Wednesday, July 29, 2015

PHOTO FEATURE: ChiIL Mama's July Adventures at Raging Waves #EndlessSummer #Spon #OriginalPhotos #Videos

It's all the rage for outrageous 
endless summer adventures!

It's been an exciting ride, being 1 of 5 Raging Waves Waterpark Ambassadors this summer. The kids are thrilled to be able to invite their friends and enjoy endless days of sun and fun. ChiIL Mama's Co-Hosting a Twitter Party 8/4 at 8PM CT. Be sure to RSVP and join us with the hashtag #EndlessSummer, for great prizes and info. All the details are below.

Disclosure: Once again, we're happy to partner up with Raging Waves Waterpark and have been compensated for sharing this information with our readers monthly, throughout the summer. As always, all opinions are our own.

Our July visit was especially great because we got to bring our friend, Meenakshe, who had NEVER been to a waterpark, and who happily rode EVERY high, scary slide in the place. She's been living abroad since 4th grade with her IB theatre arts & music teacher parents. This 16 year old world traveler has lived in Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong and now Beijing China, but we got to introduce her to her first waterpark experience!

My son brought his BFF, Mateo, back again, since our last adventure was cold and rainy. This time the good news was our day was hot and sunny. Bad news was that meant muuuuuuuch longer slide lines and crowds. Still, we had a wet and wonderful day. 

Check out our full slideshow here:
(Our fav photos from the day are embedded below.)

ChiIL Mama's ChiIL Tips List:
  • SHORTER SLIDE LINES: We went from 1pm to close and lines dropped steadily from about 4 to 7pm closing time, as the 10am crowd that opened the park got tired and headed out. Of course weekdays tend to be less crowded than weekends and if you chance it on a cooler or rainy day, as long as there's not lightning you'll have the shortest slide lines of all! (Extra Bonus: If the park closes early due to relentless rain, tornados, or thunder storms you'll get tickets to come back another day!)
  • LUCK OF THE LOUNGER: If you don't mind a bit of sand, plenty of lounge chairs were available on the little sand bar across the bridge from the biggest water slides, when everything near the wave pool was full.
  • HELP OUT: It pays to donate! 

Donate a new or gently-used backpack at Raging Waves, and receive $5 off a full-priced over 48" general admission ticket (regularly priced at $29.99).

Backpacks will be donated to Project Just Start. In the 10 communities that Project Just Start assists, there are over 23,000 people living below poverty. 

Find out more about Project Just Start, donating a backpack, and your discount by clicking here.

  • Get a locker. Sure it's $10 or $15 depending on the size but that's a small price to pay for piece of mind, knowing your wallet, cell phone, and valuables aren't going missing while you're in the slide line. You can get up to 4 wristbands for no extra charge so your family can access the stash without tracking one key holder down.
  • CHECK COSTCO for a sweet package deal (and you don't have to buy in bulk!): 

Raging Waves is Illinois’ Largest Waterpark, featuring 19 water slides, giant kiddie areas, quarter-mile lazy river, humungous wave pool, beach areas and more.

$39.99 Includes:
  • 2 full day passes & 2 tube rentals wristbands
  • Ages 3+, guests 2 and under are free
  • Full-day passes are valid for 2015 operating season
  • Expire 9/7/2015
  • 19 water slides
  • Quarter mile lazy river
  • Giant kiddie areas to delight children of all ages
  • Humungous Wave Pool
  • Pedal tractor course
  • Brock's Giant Sandbox - sandy beach area

We'll see you out there! Check back with ChiIL Mama like we vote in Chi, IL... early and often. We have the scoop on what's hot, great nationwide giveaways, and loads of original content including photo & video filled features on Chi, IL and beyond.

Click here for the Raging Waves park schedule, special guests, and more.

How are you enjoying your endless summer? Join us at 8 PM CT on Tuesday, August 4th, as we discuss fun summer activities and how to enjoy the rest of your summer! RSVP and participate for your chance to win many prizes!

Here are the details:

Follow the hosts: @RagingWaves, @blm03, @more4momsbuck, @craftymomof3, @ChiILMama, and @SanitySuburbia.

When: Tuesday, August 4th at 8 pm CT.

Where: On Twitter in the #EndlessSummer hashtag or on tchat.

What: There are several questions they will tweet and discuss. Be sure to use the hash tag #EndlessSummer to be eligible for the prizes.

Prizes: They’ll be giving away $20 in Jimmy Johns gift certificates, 1 “Wing Party” at the Buffalo Wild Wings (Oswego, IL) (x-large boneless or traditional wings, must have 6 people in the party), 4 tickets to NCG Theaters (Yorkville, IL), 4 tickets to Star Cinema Grill (Arlington Heights, IL), 4 tickets to Hollywood Palms (Naperville IL), and 4 tickets to Raging Waves (Yorkville, IL)

RSVP: Submit your Twitter handle here:

Eligibility: RSVP by adding your Twitter account to the link above, and actively participate during the Twitter party with the hashtag #EndlessSummer on August 4th, 2015, from 8 PM CT until 9 PM CT. Winners will be chosen from the RSVP list using Winners must be actively tweeting with the hashtag at the time they are randomly selected. Winners will be notified with an @ mention, and must respond via DM within 24 hours of being notified. If another winner must be chosen after the party is over, winner will be randomly selected from active participants during the party. There is a limit of one prize per household during the party. Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery of your prize. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. VOID WHERE TAXED, PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Subject to official rules and open to United States residents.

Raging Waves is still buckets of fun for the littles, while they wait to grow to the magic 48" that opens up as many slides as they're brave enough to ride.

ChiIL Mama's thrilled to be chosen as 1 of 5 Raging Waves Blog Ambassadors for 2015!

More of ChiIL Mama's Photo Favs From Raging Waves (June 2015):

Big fun with Big Squirts!

Even when it's crowded, Raging Waves feels spacious.

Fun on dry land too!

This was the unanimous favorite, even if the kids always call it "the toilet bowl" instead of it's official title, The Boomerang. 

Disclosure: Once again, we're happy to partner up with Raging Waves Waterpark and have been compensated for sharing this information with our readers monthly, throughout the summer. As always, all opinions are our own.

Original Photos: The Goodman Theatre Education Branch In Action & Alice B. Rapoport Center For Education & Engagement Is A GO


As a Chicago mom, theatre critic, and huge arts advocate, I'm beyond excited that this influx of funding and new facilities will enable The Goodman to expand their excellent educational arts programming. Check out their ambitious plans below. The children are our future, whether you are pre/post/or non parents of the birth to 18 year old bracket, raising a new generation of creative thinkers benefits us all. Theatre loving, arts loving kids make great problem solvers and assets to society. 

Last year I chaperoned a 4th-6th grade field trip to The Goodman for a day long workshop with 
 Chicago Grassroots Curriculum Task force and The Goodman Theater and it was an incredible experience. The Drummond kids were just honored this spring with a Grassroots Community Scholar Award for their excellent work on this project!!

My 12 year old daughter's combined 4th-6th grade public Montessori class has been participating in a two-year research project with Chicago Grassroots Curriculum Taskforce and The Goodman Theater. The kids created, presented, and sold the chicago neighborhoods poster above, to bridge funding gaps at their public school. The full project is also combination of interviews, research, writing and theatrically presenting information on the school's Bucktown neighborhood. To learn more about the program, visit Community Tours Project at Chicago Public Schools Chicago Public Schools

Kudos to The Goodman for stepping up to inspire and educate the next generation of good men and women! Here at ChiIL Mama, I'm elated to hear about Goodman Theatre's commitment to the children and youth of Chicago. THE “ALICE B. RAPOPORT CENTER FOR EDUCATION & ENGAGEMENT” will include classrooms, a hands-on STEM learning lab, rehearsal spaces and more.

My daughter, Sage's class was invited to present their Drummond oral history project at Village Leadership Academy with other high schools and middle schools across the city doing similar projects with the Grassroots Curriculum Taskforce and Goodman Theater. 

The Drummond kids presented their research so far using the theater technique of "human scultpures" to tell the story of Bucktown from the 70s to the present. They will also be sharing their map from last year, and the "Every Chicagoan Has a Story" collages that the children made (final book still in production). 

The field trip was a blast, including some Cloud Gate (AKA: The Bean), pre-workshop fun! 

Here's a full slideshow of our Goodman experience:
A few of our favorite photos are also embedded below:

Goodman Theatre Board of Directors Chair Joan Clifford, Artistic Director Robert Falls and Executive Director Roche Schulfer announce plans to establish the “Alice B. Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement”—a $15 million expansion effort that realizes the theater’s 30-year commitment to using its art as education: empowering and inspiring individuals through the process of creating and experiencing live theater. Working with Wheeler Kearns Architects on a lease agreement with Friedman Properties, the Goodman will connect its current facility at 170 N. Dearborn with an adjacent upper-level space (at the northwest corner of Dearborn and Randolph, above Petterino’s restaurant) and transform 7,800 square feet into classrooms, a hands-on STEM learning lab, rehearsal spaces and more. The new facility will enable the Goodman to grow its education and outreach programs by 30%—tripling the number of educators served in its teacher training program, doubling the number of young people reached through youth intensive activities, and enabling year-round adult and intergenerational activity. In addition, the Center provides greater space for audiences to engage in performance-related dialogue and discussion; patrons will access the Center though the Goodman’s second-floor lobby.  


Private contributions from the theater’s longtime education and engagement champions exceed $11 million, including: a naming gift by Michael A. Sachs in memory of his late wife and Trustee Alice B. Rapoport; Trustee Roger and Julie Baskes (naming the “Baskes Rotunda” meeting room); Trustee Joan and Robert Clifford (naming the Center lobby); and Trustee Kimbra and Mark Walter (Walter Family Foundation naming the Director of Education and Engagement’s position and endowing PlayBuild Youth Intensive). Under the leadership of Trustee Michael O’Halleran, the theater launches its “Engaging Community, Expanding Minds” fundraising campaign for the Center.
In addition, the Goodman announces its completion of the “Endowing Excellence” campaign initiated in 2011—a $15 million initiative designed to ensure permanent resources for the theater.

“For 90 years the Goodman has been one of the biggest stars on the Chicago stage—an essential cultural asset to our city—and I congratulate them on this ground-breaking next step,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “This expansion will provide even greater arts opportunities to reach deeper into our neighborhoods, providing thought-provoking and innovative education programs, engaging a new generation.”

“This is an exciting moment for Goodman Theatre, as the Center actualizes our long term commitment to being an institution that is dedicated to artistic achievement and community engagement in equal measure,” said Robert Falls, who established the Goodman’s education programs when he became artistic director in 1986. “As demand for our programs has increased in the past decade during the leadership of Willa Taylor—a remarkable artist, educator and activist—our ability to meet our participants’ needs has become limited due to lack of space in the current facility. It’s time to grow.”

Executive Director Roche Schulfer added, “The Center is a major development in our history as it builds on our values as a cultural institution: investing in the highest quality on stage, promoting aesthetic and cultural diversity, and forging an intrinsic connection to the Chicago community. The Center will enable us to engage with a wider range of education, business, social service, health and civic organizations and audiences in ways that stem from the content on stage.”
“Arts as education means using our art to move our community beyond the volitional acts of looking and hearing to more transformative acts of seeing, listening and witnessing. Every adult and teen who builds a spoken word piece together witnesses the commonalities in their shared experience—and learns to be less afraid of each other,” said Willa J. Taylor, the Goodman’s newly retitled Walter Director of Education and Engagement. “I am grateful to all who have made the Center possible, and particularly thrilled that this special space will bear the name of one of our greatest advocates, who radically transformed the way we approach our work with schools.”

Chicago civic leader Michael A. Sachs’ gift honors Rapoport, an active Goodman Trustee and past chair of the theater’s Education Committee who was heavily involved in the theater’s education and outreach efforts from 2000 until her untimely death in 2014. “Alice loved nothing more than to see young people exposed to the magic of theater; she would marvel at the interaction between students and the artists. ‘The Alice’ will provide the Goodman with a unique venue to carry on Alice’s dream: bringing people together, helping students achieve their potential and making Chicago a better place,” said Sachs, Chairman of TLSG, Inc., an investment advisory and consulting firm.


About the Goodman’s Education and Engagement Programs
  • Student Subscription Series (SSS) is the theater’s longest running program, a unique process-oriented series that serves 2,800 students and 70 teachers currently, primarily from Chicago public high schools. The SSS unites Goodman staff with teachers—two to three per school, including at least one non-humanities teacher—who attend professional development workshops to learn how to use the tools of the industry to differentiate instruction, build curriculum that connects the plays on stage with students’ classroom studies and activate student engagement. Students attend special matinee performances with post-show discussions. The Center will enable the Goodman to triple the number of teacher training participants working with Golden Apple Foundation and the Chicago Teacher’s Union.
  • PlayBuild: Youth Intensive is a comprehensive six-week summer workshop focused on empowering young people through the act of creating theater. This program currently serves approximately 80 young people, between the age of 14 and 18, from a wide variety of backgrounds. The Center will enable the Goodman to expand Play Build: Youth Intensive to a year round program, at least doubling the number of participants.
  • PlayBuild: Third Age is a program for older adults that combines writing personal narrative with the act of creating theater, culminating in a performance.
  • GeNarrations is a personal narrative performance workshop for adults 55+. Using the themes of Goodman productions as a foundation, participants develop personal performance pieces which they are able to present to an audience. The Goodman offers three, six-week sessions each season, which will increase to four in the Center with more than 100 participants.
  • InterGens is an intergenerational summer program in which participants in GeNarrations collaborate with youth in PlayBuild to create performance works. InterGens will expand to a year-round program in the Center.
  • Stage Chemistry is Goodman Theatre’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) standards-based curriculum developed in partnership with GCE Lab School. Stage Chemistry introduces teachers and students to the math, science and technology of theatrical production. The Center will enable the Goodman to develop STEM in theater lab space to provide students with interactive experiences in the geometry, chemistry and physics of technical theater.
  • Cindy Bandle Young Critics Program, named for the Goodman’s longtime press director Cindy Bandle (1955 -2005), is an initiative that increases awareness of arts journalism and involves 25-30 teenage women each year from the metropolitan area, working with the guidance of mentors from the Association of Women Journalists. These young women receive full press credentials and review each Goodman production. The Goodman and mentors then work to place the reviews on a Goodman blog and in a variety of media outlets. The Center will make it possible to increase participation in this program by providing space for mentor meetings and evaluations
  • Community Engagement Series offers five annual events at which specific constituencies are celebrated and/or a free performance is provided for military families, first responders and community-based organizations. In FY13, this diversity effort attracted over 1,000 people, most of whom were attending a Goodman production or program for the first time. The Center will enhance the experience of the series for participants by providing room for ancillary activities such as lectures, classes, receptions and artist encounters.
  • Goodman Youth Arts Council allows young alumni of Goodman programs to stay involved with the theater by being ambassadors in their communities and schools, promoting young audience development events and volunteering at major events at the Goodman (such as opening nights and benefits). The Center would provide the opportunity for more gatherings of the YACS throughout the year.
  • CONTEXT: Discourse and Discussion is a series involving approximately 500 participants each season in public discussions with artists and civic leaders about contemporary issues related to each Goodman productions. The Center will provide space for additional CONTEXT events, increasing the annual participation.
  • Teaching August Wilson is a weeks-long blended learning course for teachers to develop skills and techniques  to incorporate August Wilson’s work into high school curricula. While many high school teachers are interested in Wilson’s plays, most feel culturally unprepared to adequately explore the work with their students. Goodman teaching artists will conduct classes in the Center to “teach the teacher.”
  • Teaching Artists Training. The Center will provide classrooms that will lead to an expanded roster of qualified Goodman teaching artists which in turn will allow us to work more closely with community organizations around the city.

More of ChiIL Mama's Fav Goodman Field Trip/Cloud Gate (The Bean) Photos: