Washington D.C. With Kids – A Family Travel Guide

I’ve been to D.C. before on a girl’s trip and we took advantage of the nice restaurants and rooftop bars overlooking the White House and it was a blast. Visting D.C. on a quick weekend trip with kids looks a little different. Our family trip gave me a new appreciation for the history and beauty of D.C. and our great nation. If you only have a few days to explore D.C. with the family here’s some must-dos while you’re there.

You can’t go to D.C. and not visit any monuments or memorial sites. Many are within walking distance of each other so it makes it easy to visit many of the sites in a short amount of time.

We started our monument tour at the Washington Monument. The 555 feet structure was built to honor our first president and it is quite a sight. You can walk the grounds, get a great view of the Capitol, or you can go to the top for a bird’s eye view of the city. If you want to go inside just be sure to get your tickets prior to your visit. They do not accept walk-ups or day-of-ticket purchases. After visiting the Washington Monument, you can walk down to The National Mall , “America’s First Yard,” to get a closer view of the Capitol or other nearby monuments.

World War II Memorial If you walk from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial you will come upon the WWII Memorial. From the National Park site: Through stone architecture and bronze sculptures, the World War II Memorial recognizes the ways Americans served, honors those who fell, and recognizes the victory they achieved to restore freedom and end tyranny around the globe.

Lincoln Memorial My favorite monument of all. Not only is its majestic marble statue honoring Abraham Lincoln a must-see, but the steps to the memorial witnessed many history-making moments such as the ‘I Have a Dream speech. It’s a beautiful structure that reminds me of ancient Roman times with the large marble columns and grand stairs leading up to the temple where Abe Lincoln is enshrined forever. The view of the Mall and the Washington Monument is spectacular at the top too!

Vietnam Veterans Memorial This memorial site is within close walking distance to the Lincoln Memorial. My kids were most touched by this memorial because they could read the names of all those brave men and women who sacrificed their lives protecting our country.

White House You can’t go to D.C. and not see the White House. My kids were most excited to see this historic building that houses all of our presidents. They were surprised to see it sits right in the middle of the city and seems small compared to its surroundings. We also got a glimpse of the President returning to the house as we were leaving.

Now on to the museums. There are so many amazing museums in D.C. and you’d need many more days to experience them all. Due to lack of availability and some closures due to Covid and refurbishing we didn’t have many to chose from during our visit. Pro tip: Make sure you plan in advance and get your tickets early. Some museums sell out months in advance. Our top choices were The Smithsonian, The Air & Space Museum, The African American Museum, and the International Spy Museum.

We were only able to get tickets to the International Spy Museum but it was perfect for the kids. Once we arrived they said you need two hours to complete the tour, however, I would plan on more like 4-5 hours.

From their site: At the International Spy Museum, you get to go undercover to test your spy skills at seventeen different digital and physical interactives spread throughout the Museum’s permanent exhibitions over two floors. You’ll be challenged to remember your cover identity, stay undercover, and participate in activities ranging from cracking codes to crawling through an air duct and spying on other “spies.”

The museum was incredible, very interactive, and super cool to learn about spies around the world. The best part was seeing all the spy gadgets and technology used from decades ago up until recently. It’s amazing what they can do with little cameras and microphones!

Once you’re done with all the historical sites, I highly recommend you head over to the Capitol Riverwalk. There are many restaurants nearby and you get a scenic view of the city and river.

Speaking of restaurants, here are a few we got to check out and others that were recommended to me as being kid-friendly.

My last recommendation is to visit Georgetown. Not only is it a beautiful and very European feel, but there are wonderful little shops and eateries to explore throughout the entire neighborhood.

Sleeping Just Got A Whole Lot More Comfortable

I don’t know about you, but I love a good night’s sleep. Those nights are often hard to come by because I’m a light sleeper. I wake up if I’m uncomfortable, itchy from my pajamas, if I’m too hot, too cold, you name it.

I sometimes share fashion finds with you and recently I heard about Weekend Made Sleepwear and couldn’t wait to try out their pajamas. It’s hard to come by a good pair of pajamas that are soft, cozy, and last a long time.

Weekend Made Sleepwear is a new innovative brand that features seamless designs perfect for a comfortable night’s sleep. Their sleepwear was created for women and children with sensitive skin or with sensory processing disorders. Their sleepwear is made with high-quality, sweat-wicking materials so you’re able to enjoy them even in summer. They are very lightweight.

The material feels so soft and luxurious, they are easy to care for and made to last. They also have pockets so you have a place to carry your phone. Isn’t everything better with pockets? They have several mommy and me styles and are easy to breastfeed in if you’re a nursing mom. They also have a slight stretch for the ultimate comfort. I can definitely see a lot of cozy movie nights with the boys in these and who doesn’t love a mommy and me look?! We’ve already named Weekend Made as our favorite set of pajamas.

If you want to find out more about the brand and get some mommy and me coziness, check out their website here. Right now if you save 20% when you buy 2 items with code: BTS20. Let us know how you love them!

2020 Holiday Gift Guide – Kid’s Edition

It’s that time of year friends! If you’re like me you always scramble to come up with gifts for friends and family they will actually love! Kids are the easiest to shop for, in my opinion, they love virtually anything wrapped with a bow. This year you’ll see more focus on supporting small businesses due to the pandemic. Small businesses make up our communities and are always there for us supporting sports leagues, charities, festivals, and the like – so I’m going to show up for them this year and I hope you’ll consider supporting them as well.

Now, this doesn’t mean I won’t shop Amazon and other major retailers too, but just want to give extra love to those small businesses. If you do shop on Amazon, try to support the small business vendors on there.

I’ll start with some local Chicago shops and virtual small businesses I love. Then I’ll share some other fun finds!

Building Blocks Chicago is one of our favorite local stores. Building Blocks Toy Store offers a great selection of well-curated toys, books, and products for kids and adults to bring play into their lives. They take pride in their play expertise and their joy in serving their customers to the highest satisfaction. They also gift wrap if you’d like and offer curbside pick up. We’ve been shopping here for years and they are the best. Some our favorites are:

Let’s move on to another favorite shop of mine. This one is virtual and ships anywhere! Fashion X Faith. Fashion X Faith started with a mission to inspire kids to express their faith and share a message of love and hope through what they wear. They have some amazing deals AND are giving back this season. Check out their website to see more. Below are some of my fave!

Looking for something homemade? I love Maddie & Me. Kelley, the creator, started her business in 2015 and creates handmade bow ties, girls’ bows, and facemasks. Check out her site for all these cute custom made items.

Next up, if you love subscription boxes for the kids, Green Explorers Club is AH-MAZING! Green Explorers Club teaches kids the tools of sustainability while building a healthy curiosity for life sciences and the environment. They explore sustainability through hands-on experiments and activities that demonstrate the importance of taking care of our planet.

Last up for some local love:

Kido Chicago South Loop. Ships and offers curbside pick up too! Here are some finds:

Timeless Toys Only for Chicagoans. Located in Lincoln Park area. Ships locally and has curbside pick up. Here are some finds:

The Red Balloon Chicago Located in Roscoe Village / Lakeview area. Such a darling boutique with the cutest offerings. Chicago’s go-to source for a wide selection of high-quality, specialty children’s clothing, books, toys, and gifts. How cute are these outfits?

On to some favorite picks for older kiddos. Here are some great gift ideas from Target and Amazon. Scroll and click on the pictures for the link.

Here’s to a seamless holiday shopping season! My next guide is for the women in your life (or for yourself). See you on the next post!

*(Any link shared below might be commissionable and paid out by that company at no extra charge to you).

Camping With The Family – Here’s What You Need

With restrictions and safety measures in place due to COVID-19, this summer’s travel has been a little bit different. One trend I’ve seen make a big comeback among families is camping.

I’m not going to lie, sleeping in a tent in the summer heat did not sound appealing to me in the beginning, but I knew the kids would have a blast. As I started planning the trip – I started getting more excited about the idea too. I still prefer a resort and pool cabanas don’t get me wrong, but I think I’ve been won over by the great outdoors.

Planning a camping trip with kids can be very overwhelming. It’s hard to decipher what you really need and what you could do without. Camping gear can also be pricy, but good quality gear will last you decades. I went into this trip knowing if I bought the gear, camping was going to be a part of our future travels. I also bought things over the span of several months so it wasn’t a huge expense at once.

After crowdsourcing friend’s camping must-haves I went to work building our list and wanted to share it with you. I’ll break it down with camping must-haves, what’s convenient to have but you could do without, and luxury items (more of glamping) if you want to spend the money.

If you’re not up for a tent, many campsites have cabin rentals which feature small kitchens and bathrooms so be sure to check those options out. We have done both this summer and both were great experiences. I brought my own cleaning supplies and did a wipe down of the cabin when we arrived. You also bring your own sheets, etc., so it felt safe and clean. If you are on a campsite in a tent, many grounds have communal bathhouses to shower and use the restroom.

Now, let’s get started with my must-haves for camping. I’ll share my list and links below to the exact items we used. All were bought from Amazon and most were available on Prime.


Tent: we bought a Coleman 8-person tent to have the extra room. Most family blogs I’ve read said if you have a family of 4 – buy a 6 or 8-person tent.

Tent Kit: I feel like this was a must-have as it has a hammer for the tent stakes, extra stakes, a small broom with a dustpan (you’ll be amazed at how much dirt ends up in your tent!) and a small tool to help take out the stakes when you’re packing up.

Tent Tarp: This you lay down on the ground to put your tent on top of. It protects your tent from tears, water, etc. Tip: When you set up your tent, set the tent a little further back on the tarp so it gives you a space to leave your shoes before you step in the tent.

Sleeping bags: These ones are highly rated and not too hot but keep you warm when the temps drop. My tall hubby fit just fine in these as well. You can buy blow-up pillows, but we just brought our own. I’m weird about pillows.

Lanterns: We had four lanterns. Two that we could carry around and hang from trees, two that hooked on the ceiling of our tent / screened tent and doubled as a fan too. We also had these head flashlights that were needed at night to walk and when you needed your hands free.

Stove: We used the Coleman Stove and bought a griddle to top it as well. The griddle made it easy to cook eggs and bacon in the morning. You can also use it to cook over the campfire. Be sure to buy extra propane. We took two for a three-day trip and had some leftover. You can get the carrying case for the stove which makes it easier to transport. I’m all about compact and easy when camping. You can bring paper/plastic plates, cups, utensils to use and be fine, but I’ll share what we had in the next list.

Cooler: We brought two and had to make a few ice runs to keep all our food cold. One of our coolers is an electric refrigerator, but I forgot the electric plugin attachment as it only comes with a car lighter plugin. We had a site with water and electric hook up (which I recommend if you can), and could have plugged that in and saved on ice runs. Highly recommend this cooler and you can use it anytime. Don’t forget to buy the electric plugin with it!

First Aid Kit: This is a must, especially with kids. The one we got has everything you need in case of a minor emergency.

Table Cloth: Get a disposable table cloth for your picnic table. You’ll thank me for this advice.

Duct Tape, Dawn Minis, lighters, lighter fluid, chillers for the cooler, and string. Trust me.

Here’s a quick look at all the must-haves:

Now onto my “makes your life easier” list:

Camping Shovel: You may not need this but we did. The ground was pretty hard and we had to shovel a bit to get our stakes in. It would have taken a much longer time to set up if we didn’t have this.

String with links and hooks. You tie these between the trees to hang wet towels and other camping gear. We had two of these to hang our gear and outdoor pantry.

Water Jugs. These things were a lifesaver! We filled them up at the basin and then used the water to wash our hands and brush our teeth. It came in handy when washing our pots, pans, and dishes too!

Soap Sheets and Wipes: These soap sheets are magic I tell you! They also made my kids want to wash their hands. Put the sheet in your hands and add water and it suds up. These wipes are perfect for camping too.

Shower Pods: These are handy and a one time use. I got these along with mini loofas and a shower caddy. If you want to save space by not packing towels, these came in handy for our tent and cabin weekends. These are compact and come with a face towel, bath towel, and washcloth.

Battery: Even if you have an electric hook up these batteries come in handy and last a long time. They have an electric outlet, lighter and USB connections. Speaking of batteries, take some extra batteries as you may need them for flashlights, etc.

Tent Fan: If you’re camping in summer and want to sleep without being miserable, I highly suggest a larger fan. This one gave off a lot of cool air and ran on D batteries. It lasted all three nights.

Sleeping Cots: Could you sleep with just a sleeping bag? Yes. Is it comfortable? No. Our tent was on some tree roots and we tried to use small pads under our sleeping bags and it was brutal. Definitely get a quality air mattress or a cot. My husband actually drove back to our house and got these for us to sleep on. The only con is they are bulky and take up a lot of car space. We have a large SUV and could have used a rooftop luggage storage but we shoved it all in. I fit most of this gear in one suitcase and we packed our clothes in backpacks.

Camping Backpacks: I am all about compact items when camping as we have to fit it all in our car or it doesn’t come. These backpacks are great and we fit 3 days worth of clothing and a few stuffed animals in them. They worked great for taking our towels, sunscreen, and water bottles to the pool area too.

Outdoor pantry: This was so helpful! We used this to house our bread and dry food and hung it from the strap on the trees.

Camping Chairs. Sure you could bring your own fold-up chairs, but again that takes up too much space. I found these chairs and they fold into very small zip bags with a handle. They all fit in my suitcase with the other gear. Highly recommend.

You can’t go camping and not have S’mores! We love our marshmallow roasting sticks!

A quick look at makes your life easier items:

Lastly, here is my glamping list to really making tenting easy!

Outdoor Kitchen: This is the one we got and loved it! It has a zipper compartment that held our chips and our dishes and cooking utensils. Totally worth it and folds up small into a nice carrying case. This set up made life easy and made cooking outdoors fun.

Kitchen supplies: We bought reusable dishes and camping pots and pans as we want to use these for the future and they are compact. We took these knives and these cooking utensils that came in very handy.

Spices. Don’t want to bring all your spices? This is perfect. Everything you need in one small bottle.

Collapsable Sink This sink has a cutting board as well and came in useful for washing our cookware and prepping food. I also bought a collapsable trashcan that zips up at night and keeps any animals away.

Screen Tent: We had this and have used it at the beach before and it came in handy for camping. We put it over the picnic table so we could eat without bugs swarming us and our food.

Hammock: My kids would say this is a must-have as they spent most of their time in it. They must be popular too because so many other people had them. They are comfortable and fun!

Recap of my glamping list:

Most of these items were $25 and under with the exception of the larger things. We also store all the small items in two bins in our basement so they don’t take up a lot of space. I know it seems like a lot but just remember you can use these items for years to come and they making camping life so much easier! In the next post, I’ll share some camping hacks!

Here’s to making many more camping memories!

**Any links shared are affiliate commissionable links through the Amazon Affiliate Program.

All You Need To Know About Boyne Mountain Resort

Recently our family wanted to get back into skiing and was looking for a family-friendly ski resort near Chicago. Its been about 20 years since my husband and I skied and we have two young boys who’ve never skied before. When I started my research and asked around our friend circles, one resort continued to come up as the best – Boyne Mountain Resort.

Boyne Mountain is just under 6 hours away from Chicago, it’s located in northern Michigan and it’s a very easy drive. What sold us was all the activities available for the whole family, but before we go into the fun let’s talk about lodging.

The resort itself has a wide variety of options from condos to villas to cabins, but we decided to check out VRBO to see if we could get a bigger space to fit in our budget. We found a lodge on-site that could accommodate our entire party. We traveled with family friends and there were nine of us total. The lodges on-site were nice and spacious, we could have fit another family in there if needed. Check your options before you book.

As far as the activities go, you need more than a weekend. There is so much to do!

The resort was much larger than I anticipated with 60 runs to chose from at all different levels for skiing. I liked this because you didn’t get bored going down the same runs over and over again. They also had quite a bit of beginner level runs for us to get reacquainted with skiing. The staff was very helpful and the system to check-in and pick up your equipment was like a well-oiled machine. They are very organized, which I appreciated with kids. Parents, you know what I mean! We were in and out in 15 minutes. We rented skis, poles, and helmets.

TIP: Buy your lift tickets before you go! Saves you from waiting in line and you get a discount buying online. You can choose a full-day or half-day. Looking back, I think half-day would have been enough. Prices vary during non-peak/peak days.

Once we had our gear, we dropped the kids off at ski school at 8:30 am. When booking ski school, you can choose by age level and/or experience level. You can also choose half-day or full-day. Full-day was from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm and lunch was included. The boys had a blast and the instructors were very hands-on. The lift ticket was included and could be used after ski school on the beginner runs if you felt they are ready.

In the morning, the resort was not too busy. I didn’t feel crowded on the runs and we never had to wait for lift rides for longer than a few minutes. The crowds started coming in after lunchtime. At that point, I was ready to call it a day.

Speaking of lunchtime, there were several meal options to choose from. One day we ate at Forty Acres Tavern which was worth the wait. The food and service were excellent. The second day we took advantage of a taco truck parked next to the slopes – and again delicious! The quality of the food was another present surprise. There were several other dining options around the resort to choose from. If you want to head off property for meals, I highly recommend Red Mesa Grill. It’s only five miles from the resort and was amazing. We will definitely go there next time too.

One of my favorite things about the resort was the live band entertainment that you could hear even at the top of the mountain. Sitting at the tables outdoors with a beverage listening to the band was my definition of fun. Maybe I’m more of an Aprés skier? Either way, it was a blast!

Other activities we took advantage of were going to Avalanche Bay Indoor Water Park. The kids had loved it and there was a great variety of rides for all ages. We also took the kids to the arcade which was conveniently located next to the water park.

Other activities available at the resort were tubing, cross country skiing, Fat Tire Biking, Groomer Rides, Horseback Riding, Ice Skating, Sno-Go Bikes, Ziplining, and Snowshoeing.

Now you know why I said you need more than a weekend. The fun was endless! If you are thinking about a Midwest winter getaway, I highly recommend Boyne Mountain Resort. We are already planning for next year.

Holiday Gift Guide For The Whole Family

Happy holidays, friends! This is my favorite time of year because I love to give. I think I may get more excited than the gift recipient when watching them open a present I picked out. If I’m being honest, I like to TREAT MYSELF too. We as moms, or ladies of the house, make the holidays magical with our yummy food, our decorating, and tossing glitter in the air for a month straight – so I think we deserve a little something for ourselves too. Amiright, ladies?

I scoured the internet over the last week looking for some amazing gifts to give this season – and I think I found the perfect gifts for her, him, and the kiddos! Luckily, most are on sale for Black Friday week too!

Let’s start with the kids. My boys are ages 6 and 9 so I looked in that range, but most of these are good for all ages. First up, this fun lamp that allows them to sleep under the stars every night. It comes in multiple colors and is under $20!

Next up, this gel hand-guided flying saucer. We got these for the boys as well and can’t wait to see their faces when they open them from Santa! Under $30 and comes in a few different colors.

These are perfect if you have a playroom or basement. We researched a basketball game, which folds up nicely to store and also has the best ratings for durability. This game table provides a lot of options and I think it’s fun even for adults. If you have kids, you owe them a bouncy house. Ha! This one fits in our basement and breaks down for easy storage too. All on sale! Scroll through to see.

If you don’t want to spend the money on an iPad, the Amazon Freetime/Fire is great for little ones! We used these for years and the kids still love them. Currently 40% off!

Scroll below to check out some other items they are sure to love (and are on sale right now!) from tents to toys, electronics up to $300 off!, to science experiments.

Now let’s move on to the men in our lives. Ladies, I know this can be hard and we never know what to get – but I found a slew of great gifts, some I even bought for my husband, that I think our men will love. Bonus, most are on sale! Starting with this cozy robe:

If he’s a whiskey drinker, he will love this reserve set or decanter set.

If he’s into gadgets, check these out. I’m definitely getting this massager so I can steal it. All Bose speakers are sale right now too!

Some more items he’s sure to love! Tumi is having a sale along with tons of other great luggage brands. Ugg slippers are a must-have. I bought my husband a pair years ago and he still wears them all the time. Scroll through to see.

If you want to be fancy and get him a nice gift, go for this watch. Gorgeous, classic, and will look sexy on him.

Saved the best for last – the ladies! Share this post with your significant others or treat yourself, girl! You deserve it.

You can never go wrong with a spa day or massage, so find the best ones in your area. In Chicago, I like the spa at Langham Hotel, Bliss, Urban Oasis, and Penisula.

If you want to spoil her with something fancy – go for a handbag. These are my current favorites.

Some more economical items she’ll love are these mirrors! Every girl needs good lighting when getting ready.

If she loves to cook or likes to have a clean house, I highly recommend these gadgets. Instant Pots are a dream and I’m praying Santa brings our house an air fryer this Christmas! I also would love a Roomba and they are up to 30% off! Scroll through to see. All images are linked.

If she’s into fashion, here are some favorites of mine I know she will love too including Spanx leggings. On sale for 30% off. Some items are up to 50% off right now!

If she loves cozy nights then she needs these two items for sure. I have a cozy and I live in it during the winter. Perfect for the man in your life also!

If she likes to pamper herself, get her a great face mask. My favorite are from Rodan + Fields. I can get you 10% and free shipping, just send me a message.

Some other gifts you can’t go wrong with:

If she wants longer looking, fuller looking, darker looking lashes – she needs Lash Boost. A nightly eyelash serum that conditions and moisturizes lashes to promote the appearance of fuller, longer, darker-looking lashes. This conditioner can also be used to achieve fuller-looking brows. Currently, you can get it through me for 25% off and free shipping. You can send a message through social for the details. Everyone wants to be fabulash! See what I did there?

Ladies if you want to treat yourself and get the most fab pants for all your holiday functions – you need these. I just bought them in small. They are TTS. I’m 5’3 ish and these look great with heels. They are now 50% off and sell out every year!

*Disclaimer. Any links posted I may get a small (like really small, pennies on the dollar!) commission from as a brand affiliate.

Feeling The Fall Vibes at Jack’s Pumpkin Pop-Up

I love Fall in Chicago. Aside from the weather, football, changing leaves and making soups every weekend, the family activities make fall one of the best seasons of the year. Chicago is a very kid-friendly city with so many options, it’s hard to keep up. This year we kicked off the season with a visit to Jack’s Pumpkin Pop-up.

I’ll start by saying this place is equally as fun for adults. It would be a great date/girls’ night, but we took our kids along this time.

Jack’s Pumpkin Pop-Up is a great Fall interactive pop-up experience. It spreads across two acres in Goose Island. Open for one month only, you definitely need to check out this larger than life, outdoor, multi-sensory adventure in the heart of Chicago. Jack’s has the city’s largest corn maze, four full-service bars (one that’s hidden inside the maze!), ax throwing, gypsy caravans, music, carnival games, arcade, food trucks, and fun Instagrammable moments the kids (and you!) will love. You can even pick out a pumpkin on your way out if you want to.

We took the kids around 11 am on Sunday and that seemed to be less busy, so we had plenty of time for photo ops, the large sensory toys and lost ourselves in the maze.

The oversized rocking chair, maze and carnival games were the favorites with my boys. My favorites, of course. were all the photo ops and making memories with my babies. Definitely worth it if you’re looking for a fun activity with the kids.

If you go before 6 pm, you get discounted ticket pricing. I recommend getting your tickets online before you go. There are several packages to choose from that include drinks, etc., but basic entry before 6 pm is $15 for adults, $12 for kids (4 and under are free!). You can get deals through Groupon too.

If you are looking for more pumpkin patches to visit – check out Lincoln Park Zoo and the Chicago Park District website for more in your area. We plan on going to a lot more so I’ll keep you informed.

What are your favorite fall activities in the city?

Here are some more pics from our day at Jack’s.

Finding The Magic At Bixbee

Chicago families rejoice! There’s a new pop-up in town and it’s totally worth the visit. Conveniently located in Lincoln Park right off North Avenue just east of Sheffield. The Bixbee Imagination Station offers about an hour of fun installations and interactive stations for kids. There are five rooms to roam through all with different themes.

You start out walking through the jungle to get to the jungle-themed room.

Then head into the unicorn room and experience the magic of light installations, hula hoops, a unicorn and a sensory wall you could spend an hour playing with by itself.

Next up is a secret garden filled with beautiful flowers and butterflies. It’s a mystical room that will make your little ones smile.

Next, you’ll travel into space to see cool orbit light features and cosmic food.

You’ll finish out under the sea and get lost in a giant octopus that takes up a fourth of the room. You can crawl into the mouth of a shark – YIKES – and even claim your spot as the king (or queen!) of the sea.

If you’re in the Chicago area, I highly recommend this fun exhibit – but hurry as it ends at the end of September. You buy your ticket in advance and choose a time slot. This is great because it keeps the rooms less busy for more fun. I took my 5-year-old and he loved it. I think any age will find it fun for the imagination, however, I think 10 and under will enjoy it most.

There’s street parking on several streets nearby and also a parking garage on Sheffield right after you cross North Ave.

Per the website:
Bixbee Imagination Station is an experiential pop-up bound only by the limits of your imagination.

Inspired by a child’s innate ability to transform their reality into a fantasy world powered by nothing more than their own creativity, Imagination Station is equal parts funtastical playground and imagination jump starter!

Come discover a world every kid (and kid-at-heart) wished truly existed. Enter an un-charted playground where you can ride with a polka-dotted elephant and spot cheeky, technicolor monkeys. Ignite a brilliant light show with just the beat of a drum. Ride a mythical unicorn blazing across a disco rainbow sky. See human connectivity come to life like an electric spirograph. Share secrets with your bestie via flower blossoms. Explore outer space with a surfing, taco loving dinosaur, and take a selfie inside a ferociously, friendly shark!

Bixbee Imagination Station is so much more than just a great photo op, or fantasy play date. It’s a safari into the imagination.

Bixbee Imagination Station: Come Curious – Leave Inspired

Imagination Station is in Chicago for a limited time only. Don’t miss out and reserve your tickets today!

Learn more about Imagination Station here. Use code: FACEBOOK30 as a discount code.

* Mon to Thur, Sat & Sun (10am – 5pm), Fri (10am – 7pm) 
* Tickets: Adult $23, Kid (3-11 years old) $15, Children 2 and under are FREE
* For groups of 11 or more, birthday parties, or special events, please email ChiStation@bixbee.com’

*Sensory-friendly experience offered on August 13th and September 10th from 10am-12pm – Enjoy the Imagination Station with lowered lighting, sounds, and effects

Disney Travel Must-Haves

We are at it again! We loved our experience at Disney World so much this last November that we decided to head to the original mouse house in California this summer!

I shared all my hacks for Disney World and will do the same for Disneyland once we return – but, wanted to share some travel must-haves before heading to the magic land. These are items you want before you get to your Disney destination, so buy them early and take them with you.

The first, of course, being Mickey gear. You can’t go to the park without some cute shirts! I found the least expensive family shirts were on Etsy and there are so many options. You can also find some on Amazon, but I felt they were more pricy and not as big of a selection.

We bought some for each day we were at the park. It helps you keep an eye on the kiddos, too! I didn’t get personalized ones with our name on them because I didn’t want a bunch of strangers in the park calling my kids’ names. We stuck with mom, dad, big brother, etc.

But, back to the shirts! Aren’t these the cutest? You can find all the links to the shirts here.

Next travel must-have when you’re going to the park is a bag to hold all your stuff. If you have a little one your diaper bag will do, but we used light-weight drawstring bags for all of us and it worked out perfectly. The straps are little so they don’t hurt your shoulders or are uncomfortable. You barely notice you’re wearing it. We were able to carry all the essentials in the bags without having to remove them for rides or leave them in the rented stroller. My boys loved them too, and they were able to hold all their own stuff and souvenirs we picked up along the way. Talk about the ultimate mom-hack! Moms are the ones who usually end up carrying everything, so this worked out perfectly for me.

Each of us had a bottle of water that we were able to refill during the day throughout the park, versus paying a million dollars every few hours for bottled water there. We also each had a few snacks, sunscreen, and our sunglasses. The boys still use their bags at home and we are packing them for Disney again! Ours didn’t have any personalization on them, but you can get them personalized or monogrammed. They run about $12 for 2.

Next, you can’t forget about the hats! Not only will it protect your face from the sun but again, why not – you’re at Disney! Soak in all the fun. I also had a pair of ears to take some fun photos in.

Disneyland doesn’t require magic bands, so don’t worry about those.

Lastly, you’ll want to get an autograph book for your kids. You’ll encounter Disney characters all throughout the park and they’ll sign the books for you. Getting signatures became a fun adventure for my boys and they feel like they are meeting celebrities. They even got nervous around Mickey – the cutest! There’s bundles you can get with Disney starter kits for your kids to open before you go, or you can buy the autograph books separately. Most come with a little matching pen too.

We can’t wait to experience Disneyland and all the magic of the original mouse house. Even though I went as a kid there is nothing like re-living the experience through your child’s eyes. I’ll share all the must-dos and my advice to navigate the park after we go.

Here’s to a summer filled with magic and memories.

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If You’re Wondering What To Do In Chicago – Wnder No More

No, I didn’t make a spelling error in the title I promise. I’m referring to the Wndr Museum in Chicago. This weekend my family and I headed to the West Loop to check out the Wnder Museum and it did not disappoint.

Of course, as a blogger and an Instagram junkie, this place was a dream come true. Every turn provided a one of a kind photo op. But, besides that, the space offers an hour or two of browsing through rooms of experimental art installations that are sure to bring wonder to all.

When you first enter the museum you get the opportunity to wander around and check out a few interactive installations. There’s a station where a poet will customize a poem for you, too. The kids really loved this. There’s also a wall of candy dispensers – which I don’t know if that’s a good idea or a bad idea. The kids seemed to love it though.

Before you enter the main space, there are complimentary lockers you can put your coats and items in if you don’t want to carry them through the museum. Once in the museum, you’ll be guided through each room by an employee who will share all the information about the installation.

There are a few rules, you can’t climb on or touch a lot of the art installations – so I wouldn’t recommend it for very small children (crawlers or new walkers). Or, if you take them just be sure to watch them closely. We did see a few toddlers get in trouble for throwing some of the art bulbs lying around and grabbing sections of the art. There was also a baby crawling around in some of the dark rooms – which is not safe for anyone. Comes down to common sense parenting really. This is not a play space per se, it’s an interactive museum. Mentioning this so you can determine if it’s something you want to do with your young kids.

There are about 10 spaces to walk through, all very different and cool in their own right. The last space offers a room with balloons everywhere and kids are welcomed to play in there. There are fans on the floor which keep the balloons floating upward and the kids loved it.

My favorite installations came at the end. There is an area to take cans and hold them up to wires to hear sound from the wires. If you walk around the whole structure the sounds change. Pretty cool!

Once you reach the last part of the museum you walk through the installation featuring the Yayoi Kusama Infinity Mirror Room. Yayoi Kusama is an 89-year-old Japanese contemporary artist who works primarily in sculpture and installation but is also active in painting, performance, film, fashion, poetry, fiction, and other arts. She’s spent the last four decades voluntarily living in a psychiatric hospital due to mental illness. Her work is adored by millions all over the world.

You only get one minute in the Infinity Mirror Room and have to wear booties over your shoes. They are very strict and have a person manning the exhibit to protect it, but 60 seconds was enough time to capture the awe and beauty of the room and snap a few pics.

Upon leaving you pass by an interactive wall that captures you as the art piece and then you’re asked to leave a note on the exit wall. There were little snippets of advice, comments about the museum experience, and funny quotes adorning the wall as you exit the museum.

Definitely a fun winter activity and one you don’t want to miss before it leaves Chicago. Tickets are $32 due to the Yayoi Kusama Infinity Room, but well worth it. You can read more and buy your tickets here.

Here’s some moments we captured at Wnder: