It has been a GORGEOUS week, but it’s time to return to our favorite cozy activities as the temperatures drop again! Like everyone else, my November/December calendar is looking unusually quiet this year, so I’m trying to embrace this chance to slow down and enjoy some simple activities with my family. I hope that you all have a wonderful weekend!

Support your favorite local Chicago artisans at a holiday pop-up shop

Visit the Chicago Makers Holiday Pop-Up Shop in Wicker Park from November 1-December 31! The store is FULL of unique Chicago small businesses including makers of candles, pottery, jewelry, greeting cards, handmade soaps, clay earrings, plants, leather goods and SO much more. The market is located at 1278 N Milwaukee Ave #1, and is open Monday-Saturday 10-8 and Sunday 11-7. I’m excited to check out some of my favorite Chicago makers, including Sparkle & Supply and Babe Bombs!

Chicago Makers Holiday Pop-Up

Tune in to a “walkie talkie” around the North Pond Sanctuary

The Chicago Children’s Theatre has been doing an AMAZING job thinking outside of the box to bring amazing programming to our children! Up next is their “Walkie Talkie” series! Walkie Talkies are totally original audio experiences families can listen to together while exploring different Chicago neighborhoods. The first three Walkie Talkies are self-guided strolls through South Shore, Little Village, and around the North Pond Nature Sanctuary in Lincoln Park. Each episode was commissioned by Chicago Children’s Theatre and created by a different local theater artist, resulting in a fun and educational new audio series that children and families can enjoy together, outdoors and safely, even over the winter months, while learning more about the beautiful city they live in. Each episode is under one hour and comes with an interactive map to guide families and classroom field trips on each bite-sized journey, plus photos of top tour highlights, vocabulary keys, recommended reading and song lists, and other fun, family activities.

Chicago Children’s Theatre Walkie Talkie

Plan a cozy make-your-own pizza night at home (with treats!)

We LOVE making our own pizza at home, since it’s something that even our littlest guy can help with! Our kids are always more excited to eat if they helped prepare the meal. We adore the pizza from Stella Barra (1954 N Halsted St.), so we were super excited to see that they have a make-your-own pizza kit that you can order for takeout or delivery. There is a pizza kit meal for four that includes dough, sauce, cheese, and instructions – plus prime beef meatballs, italian chopped salad, and 2 giant chocolate chip cookies! We can’t resist the krispy chocolate chip cookies (a combination rice krispy treat & chocolate chip cookie), so definitely add one of those to your cart as well.

Stella Barra Take Home Pizza Kit

Take on a family friendly service project – from the comfort of home

Share Our Spare is an amazing Chicago based organization whose mission is to ensure every child in Chicago has the essentials they need to thrive in the first five years of life. They do this by collecting new and gently used baby items from those with “extras” to spare and distributing them to families living in poverty through a sustainable network of volunteers, community stakeholders, and social service agencies. We are always looking for ways to give back, especially during the holiday season, and Share Our Spare has some amazing volunteer opportunities. Share Our Spare has provided instructions for “at home kitting”, so you can shop for & pack kits in the comfort of your own home. Completed kits can be dropped off at the Sharehouse at 935 W Chestnut LL13 Chicago, IL 60642 during any of the open donation hours. We are excited to tackle making kits as a family! Contact Share Our Spare here for more infomation. If you are interested in volunteering in-person, you can sign up here (for kids 10 and older),

Share Our Spare At Home Kitting

Enjoy a quiet morning at the Art Institute, and take in the Monet and Chicago exhibit

The Art Institute of Chicago is open with many covid precautions in place, including: online ticket purchases, a free app for audio tours throughout the galleries and special exhibitions, capacity limits, and virtual lines (see more information here). I’ve heard first hand from many friends that they have felt like they were the only ones in the whole museum with all of the limitations on crowds. I’m dying to see the Monet and Chicago exhibition, which is at the museum until January 18, 2021. Read more about it here!

Monet and Chicago

 

 

 

 

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