Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wednesday Weekend Windup {Whoa--there is a lot to do!}

Wow! There is a lot to do this weekend! I had a difficult time curating a list since there were so many great events this weekend. Here are some great picks for this weekend:

Wednesday, July 23

The  Lake County Fair will be bringing some extra fun to Grayslake through Sunday. There will be a petting zoo, magic, a carnival, a business expo, bingo, the Chicago Flower and Garden show and much more. Check website for more info!

Thursday, July 24

Start tomorrow with  Play in the Park at the Hamilton Reservoir in Palatine from 10AM-12PM. There will be a storytime for tots 10AM-10:30AM. There will be crafts, games and more for all ages 10:30AM-12:00PM. The event is free!
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Destination Asia Summer Festival at The Morton Arboretum August 2-3 {&Giveaway!}

Image via Morton Arboretum
*Disclosure: The Morton Arboretum has generously provided 2 tickets for our giveaway. No compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own.

Earlier this month, we took a look at the Travel America Festival at The Morton Arboretum. This summer, the Arboretum continues to travel around the world. August 2-3 brings the sounds, sights and flavors of Asia to The Morton Arboretum during the Destination Asia Summer Festival. Some highlights will include:
  • Traditional Japanese, Chinese and Thai music
  • Chinese Dragon Dance
  • Sumo Wrestling Demo
  • Learning how to play badminton
  • Learning how to play cricket
  • Learning about and experiencing henna tattoos
  • Bonsai Demo
  • Exploring Asian collections of trees
  • Asian-inspired food trucks and food at Gingko Cafe
  • & More!
Sounds like a lot of fun packed into a day at the Arboretum! The event will run 10AM-4PM each day. Check The Morton Arboretum website for scheduling information. The event is free with admission to the Arboretum. Admission is $12 Adults ages 18–64, $11 Seniors ages 65+ and $9 Youth ages 2–17. Those 1 and under are free! There will be Acorn Express Tram rides highlighting tree collections representing asia. There is a fee for the Tram rides and tickets can be purchased at the Visitor Center.

Giveaway time!

The Morton Arboretum has generously given us 2 tickets to give away to one lucky reader to visit the Destination Asia Summer Festival! The giveaway will end Sunday, July 27 and is open to US residents 18-years-old and older. The winner will have 24-hours to respond to the notification email or the prize will be forfeited. Good luck!
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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Now Matter How Far You Travel, You Are Not Far From Home: Home Sweet Home by Chicken Soup for the Soul

**Disclosure: We did receive a complimentary copy of Home Sweet Home for the purpose of conducting a review. No compensation was received. All opinions are 100% our own.

I am always amazed by how many volumes of Chicken Soup for the Soul there are. Then, I read one and realize there are always stories--our stories. We all have so much to share and with that sharing comes the understanding that yes, I have been there. We share comfort in knowing others have thought what we thought or experienced what we have experienced.

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Following Alice Down the Rabbit Hole during a Morton Arboretum Theatre-Hike

Getting ready for a walk to Wonderland.
**Disclosure: I thank Theatre-Hikes and The Morton Arboretum for complimentary tickets to the performance. No compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own.

"The rule is, jam tomorrow and jam yesterday-but never jam today!" Recently, we tumbled down the rabbit hole with Alice and returned with grins on our faces, entirely delighted! Last year, we first learned about Theatre-Hikes while taking in an action-packed version of the Three Musketeers at The Morton Arboretum. This year, we went "mad" when we learned that a production of Alice in Wonderland was slated for this summer! We had to go! On a picture perfect Sunday, we were able to follow Alice and her crew through the trees absorbing nature while laughing and giggling throughout the thoroughly amusing production!

What is Alice thinking? Image courtesy of Theatre-Hikes
Right from our initial introduction to Alice, we were hooked! Madalyn Mattsey was superbly cast as Alice and had the perfect facial expressions and mannerisms to capture this snarky and sweet character! Entirely Alice! All of the cast members were engaging and adeptly created a magical world with surprisingly few props. I was pretty curious about how the cast of 6 would be able to paint pictures of each of the Wonderland residents that we know and love. Their expressions, both verbally and facially, actions and creativity smoothly created Alice's imaginary world for us. While the whole audience thoroughly loved the production, the children were particularly entertained and even interjected comments into the characters' conversations. Adorable! The characters also reached out to the children eliciting ecstatic responses. What a wonderful memory for all of us and a great way to get children involved with theater!

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Summer Road Trip Milwaukee: Milwaukee Inspiration and the Wisconsin State Fair July 31-August 10

Milwaukee Art Museum via Wiki Commons
**Disclosure: No compensation was received for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

About once a year, we love to take at trip up to Milwaukee. A couple of winters ago we visited the Mitchell Park Conservatory to visit the famous Domes and walk through a tropical rainforest in the middle of winter! How amazing to walk through a tropical landscape without jackets in the middle of a Midwest winter!}We also love to sample the Milwaukee culinary scene and visit the Milwaukee Public Market. This week, I spent some time browsing Visit Milwaukee's website and they have a nice itinerary section to inspire some road trips. They even have a Milwaukee Scavenger Hunt to help your family explore the city. I know my daughter would totally love a huge scavenger hunt! Of course, they also have a geocaching tour as well!

If you are thinking about visiting Milwaukee this summer, the Wisconsin State Fair may provide some extra incentive! The fair runs for a whopping eleven days (July 31-August 10) and will have a large range of entertainment. The fair will have a huge Wisconsin products pavilion--you know I am huge into local products so this sounds like heaven! There will also be animals, music, demonstrations, other acts and much more! An interesting fact about the fair---350,000 cream puffs are consumed each year. Wow!

For more information on the fair, you can check out Visit Milwaukee. I think the Scavenger Hunt itinerary gives a good framework for launching a family trip to Milwaukee no matter the time of the year. The Harley-Davidson Museum, Discovery World and The Domes--there is something for everyone in your family. And, who can miss the bronze statue of the Fonz?

Image via Jimmy Emerson on Flickr
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