"This day is just full of more and more awesomeness," said Du-Jay, age 10. It was a pretty amazing day. We began with aerial arts and Chinese Pole classes at our favorite circus arts center, CircEsteem. Then we were off to Building Blocks Toys as the first stop on our whirlwind tour for ASTRA Neighborhood Toy Store Day.
We'll have a photo filled recap up later this weekend. At Building Blocks, we picked up an amazing swag bag (approx value $50) and said hi to owner, Katherine, Chicago mom to toddler son, Tai and a daughter due in January. Then we were off to see Chicago Children's Theatre's fantastic current production, Goodnight Moon the Musical. We'll soon have a full review and fun photos of our up close and personal exploration of the stage, after the show!
Then we were off to Cat and Mouse Toys, our next stop in our Neighborhood Toy Store Day adventures. Here at ChiIL Mama, we're all about shopping locally when possible and supporting shops in our neighborhoods. We love starting with our friends on the local level before looking for gifts at the chains or on line.
We'll have an in depth feature on Cat and Mouse and our sweet afternoon playing there. We hung out with owner, Linda, Chicago mom to tweens who are 9 & 11. Her store has games and toys for all ages, but it's beyond awesome for older kids! Cat and Mouse features loads of board games and brain building puzzles. Du-Jay won a lively round of Spot It and was rewarded with his own copy of the game. Thank you Cat and Mouse! Each kid picked up special passports there, and our first sticker (since we cheesed it earlier at Building Blocks). Three stickers equaled $30 in toy gift certificates at the 3 participating stores.
Next we swung by the Wicker Park location of Building Blocks to pick up our missed sticker and saw Katherine yet again. She was all over town like us, today. Sagezilla bought a cute charm bracelet and ice cream cone charm with her own saved money. Dugan checked out all the Hex Bugs Nanos, which both kids are completely obsessed with, but decided to hold off on purchasing more for their ever expanding collection.
Our final stop of the day was our closest store to home, Logan Square's own Play, at the corner of Logan Boulevard and Milwaukee by the also excellent, New Wave Coffee House. Play has a spacious and welcoming store with a cozy book corner, loads of learning toys, and funky fun stuff as well.
We collect band aids in weird shapes, and were happy to see more of those. Play also stocks super sweet, spiky Mad Paxs, Ugly Dolls and edgy, urban kitch for cool kids of all ages. We were excited to meet owner, Ann, who has been in the toy industry for 13 years. The kids were elated to complete their passports and cash them in for $10 gift certificates for Building Blocks, Cat and Mouse, and Play. Now we have a great excuse to come on back soon for a return visit. Check in with ChiIL Mama like we vote in Chi, IL...early and often. We'll have big photo filled recaps up soon.
Got littles under 8? Tomorrow come join us at ChiIL Mama's Sponsored Beat Kitchen's Concerts for Kids. Excellent, award winning Kindie musician, Suzi Shelton, will be in from New York. And local fav, Little Miss Ann is joining her on a double bill! ChiIL Mama will be video taping the show, interviewing Suzi and passing out free ChiIL Mama buttons to our friends.