LEGO fun at The Abbey Resort Lake Geneva

 

All-Star LEGO Weekend Abbey Resor

Last weekend we went to The Abbey Resort to check out the popular Lego show that was part of their All-Star LEGO Weekend. As you can imagine, with two toddlers fascinated with LEGOS, it was surely a fun, brick-tastic way to spend the day!

Highlights of the LEGO show:

  • Two large rooms full of LEGO exhibits with amazing attention to detail...

Abbey Resort LEGO Exhibit Skyscrapers

Abbey Resort LEGO Spiderman WildStyle

....such as Spider-Man hanging out...and even Emmett and WildStyle

Abbey Resort LEGO Exhibit Castles

Abbey Resort LEGO Exhibit Store

  •  Looking for gifts? They have a few vendors that sell LEGO goodies.

http://otheplaceswego.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Abbey-Resort-LEGO-Shopping.jpg

  • Although we didn't get to participate, they had hands-on workshops that focus on the building process. This would have been perfect if our boys were older and had longer attention spans.
  • Interested in treats/concessions? Food such as popcorn were available for sale.
  • Though unrelated to LEGOs, we took a peek at the ice skating rink. Looked like fun!

Abbey Resort LEGO Exhibit Ice Skating Rink

  • Those staying at the resort got to enjoy more fun activities including a LEGO Mini Fig Scavenger hunt, fireside s'mores, glow in the dark pool time, a special showing of "The LEGO Movie." We were so jealous!

We wish

  • ...we stayed here the whole weekend to take advantage of all the LEGO fun. The Abbey is so great at planning family fun events. For instance, The Abbey will be celebrating Dr. Seuss's birthday with special things planned such as scavenger hunts, truffula treats, and of course, birthday cake! They even have a special Seuss-themed menu that they will offer.

Bottom Line

The Abbey never ceases to amaze me and they always have fun things planned for the entire family. This LEGO event was no exception. We'd love to come back during one of their family themed weekends like Dr. Seuss' birthday weekend or even during Spring Break.

 

Hyatt Regency McCormick Place offers Chicago Auto Show package

 

Chicago Auto Show

Credit: Chicago Auto Show

We raved about the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place earlier on (review here) with its prime location at McCormick Place. How cool would it be to go to the Chicago Auto Show, not worry about parking, then relax in your room afterwards?  Well, the Hyatt Regency is offering a package for those that want to do just that. The package includes a discounted rate, premium WiFi, and tickets to the show. Who knows maybe you can get a room with a view like this!

Hyatt McCormick Place View

Read more about the package here.

Bringing the family with you to the Chicago Auto Show? Read the family guide to CAS on Chicago Parent.

Enjoy!

Train fun at The Morton Arboretum’s Enchanted Railroad

 

Family Fun Morton Arboretum Enchanted Railroad

Morton Arboretum is such a fun place to visit during the warm weather months, but there's still fun things to do during the winter. One event that we were happy to check out their Enchanted Railroad exhibit.

Nitty Gritty

Website: http://www.mortonarb.org//events/enchanted-railroad
When: Now until February 22, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends
Where:  The Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle
Tickets: General Admission (December through March 31, 2015) nonmember admission rates to The Morton Arboretum are $9 for adults ages 18-64, $8 for seniors ages 65 and over, $6 for children ages 2-17 and free for children under age 2. Train exhibit is included in general admission fees.
Parking: Free with admission

Highlights

Morton Arboretum Chocolate Expo Enchanted Railroad Whole Exhibit

Exhibit is located in one room

 

  • The exhibit divided into 4 seasons - my favorite was the Fall section with skeletons and mini leaves strewn about

Morton Arboretum Chocolate Expo Enchanted Railroad Four Seasons

  • Trains are placed two feet from the ground so that the youngins' can see the trains chug around easily.

Morton Arboretum Chocolate Expo Enchanted Railroad Low to Ground

 Tips to enjoy the Morton Arboretum's Enchanted Railroad

  • Pick up your free timed entry ticket at the Visitors Center.
  • There are some chairs located around the perimeter of the room.
  • Stroller parking is located outside

Morton Arboretum Chocolate Expo Enchanted Railroad Stroller Parking

  • We spent about 30 minutes, and would be worth it if you plan ahead of time to explore the rest of the Arboretum or come for a special event. We visited when they had their Chocolate Expo so we were able to grab a few samples of chocolate.

Morton Arboretum Chocolate Expo Enchanted Railroad

Bummers

  • Can get crowded. The train exhibit is located in one large room and there's not alot of room to move.

Bottom Line

Any afternoon spent with the company of trains is always a hit with the kiddos. To make the most of the trip, check the Arboretum's schedule for any other events happening that day.

Family Friendly Restaurant: Weber Grill Schaumburg

Weber Grill Restaurant Schaumburg ReviewSometimes it's nice to treat ourselves to a nice dinner - even if it means bringing the kiddos. This time around the iconic charcoal grill at the Weber Grill in Schaumburg was beckoning us. Not only did their kid menu rock, but the thoughtfulness displayed by the staff made it a restaurant we would visit again.

Nitty Gritty:

Websitehttp://www.webergrillrestaurant.com/
Location: 1010 N. Meacham Rd, Schaumburg, Illinois (across from Woodfield Mall)
Hours: Open for lunch and dinner. Check their website for hours.
Parking: Plenty of free parking

Highlights: 

  • A great way to start the evening - coloring with triangle crayons (yes, triangle crayons are his favorite).

Weber Grill Schaumburg Crayon

  • Can't go wrong with pretzel bread as a starter with an oh-so-yummy cheese dip!

Weber Grill Schaumburg Pretzel Bread

  • It's the real deal. Just one look into the open kitchen and you'll see the chefs cooking on a real Weber Grill with charcoal.
  • Great options for kids meal. We stuck to the steak skewers which the boys DEVOURED! It included tater tots, broccoli, and fruits ($9.99) The boys were starving and the server knew to bring out the kids food right away (we didn't even have to ask). Great service!

Weber Grill Schaumburg Kids Meal

Weber Grill Schaumburg Happy Kids Steak Skewers

Look at those happy faces!

  • The boys' favorite part of their meal - the chocolate chip cookie, of course.Weber Grill Schaumburg Kids Cookie
  • Can't decide between the appetizers? The sampler including BBQ Ribs, Grilled Honey Dijon Chicken Skewers, Lemon Garlic Shrimp, Grill-Seared Steak Skewers had a good variety of their popular items and was enough to fill us up.

Weber Grill Schaumburg Appetizer

  • Hot towels for washing the hands in between courses. While the towels were steaming hot, they were thoughtful enough to have a few towels for the kids that were cooled down. Another thoughtful kid-friendly gesture!

Weber Grill Schaumburg Cool Towels

  • While I'm not too much of a meat eater, I thought their teriyaki skirt steak was absolutely delicious. Great portion size that packed alot of flavor. Delish!
Weber Grill Schaumburg Teriyaki Skirt Steak

Teriyaki Skirt Steak with sweet potatoes

  • My husband enjoyed his prime rib, and raved that the grilled beets were the "best he ever had!"

Weber Grill Schaumburg Prime Rib

  • Dessert! Chocolate lovers will love the s'mores molten chocolate cake, and the white chocolate blondie was sinfully rich and "out of this world!"

Weber Grill Schaumburg Smores Cake and Blondie

Tips to enjoy the Weber Grill:

  • Join the Grill Club - you get a $20 voucher to use during your birthday month

 

Did you know?

  • The chefs try to incorporate a grilled or smoked ingredient in almost every dish on the menu.
  • Those extra large grills are the real deal! They are customized versions of the Weber Kettle. They look a bit different than the store-bought version because they don’t have the porcelain enamel coating—they’re stainless steel for commercial grade use. But other than that, they’re manufactured by Weber, like your grill at home.

Weber Grill Restaurant Schaumburg Grill

  • They use about 2000 lbs of charcoal a day equal to one TON!!
  • Don't even get close to those grills! The searing grills fire up to 1300°F–1500°F!

Bottom Line: 

While it may be a little expensive, the Weber Grill is a great place to have a date night (even with the kids in tow) or celebrate a special occasion. The service is great especially towards their youngest diners.

A fun-filled All-Star LEGO Weekend at The Abbey Resort

lego

Calling all LEGO fans! This weekend is the 3rd annual All Star LEGO Weekend at my favorite Wisconsin resort close to Lake Geneva, The Abbey Resort.

The Fun

LEGO lovers of all ages will find fun around every corner when The Abbey Resort hosts the third annual All-Star LEGO Weekend over President’s Day weekend, Friday, February 13 through Monday, February 16.

All-Star LEGO Weekend includes:

  • Interactive activities and hands-on workshops with expertise offered by LEGO clubs and groups from throughout the Midwest, including both the Wisconsin and Illinois LEGO clubs.
  • Workshops will focus on the building process, including inspiration, design and construction with a focus on technique to keeps kids excited from conception through completion.

More fun for those that stay the weekend including family-friendly fun from morning to night with activities such as: 

  • A LEGO Mini Fig Scavenger Hunt
  • Fireside S'mores Under The Stars
  • Glow-in-the-dark pool time illuminated in classic LEGO colors, stop-motion animation LEGO Brickfilms, and of course, a special showings of “The LEGO Movie.”

Sounds like a fun time especially if you stay the weekend!

Nitty Gritty

Website: http://www.theabbeyresort.com/
Location: 269 Fontana Blvd. Fontana, WI 53125
Parking: Plenty of free parking
Tickets: General public may purchase daily admission tickets at the resort for $5 per person or $15 for a family of 4, and $2 for each additional child.
Package: To learn more or to book a stay, please visit www.theabbeyresort.com/ special-pkg/seasonal-pkg or call 1-800-709-1323. Rates begin at $139 per night.

Getting to know Rosemont, Illinois

A few weekends ago we spent some time in Rosemont, Illinois. Living in the Chicago area, I was familiar with Rosemont for two things. One, its proximity to O'Hare Airport and two, the convention center. Despite my preconceptions, the area seems to be getting more recognition lately, especially for families. In the end, I was very pleased and I can't wait to explore the area some more with my family.

Places to STAY

Aloft Chicago OHare Pool Table

We stayed at Aloft Chicago O'Hare, which is connected via skybridge to MB Financial Park. It's a great budget-friendly option for families that want to be close to all the action. It's stylish and cool, plus there's a pool (always a plus) and a pool table!

Places to PLAY

There are tons of great options for families here. Here are a few to keep in mind:

FROZEMONT

Frozemont Winter Tubing Hill

Currently, the big winter hit is FROZEMONT at MB FInancial Park with its free ice skating at the NHL-sized rink (skate rentals $8), and for those courageous, Polar Peak, a260 feet four-story tubing! There's also a less steep lane for younger kids. It's been so popular that they have extended it until March 1st.

iFLY

iFly Indoor Skydiving

For adventurous families there's indoor skydiving at iFLY. They say anyone from age 3 to 103 can "fly," and while I was only a spectator this time around,  it looked absolutely exhilarating!

Fashion Outlets of Chicago

Fashion Outlets of Chicago Art

You'll see art everywhere you turn!

Bargain hunters will rejoice once they visit the Fashion Outlets of Chicago. Recently voted Best Factory Outlet Center in the World , the shopping center consisting of 130 outlet stores. Most of the kids stores such as Disney and Carter's, are ideally located by each other, which makes it convenient for parents in a hurry.  Loved how art was showcased throughout the outlets. Tip: Nursing mothers take note, there is a room for you and the little one.

Allstate Arena

Disney on Ice Frozen Allstate Arena

There's always something going on at the Allstate Arena. In fact, a few days later my family and I were able to catch Disney on Ice presents Frozen. What a fantastic show! I know this weekend they'll also have Monster Jam - something the boys would totally dig!

Places to EAT

Villagio

Villagio Restaurant Rosemont

We had small bites at Villagio, an Italian restaurant and one of the two main restaurants located at Fashion Outlets Chicago. It provided a nice intimate ambiance, not to mention tasty small bites of meatballs, pizzas, and calamari. Delicious!

Hofbrauhaus Chicago

Hofbrauhaus Chicago Pretzels and Beer

One really unique place that I must admit is truly fun for the entire family is the Hofbrauhaus Chicago, a fun German restaurant. Staying true to their Bavarian roots, most of their products are produced on-site with genuine ingredients.  If it's not authentic, then it's imported.  The delicious pretzels? Yep, they ship 'em from Germany.

Sugar Factory

MB Financial Park Sugar Factory

For a sugar rush, the ever-so-sweet Sugar Factory has you covered. They gave us a few sweet treats - and honestly that got me hooked! I need to go there again to try out their delectable drinks at their Chocolate Lounge. Would be perfect for Valentine's Day!

Bottom Line

Honestly, I was impressed with everything that Rosemont offered for families. I can't wait to spend another day there!

Disclosure: Thank you to the Village of Rosemont for hosting us on this familiarization tour.

 

 

Hotel Review of Aloft Chicago O’Hare: More than an airport hotel

Aloft Chicago OHare Main

We recently took a mini-staycation at the Rosemont, primarily so I could check out the Chicago Travel and Adventure Show (love!), and tour the nearby attractions (Chicago Fashion Outlets and MB Financial Park) that have made Rosemont so popular lately. More on this later! Our home base for the night was the uber trendy Aloft Chicago O'Hare.

Nitty Gritty:

Location:  9700 Balmoral Avenue, Rosemont, Illinois. Close to plenty of restaurants, next to Fogo de Chao, across from highly rated Fashion Outlets of Chicago (FOC), connected to the fun entertainment center, MB Financial Park, and minutes away from Allstate Arena and the Convention Center.
Parking:  Parking is $23 with in and out privileges in the parking garage. Enter from Bryn Mawr or Balmoral. There is a heated skydeck into the hotel from the green level.
Category: This is a Category 3 hotel. Aloft is part of the Starwood Preferred Guest program. I'd definitely sign up beforehand. You get complimentary bottles of water, and with their efforts to go green, you can get 250 Starpoints or a $5 voucher for each night housekeeping is declined. I love racking up my points, so I always go for that.
Price Range: $89 to $109

Hotel Highlights:

  • It seems like a "happening" scene for the twenty to thirty-something crowd, with an open lounge/bar area that I imagine gets really happening towards the after hours. Loved that there were games to play in the lounge.

Aloft Chicago OHare Lobby

    • A pool table in the lobby area - how fun!

Aloft Chicago OHare Pool Table

  • As it always should be, Aloft Chicago offers free wi-fi.
  • Pet-lovers rejoice! the Aloft is pet-friendly and there's no fee to bring them.
  • Location, location, location. As I mentioned before, it's connected via sky bridge to the MB Financial Park, the outdoor entertainment hub. You can access it through the 2nd floor. The Fashion Outlets of Chicago are right across the street, and would be awesome if they had a connecting skybridge (maybe sometime in the near future?)

 

Room highlights:

We had the opportunity to stay in a double room on the 3rd floor.
  • Again, love the color scheme. I am a sucker for teal and grey, pink and grey!

Aloft Chicago OHare Bedroom

  • It's not called Aloft for no reasons - the rooms have a loft-type atmosphere with 9-ft high ceilings and extra large windows.
  • Very spacious desk area which makes sense since they cater primarily to the business traveler.
  • Liked how they utilized the space with the closet across from the bathroom. Some may find it less roomy than a traditional closet, but I like how creative it is!

Aloft Chicago OHare Sink Closet Minifridge

  • The always-convenient mini fridge (located under the sink). Great for storing leftovers from eating out at the nearby MB FInancial Park.
  • The delicious smelling Bliss products

Aloft Chicago OHare Bliss Products

  • Really cool option to Plug and Play away with any device. We could watch it on the 42" television. Don't have plugs? You can borrow from the front desk.

Aloft Chicago OHare Plug n Play Tech

  • Free bottle of water if you are a Starwoods member

Aloft Chicago OHare Bliss Products Aloft Chicago OHare Free Bottle Water

  •  Shower with full size body wash and combo shampoo/conditioner

Aloft Chicago OHare Bathroom Shower

Amenities Highlights:

  • A pretty nice fitness center open 24 hours with treadmills, free weights, bikes, ellipticals. Forgot your earphones? They got you covered!

Aloft Chicago OHare Gym

  • The boys had a fun time at the nice-sized pool.

Aloft Chicago OHare Pool

  • For those that are flying out of O'Hare, there is a complimentary shuttle that transports you.
  • While there is no full-service restaurant, their Re:fuel snack section is a nice alternative where you can just grab and go (well, grab, pay, and go). We did try the make to order breakfast - pick out the bagel, the cheese, and type of meat (we picked sausage). My husband enjoyed his bagel sandwich. A nice option for around $4.50. Plus, they offer free coffee in the morning.

Aloft Chicago OHare Pool Snack Station ReFuel 2

Bummers:

  • My husband had a very tough time looking for parking at the parking garage. While there is a floor (green level) dedicated to hotel guests, all the spots were taken. He had to park further away on a different level, which normally wouldn't be a problem except he was hauling three kids!
  • They talk about their Camp Aloft program on the website, where you can request an air mattress. When I asked the front desk about this she said we couldn't accommodate the request for the air mattress since we were in a double room. I imagine many families won't be able to take advantage of this perk since most of them will be staying in a double room.
  • The mattresses kept slipping off the base every time we accidentally hit it. With two rowdy boys it was an accident waiting to happen.
  • Be careful when taking a shower - the water spilled through all the way to the sink area.
  • Not particularly a deal breaker for our family, but if you're a light sleeper you may wake up from the planes flying overhead.

Bottom Line:

While we had a less-than-perfect stay, it was still rather enjoyable with its close proximity to all the entertainment.

Disclosure: Our family was provided a complimentary stay at Aloft O'Hare Chicago. I was not required to express a particular point of view, and all opinions are my own.

Free Admission to Chicago Museums in February

 

Free Chicago Museums February

Who doesn't love free? I've rounded up a list of Chicago museums that are free for the month of February. I've also included a review of those museums we have visited. As always, please confirm before going to the museum. Enjoy!

Art Institute of Chicago

Where: 11 S. Michigan Avenue
When: Free general admission for Illinois residents on Thursday evenings
Through Tuesday, February 10, museum admission is free to Illinois residents every weekday—all day long. Kids 13 and under are always free.
Tip: Admission to the Ryan Education Center is always free.

Chicago Children's Museum

Chicago Childrens Museum Dinosaur

Where: 700 E. Grand Avenue (Navy Pier)
When: Free 5-8 p.m. every Thursday and the first Sunday of every month for kids 15 and under. Always free to children under 1.
Click here for our review of the museum.

 

 

Chicago History Museum

Where: 1601 N. Clark St
When: Free general admission Mondays to Fridays for the entire month
Tip: Always free for children 12 and under

Field Museum of Natural History

Where: 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive
When: Free general admission for Illinois residents every day for the month of February.

Museum of Contemporary Art

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago - Artwork

Where: 220 E. Chicago Ave
When: Free general admission for Illinois residents on Tuesdays; children 12 and under are free every day.
Other ways to save: From October through May, the second Saturday of the month is free for families with children 12 and under.
Click here for our review of the museum's Family Fun Day.

Museum of Science and Industry

Museum of Science and Industry Electric Ball

Where: 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive
When: Free admission for kids 3-11 all month long (two free kids tickets permitted per purchase of one paying adult). Note: Voucher for free Kids Museum Entry must be printed in advance and redeemed on-site at the Museum ticket counter; they cannot be used for online ticketing.
Click here, here, and here for our review of the museum.

 

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Peggy Notebaert Museum Butterfly

Where: 2430 N. Cannon Drive
When: Free general admission for Illinois residents on Thursdays (donations accepted)
Tip: Children under 3 free
Click here and here for our review of the museum.

 

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium - Nemo

Where: 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive
When: Free general admission for Illinois residents on the following days - February 2, 3, 9, 10, 13, 14 , 15, 16, 17, 23, 24
Other ways to save: Shedd participates in the City Pass program and Great Kids Museum Passport
Click here for our review of the museum.

Family Fun Review: Volo Auto Museum

Volo-Auto-Museum-Batman-Main

Disclosure: Our family was provided complimentary admission to the Volo Auto Museum. I  was not required to express a particular point of view and all opinions are my own.

I've always been curious about the Volo Auto Museum, a classic car auto museum located just north of Chicago. While we don't consider ourselves car experts at all, we do occasionally watch Fast and Furious (okay, we've seen all of them) and have to say we are definitely enamored by them. We expected to see nice classic cars (we did), but we didn't expect to see so many different cars from movies and popular shows. And we definitely didn't expect to see a kids showroom with so many favorite characters and cars (of course!) Needless to say, visiting the Volo Auto Museum exceeded our expectations and has become a favorite family museum.

Nitty Gritty:

Website: http://www.volocars.com/
Ticket prices: Admission costs $13.95 ($14.95 in the summer) for adults; children 5-12 $8.95 and kids under 5 are free.  Check their website for discount coupons. Memberships available.
Location: 27582 Volo VIllage Road, Volo, IL
Parking: Plenty of free parking.
Stroller-friendly? We did end up bringing an umbrella stroller and we had ample room to navigate.
Food: There is a cute 50s little diner right when you walk in.

Highlights:

  • Tons and tons of classic cars! Car lovers will absolutely love checking them out! Bring your checkbook, just in case you fall in love with a car, because, yes, you can buy one!
 
  • We didn't expect to see so many cars from popular movies/shows. Some of the cars had a tv playing the scenes with the car in it. While some of the cars from movies may resonate with my generation (Back to the Future, Ghostbusters), the kids were equally excited to scope out a few cars from their favorite movies (Batman and Transformers)

Volo-Auto-Museum-Ghostbusters

Volo-Auto-Museum-Back-to-the-Future-Delorean

One of our favorite exhibits - the Delorean from Back to the Future

  • Seeing the "real" Transformers Bumblebee from the first Transformers movie.

Volo-Auto-Museum-Bumblebee-Transformers

  •  Need a little rest? Watch a short film. At the time, they were playing behind the scenes footage from Batman

Volo-Auto-Museum-Village-Theater-Movie

  • The last showroom is so much fun - it's made for kids! You can pose in the Flintstones car, plus there are a bunch of coin operated rides. We forgot to bring coins this time around, but they enjoyed hopping in the rides.

Volo-Auto-Museum-Kids-Spiderman-Batman-ToyStory

  • Pretty cool cars owned by celebrities. They recently acquired a 1974 Cadillac Seville from no other than the King himself. As a lover of Caddys, Elvis had special ordered the caddy and turned it into a station wagon. What's really fascinating is that the car has been unseen and unheard of for the past 40 years.
Volo-Auto-Museum-Elvis-Cadillac

The King's custom made pink caddy.

Volo-Auto-Museum-Celebrity-Cars

  •  Cool props from movies!

Volo-Auto-Museum-Movie-Props-Predator-Cat in the Hat

 We wish...

  • ...all the buildings were connected. Since we visited during the winter, we had to bundle the kids up each time we went from one showroom to the other. It would be a total non-issue if it was warm outside.
  • ...again, it was warm out! There were other things to explore on the grounds of the museum including a playground.

Tips to enjoy Volo Auto Museum

  • Like antique shopping?  There's a couple antique malls right around the corner. We always stop by the shop with the collectible toys.

Volo-Auto-Museum-Antique-Malls-Toys

  • Bring coins if you want the kids to enjoy a ride or two.
  • Check the Volo Auto Museum's website regularly. The museum is always evolving and adding new events, cars, and exhibits.
  • Yes, there's a squished penny machine.

Did you know? 

  • The Volo Auto Museum's history is quite fascinating. The Volo Museum is a family-run business spanning 4 generations, with 3 generations still active.
  • The property was a non-operating Dairy Farm that was originally established in 1848. In fact, the original farm house, barn and other structures are still in use today.
  • Brian Grams, Director of the Volo Auto Museum and whose grandfather actually started the Museum, enlightened me with a little history of how the museum came to be: "...the cars started out as $25 beaters that turn into $50 beaters that eventually turned into nice cars which gained notoriety for people who just wanted to see them, which opened the door to the museum. Its been a constant road forward with the evolution of the business. We will never be “done."

Bottom Line:

Visiting the Volo Auto Museum is always a fun day out - car lover or not. There's lots to see and do to keep the whole family entertained. We can't wait to check out what they have in store for the future.

 Read more about our visit last year on Chicago Parent.

Family Fun Review: Build It! at Kohl Children’s Museum

Disclosure: Our family was provided complimentary admission to the Kohl Children's Museum. I  was not required to express a particular point of view and all opinions are my own.

During the winter, we love going to the children's museums so the kids can let out some pent up energy. We were happy to hear that the Kohl Children's Museum had a new exhibit called Build It! With two boys ages 4 and 3 that love to build things, this was just right up their alley.

Nitty Gritty:

Build It! Exhibit at the Kohl Children's Museum
Website: http://www.kohlchildrensmuseum.org/visit
When: The temporary exhibit is here until May 3, 2015 
Prices: Exhibit is included in the entrance fee. Admission costs $11 for adults and kids; under 1 are free. 
Location: 2100 Patriot Blvd, Glenview, IL in the Glen
Parking: There is a free parking lot. 
Stroller-friendly? On weekends, I always feel better leaving the stroller at home. On our latest visit on a Monday morning, we didn't have trouble navigating with a stroller. 
Food: There is a Cosi Cafe
Crowded: We were here on a Monday morning and it wasn't crowded at all
Nursing Friendly: There are little coves where you can nurse (no doors)

What to Expect:

  • Towards the back of the museum is a huge room ddivided into different stations with different kids of blocks - large foam blocks, classic Duplo plastic blocks, wooden blocks, and more! 

Highlights:

  • Their absolute favorite part of the exhibit - the Cast Shadows section. When you add dinosaurs in the mix, my two boys are as happy as can be. Add in animals and a chalk table, and I've got happy campers that never want to leave.
  • Since there are 7 discrete stages of block play that children progress through as they age, it was neat to see what stage each section represented
 
  • Construct famous Chicago skyscraper like the Sears Tower, err I mean Willis Tower.
 
  • Vertical Spinner: Build up AND out at this spinning activity station that allows you to construct sideways from a vertical base.
  • Who doesn't like playing with larger-than-me blocks? These were soft so I didn't have to worry about my sons getting hurt.

Tips to enjoy the Kohl Children's Museum

  • Plan ahead and check their hours. As stated on their website, visits on a Monday are less crowded although the museum closes at noon (except from June - August)

Bottom Line:

For anyone that has kids that love to build (and who doesn't?), don't miss out on seeing the Build It! exhibit.