Our Top 15 Most-Read Stories of 2020

After a crazy year we had, it’s hard to believe that 2020 is finally ending. So much happened in Chicago for parents this year, including adjusting to e-learning due to COVID-19 shutdowns, making the most of time at home and much more. Here are Chicago Parent’s most-read stories of 2020.

1. Zoom Backgrounds

Zoom took over our lives in 2020. From virtual family reunions to online school, how many times have you muted or unmuted your child’s microphone? We decided to make Zoom a little more fun by sharing these virtual backgrounds from your favorite family movies and shows. 

2. Best School Districts

Niche, a data-analyzing website focused on schools, released its annual report of the best school districts in Illinois. Some of the top schools that made the list include Glenbrook High Schools District 225, Community High School District No. 128 (Vernon Hills) and New Trier Township High School District No. 203.

3. Drive-In Movie Theaters

Over the summer, drive-in movie theaters made quite the comeback this year and they’re still going strong. A few pop-up theaters are open in the winter to bring some holiday cheer to families by playing your favorite Christmas movies.

4. Books to Explain Racism

After this year’s headlines regarding Black Lives Matter, Chicago Parent created the Talking About Race series to continue our work sharing anti-racism resources, Black stories and other important topics. Our roundup of children’s books explaining race and racism was one of our top stories from our series this year.

5. Dinosaur Adventure Drive-Thru

Drive-thru events became a great way for families to get out of the house while still practicing proper social distancing guidelines. Dinosaur Adventure Drive-Thru took guests on an interactive tour at DuPage County Fairgrounds with 80 life-sized dinosaurs this summer.

6. Quarantine Rainbows

When families were stuck at home due to COVID-19 shutdowns, kids around the world started leaving rainbow art on their windows as a sign of hope. We were happy to see some local kids show off their own creative quarantine rainbows. 

7. The Forge: Lemont Quarries

Locals craved to spend as much time outdoors this year. Even with a delayed opening, The Forge: Lemont Quarries excited visitors with 260 features including ziplines, climbing and high ropes elements, mountain bikes courses, hiking trails and other adventures. 

8. Let It Shine

Drive-thru holiday light shows are not a new concept in Chicagoland, but they became even more popular in 2020. Let It Shine at Nortbrook Court opened this year as a way to brighten up the holiday season.

9. Hot Chocolate Bombs

Oh, hot chocolate bombs have certainly kept us entertained this winter. We shared some places to buy them locally or you can try to make your own hot chocolate bombs at home with these cool recipes.

10. Friends the Experience

Friends fans of all ages were able to relive their favorite scenes from the ’90s sitcom with this interactive pop-up. Friends: The Experience is temporarily closed, but there are plans to reopen on March 17, 2021.

11. Let’s Go Guide

To help parents to find safe things to do during the pandemic, we released our monthly Let’s Go guide. We’ve covered apple picking spots, holiday lights and other exciting things to do. Download our latest guide to find activities to try at home and in Chicagoland.   

12. NBA All-Star 2020

Is it strange to think that the NBA All-Star game took place earlier this year? (It feels like a lifetime ago!) We found some fun ideas to try around town to celebrate the All-Star 2020 game including the interactive event at Navy Pier, NBA Crossover.

13. Virtual Experiences for Chicago Kids

When museums and other attractions began to close in March, our team rounded up ways for kids to “visit” their favorite Chicagoland places without leaving the house. Browse these ideas to plan your next virtual field trip. 

14. Mom in the Spotlight: Ana Belaval

One of our favorite parent features this year was Ana Belaval, a feature reporter seen on WGN’s “Around Town” segment. We talked to her about her job and how she feels being a role model for Latina women.

15. Watch This, Do That Series

While thinking of ways to help families stuck at home, our “Watch This, Do That” series was born. The series pairs kid’s activities with their favorite movies like Elf, Moana, Toy Story and more.

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