Guess what, Chicago? Summer break is here! You know what that means, right? It means the kids think you’ve suddenly turned camp counselor and have nonstop, hair-raising fun planned from the minute they wake all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed ’til you tuck them in with a kiss and a yawn. Lucky for you (or the nanny), we did a bit of research and found ways to keep them moving, learning, laughing and happy every weekday this summer. Read on and start loading up your Palm Pilot (you still have one of those, right?) with to-dos.
Toe tingling fun on a Tuesday
Hurray for Toddler Tuesdays! The tiniest LEGO® fans are invited to join in the fun and learning during Toddler Tuesdays, featuring educational activities. The Center opens early on the second floor exclusively for toddlers and their parents, offering programs perfect for the youngest LEGO® enthusiasts. LEGOLAND Discovery Center Chicago, 601 N. Martingale Rd., Schaumburg; Tuesdays, 10 a.m.-noon.
Music at the ballpark. The Wiggleworms® early childhood music program welcomes young children and their families to participate in an interactive, social and imaginative musical world with live music, shakers, bubbles, singing and dancing. Park at Wrigley, 3637 N. Clark Street, Lakeview; Tuesdays (Jun. 27, Jul. 11, Jul. 18, Aug. 8 & Aug. 22), 10 a.m.-10:45 a.m. & 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
Story time mixed with a smidgen of play. This unique children’s toy store has a great selection of books among their toys. They understand that story time is play time! Families are invited to listen to stories with games and singing woven throughout. Play, 3109 W. Logan Blvd., Logan Square; Tuesdays, 11 a.m.
Have improvised fun at the zoo. Aspiring actors or kids who just like to take in a show can watch (and join in the fun) as the talented improvisational performers from Chicago’s Storytown troupe put on a 20-minute performance. Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark St., Lincoln Park; Tuesdays, 11 a.m., noon & 1 p.m.
Who doesn't love free food? The sister location to the legendary original in Munich is surprisingly family friendly in the afternoons. Bring the kids hungry on Tuesdays and they can eat for free while you indulge in traditional german faire. Hofbrauhaus Chicago, 5500 Park Place, Rosemont; Tuesdays, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
It's turtle time! Slowly, in turtle-like fashion, make your way to the Mysteries of the Marsh to watch Opal, Onyx and the rest of the resident box turtle crew get their chow on. Peggy Notebaert Nature museum, 2430 N. Cannon Dr., Lincoln Park; Tuesdays, 1 p.m.-1:15 p.m.
Let children do what they do best. . . let their curiosity soar. Kids get to explore the world of engineering by building machines and create processes, and then discover what happens when they make changes. Kohl Children's Museum, 2100 Patriot Blvd., Glenview; Tuesdays (Jun. 27, Jul. 11 & 25, Aug. 8 & 23, Sep. 5 & 9), 2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
For those that needs things to be a little quieter. Sky High Sports turns off the music, dims the lights and dials down the distractions for the comfort of their guests who maybe can't handle the usual energy level at a trampoline facility. Sky High Sports, 6424 Howard St., Niles & 2244 Corporate Lane, Naperville; Tuesdays, 3 p.m.-6 p.m.
Spread your blanket out for a summer film series. The bigger the better when it comes to screen size for moving watching and this 40-foot LED won't disappoint. Introduce your kiddos to some classics — with a few newbies sprinkled in — at the City of Chicago's Summer Film Series. Jay Pritzker Pavilion, 201 E. Randolph St., Millennium Park; Tuesdays thru Sept. 5, 6:30 p.m.
photo: Lincoln Park Zoo Summer Theater
How will you make the most of your summer weekdays in Chicago? Tell us your secrets in the Comments below!
— Maria Chambers