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10 Chicago things to do before school starts

As summer stretches on, the dog days of summer don’t have to be a dog for your family. Here are 10 things to do before back-to-school has us all, well, dog tired!

We’ve got 10 ideas to cure the “dog days” of summer boredom.

Take the family dog to one of Chicago’s dog beaches.

Doggy Paddle


There is still time to catch “The Cat In The Hat” at theBroadway Playhouse. Tickets are $15-$22. 175 E. Chestnut St.,Chicago, (312) 977-1700.

Dog and Pony Show


According to the 2013 Guinness World Records, this BIG HOT DOGis the largest commercially available hot dog. And it’s beenfeatured on The History Channel’s “Modern Marvels: SupersizedFoods.” It weighs 7 pounds, measures 16 inches long and 4 inches indiameter, is made of 100 percent beef and pork and feeds about 40people. Order one up for the family. Or be the Big Dog in theneighborhood and invite some families over for one last impromptucookout. bighotdog.com

One Big Dog


Howl at the full moon on Aug. 20. Grab a blanket and the kidsand bring along binoculars, clipboards, black construction paper,white crayons, or even better, glow-in-the-dark markers, and letthe kids sketch the night sky. Or let them make their own moon withpaper plates, markers and wiggly eyes. Don’t forget to pack theMoonPies. Awoooooooooo!

Howl at the Moon


Just because most summer reading clubs end the first week ofAugust doesn’t mean your family has to ditch reading. Plan a familybook club! Pick up a few copies of a childhood favorite, OldYeller. At book discussion night, play the old movie and make sureto wolf down some almond bark, mini-dogs and homemade puppychow.

Dog-earred


Take the family on a fossil dig! Many say Mazonia-BraidwoodState Fish and Wildlife Conservation Area is the world’s greatestfossil-collecting site. Hammer and split rocks and discoverperfectly preserved leaf or animal imprints. If you’re reallylucky, you may find a specimen of the elusive Tully Monster, theIllinois State Fossil, which you can only find around Mazon Creek.To keep your fossil finds well-preserved, place the rocks in afreezer overnight and then drop them into boiling water.Mazonia-Braidwood State Fish and Wildlife Conservation Area is anhour south of Chicago in Grundy County, three miles southeast ofBraidwood on Illinois Route 53 and Huston Road.

Diggety Dog


Invented in the 1920s, the yo-yo is one of the oldest andsimplest forms of play. And Walk The Dog is its most famous tricks.Who says you can’t teach an old dog (or young dog) new tricks?Brush up on your yo-yo-ing at the Cat & Mouse Store. Check outYoYo University 4-6 p.m. Fridays or 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturdays.No need to RSVP. Just drop by and walk the dog! 2212 W. ArmitageAve., Chicago, (773) 384-4454.

Invented in the 1920s, the yo-yo is one of the oldest and simplestforms of play. And Walk The Dog is its most famous tricks. Who saysyou can’t teach an old dog (or young dog) new tricks? Brush up onyour yo-yo-ing at the Cat & Mouse Store. Check out YoYoUniversity 4-6 p.m. Fridays or 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturdays. Noneed to RSVP. Just drop by and walk the dog! 2212 W. Armitage Ave.,Chicago, (773) 384-4454.

Yo! Yo! Walk the Dog


Catch the classic “Singin’ In The Rain” at Movies In The Park onSept. 3 at Berger Park Cultural Center, 6205 N. Sheridan Road,Chicago, (773) 761-0376.

Raining Cats and Dogs


Before they have to look cool for school, give the kids one morechance to get dirty. Let them make mud pies in the backyard. Checkout The Little Tikes Makin’ Mudpies play set available onAmazon.com. After a day of fake baking, treat them to the realthing! Angel Food Bakery sells mud pies, flourless chocolatecupcakes, for $3.50 each. Angel Food Bakery, 1636 Montrose,Chicago.

You Dirty Dog!


Dine with your dog! There are almost 250 restaurants in Chicagothat welcome dogs at their outdoor tables. Check out bringfido.comto find one near you.

Dog Eat Dog


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