children 3-12 years old. Pumpkins, bouncy house and treats.

Rainforest Café Downtown Chicago, Woodfield Mall and Gurnee Mills rainforestcafe.com Monkey business and family fun is encouraged at the café, which offers a free kid’s meal with purchase of an adult entrée.

Safari Land Indoor Amusement 701 W. North Ave., Villa Park (630) 530-4649 • safarilandfun.com This entertainment facility is packed with indoor rides, bowling lanes and games.

Skokie Park District 9300 Weber Park Place, Skokie (847) 674-1500 • skokieparks.org Check out Chicagoland’s best programs, parties and destinations this fall.

The Little Gym of Chicago 3216 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago (773) 525-5750 thelittlegym.com/chicagoil Enjoy maximum fun through an awesome curriculum that also helps with ongoing skill development.


Ongoing in the studio for themed stations to introduce you to architecture basics, a design challenge and a take-home project. Family Build is great for families with kids 3 and up. $12, free members. 10 a.m. Chicago Architecture Center, Chicago. architecture.org.

Fiddleheads. Join the conservatory each weekend for activities and projects that get kids and families wondering about the plants and the natural world. Each week is a different science-based activity. Noon-4 p.m. Garfield Park Conservatory, Chicago. (773) 6381766, garfieldconservatory.org. Pavement. The activity is a variety of group painting activities set to music, so children can dance, wiggle and giggle their way to a collaborative masterpiece. Free with museum admission. 12:304:30 p.m. Wonder Works Children’s Museum, Oak Park. (708) 3834815, wonder-works.org. MONDAY Morning Glories. Children and their caregivers can explore different areas of the Children’s Garden. Educators provide story time, imaginative play and sensory activities. Recommended for 5 and younger. Free, donation requested. 10 a.m.-noon. Garfield Park

Conservatory, Chicago. (773) 6381766, garfieldconservatory.org.

Shadow Puppet Story Time. An exciting adventure with Bill, the museum’s story time expert, and his trusty sidekick. Free with museum admission. 11:30 a.m. Wonder Works, Oak Park. (708) 383-4815, wonder-works.org.

Baby & Me. A chance for parents of infants to meet others adjusting to parenthood, ask questions and make friends. A nurse representative from Advocate Lutheran General Hospital will answer questions and facilitate discussions about early childhood development. Free with admission. 9:30-11 a.m. Kohl Children’s Museum, Glenview. (847) 832-6600, kcmgc.org.

TUESDAY KIDO Books Storytime. The story time specializes in books that feature multicultural characters and encourage empathy and inclusivity. 10:30-11 a.m. KIDO, 1137 S. Delano Court, Chicago. kidochicago.com.

WEDNESDAY Wild Wednesdays. Kids explore nature, get their hands dirty and discover new things

about plants, animals and nature. Children must be accompanied by an adult. 4-7 p.m. Garfield Park Conservatory, Chicago. (773) 6381766, garfieldconservatory.org.

Mindfulness and More. Oral storytelling and mindful awareness games develop focusing skills. Free with museum admission. 3:30 p.m. Wonder Works Children’s Museum, Oak Park. (708) 3834815, wonder-works.org.

Slot Car Free Play. Enjoy racing slot cars, hot chocolate, a coloring station, a game room with foosball, ping pong, air hockey and more. 5-9 p.m. ThursdaysFridays, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays. Fieldhouse Jones, Chicago. fieldhousejones.com.

Play Late Thursdays. On the first Thursday of each month, kids take center stage with programs including open mic nights with guest MCs to run the show, themed dance parties for the whole family, kid-friendly and kid-starring performances and more. The rest of the month on Thursdays, entrance late in the day is $14.95 for up to four people, $5 each additional person. 4-8 p.m. Chicago Children’s Museum at Navy Pier, Chicago. (312) 527-1000. chicagochildrensmuseum.org.

Teen Open Studio. Design professionals and CAC education staff will be on hand to provide project supplies and offer suggestions for teens working on design projects. 5-7 p.m. Chicago Architecture Center, Chicago. architecture.org.

FRIDAY Juicebox. A music and per-


Garden Story Time. Gather for story time and fun in the Children’s Garden amphitheater. Free with arboretum admission. 11 a.m. The Morton Arboretum, Lisle. (630) 968-0074, mortonarb.org.

Shadow Puppet Story Time. See Monday.

Slot Car Free Play. See Thursday.


Songs and Stories. Join artists at Bubbles Academy every Thursday afternoon for songs and stories. Entry includes cost for open play. $12, free enrolled families. 3:30 p.m. Bubbles Academy, Chicago. bubblesacademy.com.

Imagine the Moon

Center, Chicago. chicago.gov.

formance series for the stroller set. A music and performance series for the stroller set parents and their prekindergarten children. 11 a.m. first and third Friday. Chicago Cultural

SATURDAY Kids Pokémon League. The Cat & Mouse Games Kids’ Pokemon League brings together kids 6-12 serious about learning how to play the game. Participants need to understand the official rules and be able to play independently. For those who need to learn, there is a drop-in group instructional session 10-10:30 a.m. Must have a deck of 60 cards. 10:30 a.m.-noon Saturdays. Cat & Mouse Games, Chicago. cat-nmouse.com.

Little Squirrels Storytime. Stories and songs celebrating classic literature for preschoolage kids. Free with admission. 10:30-11:30 a.m. American Writers Museum, Chicago. (312) 374-8790, americanwritersmuseum.org.

S.T.E.A.M. Saturdays. Each week, kids get a chance to learn more through play, mostly focusing on chemistry, geometry and physics. Free with museum admission. 3:30-4:30 p.m. Wonder Works, Oak Park. (708) 383-4815, wonderworks.org. Liter-artly. After story time, enjoy a unique opportunity to explore the artistic styling of an illustrator related to each day’s stories. Free with museum admission. 10:30-11 a.m. Wonder Works, Oak Park. (708) 383-4815, wonderworks.org Juicebox. See Friday. Saturday location: Garfield Park Conservatory. Slot Car Free Play. See Thursday.

Fiddleheads. See Sunday. Weekend Crafts. See Sunday. Saturday times: Noon-1 p.m.



Avery Coonley School

a.m., Saturdays, Sept. 21, Oct. 12; Pre-K to 8th Grade (Andersonville campus) 8:30-10:30 a.m., Thursdays, Oct. 17, Nov. 14 and Jan. 16; High School (Andersonville campus) 9-10:30 a.m., Thursdays, Oct. 17, Nov. 14 and Jan. 16

1400 Maple Ave., Downers Grove (630) 969-0800 • averycoonley.org Grades served: PreK to 8th Grade Open House: Early Childhood 8:159:45 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 23; K-8th 9-11 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 29; Early Childhood and K-8th 9-11 a.m., Friday, Nov. 8, and Friday, Dec. 13

Francis W. Parker School

guidepostmontessori.com/wicker-park Grades served: Age 3-Kindergarten Open House: 10 a.m.-noon, Saturday, Oct. 12 (Also the date of the second annual Fall Festival)

Guidepost Montessori at Naperville

nscds.org/welcome Grades served: JK-12th Grade Open House: 2 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 3

Roycemore School 1200 Davis St., Evanston (847) 866-6055 • roycemoreschool.org Grades served: Preschool-Grade 12 Open House: 1-3 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 27


British International School of Chicago, South Loop

161 W. 9th St., Chicago (773) 998-2472 • bischicagosl.org Grades served: Preschool to Grade 12 Open House: 9 a.m.-noon and 4-8 p.m., Thursdays, Nov. 7 and Jan. 9

330 W. Webster Ave., Chicago (773) 797-5107 • fwparker.org Grades served: Junior Kindergarten12th Grade Open House: Lower School (JK-3rd Grade), 9 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 26; Middle School (6th-8th Grades), 1 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 9; Upper School (9th-12th Grades), 10 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 16

5051 Ace Lane, Naperville guidepostmontessori.com/naperville Grades served: Infant to Kindergarten Open House: 6-7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 15 for walk-in tours/Taco Tuesday

Gateway Montessori

Grades served: Infant to Kindergarten Open House: 4-6 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 23

Guidepost Montessori at West Loop

1000 W. Washington Blvd., Chicago

Sacred Heart Schools

6250 N. Sheridan Road, Chicago (773) 681-8418 • shschicago.org Grades served: PreK-8th Grade Open House: Admissions Coffees, 9:15-11:15 a.m., Friday, Oct. 11, Wednesday, Oct. 23, Wednesday, Nov. 6, Friday, Nov. 15 and Friday, Dec. 6; Preschool Tours, 9:15-10:15 a.m., Friday, Oct. 25, Thursday, Nov. 14, and Thursday, Dec. 5, plus 5-6 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 24, and Wednesday, Nov. 13

guidepostmontessori.com/west-loop CHICAGOPARENT.CO M | JUNE 2019

British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park

814 W. Eastman St. Chicago (773) 907-5000 • bischicagolp.org Grades served: Pre-Nursery to Grade 5 Open House: 10 a.m.- noon, Saturday, Nov. 2, and Sunday, Jan. 12

Catherine Cook School

226 W. Schiller, Chicago (312) 266-3381 catherinecookschool.org Grades served: Preschool to Grade 8 Open House: 10 a.m-1 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 3

4041 N. Pulaski Road, Chicago (773) 539-3025 gatewaymontessorischool.org Grades served: 15 months through elementary Open House: Mondays, 4 p.m., Oct. 7, Nov. 4 and Dec. 2

GEMS World Academy Chicago

3730 N. California Ave., Chicago (773) 948-8603 chicagojewishdayschool.org Grades served: Junior KindergartenGrade 8 Open House: Prospective Parent Meeting, 10-11:30 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 3

Chicago Waldorf School

226 E. Illinois St., Chicago guidepostmontessori.com/magnificent-mile Grades served: 14 months to Kindergarten Open House: 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, Nov. 16, includes parent/child yoga

350 E. South Water St. (312) 809-8941• gemschicago.org Grades served: Preschool-12th Grade Latin School of Chicago Open House: Lower School Info 59 W. North Blvd., Chicago Night, 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 10; (312) 582-6000 • latinschool.org Open House (all grades) 11 a.m., FEBRUARY 2019 | FREE Grades served: PreK-12th Grade Saturday, Oct. 26 Open House: Middle/Upper School, German International 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., Sunday, School Chicago Oct. 27 1726 W. Berteau Ave., Chicago Lycée Francais de Chicago (773) 857-3000 1929 W. Wilson Ave., Chicago germanschoolchicago.com 665-0066 • lyceechicago.org Grades served: Preschool-Grade 8 FEBRUARY (773) 2019 | FREE Grades served: PreK-12th Grade Open House: 10 a.m.-noon, Fridays, Open House: 10 a.m.-1 p.m., SaturOct. 4, Oct. 18, Nov. 1, Nov. 15, and day, Nov. 2 Dec. 13


Chicago Jewish Day School

Guidepost Montessori at Magnificent Mile





5200 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago (Andersonville) 2156 W. Montrose Ave., Chicago Guidepost Montessori at (Lincoln Square) Park CH ICA G O P A R EWicker NT.C OM chicagowaldorf.org 15530 N. Damen Ave., Chicago Grades served: PreK-Grade 8 (773) 663-4732 Open House: Early Childhood 9-11


North Shore Country Day School




St. Benedict Preparatory School

3900 N. Leavitt St., Chicago (773) 509-3814 • st.benedict.com Grades served: Preschool-Grade 8 Open House: 5:30-7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 5; 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 26

St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy 1101 Genesee St., Delafield, Wis. (800) SJ-CADET (800-752-2338) sjnma.org Grades served: Grades 7-12 Open House: 10 a.m. Fridays, Oct. 11 and Nov. 8

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The Ancona School

4770 S. Dorchester Ave., Chicago (773) 924-2356 admissions@anconaschool.org Grades served: 3 years-8th Grade Open House: 2-5 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 19; 9:30-11:30 a.m. Wednesdays, Nov. 13 and Dec. 10

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310 Green Bay Road, Winnetka (847) 441-3313




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performances Chicago Kids Company: Goldilocks & The 3 Bears. Based on the classic story of a young girl who ventures into the woods and stumbles on a cute house with three bowls of porridge, three chairs and three beds. Recommended for kids ages 2-10. $14. 10:30 a.m. week days, 1 p.m. Saturdays beginning Oct. 10. Pheasant Run Resort, St. Charles. pheasantrun.com.

Chicago Kids Company Presents Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs. Kids ages 2-10 will enjoy the one-hour musical based on the classic tale with an adapted script and original songs. $14. 10:30 a.m. WednesdaysFridays beginning Oct. 30. Beverly Arts Center, Chicago. (773) 2059600, chicagokidscompany.com.

The Color Purple. A Pulitzer Prize-winning story with a Tony Award-winning restaging, ‘The Color Purple’ is a heroine’s tale of hope and love against the odds. The play’s music is a heart-

soaring blend of jazz, gospel and the blues. $30 and up. 1:30 p.m. Wednesdays & Thursdays, 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 3 p.m. Saturdays, 2 p.m. & 6 p.m. Sundays. Drury Lane Theater, Oakbrook Terrace. (630) 530-0111, drurylanetheatre.com.

ComedySportz. Chicago’s longest-running, game-based, short form improv comedy show is recommended for ages 7 and older. $25. 8 p.m. ThursdaysSaturdays, plus 6 p.m. Saturdays. ComedySportz Theatre, Chicago. (773) 549-8080, cszchicago.com.

Destinos–Chicago International Latino Theater Festival. Chicago’s annual international live theater festival dedicated to showcasing the Latino experience as told by Latino artists and companies from Chicago, the U.S. and Latin America. Through Oct. 27, see event website for schedule and ticket information. Goodman Theatre, Chicago. clata.org.

Sesame Street Live

Disney’s Winnie the Pooh. Based on the beloved characters of A.A. Milne and the 2011 Disney animated feature film. $12.50. 11 a.m. & 1 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays, Oct. 12-13 & 26-27. Citadel Theatre, Lake Forest. (847) 7358554, ext. 1, citadeltheatre.org/ winnie-the-pooh.

Fastlove: A Tribute to George Michael. Direct from London’s West End, the U.K.’s finest George Michael tribute show is packed with crowd-pleasing anthems from Wham classics to the chart-topping success of the ’80s album “Faith,” plus the awesome tunes of the ’90s. $37-$47. 8 p.m. Oct. 26. Paramount Arts Centre and Theatre, Aurora. paramountaurora.com.

MasterChef Junior Live. Features head-to-head cooking competitions with past MasterChef Junior all-stars and fan favorites, Q&A sessions and an overall immersive audience experience. $35+. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 3. Rialto Square Theatre, Joliet. rialtosquare.com.

Midnight Circus in the Parks. Each two-hour show takes place under a little big top tent at a park in Chicago. $5-$22, free kids under 2. Times vary by location and run each weekend through Oct. 20. Visit website for schedule. midnightcircus.net.

Newsies. Based on the 1992 movie, Newsies is a rousing musical nominated for eight Tony Awards, winning Best Choreography and Best Score. Recommended for ages 8 and older. $36-$74. Visit website for schedule, through Oct. 20. Paramount Arts Centre and Theatre, Aurora. paramountaurora.com.

Peppa Pig’s Adventure Live. In a live show based on the TV series, Peppa gets ready to go on an exciting camping trip to the woods with George and her school friends. $29.50+. 6 p.m. Oct. 11. Rialto Square Theatre, Joliet. rialtosquare.com. Peter and the Starcatcher. An epic romp through the Neverland you never knew as 13 actors play more than 100 roles. $40-$45. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. FridaysSaturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays through


Oct. 20. Citadel Theatre, Lake Forest. citadeltheatre.org.

Sesame Street Live - Make Your Magic. Sing along with Sesame Street friends in an interactive show. $15 and up. 10:30 a.m. & 6 p.m. Oct. 11-13, 2:30 p.m. Oct. 12-13. Rosemont Theatre, Rosemont. sesamestreetlive.com.

Sugar Skull: A Dia de Los Muertos Musical Adventure. Young Vita thinks her family has gone loco planning a celebration for deceased loved ones until she finds herself on a magical, musical journey to unravel the true meaning of Día de los Muertos. Recommended for ages 6-11. 7-8 p.m. Oct. 4. The McAninch Arts Center, Glen Ellyn. (630) 942-4000, atthemac.org.

That’s Weird, Grandma: Goes Trick-or-Treating. Watch actors play in spooky scenarios imagined by Chicago elementary school students. $5-$20. 3 p.m. Sundays beginning Oct. 6. Neo-Futurist Theater, Chicago. barrelofmonkeys.org.

Very Hungry Caterpillar - The Show. Based on author/ illustrator Eric Carle’s beloved book, this is the story of an insatiable herbivore munching its way towards becoming a full-fledged butterfly. This production is a bright, bold spectacle, featuring 75 lovable puppets and includes three additional Eric Carle stories: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, 10 Little Rubber Ducks, and The Very Lonely Firefly. After the performance, audience members can experience the puppets and take pictures with the cast. Recommended for all ages. $27. 1030 a.m. & 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 27. Chicago Children’s Theatre, Chicago. chicagochildrenstheatre.org.

Walking Plays. Walk along with the action of your favorite literary tales performed live among 1,700 acres of trees and beautiful landscapes. All Walking Plays are about 90 minutes long and will not exceed 2 miles in hiking distance. Free with admission. 6 p.m. Oct. 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, and 27. October play: The Sherlock Scandal. The Morton Arboretum, Lisle. mortonarb.org.



Pediatric Ophthalmologists Medical and Surgical Eye Care for Infants, Children and Teens


Deena F. Leonard, M.D. Dana L. Kolton, M.D. Kathy Anderson, M.D. PEDIATRIC EYE CARE

Pediatric Ophthalmologists Medical and Surgical Eye Care for •Infants, and Teens PEDIATRIC OPHTHALMOLOGISTS Muscle Imbalance (Lazy Eye) • Blocked Tear Ducts PrematureChildren Infants • Routine Eye Exams

Buffalo Grove 847-459-6060 • Barrington 847-382-4116


Deena F. Leonard, M.D. Dana L. Kolton, M.D. Kathy Anderson, M.D.

Muscle Imbalance (Lazy Eye) • Blocked Tear Ducts • Premature Infants • Routine Eye Exams Buffalo Grove 847-459-6060 • Barrington 847-382-4116 Muscle Imbalance (Lazy Eye) • Blocked Tear Ducts • Premature Infants • Routine Eye Exams

Buffalo Grove 847-459-6060 • Barrington 847-382-4116



L ast word




e LOVE Halloween. We always do a family costume theme and get lots of compliments. But this year my middle daughter (she is 7) is refusing to be part of it. Should I force her to wear what I make to fit the theme or let her march to her own drum and be left out?

When it comes to having fun, the word “force” should never be used. Forcing someone to do something takes away every last bit of fun. A family costume is not a hill to die on. Lisa B. ■ This is how we handle this situation: Take the family pic the weekend before Halloween so you have a record of it. Then let her dress up however she wants for Halloween. It’s a good compromise. Renee L. ■ Am I the only person who thinks a mom should be able to make a 7-year-old put a costume on for a photo? Why is this even an issue? Katharine K.

about the perfect

picture image.

Let her march to her own drum, let her wear what she wants AND don’t make her feel bad about it. Don’t break her spirit just because it’s not the family costume you picked out. Brandi C. ■ If you want a family costume so badly, how about YOU wear something that fits HER theme? Tanya C.

Life is not

■ ■ Is she opting out of Halloween completely? If it’s for a photo only, then a compromise where she wears the themed costume for the photo and picks her own for Halloween or whatever she wants, within reason of course. Deanna G.

■ Life is not about the perfect picture image. The time for the family costumes may be over, but it’s still an awesome picture. Kate K.

■ Let her beat away! Maybe next year she can be in charge of the family’s costumes! Monique Z.


Buy her one she likes and can wear to school, but still make her do the themed one with the family. Judy R. ■ Don’t force her to wear a costume. Halloween is supposed to be fun, if you force a costume on her she won’t want to participate at all and everyone will be miserable. April L.

■ Is she refusing to be part of it entirely? Maybe she became a Jehovah’s Witness. Respect her religious convictions unless she starts getting all judgmental and hiding your booze and smokes and accusing you of being devil worshippers because the rest of the family wants to dress up like characters from Bubble Guppies. Or maybe the whole family can dress up like famous Jehovah’s Witnesses: Michael Jackson, Serena Williams, Damon Wayans and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Jon B.

Profile for Chicago Parent

Chicago Parent - October 2019  

Meet a young transgender rights advocate, get the scoop on the good and bad of participation trophies, plus find a month's worth of fall fam...

Chicago Parent - October 2019  

Meet a young transgender rights advocate, get the scoop on the good and bad of participation trophies, plus find a month's worth of fall fam...