Annie is the mom of Elliott (4) and Allison (2) as well as the writer and creator of {kidlist} activities for little kids. Moms, dads, and grandparents use the site to plan fun days with their children in the near west suburbs of Chicago. Annie makes lists of places to go, introduces ways to foster creativity at home, and announces kid-friendly events.

Annie’s Family Travel Tip Pack a picnic lunch whenever you can! It’s so much more relaxing if lunch is ready when everyone is hungry and needing a break. One of the best purchases I made is the Skip Hop Central Park Outdoor Blanket and Cooler Bag because I can put it on my shoulder and go. My kids get so excited when I tell them we are going to have a picnic! It breaks up the mundane routine of eating at a table and makes the day special.

kidlist-cover_smAnnie’s Top 3 Family-Friendly Chicago Destinations

  • The Art Institute of Chicago: People don’t usually think of art museums as kid-friendly but even young children can really enjoy looking at paintings and sculpture. The Art Institute has a section of the website to plan family visits. where they give suggestions for gallery activities, ways of looking at art with your kids and follow-up activities for when you get home. The museum also has a huge room inside the Ryan Education Center called the Family Room.
  • The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum: This museum is called the urban gateway to nature and science. They have a butterfly haven, which is a family favorite of ours where butterflies fly around in a greenhouse filled with pools of water, flowers, and tropical trees. They also have many more permanent and current exhibits.
  • Pirate’s Cove: This children’s theme park is aimed at children ages 2-9 and is a great summer destination. We enjoy it because there are fun rides and activities, but it’s not too overwhelming. They have a train ride though the safari, paddle boats, a climbing area, giant slide, carousel, little train engines that the kids can propel and more.

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