Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Morton Arboretum

Another summer go-to activity place for me and Gavin is Morton Arboretum. I love that they have stuff for toddlers as well as big kids. This way, Gavin will have fun there for years!!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Brookfield Zoo

Gavin and I went back to the zoo today - a little rain never stopped us!  We went in and out of rain clouds the whole way there and while we were walking around, then again on the way home.
But we had our umbrellas and the rain made the zoo clear out, so we had a great time!

The peacocks, which sometimes hide, but were all over today:

For some reason, Gavin always wants me to take his picture by every single one of these iron wolf (or deer) statues:

 Umbrella in hand. Sitting on the gator never gets old!

We spent a lot of time with the fish and penguins in the Seven Seas:

The leopard sharks are always intriguing:

Friday, June 19, 2015

Brookfield Zoo

 One of the best things about summer is taking spontaneous trips to wherever we want to go. Yesterday, we went to Brookfield Zoo and stayed in Hamill Family Play Zoo the whole time.

Gavin took care of "his animals" in the vet clinic:

He got to pet a game hen...

...and a corn snake

We checked out the ravens. The male raven came over and stood here like he was guarding the entrance to his home. He looked very grumpy!

 When Gavin leaned in close, the raven jabbed his beak at the glass like he was telling us to stay away! Geez. Finally, he ignored us in favor of a meal. 

We listened to part of the Zoo Chat about lemurs, and he (and several other kids) wore a "lemur vest."

Of course, Gavin never gets enough time there! So we will be back a lot this summer!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Rising River

We got more rain, and the river is even higher! Here are the stairs Gavin and I sat on two days ago...well, part of them. No sitting there today!

Today (on the left) and Sunday (two days ago) on the right:

There is a curved sidewalk under that water:


Sunday (two days ago)

Almost up to the bridge!

This family of ducks was having a ball.

Sunday, June 14, 2015


Now that spring allergies are over for Gavin, we went to the Riverwalk to check on the ducks.

We were surprised at how high the water is! The lower sidewalks are mostly submerged.

We hung out on the steps (normally there is three feet of sidewalk after the bottom step) and fed and talked to the ducks. There were surprisingly fewer ducks than last year. Maybe because of all the construction along the waterfront? We're not sure.

We even saw a snake!

We will be back to check on "our" animals!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Planting in Evie's Garden

Today we went over to Prairie Children preschool, to do our yearly planting of wave petunias in the memorial garden they have for Evie.

We love seeing Evie and Gavin's former teachers, and they love seeing how tall he is getting! 
It was warm, but we had a great time and the garden looks beautiful!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Field Museum

Gavin had a couple days off last week, and we took advantage of the Field Museum being free in February! It was his first trip there and I hadn't been there in probably 12 years.

The exhibits full of taxidermied animals were interesting in that you could get much closer to them than at, say, the zoo. This bear stands nine feet tall! We also got to see the Tsavo lions and a whale skeleton.

We loved Sue. She is just amazing. Gavin was interested to learn that in her life she'd had eight broken ribs and loved the diagram that pointed them out.


Sue's head is too heavy to mount on her skeleton and sits in a case upstairs - a detail I had forgotten!

Gavin loved the hall of dinosaurs. We also walked through the ancient Egypt exhibit, which was warm and rather claustrophobic Next time we venture downtown, we'll probably head back to the Museum of Science and Industry (Gavin's favorite).

Fancy Nancy: The Musical

Yesterday Gavin and I took a trip downtown to see "Fancy Nancy: The Musical" with my friend Gina and her kids, Claire and Ethan. All the kids love the Fancy Nancy stories! It was at the Apollo Theatre in Lincoln Park, which was a nice, small venue where all the seats were good.

Waiting for the show to start:

Here is the view from our seats - it was great, and we were in the last row (which Gavin loved):

I took this during the show. The actress who played Nancy was perfect!

We found street parking on Wrightwood Ave (props to Gina for parallel parking her minivan on a Lincoln Park street WITH snow piles) and walked a few blocks to the theatre. We passed many of the typical city apartments with two upper levels and a garden apartment - and the kids thought this concept was FASCINATING. They were like "Look! A door! Down there! Where does it lead to?"

LOL!! Funny how we don't realize those little differences about the city and suburbs until they are right in front of us. The El rumbling over our heads was another novelty. :)

Friday, February 27, 2015

STEM night

Last week, Gavin's school had their annual STEM night. It was super cold (about minus 4) and that kept a lot of families away. While it was nice to not have to wait in line to see exhibits, it is also nice to see the school have a good turn out.

Gavin and a lot of friends loved riding this hovercraft down the hallway. High school students from Matea Valley (where all the Brookdale kids will go) assisted. It was loud but fun!

Gavin loved the "Mad Science" room, especially the dry ice and the static electricity:

The kids put their hands on this ball, and their hair would stand up. I included the whole sequence of photos so you can see Gavin's hair getting wilder. (I also think the expression on the face of the girl beside him are priceless).

Next we got to see (and experiment) with how DNA is extracted from fruit. We used strawberries.


Gavin loved that he got to keep the results in this "beaker." He calls it "his first science experiment that he got to keep." :)