All posts by Nancy Stevens

Have a great Birthday Party!

Here’s a look at some facilities and services to help you make the most of your special events. Many facilities and services book well in advance, so start booking your winter and spring parties now. Des Plaines Park District Des Plaines: 847-391-5700, www.dpparks.org Party indoors and... Read More

10 Tips to Stop Stressing Kids this Summer

Parenting expert Michele Borba says overscheduled, overwhelmed kids are missing out on the free play and downtime that develop their capacity to care about others. Here, she offers 10 tips to help us stop stressing the empathy out of our kids this summer. Summer, of course, once... Read More

5 Ways to Ditch Technology for Family Bonding

Here are 5 ways to ditch technology in favor of intergenerational family bonding. No face-to-face contact is needed for massive communication to take place today! Children are text messaging, surfing their favorite websites and playing video games. Adults are looking at Facebook, Twitter and emails. These... Read More

Re-Build Girls’ Self-Esteem This Summer

Here are some tips from a unique wilderness camp that inspires self growth and teaches lifelong skills to young girls. Studies have shown that 53% of 13-year-old American girls are unhappy with their bodies. This number grows to 78% by the time girls are 17 years... Read More

DIY Halloween Costumes on a Budget

We got some great tips from a Consignment Expert to create and save on costumes this Halloween Do you remember your favorite Halloween costume as a kid? Mine was this long, flowing princess costume that my mother made out of green satin and chiffon. It had a... Read More

Best Pumpkin Patches

Fall is here and Halloween is on the way, so get out your carving tools and go find the perfect pumpkin. Here are some of our favorite pumpkin farms and fests for the season. Abbey Farms Aurora: (630) 966-7775, abbeyfarms.org 2855 Hart Road: Beyond a pumpkin patch,... Read More

Find Family Fun Apple Picking

Nothing says fall like fresh midwestern apples picked right off the tree and made into delicious apple pies. Here’s a list of apple orchards within an easy drive from Chicagoland.  All Seasons Orchard Woodstock: 815-338-5637   www.allseasonsorchard.com 14510 IL Route 176. All Seasons offers apple picking,... Read More

Is my child too sick to go to school?

Many parents have a hard time deciding if their kids are well enough to go to school. After all, what well-intentioned parent hasn’t sent a child off with tissues in hand, only to get that mid-morning “come get your child” phone call? But making the right... Read More

Tree Lighting in Chicago Suburbs 2019

Tree Lighting in Chicago Suburbs 2019. You can visit with Santa at these neighborhood tree lighting ceremonies and holiday festivals. Nov. 28, 8-11am Chicago Thanksgiving Parade Chicago: www.chicagothanksgivingparade.com, State St. Nov. 29, 6:30-9pm Christmas Parade & Christmas Tree Lighting Antioch: https://www.antioch.il.gov, downtown to Village Hall. Nov.... Read More

6 Best Places to Cut-Your-Own Christmas Tree

Why cut your own tree? It’s a good way to experience the countryside and support a local family farm. The trees are recyclable and sustainable, rather than made from oil-based petroleum products. The smell of fresh pine instantly creates a holiday atmosphere in your home. Just... Read More

Back-to-School Germs

It seems like the kids always get exposed to new germs the first month they’re back in school. Boogie Wipes surveyed parents with school-age children and found that 67% reported their kids were sick within the first month of returning to school in the fall. What can... Read More

Valentine’s Day Memories

It’s not always easy for kids while we like to think of Valentine’s Day as all sweet, candy and roses, I’m sure we all remember days of heartbreaks as well. Remember when, before the politically correct days of every child giving a Valentine to everyone in... Read More

Finding Deals for Thanksgiving Meals

Guest Post by Stephanie Nelson, Founder of CouponMom.com Make your Thanksgiving dinner one of the best bargain meals you prepare this year. By shopping the sales and using coupons, you’ll save big while your family and friends rave about your delicious meal. Just follow these tips for... Read More

4th of July Fireworks 2017

Fireworks are our favorite part of the 4th of July, along with barbecues, bike parades, and waving the flag. There are so many festivals and activities to choose from on the holiday weekend. June 30 Cary Dusk Friday, June 30, at Cary Summer Celebration, Lions Park,... Read More

Spring Clean like a Green Machine

Want to make your own green cleaners to keep your house fresh the non-toxic way? Here are the basic supplies you’ll need: Distilled white vinegar (sold in the cooking section of most supermarkets) Baking soda Olive oil Borax (sold in a box in the laundry aisle)... Read More

Valentine Events 2017

February 4, 6-8 p.m. Daddy Daughter Hoedown Grand Oaks Rec Center, 1401 W. Route 176, Crystal Lake www.crystallakeparks.org Yeeehaw! Girls, grab your boots and favorite cowboy, and mosey on over to the Daddy Daughter Hoedown! February 10, 4-5:30 p.m. Cool Science: Let’s Do Some Valentine Science... Read More

Holidays in Chicago 2016

The city sparkles with lights and cheer during the holiday season. Make it your family tradition to take advantage of all that Chicago has to offer during this time of year. There are train and trolley rides, music and performances, Santa runs and specialty shopping. Here’s... Read More

5 Tips to Keep Kids Safe While Traveling

Oaklee’s guest post by Nancy Cowles, Executive Director for Kids In Danger, a Chicago-based nonprofit dedicated to improving children’s product safety. Check their website for safety information and the latest product recalls.  Whatever the holiday season has in store for your family, if you will be traveling... Read More

Classes and Winter Break Camps 2016

Looking for a class or a winter break camp? Here’s a list of fabulous camps for all kinds of activities. The YMCA even offers overnight camps. It’s not too late to register so call now! Specialty Camps The Actors Gymnasium offers performing arts camps in Evanston which... Read More

5 Tips to Relieve Holiday Stress

Oaklee’s guest post by our organizational guru, Sue Becker, owner of From Piles to Smiles.   Reflect on what you want. Determine what you want to get out of the holidays. For example, do you want to spend quality time with family or friends, eat healthfully,... Read More