thoughtsfromher's Passport
 

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Member since:
22 February 2013

Icon_superoo_orangeSuperoo '13, '14, '16

Icon_pictureBeen to 129 Attractions
Icon_star129 Reviews
Icon_star175 First to Review
Icon_camera2439 Photos
Icon_thumbsup36 Helpful Votes
Compliments
About Me & My Family

Hi! I'm a working mom of two kids - one's a toddler and the other is a teenager. FUN! {That was sarcasm, of course.} I love exploring and going on adventures with my kids and can always find something to teach them with each experience.
Our Family's Travel Personality
structured, relaxed
We Just Got Back From
Our last family trip was a long weekend getaway to Wisconsin Dells, WI.
Our Favorite Vacation Spot
Disneyworld!
A Place We'd Love To Visit
It would be great to tour London as a family.
Favorite Vacation Memory
I took my daughter on a mommy/daughter solo trip when she was 6 (she's 14 now). We had the BEST time, just the two of us. And now we did it again this year to LA. Love our alone time!
Worst Travel Moment With My Kids:
LOL (I actually just chuckled thinking about this)...My dad was giving us a ride to the airport. We were actually a little early (which ended up being a GOOD thing). We were circling the gates at O'Hare Airport looking for our departure drop-off when it dawned on me...we were at the WRONG airport! We should've been at Midway. My dad rushed us to where we were supposed to be and, miraculously, we didn't miss our flight!
Websites I Like:
http://thoughtsfromher.com - my blog! And I always search Yelp.com when looking for a place to eat...and Trekaroo, of course!

Reviews & Photos

129 Reviews


February 21 2016
0 families found this helpful
Elgin History Museum | kids travel, kids activities
Elgin History Museum
360 Park St,
Elgin,
Illinois 60120
"If you visit during the summer, take advantage of the playgrounds, waterpark and small zoo. There's lots to do here."
We recently spent the day at this museum and my preschooler loved it. We spent a few hours at the museum and loved the surrounding park too. Here are a few reasons why we loved the Elgin Public Museum.

Kids’ Room: On the first floor of the Elgin Public Museum is the Discovery Room, an educational playroom just for kids. The room features a puppet theater, puzzles, blocks, books, a microscope, musical instruments from around the world, and lots of hands-on objects from furs and antlers to starfish and turtle shells. I wasn’t expecting this small museum to have so many educational activities for kids, and I was pleasantly surprised.

Elgin and Illinois History: I love finding teachable moments when we visit new places. It’s really easy to do that at the Elgin Public Museum learning about the Fox River ecosystem, and how plant and animal life has changed over the years. The museum collection includes raccoon, opossum, squirrel, skunk, muskrat, owl, fox, coyote and certain species of hawks. After your visit, you can head to a trail along the Fox River and see if you see any of these animals yourself!

Location: The Elgin Public Museum is located within Lord’s Park – a 108-acre park that not only holds the museum, but is home to the Lord’s Park Zoo, the Lord’s Park Aquatic Center, a picturesque pavilion, two large playgrounds, tennis courts, and lots more. Pack a lunch and enjoy it under one of the park’s picnic shelters. You can totally make a day of your outing!
 
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
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July 20 2015
0 families found this helpful
Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament | kids travel, kids activities
Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament
2001 N. Roselle Road,
Schaumburg,
Illinois 60195
"Fantastic Medieval Fun!"
My family had a great time recently at Medieval Times in Schaumburg. If you have never visited one of Medieval Times’ nine North American locations, you really have no idea what you’re missing. Medieval Times is a dinner and tournament show featuring a royal court, knights of the realm, jousting, and the crowning of a Queen of Love and Beauty taken straight from the audience. Definitely a sight to see!

When you first enter the large arena, you are taken to your seats. Seats are color-coded based on the knight you’ll be supporting. We had the red and yellow knight.

Before the jousting began, the crowd is treated with a showing of the horses’ skills and the Lord Chancellor introduces the crowd to the knights. The whole crowd is really into it and the arena will be very loud. (Please keep this in mind if bringing kids with special needs or sensory issues.) Then the jousting begins and the crowd cheers for their knight. The knights first play a series of tournament games, then they joust! We were in the lucky section because ours just so happened to win – hurray!

While the jousting is going on, your food will be served. Just like in medieval times, silverware is not provided. I remembered this from my first visit years ago and brought some from home for my son because I knew he’d have a hard time eating without a fork and spoon. And the food is absolutely fantastic! Full bar service is available during the show, but be aware that the cost of any alcohol is not included in your ticket price and will be billed separately. Also, remember to bring some cash to tip your server!

Overall, we had a great time at Medieval Times, and I was happy to see that the attraction is still so popular. The place was almost packed on a Sunday afternoon!
 
 
June 01 2015
1 family found this helpful
Phillips Park Zoo | kids travel, kids activities
Phillips Park Zoo
1000 Ray Moses Drive,
Aurora,
Illinois 60505
"Free zoo with a nice playground."
I spent an afternoon at the Phillips Park Zoo with my son and we totally enjoyed ourselves. This zoo is no-frills, but a nearby playground and splash pad are sure to keep the kids entertained for hours – and you don’t have to spend a dime.

The entrance to the zoo is pretty neat. There’s a board displaying the rules of the zoo, then a totally random, but still cute, painted dinosaur.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit, that animal sightseeing outdoors was pretty difficult. There are some cages for birds like eagles, hawks, and owls; as well as wolves, goats and llamas, but we had trouble finding the outdoor animals. The elk, however, had a huge, gorgeous setting to call home and we were able to see them just fine chilling under the bridge. There’s a large elk statue that offers a great place for a photo op though!

But by far, my son’s favorite exhibit at Phillips Park Zoo was the reptile house! It was very warm in there, but seeing the alligators, snakes and turtles so close was a real treat! Once we finished up at the reptile house, sadly we saw the exit – BUT there was a huge playground off in the distance.

The playground was so fun and we spent a good chunk of time there. My son loved the giant pirate ship. So many of the kids there were so into it. Thankfully, there was a large, shaded picnic area nearby for us to have our lunch on.

As we were making our way back to the car, I noticed that we completely missed the visitor’s center on the way in with the giant mastodon statue in front. Another nice photo op spot, and the visitor’s center is full of information on the animals at the zoo, and lots of educational exhibits and displays. There are also restrooms, vending machines, and drinking fountains at the visitor’s center.

There’s also a splash pad nearby, but we didn’t stop by on our last visit. Now that most pools and splash pads are open for the season, we’re going to have to make our way back here!
 
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
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May 21 2015
0 families found this helpful
Chicago Botanic Garden | kids travel, kids activities
Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Road,
Glencoe,
Illinois 60022
"The Chicago Botanic Garden is So Family-Friendly"
I have been a life-long resident of the Chicago area, and can honestly say that my first visit to the Chicago Botanic Garden was two years ago – crazy right?!?! If you have ever been, you’ll know why waiting a lifetime to pay them a visit is just crazy talk. The most gorgeous plants, gardens, and flowers reside here and you’d be remiss not to get there as soon as you can.

We all know that botanic gardens have some gorgeous plants and flowers that you’d expect to see at a botanic garden, but I was blown away at how kid-friendly the Chicago Botanic Garden was. The Enchanted Railroad Garden was a big hit for my entire family. My 4-year-old loved keeping an eye out for the train, while the adults enjoyed seeing so many miniature Chicago landmarks.

We also loved playing BINGO with the handout we picked up at the information desk. The BINGO game has you look throughout the park for common items and you put a sticker on each item as you find it, hoping you’ll find a “BINGO” row. It was great to have my 4-year-old engaged throughout the day by looking for various items on the sheet.

But by far, our favorite part of the day was spent at the Children’s Growing Garden. There are so many activities that are explained at a child’s level, and my son did not want to leave. There was a kid’s treasure hunt, books, puzzles, toys, teaching kids about gardening and even spray bottles for the kids to water the plants themselves. Great fun and a valuable learning experience for kids.

Admission is free, but as of May 2015, there is a $25 parking fee per car.
 
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
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May 17 2015
0 families found this helpful
Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream | kids travel, kids activities
Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream
468 State Street,
Madison,
Wisconsin 53703
"Rich & Creamy Ice Cream!"
The Chocolate Shoppe in Madison is a great place to stop with the family after spending the day at the children's museum. The location of the shop is a perfect corner location and it looks so cute from the outside. They make their own ice cream, and it's definitely richer and creamier than most ice creams I've tasted.

Aside from the delicious ice cream, I love that the Chocolate Shoppe offers a kids corner with tons of toys to keep the kids occupied. I visited on a Saturday afternoon and was surprised to see that it wasn't over crowded. We were able to find a seat no problem.
 
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
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