Friday, June 13, 2014

Free Summer Ideas {Keep Kiddos Busy and Parents Happy}


Summer can get a bit pricey when trying to keep the kids entertained! Fortunately, there are some free events to help keep the kids busy and parents sane! Here are some events that we found:

The Raupp Museum in Buffalo Grove

The Raupp Museum is one of our favorite places to go during a break. The museum itself is fun to look around to learn about the development of Buffalo Grove. On Tuesdays through August 5, the museum has Try It Tuesdays where kids get to make a craft from 1:00PM-3:30PM for free! Candle making, soap carving and more activities will be fun for kids this summer! If you visit, also grab a scavenger hunt at the front desk for some more fun!

The Raupp Museum will also be holding Wild Wednesday Nature Walks at Mike Rylko Community Park (at the Buffalo Grove Road Entrance) every Wednesday 10AM-11AM through August 6. Each week focuses on another form of wildlife.


Organic Garden Old Orchard

Stop by Old Orchard Tuesdays or Saturdays from 2PM-3PM for The Organic Gardener Event. Each week through October 26 the kids will do something nature-inspired. The Organic Garden is near Bloomingdale's and Crate and Barrel. 

Elk Grove Historical Museum

This summer, the Elk Grove Historical Museum will be open Wednesday through Friday 12PM-5PM and Saturdays 11AM-2PM. They have several historical buildings on their campus as well as a special exhibit called The Green Scale which focuses on the environment, recycling and renewable energy. Admission is free. There are some special events that do have a fee and that you need to register for. You can check those out on the website.

Blackberry Farm in Aurora

Blackberry Farm in Aurora has several free days for Illinois residents this summer: June 20, July 18, August 12 and August 27. To receive free admission, you will need to show a valid Illinois ID. The park is open from 9:30AM-3:30PM. There are several historical buildings, an early streets museum, a fun adventure playground, an interactive barn with animals, a train around the lake, a carousel and more! There is a picnic area so we usually bring something along with us.

The Grove in Glenview

The Grove is a great place for a hike and the Nature Center is a lot of fun to visit. (My daughter loves the turtles!) For some reason, we always miss the open hours for the buildings in the preserve including the Kennicott House, the schoolhouse, the longhouse and the log cabin. June 17-August 17 the buildings will be open Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays 11AM-3PM. The Grove is free, so pack a picnic for a nice day!

Wagner Farm in Glenview

Spend an afternoon on the farm at Wagner Farm. Open Mon.-Sat. 9AM-5PM and Sun. 9AM-3PM, a visit to the interactive Visitor Center and  a stroll around the farm to see the animals is fun and educational--and it is free! Bring a little money with you, though, there is an Ice Cream Parlor that opens at 11AM. Who can resist?

Whole Foods Market Northbrook

Whole Foods Market Northbrook is holding Kids Summer Saturdays from 9:45AM-10:45. The free event will include games or crafts or even some delicious bites!

Faith Lutheran Church

Faith Lutheran Church in Arlington Heights is having a couple free events for kids ages 2-6. The first is Bubbles Galore where kids will explore bubbles including making bubbles, creating a large bubble and more. Science skills will be enhanced. The event is 10AM-11:30AM on June 25.

July 9 is Block Bash where kids will play with a variety of blocks to enhance math skills. The event runs from 10AM-11:30AM.

Lizzardo Museum of Lapidary Art

The Lizzardo Museum of Lapidary Art in Elmhurst has free admission on Fridays. They are open on Friday from 10AM-5PM. Have fun checking out the museum's collection of gems, minerals and rock creations.

Elmhurst Art Museum

The Elmhurst Art Museum has free admission on Fridays. The museum is open 10AM-5PM on Fridays.

Volkening Heritage Farm in Schaumburg

The Farm and Visitor Center at the Volkening Heritage Farm are open 9AM-2PM Tuesday-Friday and 10AM-4PM Saturday-Sunday. Kids will have fun visiting the working farm and learning from interpreters. A visit is free so pack a picnic for a fun day!

Barnes and Noble

Barnes and Noble often has fun interactive summer events. The week of June 20-26 kids will be able to build rubber band Speed Racers at select Barnes and Noble Stores. Check with your location for availability and time. Sometimes you do need to sign up for these events ahead of time.

**Rumor on the street is that there will be a nationwide Frozen event this summer. So, keep an eye out!**

Lake Shore Learning

Lake Shore Learning Center in Palatine has free crafts every Saturday from 11AM-3PM.

Chicago Swim School

Free water table time on Friday mornings from 9:30AM-11:30AM at Chicago Swim School in Arlington Heights.

Other Ideas

Take on a new park a week. Whether it is to swing or go for a hike, find somewhere new to explore.

Check out the local libraries. Many have reading programs and crafts. Ours happens to have a new craft and a scavenger hunt each week in the summer.

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