I grew up in the Chicagoland area but now have different places of interest having two small children
by cmeekins03 on October 5, 2006
This was a family favorite when I was growing up. Even though we live in Milwaukee we chose to have my daughter's first birthday party there since most of the family lives in Illinois. They have a patio area that is nice for parties though they don't specifically take reservations. (Getting a party on a Sunday is pretty easy though)They have great thin crust pizza; the crust is nice and crunchy. Being a family of 5 when I was growing up, we still managed to have some pizza for breakfast the next morning when we ordered the family sized thin crust. Some parts of the restaurant are a little louder than others, but everywhere are families. They have a few video games and a crane to keep the kiddies entertained near the bathrooms.The restaurant is so well-liked that many retirees who move to Florida will order pizzas to be sent frozen to them. The shipping price is pretty high to cover the packaging, dry ice, and 2-day UPS delivery but people still order them. What started in the little town of Homewood, Il now has spread to 41 locations all still owned by the original family.They do not serve the traditional Chicago deep dish pizza, but they do offer calzones for those who aren't fond of thin crust. The price is more expensive than say a Domino's, but it's reasonable and well worth the price!For more information you can visit their website at http://www.aureliospizza.com/index.htm.
by cmeekins03 on May 25, 2007
Right when you arrive just looking at this building has you knowing there is fun inside. The bright yellow, red, and blue paint says children come and play.This is the most expensive children's museum we've visited at $7.50 per person, but it's also the largest and has all kinds of things. On our first trip we spend a lot of time in the first room where they have glow sticks and what looks like a big light-brite screen. There is also a music room where kids can bang on pipes and various drums. Another popular item was using the laser light sticks to 'write' on the wall. There was even more in this room but that hits the highlights.If that wasn't cool enough, the bubbles room and large water table are beyond that. What kid doesn't love bubbles and even the adults have a great time using a hula hoop to make gigantic bubbles. The favorite spot here is to stand on a platform and pull up the hula out of the bubbles to have you inside a bubble! The water table of course if fun because you get to splash water - if you look closely though near the waterfall, you'll find there are some levers to change where water is falling from...definitely bonus fun.This isn't even half the exhibits. A rundown of some other areas include wind tunnels, a workshop (our kids were too young for this), blocks you can setup to have balls move through, an infant room, life-size blocks - and that is just the first floor. Upstairs they have a wall painted so you can put magnets on it, coloring areas, math areas...Overall the upstairs is for older kids.Writing this review makes us want to visit again soon! Anyhow, a few other tips. They do have a lunchroom in the basement area and a couple of vending machines. We've brought lunch there before and it worked really well. Also, Fridays are more crowded than you would expect - I guess there are many fortunate moms in Naperville who get to stay home with their kids. Plan to spend at least two to three hours here because even the young ones will want to stay as long as you will let them! www.dupagechildrensmuseum.org
by cmeekins03 on April 18, 2008
Having grown up in the Chicagoland area as a child, I had fond memories of visiting the museum. Much to my delight, some of my favorite exhibits are there and brand new things to see as well.Since our kids aren't in school yet, we were able to take advantage of a free Tuesday. They have a number of them posted before Christmastime on their website. Parking is pretty reasonable for Chicago and unless you partake in one of the special exhibits, you can get away with spending next to nothing. We on the otherhand chose to see the Star Wars exhibit which was mostly models, but also some working robots, and my 3 year old got to ride on a hovercraft! Overall they were too young to enjoy things except playing with all the phones that talked to you about the exhibits but at least it entertained them while my husband read up on things and took LOTS of photos.We spent time in many of the classic areas such as the chicken hatchery, the dollhouse, the model trains (which has expanded to include a model of Chicago), and the circus area. The toddlers especially enjoyed a newer area with a very large waterplay area. It was like a mini children's museum within the museum. Their other favorite item is when you walk-in; there is an old-time pinball style advertisement sign created in Switzerland. You follow the ball down the mountains, into a bus, in a phone booth, on a train...eventually it arrives at the hotel. We found kids staying around to watch it more than once just like us.Make sure you give yourself a whole day here. If you don't enjoy crowds, make sure you don't visit at the end of December when they have their Christmas trees from around the world displayed. When we went on Tuesday, even though it was free, the crowds were very small since school was in session! One other tip, if you have young kids, they won't be interested in much on the top floor because it all has to do with health.Have a great time!
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