Chicago Parent Playdate entertainers help welcome spring

There’s been a serious outbreak of spring fever in Chicago and we have a treatment plan: Our Chicago Parent Playdate. On April 10, the Athletico Center in Northbrook becomes the perfect place to welcome spring.

You should go

Chicago Parent Playdate

10 a.m.-3 p.m. April 10

Athletico Center, 1900 Old Willow Road, Northbrook

Buy advance tickets here.

Prices go up April 9


This year’s entertainers have all been inspired by spring to bring extra fun and frolic.

The birds are singing and so are the performers

“I’m excited to perform songs about spring and the fun it brings, including planting gardens. There will also be lots of moving and interacting, including hopping like bunnies to a song about loving vegetables,” Miss Jamie from Miss Jamie’s Farm says.

“I love having so many farm hands come see me at the Playdate.”

The musical group Ben Tatar and the Tatar Tots also will be performing. Their popular song, “Lemonade,” will have everyone craving a glass of the favorite warm weather beverage. It’s also possible that kids will work up a thirst from their dancing and musical stylings. “We unleash some instruments for them to play during this song,” Tatar says.

That doesn’t mean that parents don’t get to have fun, too. “Something that I always look forward to in our shows is seeing parents and kids dance and bond together to our songs and antics. We’re intended to be fun for all ages!” Tatar says.

Mary Macaroni, a family favorite, will also be performing her toe-tapping tunes and captivating the audience with both music and magic.

Inspiration and creativity abound

Whether it’s more sunshine, longer days or colorful flowers blooming, spring gets the creative juices flowing. That will certainly be true at the Playdate.

Scott Ingerson of TwistiCity is a Playdate veteran–this will be his third one. “I love the Playdate because it brings together so many wonderful people who know how to enrich kids. The creativity and energy are through the roof,” he says.

“Spring is the best time to be a balloon twister,” Ingerson says. “It’s when everything in nature comes alive, so naturally kids want all the flowers, bugs and animals that I can make for them.”

Hooray for bugs you don’t mind having in the house!

The good folks from Bubbles Academy will be on hand, bringing their own special approach to helping kids be as creative as they can be through the arts. There’s no need to tell the children that the teaching artists from Bubbles Academy are actually encouraging important things like empathy and brain development.

A new season means new stories to tell

The Storybook Mom, Nili Yelin, will share a heartwarming new story for spring about worms with the message that love always wins in the end.

“I love sharing the gift of words and stories with families–stories get passed down from generations and I love seeing the child in the oldest generation and the wisdom in the youngest. Stories bring them all together,” she says.

Storytown Improv will be on hand, providing an interactive and improvised adventure. (What parent doesn’t know a thing or two about “improvised adventure”?) No story is ever the same, so this one is certain to be new and entertaining. The possibilities for fun are endless.

Friends are finally back out

Animals are emerging from hibernation, and so are the royals. The beautiful princesses from Storybook Princess Parties will be strolling around greeting kids and performing on stage.

Spring also means more sightings of animals and Dave DiNaso has some that will amaze.

Dave DiNaso’s Traveling World of Reptiles, who provided the frogs you’ll see on the April Chicago Parent cover (a Red-Eyed Tree Frog named Booger and Sumo, the Giant African Pixie Frog), says he can’t wait to share his favorites with families at the playdate, including a 75-pound African Sulcate Tortoise (think beach ball with legs), two 5 ½-foot Monitor dragons, which are some of the biggest lizards on the planet, a 4-foot iguana and a 16-foot python.

DiNaso’s show isn’t just show and tell; kids will get a hands-on experience.

In addition to the entertainment, the Playdate will help kids fight off the effects of winter hibernation as they get busy having fun on inflatables, train rides, sports activities, obstacle courses and more.

The entertainment schedule

Make sure to get to the event a tad early to catch the first act!

Ben Tatar Music – 10 a.m.

The Storybook Mom – 10:30 a.m.

Storybook Princesses – 11 a.m.

Mary Macaroni – 11:30 a.m.

Miss Jamie’s Farm – 12 p.m.

Buddha Belly Yoga – 12:30 p.m.

Storytown Improv – 1 p.m.

Bubbles Academy – 1:30 p.m.

Twisticity – 2 p.m.

Dave DiNaso’s Traveling World of Reptiles – 2:30 p.m.

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