Sandee Harned is a Chicago Public Schools high school teacher turned stay-at-home mom after the birth of her second child. After nearly two years at home, Sandee started the blog Motherhood is Beautiful…and Other Lies which focuses on the parts of motherhood most women only tell their closest friends.   Sandee talks about her adventures and missteps with her two tiny troublemakers Charlie (3 and 1/2) and Tilly (2). The blog’s goal is to open up a dialogue and create camaraderie among women—funny, embarrassing and heartwarming stories about the trials and tribulations of motherhood to show that it’s okay to be an imperfect mommy.

family_smlogo_smSandee’s Top 3 Family-Friendly Chicago Destinations

  • Adams Park: This playground has it all! A fabulous play structure safe for kids of all ages, swings, a large sandbox as well as a separately fenced splash pad for hot summer days. It’s the perfect place for little ones to cool off! Especially those who are too young to swim at the beach or pool.
  • Skokie Exploratorium: A great, inexpensive place to take kids to play especially on bad weather days. It’s big enough for kids to run and climb, but small enough that mom or dad can keep an eye on more then one child at a time.
  • Lincoln Park Zoo: Who doesn’t love a free zoo? Kids can burn off energy while looking at the numerous exhibits that the zoo has to offer. The zoo also offers carousel and a train ride for children for $2 each, and the farm in the zoo which has a petting zoo for no cost.

Sandee’s Family Travel Tip Never leave the house without a variety of healthy snacks for little ones. If your kids are anything like mine, they can’t go more then thirty minutes without wanting some sort of food. By packing snacks, I can stave off any hunger meltdowns that might be brewing. I can also make sure that the snacks they are getting are healthy. Our favorites are go-go squeeze applesauce, dried fruit, granola bars and veggie straws.

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