Surviving my life, or, surviving spring break in Chicago – as seen on CBS 2 Chicago!

This year so far has been no short of hectic, intense and exhausting. All in a good way. Being busy is a good problem in my household. But being busy means finding a way to survive as well – not to be too dramatic, but I haven’t cooked a fresh meal in over a week in my house. In our first world reality here, how do we survive being so busy? I want tips.

I’m also here to give tips. (Can you believe people actually ask me to give tips on things??) I was shocked and flattered CBS asked me to appear on their morning show today to talk about how to survive Spring Break in Chicago if you aren’t going away. Many spring breaks are over the Easter and/ or Passover holiday this year and so some folks might choose to stay home. Also: it’s a pain in the butt to travel with little kids.

So, here are some tips to surviving spring break in Chicago! I’d love to hear your ideas as well.

Say you’re not lucky enough to jet out of town this month during spring break, Sara Fisher from Chicago Parent magazine and 2 Moms Media has lots of ideas to keep the kids and yourself busy and having fun during what can be an iffy month weather wise…
1) Indulge in a Staycation
If the budget doesn’t allow for a full on vacation somewhere out of town, there are plenty of options in the city to have a staycation – enjoy luxe accommodations and explore the sites of our very own lovely Chicago. You’d be shocked to know there is a lot to do here!
Pen. Kids 1Peninsula Hotel 
The Peninsula hotel, one of my favorites, and past winner of best 100 hotels in the United States by Travel and Leisure Magazine last year has really family friendly options and discounts for those who want to live in the lap of luxury and indulge, even for just a night! Their Peninsula family moments package includes:
* Daily American Breakfast for two persons served in The Lobby or Room Service
* Eligible to a 50% off the second room’s rate on respective connecting/adjoining room type.
*  Children (12 and under) dining together with parents can enjoy the complimentary kid’s menu, and enjoy an array of amenities and programs tailored for junior guests. Please contact the hotel for full details.
Pricing for a Deluxe King/Double starts at $445. Valid until 12/31/13
  • These other two luxurious bellwethers  have a lot to share for families. There’s third night free at the Ritz and Winter Escape which features 25 percent off the room rate and complimentary parking.
  • Also we have fun children’s amenities at the different hotels. At the Ritz, they have daily cookie baking with the pastry chef and The Candy Man is on call to roll up his cart of sweet treats to guest rooms. Both of these services are complimentary.
  • At Four Seasons, we have a complimentary Bedtimes Stories Butler, daily treats through room service, a new Kids Club Room
  • All these packages are good through the end of March.
2) Send your kids to camp! Yes, camp!
There are many options for you to maintain your “me” schedule during spring break, even if the kids are off. YMCAs around the Chicagoland area have a variety of kids’ camps for the spring, and I found two more that are fun and different than the typical school day to get your kid thinking and creating during the time off. My kids spring break is almost 10 days and I definitely want to make sure they’re using that brain a bit!
  • Wishcraft Workshop in Roscoe Village has a terrific spring break camp series March 25- April 4 – FUNOrdinary camp is a customized daily craft camp IMG_7861 - Version 2that takes the campers’ wishes into mind when they create the curriculum – each day features a craft, snack, outdoor play time and all materials included – $65 a day. They also offer another one called “Let’s Make Something” for the budding seamstress or embroiderer. That’s $75/ day. 
  • Kids Clayroom – Kids Clay Room is a clay studio for children where they teach our students how to create a ceramic piece from start to finish. During the Kids Clayroom’s Workshops, Camps and Birthday Parties, children get to work (and play) with squishy, wet clay and use a variety of techniques and tools to mold and sculpt clay into unique ceramic pieces.
    They have Spring Break Camps scheduled over a period of 2 weeks to accommodate CPS and non-CPS students. The Camps are 3 hours long-from 10 am to 1 pm. We will work on 2 clay handbuilding projects and take a lunch break before painting the pieces. Children are required to bring a nut-free lunch. Registration is required. The cost for the Camps are $40 per child and $35 per sibling. Call or e-mail to register.
3) Keep them home, but keep them busy with these brainy toys and games: 


If you can’t quite motivate with the pocketbook or the driving to get your kids to a camp, then invest in a few toys that will be sure to keep them busy if our March weather doesn’t cooperate. Our friends at Marbles the Brain Store have just the perfect things to make you survive the madness of having the kids home!

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