5 places that must be on your must-do list before school starts

It’s not too late to give your kids awesome summer memories just like you had when you were a kid. We found five great spots sure to thrill every member of your family.


There are lots of places where your kids can be active, but there’s a new place in Glenview—Funtopia—that not only gets everyone in the family active, but also learning and having fun together. What makes Funtopia unique is that the climbing walls aren’t just for climbing; the walls are interactive, says Yasen Nikolov, co-owner and managing director of the North American division.

His best tip: Enjoy Funtopia as a family. “We try to make Funtopia a place where everyone can do something,” he says, adding that it offers climbing walls for little kids through adults. “It truly has something for everyone to do,” he says. Book tickets online a funtopiaworld.com/glenview to guarantee your spot.

The Glen Town Center, 2050 Tower Drive, Glenview

Apple Holler

There’s nothing like being out in nature and spending your day together as a family. That’s where Apple Holler comes in. This 78-acre year-round destination just over the Wisconsin border packs in a day of fun through its farm tours, Kids Corral play area, Golden Goat Bridge and summer puppet shows and pony rides. Pick peaches in early August or get a jump on apple picking, says Sheri Gavin, sales manager.

“There’s nothing really like us,” she says. Start the day with a home-cooked breakfast at the farm-to-table restaurant themed around the magic of apples, do some picking and take a tractor ride through the orchards, play in the Farm Park and visit the animals. At day’s end, don’t forget the fresh apple pie and cider doughnuts.

Sturtevant, Wis.

Legoland Discovery Center

Families with Lego lovers already know Legoland Discovery Center in Schaumburg is a must for a full immersion into everything Lego. But Legoland appeals to all families wanting a fun day out, with everything from rides to activities to movies to mind-blowing Lego creations. “It’s a great place for a family to enjoy a two- to three-hour experience and just have fun,” says Legoland Discovery Center Master Model Builder David Howard.

Not to miss this month: Ninjago Wu-Cru Weekend Aug. 13-14 full of giveaways, mascots and creative building. Howard’s best tips: Buy your tickets online and don’t forget to stop by the Model Building Academy to get building ideas from the master builders themselves.

Streets of Woodfield, 601 N. Martingale Road, Schaumburg

Language Stars

With the Olympics on everyone’s minds, you’ll definitely want to check out Language Stars’ August summer camps and classes. There’s no better place to use kids’ fascination with Olympians than by exposing them to language teachers from around the world and games centered around learning action verbs in another language.

“It’s a really cool time to come into Language Stars and get that cultural experience,” says Ali Beaulieu, regional director for Language Stars.

If your family’s schedule is too full for a camp, attend a class at one of Language Stars’ 12 locations. Language Stars offers Spanish, Mandarin, French, Italian, German and Arabic for

kids 1-12. “It’s a really great way to get your kids ramped up for back to school,” Beaulieu says.

Enroll online at https://apm.activecommunities.com/languagestars or call (866) 557-8277.

Discovery Center Museum

If the Discovery Center Museum isn’t on your radar, you need to change that. Nationally ranked as a top family destination, the museum is a hybrid of a children’s museum and science center and offers the perfect combination of fun and learning for truly everyone from tots to grandparents, says Ann Marie Walker, the museum’s director of marketing.

Outside the 8,000-square-foot outdoor science park is something you won’t find anywhere else. It includes a two-story wooden maze, a 40-foot water trough, dino bone dig and secret garden, in addition to swings, slides and sand pits, she says.

Also, if “Finding Dory” is a new family fave, kids will love Family Friday on Aug. 5, Finding Cory. It will focus on creating underwater art, creating sea creatures and getting wet.

711 N. Main St., Rockford

- Advertisement -


Watch This, Do That: The Incredibles

‘No matter how many times you save the world, it always manages to get back in jeopardy again!’

Free Days for Chicago-Area Museums

Family fun that is easy on the wallet.

Win a Flowerscape Coloring Book

Enter for your chance to win by Tuesday, June 1, 2021.

Project-Based Learning That Reflects the World

Brought to you by Baker Demonstration School.

- Advertisement -