My Own Christmas To-Do List

It’s a well-known fact that it is very easy for me to overdue Christmas. There is just so much that can be done during the holidays in and near Chicago! How can you choose? So, well, I don’t choose and instead try to do everything. That might be why December is so exhausting…..well, that and I teach preschool so no matter what December is going to be exhausting. But, if you too are wanting to have a Christmas crammed with activities, here is my list of must-do’s during the holidays. (Close to Thanksgiving, I usually send Ryan a bunch of invites on Google calendar so that he knows what I’m planning.)

Mag Mile Lights Festival -This one is a great way to kick off the holidays, in my opinion. Plus, it combines two of my favorite things: Disney and Christmas decorations!

Christkindlemarket – It’s fun just to walk around but it’s even more fun if you buy some snacks. Since they are right across the street from each other, we usually combine going here with dinner at the Walnut Room.

Walnut Room – One of my all-time favorites. Ryan and I have been doing the Walnut Room since before we had kids. But, it’s even more fun now that we have kids. The girls love seeing the “Christmas fairies” and I love seeing the windows and the giant tree in the middle of the restaurant.

Holiday Magic (or “lights at the zoo.”) – Lots of zoos do their own version of zoo lights. We go to Brookfield because we are members there. But, I have many friends who go to see the lights at Lincoln Park Zoo and they love going there. So, I think that you are probably ok with picking a zoo and enjoying their lights. 🙂

Renegade Craft Fair – I love this because it offers a chance to purchase some interesting gifts for people.

Christmas Around the World at MSI – This has been one of my favorites since before I even lived in the Chicago area. The trees are beautiful and you still have time to check out some of the other exhibits after you see the trees.

Garfield Park Conservatory – This one is a new one to the list. But, it’s not a new one for a list of my favorite things to do during the winter. This really is one of my favorite places to visit in the winter. Walking in here in January, you can forget that it’s 2 degrees outside and just enjoy the tropical temperatures, sights, and smells. This was, however, the first year that we went during the Holiday Flower Show.

Walking (or Driving) Around And Looking at Lights – This one isn’t necessarily a “destination.” However, I do like to walk around downtown Chicago to see the lights. The big tree at Millennium Park always looks nice. But, I also enjoy taking a scenic route home from Target or the mall to check out neighborhood lights. And, a big part of our Christmas Eve tradition involves driving around and looking at lights. That’s what we do following Christmas Eve Mass. 🙂

 

What are your must-do activities at Christmas?

I Scream. You Scream. We All Scream.

Ice Cream!!!!!

In order to check ice cream off of the summer checklist, I wanted us to actually go to an ice cream shop. So, although we did get ice cream during the summer at our regular spots (McDonald’s, Dairy Queen, Culver’s, Sonic) I wanted to do something different.

One of our ice cream adventures was at Kilwins. There are several locations but we had yet to go to any of their locations. It’s a super cute shop with delicious ice cream.Just look at that counter. Doesn’t that just make you want to eat a big pile of ice cream?

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The girls loved their ice cream. (Also, the Superman ice cream and the chocolate peanut butter are both kid sized scoops. ?!?! The kid sized scoops are huge!!)

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Success. Definitely a success.

Summer checklist:

  • Go to the library.
  • Go to the pool.
  • Make banana pudding.
  • Ride the train at the mall.
  • Go to the playground.
  • Make cookies.
  • Go downtown.
  • Go on a hike.
  • Have a picnic.
  • Go to American Girl Place.
  • Go to the beach.
  • Go to the zoo.
  • Eat at Flat Top Grill.
  • Read books.
  • Eat at Noodles & Company.
  • Get ice cream.
  • Go to the splash pads downtown.
  • Go to the water park.
  • Go to a festival.
  • Go to the movie theater.
  • Play on the McDonalds playground after lunch.
  • Go to family fun festival downtown.
  • Go to the Art Museum and go to the kids area after looking at paintings.
  • Go to the dinosaur museum (Field Museum).
  • Go to the space museum (Adler Planetarium).
  • Have a pajama day. (Although big girl has now requested that we have 100 pajama days.)

 

 

Summer Checklist – Update #4

Big girl informed me that her favorite museum that we go to is the “dinosaur museum”. Lucky for her, the Field Museum recently held their free days for Illinois residents. Lots of museums do free days (just check their websites). However, for some of the museums you will probably want to add on experiences instead of just the general admission since general admission may not allow you to visit the areas that you really want to see. So, you will save money since on free days, the museums offer a discounted price for the extra experiences (mostly because you aren’t paying the general admission in addition to the add-ons) but it won’t be free. At the Field, though, big girl’s favorite area is included in the general admission. Dinosaurs!

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Summer checklist update thus far:

  • Go to the library.
  • Go to the pool.
  • Make banana pudding.
  • Ride the train at the mall.
  • Go to the playground.
  • Make cookies.
  • Go downtown.
  • Go on a hike.
  • Have a picnic.
  • Go to American Girl Place.
  • Go to the beach.
  • Go to the zoo.
  • Eat at Flat Top Grill.
  • Read books.
  • Eat at Noodles & Company.
  • Get ice cream.
  • Go to the splash pads downtown.
  • Go to the water park.
  • Go to a festival.
  • Go to the movie theater.
  • Play on the McDonalds playground after lunch.
  • Go to family fun festival downtown.
  • Go to the Art Museum and go to the kids area after looking at paintings.
  • Go to the dinosaur museum (Field Museum).
  • Go to the space museum (Adler Planetarium).
  • Have a pajama day. (Although big girl has now requested that we have 100 pajama days.)

Summer Checklist – Update #1

We’ve been able to update our summer checklist some. One of our favorite things to do during the summer is to go and see a movie. During the summer months, many movie theaters have cheap matinees of older kids films.

One of my faves is Studio Movie Grill. Since most of the matinees are during lunch time, when we go there we can get lunch while seeing a movie. Saves time, the kids get to eat something that they want, the grown up food isn’t bad, and when we get home it’s time for nap. Yay!

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Current checklist:

  • Go to the library.
  • Go to the pool.
  • Make banana pudding.
  • Ride the train at the mall.
  • Go to the playground.
  • Make cookies.
  • Go downtown.
  • Go on a hike.
  • Have a picnic.
  • Go to American Girl Place.
  • Go to the beach.
  • Go to the zoo.
  • Eat at Flat Top Grill.
  • Read books.
  • Eat at Noodles & Company.
  • Get ice cream.
  • Go to the splash pads downtown.
  • Go to the water park.
  • Go to a festival.
  • Go to the movie theater.
  • Play on the McDonalds playground after lunch.
  • Go to family fun festival downtown.
  • Go to the Art Museum and go to the kids area after looking at paintings.
  • Go to the dinosaur museum (Field Museum).
  • Go to the space museum (Adler Planetarium).
  • Have a pajama day.

Summer Checklist

As I do each summer, I come up with a checklist of things that I would like to get done this summer. This year, however, the list wasn’t really done by me. Big girl has been working on her summer to-do list since probably February. There has been a lot of “Can we do/see/make that this summer?” I’m glad that much of this list will be easy to do and many things on the list are things that we’ll probably do many times this summer.So here’s our list:

  • Go to the library.
  • Go to the pool.
  • Make banana pudding.
  • Ride the train at the mall.
  • Go to the playground.
  • Make cookies.
  • Go downtown.
  • Go on a hike.
  • Have a picnic.
  • Go to American Girl Place.
  • Go to the beach.
  • Go to the zoo.
  • Eat at Flat Top Grill.
  • Read books.
  • Eat at Noodles & Company.
  • Get ice cream.
  • Go to the splash pads downtown.
  • Go to the water park.
  • Go to a festival.
  • Go to the movie theater.
  • Play on the McDonalds playground after lunch.
  • Go to family fun festival downtown.
  • Go to the Art Museum and go to the kids area after looking at paintings.
  • Go to the dinosaur museum (Field Museum).
  • Go to the space museum (Adler Planetarium).
  • Have a pajama day.

Summer’s almost here

Summer’s almost here. Finally!!!!!!! Big girl has tons of plans for us this summer so I’m not sure how much I’m actually going to get done that isn’t on her list. However, I do want to try to get back into my blog. So…..*fingers crossed* hopefully I’ll actually be able to get some writing done this summer instead of waiting months between posts……

Stay tuned for some updates about: summer plans, crafting stuff, and party planning….at least….that’s what I’m hoping…..

Summer To Do List – 2015 – UPDATED

So, summer is coming to a close. Back-to-school commercials have started already. *sigh* About a month ago, I posted my summer to-do list for this year. You can read the original here.

The list at this point:

  • Work on the front yard.   IN PROGRESS. My in-laws came down and helped and my parents came up and helped some more. Those bushes that I’ve hated since we moved in? They’re gone!!!!!!
  • Get back on track with my running/jogging/……walking.  IN PROGRESS. I’ve been better about sticking to the plan. And, I have registered to do a 10K. Crazy, right? Yea. Definitely crazy. I’m raising money for Special Olympics, too. So, I’m doing something good for me (running, getting in shape) and for others. You can help me reach my goal here. Any amount helps. 🙂
  • Read. Read. Read. IN PROGRESS. It feels good to just read for fun again. It’s been so long since I’ve been able to do that.
  • Work related: Pick a play for the Junior High spring production. IN PROGRESS. I’ve read two out of the five that I’m debating doing. The second one that I read is definitely a possibility.
  • Paint! We have a small stool in the bathroom that currently is the stopping point for magazines and catalogs and such. However, it needs to be painted as it still matches the bedroom furniture that we painted years ago. NOT STARTED. Um. Gotta get going on that one.
  • Do at least one non-scheduled fun thing every week. IN PROGRESS. The girls and I have been making up for lost time this summer. We’ve been super busy and have done tons of super fun things. I think, though, that we might need to “schedule” a do-nothing day, too.
  • Bake. It’s been awhile since I’ve done a lot of baking. IN PROGRESS. I’ve been trying to bake something each week. Last night I made banana bread and baby girl loved it!
  • Work ahead (as much as I can) on grad school projects. Thankfully, I only have one class this summer but I do want to get as much done ahead of the due date(s) as I can. IN PROGRESS. This class is actually moving pretty quickly. I only have a couple more weeks and then I’m done (at least until the fall semester starts up again).