4 New Year’s resolutions for Chicago families in 2019 and where to make them happen

Chicago families are ready for a fresh start in 2019. Making resolutions or goals together can be one way to make it the best year ever. Here are some tried and true resolutions that research has shown can increase happiness and there are several local institutions happy to help you make them a reality.

Get outside more and enjoy nature together

Spending time outdoors has benefits for both adults and kids including increased fitness levels and improved sleep, according to the National Wildlife Federation.

The folks at the Shedd Aquarium understand that it’s tempting to hibernate in Chicago during the colder months, but they’re hoping families will bundle up and head out anyway. Families can join a Great Lakes Action Days, workdays dedicated to restoring forest habitats and open to volunteers of all ages. They are offered at various dates and times throughout the winter.

The area forest preserves offer fun outdoor events for families. We’re excited to attend the Winter Games and Stories event at the Isle a la Cache Museum in Romeoville on Jan. 5 and the Family Winter Scavenger Hunt and Campfire at the Trailside Museum of Natural History in River Forest, part of the Forest Preserves of Cook County, on Jan. 26. Also, check out some of these fun nature centers in the south suburbs.

Spend unplugged time playing together.

The Chicago Children’s Museum is introducing Play Late Thursdays from 4-8 p.m. each week. They’re also looking out for your financial resolutions–admission is discounted to $14.95 for up to four people and $5 for each additional person, “because family playtime shouldn’t break the bank,” says CCM President and CEO Jennifer Farrington.

The first Play Late Thursday takes place on Jan. 3 and features Open Mic with Drag Queens, when kids step up to the live microphone to sing a song, tell a joke, or share a story alongside the museum’s drag queen friends.

Read more books.

Reading is fundamental and fun. Head to your local library, or check out a neighboring branch of the library. Some libraries are happy to help with your resolutions, like the Naperville Public Library’s 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten initiative. Check out these books about winter if you need some new titles.

In addition to talking the talk by reading with your kids, walk the walk and have them see you reading, too. Find some great reads about parenting here.

Give back to the community.

This year is a great time to think about how you can make a difference. Making it a family effort is a great way to raise your kids to be community contributors and have fun together in the process. Match up an interest your child has with an organization in need, such as caring for pets or the environment. Download the guide to family volunteering opportunities in Chicagoland here.


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