Monday, January 26, 2015

Lucky Saturday


Saturday was a great day for Gavin! He got the last paw he needed to complete Level 5 in swimming! This last one was the butterfly stroke and he has been working hard on it. When we got home I pulled out my sewing machine and added the paws for this level (they are the ones rimmed in light blue on the right-hand side of the towel. The rest are patches for all the other levels he has completed)!





Right after swimming we went to Chick-Fil-A for lunch and for their play area. We've been there several times and this was the first time we saw "the cow" in the store!! We used to see it standing out on the side of the road, waving to people to go into the restaurant.

Anyway, all the kids were thrilled and wanted to pose with her. (Her apron says "Good Kidz Eat Chikin.")








Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Party Time!



Gavin was invited to a birthday party at DuPage Swim School this weekend. The party was for his friend Cassie and it looks like most of their class was there! We had never been to this particular swim school but all the kids had a great time. They got to play around in the water for an hour before they ate pizza and cake.

The pool had these little sprays of water that shot up periodically (not the whole time).




And they had plenty of pool toys:




At some point Gavin and his friends decided they needed to "save the ducklings."






The whole gang (Gavin is near the middle with a red kick board in front of him):








In the party room. The birthday girl is holding balloons and Gavin is goofing off with a party favor (big surprise).








Thursday, January 15, 2015

Shedd Aquarium



We had been wanting to take Gavin to the rest of Chicago's museums (we have been to the Adler Planetarium and the Museum of Science and Industry). The ones we hadn't covered were the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum. We told Gavin to pick one for winter break and he chose the Shedd. 

First stop: the huge circular tank called "Caribbean Reef."








Next we saw the penguins...although somehow, the play area next to them proved to be more interesting than the birds themselves:



Wearing a penguin costume:






Next, we really wanted to see the sharks:





 We learned this big guy is a sandbar shark. Gavin kept exclaiming that it was a great white, but I told him no aquarium can hold one of those guys!





Next we saw the aquatic show. We were lucky enough to see both the beluga whales and the Pacific white-sided dolphins perform (it's different every time). The amphitheatre was really cool with the big glass windows at the back and Lake Michigan outside!






The beluga whales underwater viewing:





The other thing Gavin loved was this play submarine. He was working all the controls, avoiding icebergs and steering...well, anywhere he imagined!











The next big downtown trip we take will be to the Field Museum. But Gavin does want to return the the Shedd one day. And this time, I'll have a better idea of where we are going (it's very confusing in there and we spent a lot of time trying to navigate through the different elevators and exhibits).


Monday, January 12, 2015

Brookfield Zoo Part 2


Cold, or cold(s) wouldn't stop Gavin from returning to Hamill Family Play Zoo to "take care of his animals." He immediately bee-lined for the vet clinic: 












Next, he pretended to be in charge of the zoo:












Next, we got to pet some of the domestic animals there, like a rabbit and a guinea pig. Gavin was very gentle and took it upon himself to repeat the handler's exact words to every other kid who wanted to touch the animals ("use two finger to pet, be gentle, etc.").












Hamill has a big green house where kids can run around spraying plants. It kept him occupied for a while!





After three hours in Hamill, our time was winding down. The only other building we went into was Tropic World. The gorillas are always entertaining. Below, we were watching the orangutans because we thought we'd spotted baby Kecil and his adoptive mom, Maggie. We watch their video on You Tube all the time!









Thursday, January 8, 2015

Brookfield Zoo Part 1


Gavin and I made two trips to Brookfield zoo over the break. Cold doesn't stop us!!

The zoo was full of holiday decorations:




He loved these polar bears. They were near (where else) the bear exhibit!





This sign is outside the macaw building - it's usually a tropical scene:






It's been a few years since we ventured into Hamill Family Play Zoo, but we had time and were staying close to the South gate. Gavin was completely caught up in the veterinarian routine. I had to pull him away after 30 minutes but promised we'd come back soon!






We stayed long enough for it to get dark, so he saw the gorgeous holiday light displays. More in my next post!