ChiIL Mama's ChiIL Picks List for
FREE Family Friendly Fun
Here at ChiIL Mama we dig Chi, IL architecture. Without it, Chicago would still be a smelly onion swamp! Our architecture is a big part of what makes our city so great. Our buildings are amazingly cool to look at and learn about, and what's even cooler is getting a sneak peek, behind the scenes tour. Highly recommended!
It’s that time of year again – the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) is hosting their big Open House on 10/18 and 10/19, where they open the doors to 150+ neat old/historical sites in the city for the public to explore. There are a bunch of new family-friendly sites to visit this year! Click the links above for all the details then get to see Chicago's hidden places and spaces.
See the 100-year-old fire pole at the historic Firehouse Chicago, be a super sleuth and spot counterfeit bills at the Federal Reserve Building’s Money Museum or check out the model train set at the Garfield-Clarendon Model Railroad Club with over 1,400 feet of railroad track and hundreds of model trains. This year also features a free family program at the CAF ArcelorMittal Design Studio, where families can enjoy facilitated hands-on activities using LEGO architecture bricks.
Disclosure: It's our pleasure here at ChiIL Mama, to partner up with Chicago Architectuer Foundation again this year, to spread the word about Open House Chicago. Thanks to them for providing us with a 4D Puzzle for our readers and one to review.
Looking for educational gifts for the holidays that kids will actually enjoy?!
In the spirit of building, ChiIL Mama has an awesome 4D puzzle of the Chicago Cityscape ($44.95 value) to give away to one of our lucky readers. Open nationwide. Enter through midnight 10/31.
Chicago Cityscape 4D Puzzle
The puzzle includes 127 plastic buildings that depict the city as it appeared as far back as 1873 through to 2015, including icons such as the Willis Tower, John Hancock, Navy Pier and the Chicago Spire.
Suitable for ages 8+
$44.95 retail value
(This and other cool, educational gifts are available in the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s gift shop or on line HERE)
My family has called Chicago home for over 100 years. My great grandfather was a magazine magnate in publishing here in the city (editor of Better Roads Magazine), and my great grandmother was an actress & painter during prohibition. So, I'm continuing the theatre, art, and publishing branches of the family in Chicago today. My father and my children, my family's past & future, are born and raised here, so Chicago history is especially fascinating and compelling to me.
The Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Open House Chicago is a free public festival that offers behind-the-scenes access to 150+ buildings across Chicago.
Explore the hidden gems and architectural treasures of Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods—all for free.
Some rockin' musician friends do Open House Chicago with their family each year. And they pick a different neighborhood to explore each time. There are more than plenty to pick from. We also love hitting the theatre district. The Oriental, one of our ornate favorites, is having back stage tours, as is the Lyric Opera and the Joffrey Tower.
150 cool places. 48 hours. Go.
Review the Chicago Architecture Foundation on Yelp and Trip Advisor