Once kids get beyond the toddler years, it's more difficult to find organized activities to do together because so many switch from parent participation to drop-off classes where parents can watch or leave.
Enter Mommy and Me ice skating at Wilmette Park District's Centennial Rink. Children 4 and up take to the ice with a parent or caregiver and learn the essential skills of skating (falling is one of them-seriously, you actually learn how to fall). The weekly 30-minute class is a balanced mix of learning introductory skating skills while giving parents and kids time to free skate.
My favorite aspect of the class: the ratio of instructors to participants is ridiculously high-at times it's almost like private lessons. And the instructors are relaxed and helpful. Want to learn a new skill that day? Cool. Want to race around like you're trying out for the roller derby like one of my kids? Also cool, as long as you don't plow down innocent skaters.
At $147 per person for Wilmette residents and $184 for non-residents, it's a great deal, given the session is 14 weeks long. Centennial also offers daily open skate times (at an additional charge) to hone skills between lessons.
Linda made it a goal to try out every kid-friendly venue in Chicago, which she chronicles in her Chicago Parent Good-to-Go column.
See more of Linda's stories here.