This cold and dreary weather makes it hard to feeling like
playing, but we've got five good ideas to get your family on the go
again. And if these aren't what you're looking for, we can also
help with ideas to fit your specific interests.
For my son's 16th birthday, we took a batch of learning-to-drive
dudes to K1 Speed, an indoor electric go-cart facility in Buffalo
Grove. Watching them have the time of their lives, I knew we'd be
back for more. It's the perfect playful date night, either with
just your partner or, even better, a group of ready-to-race
couples. If you're the parent of teens, I assure you this is a
fabulous way to connect. K1 Speed has locations in Addison and
And if you have a group of at least eight, you get the track to
yourselves. Find out more at
One off-the-wall way to connect with your kids, spouse,
girlfriends or grown-up siblings is by getting downright silly
together. And one of our city's performing arts treasures, The
Second City, has a multitude of ways to help you get your silly ON.
If you don't want to commit to a series of acting or improv
classes, you and your loved ones can pop into one of the drop-in
improvisation classes, held 6-8 p.m. every Sunday. No skill
required, but you'll want to check your ego at the door. There is
something special that happens when people let their guard down,
forget reality and pretend.
Find out more about everything The Second City has to offer at
My teenage son has hopes of being the next Bobby Flay, and while
I LOVE his zest for the culinary arts, I wanted to make sure he
knew how to properly use all those knives in the chopping block
before unleashing his Iron Chef-ness. So he and my husband took a
knife skills course together.
Not only did they learn proper chopping technique, they had a
little bonding moment over all those blades. Whether you take a
cooking class with your teen, your partner, your small kids or your
elderly parent, the act of preparing good food often results in
good conversation. Plus, it's just fun to learn something new
together. Two great places for unique lessons in the culinary arts
are The Chopping Block with locations on Lincoln Avenue and in the
Merchandise Mart, and Sur La Table located on Michigan Avenue and
in Naperville, Northbrook Court and Old Orchard. See a full list of
classes at thechoppingblock.net and surlatable.com.
"Do it scared" has long been one of my favorite mantras. When we
face a fear, especially with people we love beside us, it can be
overwhelmingly empowering. Not to mention a total trust
building/bonding kind of thing. So why not learn to leap from a
platform and take a swing on the flying trapeze?
Just north of downtown, in the Edgewater neighborhood, sits an
old school fieldhouse that houses the Trapeze School of New York in
Chicago, where people are overcoming their fears and learning to
fly every day. There is instruction for all levels, from scaredy
cat to superhero. Check out chicago.trapezeschool.com for classes
and times. Or stop in at Broadway Armory Park, 5917 N. Broadway
When I think of what I want most from the relationships with the
people I love, it's to know them better. I want to connect on a
level beyond carpools, homework, housework, mortgage payments,
weekly responsibilities and the daily grind. Play is anything that
takes us to that sweet spot where time stands still, and there are
no rights and wrongs. When I have taken the time to learn something
new, right along with my kids and spouse, we are able to see each
other in a new way.
So this month, choose something fun and and learn to do it
together. I'll get you started with a few things, below, you might
consider learning with the folks you love.