As summer stretches on, the dog days of summer don't have to be
a dog for your family. Here are 10 things to do before
back-to-school has us all, well, dog tired!
Take the family dog to one of Chicago's dog beaches.
There is still time to catch "The Cat In The Hat" at the
Broadway Playhouse. Tickets are $15-$22. 175 E. Chestnut St.,
Chicago, (312) 977-1700.
According to the 2013 Guinness World Records, this BIG HOT DOG
is the largest commercially available hot dog. And it's been
featured on The History Channel's "Modern Marvels: Supersized
Foods." It weighs 7 pounds, measures 16 inches long and 4 inches in
diameter, is made of 100 percent beef and pork and feeds about 40
people. Order one up for the family. Or be the Big Dog in the
neighborhood and invite some families over for one last impromptu
Howl at the full moon on Aug. 20. Grab a blanket and the kids
and bring along binoculars, clipboards, black construction paper,
white crayons, or even better, glow-in-the-dark markers, and let
the kids sketch the night sky. Or let them make their own moon with
paper plates, markers and wiggly eyes. Don't forget to pack the
Just because most summer reading clubs end the first week of
August doesn't mean your family has to ditch reading. Plan a family
book club! Pick up a few copies of a childhood favorite, Old
Yeller. At book discussion night, play the old movie and make sure
to wolf down some almond bark, mini-dogs and homemade puppy
Take the family on a fossil dig! Many say Mazonia-Braidwood
State Fish and Wildlife Conservation Area is the world's greatest
fossil-collecting site. Hammer and split rocks and discover
perfectly preserved leaf or animal imprints. If you're really
lucky, you may find a specimen of the elusive Tully Monster, the
Illinois State Fossil, which you can only find around Mazon Creek.
To keep your fossil finds well-preserved, place the rocks in a
freezer overnight and then drop them into boiling water.
Mazonia-Braidwood State Fish and Wildlife Conservation Area is an
hour south of Chicago in Grundy County, three miles southeast of
Braidwood on Illinois Route 53 and Huston Road.
Invented in the 1920s, the yo-yo is one of the oldest and
simplest forms of play. And Walk The Dog is its most famous tricks.
Who says you can't teach an old dog (or young dog) new tricks?
Brush up on your yo-yo-ing at the Cat & Mouse Store. Check out
YoYo University 4-6 p.m. Fridays or 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturdays.
No need to RSVP. Just drop by and walk the dog! 2212 W. Armitage
Ave., Chicago, (773) 384-4454.
Catch the classic "Singin' In The Rain" at Movies In The Park on
Sept. 3 at Berger Park Cultural Center, 6205 N. Sheridan Road,
Chicago, (773) 761-0376.
Before they have to look cool for school, give the kids one more
chance to get dirty. Let them make mud pies in the backyard. Check
out The Little Tikes Makin' Mudpies play set available on
Amazon.com. After a day of fake baking, treat them to the real
thing! Angel Food Bakery sells mud pies, flourless chocolate
cupcakes, for $3.50 each. Angel Food Bakery, 1636 Montrose,
Dine with your dog! There are almost 250 restaurants in Chicago
that welcome dogs at their outdoor tables. Check out bringfido.com
to find one near you.