Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I ♥ Faces--Hands On Fun

Here at ChiIL Mama, we love hands on fun.   So it's especially cool to focus on everyone's "hand"y work in this week's contest over at I ♥ Faces.

This is our friend, Sabrina, getting back to nature with the touching table at North Park Nature Center in Chicago.   The kids got to handle everything from antlers to worm bin dwellers.  The kids could even touch fur, feathers, jaw bones, pine cones, bees wax and opossum skulls.

They even got to tap their own Maple tree!   Each kid took a turn on the Maple, with the hammer and the hand drill, and learned about spiels, sap and syrup production.    The Nature Center is always free and is an incredible 155 acre oasis on the north side of urban Chicago.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Look For ChiIL Mama This Weekend: Welcoming The Year of the Dragon, Bidding Polar Adventure Day Goodbye, Loving Bleeding Heart Bread, and Rockin' The Roller Derby

If you missed out on Chinatown's Lunar New Year parade last weekend or if you still haven't gotten your fill of welcoming in The Year of the Tiger, head up North to Argyle and Broadway at noon, for more fire crackers, Chinese dragons, martial arts and great food.

Lunar New Year Parade
Hosted and sponsored by Hip Sing and Area Merchants

Saturday, February 20, 2010
1121 W. Argyle

This parade is a visual delight with parade floats, two lion dance teams, a dragon dance team, martial arts demonstrations, and two sections of the Rickover Naval Academy marching band!

The parade steps off at noon from Broadway & Argyle, heading East on Argyle, South on Sheridan, West on Ainslie and then north on Broadway, ending in the Tai Nam parking lot (4925 N. Broadway).

A traditional firecracker display will take place at Hip Sing - 1121 W. Argyle St.

Come early or stay after the parade to enjoy a fabulous meal at one of the many Argyle Street Chinese, Vietnamese or Thai restaurants, and browse the many shops for unique gift items!

Alternately, this is the last Polar Adventure Day of the winter out at Northerly Island.

We've been hearing about the weekly bread co-op over at our favorite Punk Rock Pastry Shop, Bleeding Heart Bakery.   But last week was our first foray into ordering a loaf.   They're just $5 and can be picked up every Sunday after 1pm in Roscoe Village or Monday in Oak Park.   Bread must be pre-ordered by 7pm Friday.   

Every week is a different, creative flavor.   We can't wait to pick up our Sourdough loaf this Sunday.   Our first was, appropriately enough, a rich chocolate Valentine's Day heart, bleeding with dried cherries and gooey chocolate chips.   We made awe inspiring French Toast with some and tried it toasted, and sliced right off the loaf.   It was deeeeelicious.

Finally, Sunday night is the 2nd bout of the season.   Come cheer on The Windy City Rollers in some fast paced, flat track fun.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I ♥ Faces--I Wanna Dance

Dance--It's fun, expressive, and comes in a bazillion different speeds, styles, rhythms...........

It transcends language barriers and brings the world together, to laugh and smile and move to the beat.   

The kids have rocked out to punk at Lollapalooza and danced The Nutcracker at The Chicago Cultural Center.
Sagezilla's taken gymnastic ballet, while Du-Jay learned two modern dance numbers and put on a show with Zephyr Dance troupe.

This is our friend, Soren, dancing with an African drum troupe, at the Folk Festival in Hyde Park, Chicago.   The same day, we all tried square dancing, folk dance to fiddle playing, and African dance.

So here's to moving your feet and shakin' what your Mama gave ya.    
We ♥ Dancing!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Look For ChiIL Mama This Weekend: sledding, playing the same/different game at the movies, mud spinning, and welcoming The Year of the Dragon

 Ah.........It's President's Day and Valentine's Day weekend, and if your school is anything like ours, you have a long or even looooonger weekend ahead.   We're off for 5 days.

All the lovely snowfall makes this a great weekend to suss out the slopes--few and far between in flat Chi Town.   Cricket Hill at the lakefront and Wilson is always fun, but a lack of bathrooms nearby can be a hassle.   There are indoor bathrooms, an indoor fire pit, and a decent medium sized sled hill on Devon just east of Milwaukee Ave.    This is right across the street from Super Dog in his Tarzan Toga--a fun place for food before or after snowy fun.

Buzz is, there are both sled hills and ice skating at Riis Park on Fullerton and Warren Park on Western.    And there is a good sized hill with steps behind Soldier Field.
Check out the Park District site for skating rink times and Family Valentine Dances, under the events calendar.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
Opens today 

CircEsteem is thrilled to be partnering with Kevin & Erin Maile O'Keefe, founders of CircusYoga and the American Youth Circus Organization to introduce CircusYoga to CircEsteem.

Join us this Friday, February 12th from 6:30-9:00 p.m. at 
Alternatives Inc located at 4730 N. Sheridan Rd., for a Community Circus Yoga workshop for people ages 7-97.  The workshop costs $25 for adults and $10 for kids or pay what you can.  No circus or yoga experience necessary, just a willingness to try something new!  


We've spent our Saturdays in pottery classes through the Chicago Park District  for the last 4 years, and the classes are wonderful!   But the spaces are few and jealously guarded.   If you can't score a coveted spot at the park, Lill Street is a creative, well run alternative.   I took classes there "back in the day" before children, and had a great experience.

Heart Shapes Family Workshop – Feb. 14
Spend Valentine's Day with family making a heart-shaped box or bowl for someone you love at the Heart Shapes Family Workshop. Attendees use terra cotta clay and personalize their creations with stamps and bright underglazes. This one-day workshop is suitable for adults and kids ages 5 and up. The workshop runs Sunday, Feb. 14 from 2 to 4 p.m. Members $190 per pair (parent/child)/non-members $200 per pair (parent/child).

For future workshops, summer camp, and gallery hours, check out the Lill Street website
Happy Valentine's Day and Happy Year of the Tiger!   Celebrate both with a roaring fun family trip to China Town.   The 2010 Lunar New Year Parade starts at 1PM.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Gymnastics Winners--Going to State

 We all had a flippin' good time at the tumbling meet in Bloomingdale on Sunday.   Du-Jay placed 2nd among 8 year old boys, and Sagezilla took home a medal for 4th in the 6 year old, Advanced Beginner Girls Division.   This meet qualified both kids for State on February 27th!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Look For ChiIL Mama This Weekend: Home Depot Kids Workshop, The Cabinet, Vegan Bake Sale For Haiti

Home Depot Kids Workshop 9am-Noon.   Tomorrow, we'll be making fun, checkerboard patterned, car displays.  It's free, fun and educational.   We've had a blast making a bean bag toss, wagon, trivets, and a firehouse bank during past months.   We're looking forward to making birdhouse shaped rain gauges in March.

One member of our Olympic curling team, Deb, works a day job at a Home Depot in Wisconsin.   So, your little Olympic hopefuls can sport their orange smocks proudly, as they follow their dreams and learn useful life skills.   You never know who you might meet at your local hardware store!

The Cabinet opens this weekend at Redmoon Theatre and it's highly recommended.   We saw their first production of The Cabinet years ago, and are eager to go back.   This makes a better adult evening out, as it's too intense for young children.

The Cabinet is not suggested for audiences under age 13. Parental discretion is recommended for younger audience members.
The Cabinet received this rating because it contains acts of violence and a dark story line.

February 5th to March 7th, 2010
Thursdays 8:00 PM Price: $15
Fridays 8:00 and 10:00 PM Price: $20
Saturdays 6:00 and 9:00 PM Price: $25
Sundays 3:00 PM Price: $20

Second Chicago Vegan Bake Sale to raise funds to help with the tragedy in Haiti. Come on out and enjoy some tasty baked goods! Vegan brownies, cookies, cupcakes, and much more, including some gluten-free options! 

They'll be at Renegade Handmade, located at 1924 W. Division in Chicago, from 11:00 A.M. until 5:00 P.M. on February 7th. All proceeds benefit Food For Life, a charity supplying healthy, pure vegetarian food in Haiti and worldwide.

The first one raised over $1,300.00, but that’s just a drop in the bucket.  Treats galore!   Philanthropy never tasted so good.  If you're interested in donating your time or baking skills to the event, please email Marla at marla@veganstreet.com.

Finally, we're off to Bloomingdale for another gymnastics meet for both kids.   If they both place high enough, we're off to STATE in two weeks!!