This is the time of year that makes me so happy that we call Chicago home. I find myself asking why we live here throughout the winter months, but as soon as warm weather hits, I remember exactly why we’re still here—summer.
Winters are rough, but Chicago summers are epic! Sunshine, warm weather, beaches, big city, parks—what more could you want?! Even when we don’t have big plans, just getting outside and going for a walk fills my soul. It’s so reinvigorating to see the city come alive. The sidewalks are buzzing, restaurants have their outdoor seating set up and pretty much everyone is in a fabulous mood.
Now that we’re spending more time outside, I’m aware of just how pale Owen’s skin is! Thankfully, he’s six months old now and can officially start wearing sunblock, so I’ll be slathering his fair skin in SPF to keep him from getting burned. I’m already particular about the products I use on my skin and I’m even more particular with Owen.
Since I know we’ll be putting SPF on Owen almost every day in the summer, I wanted to make sure I was using one that was as safe as possible! I just got this sunblock stick from Beautycounter. Rob and I used the Protect All Over Sunscreen last summer and loved it. I was worried it was going to be thicker and leave us with white residue, but surprisingly it doesn’t! It blends in nicely and works really well. Rob, who also has fair skin, can attest to that!
I love the stick version because it’s so much easier to put on a wiggly baby. It’s also nice because often times I have to reapply it when we’re out and I don’t have to get my hands all sticky in the process. I keep that in my diaper bag or the bottom of the stroller along with this spray-on mineral sunscreen for me! I always wear SPF on my face, but I’m not as good about putting it on the rest of my body. This makes it easy. The bottle is powered by air, so no toxic aerosol chemicals!
We’ve been going on tons of walks, but I wanted to get some more activity ideas! Thanks to everyone who messaged me on Instagram with activities! These were the most popular activities you guys sent!
Fun Kid Activities In Chicago
So many of your suggested this! There are branches of the Chicago Public Library all around the city, so hop over to their site, search by your location and see what events are happening at your local branch! There’s a baby story time at our local branch that we can’t wait to try! There’s also programming for toddlers and older kiddos too! Check your local branch for more details and times.
I’ve mentioned this on Insta stories, but we love music class! We’ve only been a couple of times, but Owen freaking loves it! We go to Tunes with Tim at Monica & Andy because it’s the closest to us. Mr. Dave Music in Wicker Park also has all kinds of classes too! I’ve heard awesome things about this spot, but haven’t been yet.
I’m super excited for summer because we get to go swimming! Our gym, Lakeshore Sport & Fitness, has an indoor pool that opens up to the outside. This is awesome because I don’t have to worry about Owen getting burned in the sun. The pool is actually open year round, so if you’re a member here you can go anytime you want! The whole gym is super kid-friendly and has amazing childcare! If you’re looking to join a gym, I can’t recommend this place more! We love it!
For older kids, there’s swim classes at a bunch of gyms too!
I prefer to be outside on these nice summer days, but rainy days are inevitable! Plus, sometimes it’s just too hot to be outside for too long. Chicago has amazing museums and we definitely don’t take advantage. As Owen gets older and is awake longer, we’ll be adding this to our schedule more regularly.
There’s usually some days that the museum is free to Illinois residents! The Museum of Science and Industry’s free days can be found here. The Chicago Children’s Museum has free first Sundays for kids 15 and under. The Shedd Aquarium also has some free days for Illinois residents here and offers 50% off normal ticket prices for residents on regular days! I always loved the aquarium and think that Owen will too!
When in doubt, we just like to get outside! There are neighborhood parks all over the city. There’s also the Botanic Gardens, Lincoln Park, the 606, and Lincoln Park and Garfield Park Conservatories. Since we have to spend so much time indoors in the winter, I love being outside as much as possible. We’re planning on doing some picnics this summer too!
Lincoln Park Zoo
If you’ve never been, go! The Lincoln Park Zoo is totally free and really fun! There’s lots of animals to see and you’re right in the middle of the park, so you can stroll around there as well when you’re done.
I had no idea this existed until I had a kid, but there are lots of indoor play areas for kids, probably because they can’t be outside for long in the winter! Little Beans Café, Kid City and Kid’s Island are just a few indoor play areas in the city!
I’m sure I missed some other fun activities, so share any others you have below! Thanks again for all of your suggestions, we can’t wait to try them out!