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Moms Talk: How Do I Get Through The Rest of Spring Break?

You've done the zoo, it's too cold for the park--is it wrong to let them watch TV five hours a day? Moms and dads, have any ideas to bail out your fellow parents?

The kids don't go back to school until Monday, but you're running out of things to do for spring break.

Moms and Dads, what things do you do in the local area to wrestle the kids away from TV and video games?

The Exploritorium in Skokie? The Niles Family Fitness Center pool? Brookfield Zoo?

What have you done that's worked? Or, what have you always wanted to try?

All parents are invited to help out the rest of us by putting your suggestions in the comment box below.

Michael C. March 30, 2011 at 03:38 PM
Need a place to go with the kids? How about learning a lot about the History of Niles? The NILES HISTORICAL MUSEUM, located at 8970 N. Milwaukee Ave., is open from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., every Monday-Wednesday-Friday. The building is the old Cook County Sheriff's Police Station! You can take a tour of our facility or just browse on your own. We have 3 floors of interesting artifacts (or as kids say, "stuff") that would interest everyone. Floor 3 has a real 1920's apartment with a working Victrola and Pump Organ. Floor 2 has showcases of early appliances, early kid's toys, and turn-of-the-century apparel. The Main Floor 1900's kitchen and early schoolroom dioramas, plus a recreation of the way the actual jail area was back in the 1930's (please note: we discourage parents from leaving their children behind in the jail lockup). We also have a Carriage Room in which we have a real 1916 Model-T Ford, a horse drawn Bakery Wagon and an actual Covered Wagon that made the trip from the East Coast to the West Coast! Those are a few of the highlights of our Museum! And best of all, IT'S FREE!! The Niles Historical Museum: (847) 390-0160 Michael Crisci, Museum Administrative Assistant
Scott K March 31, 2011 at 02:32 AM
I was at this point last year, without a plan. So this year, I scrounged up a few ideas and had them lined up. It STILL makes for a loooong day. We're going to make popsicle-stick birdhouses on Friday (what did parents DO before the internet!?) Thursday, we're heading out to play with Legos and then back to the Lattof Y to burn off some energy in the kid-habitrail. Today (Wednesday), we had a play date from our preschool and got haircuts for all. Tuesday, we lunched at Costco and had swim lessons and tumbling. Costco has the cheapest $100 lunches around. Monday, we went to Morton Grove Public Library in the morning to hang out, then after lunch over to the Niles Library for Big Kids Storytime. So far, I've resorted to TV twice this week. I'm challenging myself to see how little I can allow while keeping the kids engaged and happy. So far, so good. Scott K / NPMC
Pam DeFiglio March 31, 2011 at 03:58 AM
Yes, Costco does have the cheapest $100 lunches around! You can fill up on free samples or buy the $2 hot dogs, but once you put a few things in the cart, there goes the $100.
Kathy Ruhnke March 31, 2011 at 03:18 PM
If only I was a planner, or creative. As it is, my main goal is to get us out of the house. To please my daughter, an activity should ideally (a) involve friends/other kids/playmates, and (b) allow running around or other physical play. So far we've hit Skokie's Exploratorium, whose tubes and tunnels structure occupied my daughter for hours. We also went to Make a Messterpiece at the Glen, where we met friends. Its worth trying but without a coupon (we had Groupon), I don't know that the activities - which don't take up much time - are worth the fee. The kids spent most of their time in the play area. Tonight: ice skating lessons at Iceland. Tomorrow my husband is off work. Who knows what we'll be doing? Maybe a trip to Costco.... --Kathy, Niles Patch Moms Council
Scott K March 31, 2011 at 06:12 PM
Just to be clear. That $2 hot dog INCLUDES a 16oz drink. Pizza slice is $1.50, I think. So the four of us can often all have a filling lunch for under $10 (including a smoothie we split between the kids.) So far, we're still keeping 'em away from Soda, so I have a slice for myself and a diet coke that came with one of the hot dogs. They're quite pleased with splitting the rather large Smoothie. Now, I recommend the pizza and the hot dogs and/or Polish sausage. But that's it. I've tried their wraps and for some reason, at least to our family, they just don't cut it. Both the chicken thing and the carne asada wrap just don't taste that good. Given the ingredients, we thought we'd love them--but we've tried at least a couple of times and it seems to us that Costco has still has a way to go to get them as tasty as their pizzas.

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