The dog days of summer are truly upon us – it’s hot out there right now. And while we all know in a few months we’ll be complaining about the cold as another polar vortex descends on Chicago, some days you have pass on the beach, skip the pool, say ‘no’ to the zoo and even stay away from the splash pads. Some days, you just need to be inside for a while.
We’re lucky here in Chicago – activities that come into their own in the winter months such as the museums and play spaces are also great options to escape inside on the hottest days. But sometimes you just need to fill an hour or two, not a whole morning or even a day. Here are some free local Lakeview and Roscoe Village options for indoor entertainment on those days when you want to be inside — just not in your own house.
Every Tuesday at 11 a.m., the toddler crew descends on this independent book store in the heart of Roscoe Village for storytime. It’s aimed at 1-4 year olds, but siblings are most definitely welcome to join the fun while school is still out. On the last Tuesday of the month Alex’s Music Studio leads the session, bringing even more fun to the half hour! And when storytime is over, it’ll be almost lunch time, so you can head straight to John’s Place (almost next door) for dino nuggets and mac ’ncheese for them and one of their great burgers or salads for you. Or check out some of the other local options for some quick retail therapy — Roscoe is home to lots of great boutiques ideal for a quick spin round with the stroller before your brood gets bored!
Speaking of retail therapy (although unfortunately not in your size), also near Roscoe Village Books is Little Threads and its undeniably cute range of clothes and gifts. And alongside the threads, they’re serving up entertainment twice a week for you and your littles. Mondays at 11 a.m. is storytime with Miss Rachel, while every Thursday at 10.30 a.m. you can shake some sillies out with music and movement from Michael’s Music Machine!
Southport has more to offer than retail therapy and Crosby’s Kitchen (but we all know it can’t be beat for its ‘kids eat free’ deals). Amazon Books offers two storytimes every Wednesday at 10.30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. And as a bonus for the summer vacation, older kids in K-8 can record details of eight books they read over the summer and get a new book free.
OK, so this one may be stretching the boundaries of Lakeview slightly, but there aren’t many storytimes happening at weekends. And there’s a reason this one really rocks – there’s coffee and doughnuts for all you bleary eyed parents every Sunday at 10 a.m. While your little one is entertained, you can get your sugar and caffeine fix to make the rest of the day go a bit more smoothly. And once you’re suitably caffeinated, you should browse their awesome selection of consignment and new gear – boutique style without the boutique prices.
Where’s your favorite free storytime in your neighborhood? Share your favorites in the comments and we’ll be sure to check them out.