Saturday, December 30, 2017

WIN a Pair of Adult Tickets To The Boat Show ($30 Value/ 2 winners) Kids 12 And Under Are Free


With over 600 power and sailboats and 100 RVs on display, plus educational opportunities and hands-on activities for all ages, the Midwest’s premier boat show brings a taste of paradise to Chicago this January

It may be below zero windchill in Chi, IL right now, but you can ChiIL out at The Progressive® Insurance Chicago Boat, RV & Sail Show® and be summer dreaming in no time. ChiIL Mama's even giving away 2 pairs of adult tickets. 

Enter for your chance to win:
Enter early and often through midnight January 8th. 

Where else can you hang out on hundreds of boats and RVs and paddle board in the dead of winter in Chicago? The Progressive® Insurance Chicago Boat, RV & Sail Show®, the Midwest’s largest indoor boat show, is dropping anchor at McCormick Place, 2301 South Lake Shore Drive, January 10 – 14, 2018. Packed with jaw dropping power and sailboats and high tech RVs, the show will offer attendees a glimpse of summertime fun without leaving Chicago. Show goers will have the opportunity to board, view, and shop over 600 boats and 100 RVs, ranging from inflatables to 50 ft. yachts, the latest in outdoor and marine accessories and technology, and attend a variety of free and paid educational seminars.

What better way to go boating in January than with virtual reality! This year's Progressive Boat Club allows attendees to put themselves at the helm of a virtual boat race, navigating simulated waters, all while trying to beat the clock! Be sure to stop by! 

“For 88 years the show has given Midwesterners a chance to get out of the cold, and gear up for the exciting outdoor season ahead,” said Keith Ogulnick, Show Manager, Progressive® Insurance Chicago Boat, RV & Sail Show®. “We pride ourselves on showcasing the latest and greatest in boating and outdoor recreational vehicles, and educating attendees on the newest technology available. The show is a great opportunity for families to enjoy the best boating, sailing and RVing have to offer year after year.”

Show attendees are also invited to participate in a number of special features during the show. The Progressive® Insurance Boat School brings top-notch mariners from the Annapolis School of Seamanship on deck to teach an entertaining curriculum of hands-on boating courses including teaching guests to virtually dock a boat or tie a proper knot.  Paddlefest returns and invites attendees of all ages to test out the fun of stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking in an indoor pool. Young attendees will love trying their hand at fishing for real trout at the Huck Finn Trout Pond plus other activities for kids.  Attendees looking to beef up their boating IQ can do so during a variety of seminars, from DIY tips at Fred’s Shed Interactive Learning Center to an extensive lineup of boating and sailing seminars featuring some of the most recognized names in sailing such as John Kretschmer, Nigel Calder and Kimo Worthington. The show also boasts an extensive lineup of RV seminars hosted by leading RV expert and author of The RV Handbook David Solberg.

The Progressive® Insurance Chicago Boat, RV & Sail Show® will be open Wednesday-Sunday, January 10-14, 2018.  Show hours are as follows: 2 p.m. - 8 p.m. Wednesday, January 10; 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Thursday, January 11 and Friday, January 12; 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Saturday, January 13; 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday, January 14.

Tickets can be purchased in advance online for $15 for adults; children 12 years old and younger are free.

For more information on the Progressive® Insurance Chicago Boat, RV & Sail Show visit or connect on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.  #ChiBoatShow.

About the Progressive Insurance® Chicago Boat, RV & Sail Show
The Progressive Insurance Chicago Boat, RV & Sail Show is produced by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the world’s largest producer of boat shows and the leading association representing the recreational boating industry. NMMA member companies produce more than 80 percent of the boats, engines, trailers, accessories and gear used by boaters and anglers throughout the U.S. and Canada. The association is dedicated to industry growth through programs in public policy advocacy, market statistics and research, product quality assurance and promotion of the boating lifestyle. For more information, visit

About Progressive
The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies makes it easy to understand, buy and use auto insurance. Progressive offers choices so consumers can reach it whenever, wherever and however it's most convenient—online at, by phone at 1-800-PROGRESSIVE, on a mobile device or in-person with a local agent.

Progressive provides insurance for personal and commercial autos and trucks, motorcycles, boats, recreational vehicles, and homes. Home insurance is underwritten by select carriers, including American Strategic Insurance Corp. and subsidiaries (ASI), our majority owned subsidiaries.

Progressive is the fourth largest auto insurer in the country; a leading seller of motorcycle and commercial auto insurance; and through ASI, one of the top 20 homeowners carriers. Progressive also offers car insurance online in Australia at

Founded in 1937, Progressive continues its long history of offering shopping tools and services that save customers time and money, like Name Your Price®, Snapshot®, and Service Centers.

Kohl Children's Museum Is Rockin' NYE With Their Early Family Friendly Celebration On 12/31


The Museum will Transform for the New Year’s Celebration Featuring
Holiday Activities Including a Confetti Drop

Kohl Children’s Museum is giving Times Square a run for its money with their New Year’s Eve “midnight” celebrations at 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 31 at the Museum’s facility at 2100 Patriot Boulevard in Glenview. To kick-off 2018, an entire wing of the museum will be decorated “to the nines” for the full Times Square experience, complete with giant confetti drops at “midnight” and festive activities designed specifically for children throughout the day.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a New Year’s celebration without music. The morning celebration will include a performance by members of The Dreamtree Shakers. The group will perform some of their original songs on a variety of instruments such as the saxophone, flute, guitar and harmonica. A dance party, complete with a DJ playing kid-friendly music, will spice up the afternoon party. Kids will have the chance to dance with friends and there will be dance activities.

The New Year’s events will include a number of other holiday activities including party hat-making, noisemaker horns and free family photos. Also, guests are welcome to explore the entire museum. Families can visit the seven stages of block play in the museum’s temporary exhibit, “Build It!,” which includes a wide selection of interesting blocks of all shapes and sizes from Imagination Playground and Fat Brain Toys. “Build It!” will run through March 4.

“The annual New Year’s Eve event is one of our favorite, most high-energy events of the whole year.” said Museum President and CEO Sheridan Turner. “It is a great way for the whole family to celebrate 2018 without missing bedtime.”

The Museum will be closed to the public on December 31 except for those holding tickets to this unique event. Tickets purchased after December 21 will be $23 for members and $33 for non-members. Tickets can be purchased online at:

About Kohl Children’s Museum
Offering 17 interactive, hands-on exhibits for children age’s birth to 8, the Museum’s mission is to encourage young children to become effective learners through self-directed complex play. Kohl Children’s Museum is located at 2100 Patriot Blvd., in Glenview, Ill. at the corner of Patriot Blvd. and W. Lake Ave. in The Glen. The Museum can be easily reached by public transportation, including Pace bus and Metra trains.

For more information, visit the Museum’s website at or call (847) 832-6600. The Museum is open on Monday from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Special members-only hours are from Monday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Admission prices are $12 for children and adults and $11 for senior citizens. Children under 1-year-old and members are free.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

ChiIL Holidaze Giveaways 11A: Ice Cool Award Winning Board Game By Brain Games ($39.99 Value)

 Most Awarded Kids Game of 2017 “Ice Cool” 

All unmarked photos by B. Kenaz-Mara, taken at ChiTAG 2017

At the core of Ice Cool are two significant innovations: the box-in-a-box setup and special flicking techniques. 

Open nationwide/USA through midnight 1/20/18.

A little more than a year has passed since Ice Cool was introduced to the US public at Gen Con 2016. Since then, the game has received 16 prestigious awards from all over the globe, mostly in the children’s games category. In June 2017, Ice Cool received the most significant prize in the board game industry: the Kinderspiel des Jahres Award as the Best Children’s Game of the Year. The game has also received UK Games Expo Award as the Best Children’s Game of 2016 and Deutscher Spielepreis 2017 as the Best Children’s Game of 2017.

This is the first year when Brain Games is exhibiting at ChiTAG Week, the largest toy and game fair in North America targeting families, where the company is presenting its award-winning flicking game Ice Cool. ChiTAG visitors will also have the chance to try out three new children’s games from Brain Games: Woo-Hoo, Reef Route and King Frog, as well as Game of Trains and Logic Cards, which are exciting games for all ages. 

Ice Cool is a children’s game for two to four players aged six and over, which takes approximately 30 minutes to play. It takes you to a penguin school, where rascal penguins have decided to skip class and sneak some fish. The main innovations of the game are the unique flicking technique and the new ‘box-in-a-box’ concept, enabling a 3D game board to be constructed in under a minute.


Egils Grasmanis, CEO of Brain Games, says: “As we constantly strive for innovation in every board game we release, ChiTAG’s slogan, ‘Connecting through play and innovation’, perfectly matches our work philosophy and vision. Chicago has one of biggest board game communities in the US, and we are happy and proud to present Ice Cool here. We think it’s great that ChiTAG targets families, given that our main aim is to create board games that help kids, parents and other family members spend quality time together.” 

About Brain Games
In 2004, three board game enthusiasts embarked on a mission to develop the board game culture in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Having started with the localization and distribution of the popular game “Settlers of Catan”, Brain Games is now the largest board game distributor in the Baltic Countries. In 2011, Brain Games began developing and publishing new original games and later established Brain Games Publishing. Since then, Brain Games Publishing has developed and released nine games, which are currently available in more than 40 countries.

Click image below for lots more opportunities to enter and WIN through 1/20/17.
ChiIL Mama's Holidaze 12 Days of Giveaways Gift Guide is LIVE

Holiday Gift Guide, Giveaways, Discount Codes, Product Reviews and More! 

Disclosure: Thanks to Brain Games for providing complimentary games for review purposes and for our giveaway. As always, all opinions are my own.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

PHOTO RECAP: ChiIL Mama's Adventures at The Chicago Toy and Game Fair 2017

This year my 16 year old son, Dugan, took one camera and I took the other, and we tag teamed coverage of ChiTAG, the largest annual public Toy & Game Fair in the country. We've included all our collective shots in the SLIDE SHOW here and some of our favorites are embedded below, from meeting inventors to our Star Wars themed press/blogger lunch. Dugan did a fabulous job documenting the fun. His photos and mine are watermarked individually in case you're curious who shot what. Enjoy!

The ChiTAG fair is a great way to meet toy and game inventors, get great gift giving ideas, check out brand new releases, and revisit old favorites. They even have show deals and merch on sale on the spot. If you're still stuck for gifting ideas for the holidays, birthdays and beyond, let us be your guide. 

Full ChiTAG 2017 Slideshow Here:

Some highlights this year were: 
seeing Jane Labowitch: AKA Princess Etch and her amazing Etch a Sketch art again, 

meeting Adam Hocherman, the inventor of Playmonster's Tinkineer's Marbleocity,  

checking out the intricate, amazing buildable creations by UGEARS (They sent us two to build, The Theater and the train, and they're incredible!), 

and getting a lesson in how to play Charmed from one of the co-creators, .

Some of our favorite low tech play spaces were the cardboard creative area where kids could DIY anything out of discarded boxes and the Legos area.

Looking for great family game ideas to play in 2018? ChiIL Mama's giving away Chrono Bomb, myPad, and a buildable Mini Skate Park Maker Kit from Playmonster, the award winning IceCool game from Brain Games, Charms game from Studio 9, a Happy Salmon Card Game and more!

Click image below for lots more opportunities to enter and WIN through 12/20/17. 
ChiIL Mama's Holidaze 12 Days of Giveaways Gift Guide is LIVE

Holiday Gift Guide, Giveaways, Discount Codes, Product Reviews and More! 

Disclosure: I have sometimes been given complimentary games for our giveaways and for review purposes and/or I have been compensated for sharing with our readers. As always, all opinions, photos and adventures are my own.

 More ChiTAG Photo Favs Below: