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Entries in go west guides (20)


Indoor Play Guide: Now Featuring More Pools, Malls and Nature Centers

The last few years, I can distinctly remember having playdates with friends at parks in November; us parents marveled at the gorgeous, warm weather as the kids ran around without coats or hats. I'm not sure that's going to happen this year. It looks like the cold weather might be here to stay, and it is going to get a whole lot colder before it gets warmer.

So I spent much of Saturday updating the Go West Indoor Play Guide, checking that hours and admission prices were the same as last year, and correcting info that was out of date.

Special thanks to several readers who wrote in to alert me that Jump Zone in St. Charles had closed, that the Kane County Forest Preserve's nature center had moved from Tekakwitha Woods to LeRoy Oakes, and that the Visitor's Center at Peck Farm in Geneva made for a good indoor play spot. I really, really appreciate your help. 

You'll find all those updates here, as well as a few additions: I added info on the indoor play options at Strattford Square Mall in Bloomingdale, the train-themed play area at the West Chicago Public Library and the "family swim" sessions at the Goldfish Swim Schools in St. Charles and Naperville.

Do you have suggestions for other indoor play spots to add to this guide? Please leave them in the comments section or write me at editor(at)gowestyoungmom.com.

Without further ado, enjoy the updated 2013 Go West Indoor Play Guide!

Photo by hslo on Flickr.


Summer Guide 2012: Outdoor Musical Concerts

It doesn't get much better than sitting on a blanket on a warm summer night, listening to a band play while kids dance up around the stage. 

The DuPage Symphony Orchestra performs at Cantigny in 2010. Photo by vxla on Flickr.Here's the 2012 version of the Go West Young Mom Guide to Outdoor Musical Performances, divided by days of the week. For full details, check the Go West calendar or click on the links provided. Don’t forget your lawn chair or blanket, some bug spray and for the daytime shows, your hats and sunscreen. All shows are free unless mentioned otherwise.


The Wheaton Park District offers a free Summer Entertainment Series select Monday nights in July at the Memorial Park Bandshell at 7:30 p.m. First up is Johnny Russler & the Beach Bum Band on Monday, July 9.

Click to read more ...


Updated 2012 Go West Preschool & Daycare Directory

Shopping for preschool or childcare for your child can be stressful. Go West wants to help you get started by letting you know about options in and near your particular western suburb.

The Go West Preschool & Daycare Guide is a permanent feature on the home page -- you'll find a button for it in the left sidebar, along with links to the Summer Camp Guide and Indoor Play Guide, and soon to come, a Birthday Party Guide!

But there have been some important updates and additions to the guide, which is meant to serve as a starting point for parents researching their preschool and childcare options.

It includes separate pages for Aurora and North Aurora; Geneva and Batavia; St. Charles; Oswego and Montgomery; the Elgin area; and DeKalb and Sycamore, with more suburbs in the works. Some of the schools solely offer preschool classes, and there's several "Mom's Day Out" programs, too. Others offer childcare for infants through school-age children and before- and after-school care. (The guide only includes in-home daycares if they are licensed by the state.)

One of the sponsors of the guide is St. Peter Catholic School, located in Geneva on Kaneville Road, about 1/2 mile east of Randall Road. St. Peter School offers classes in preschool through 8th grade. Its preschool classes feature between 15 and 18 students, and it offers classes for 3 year olds, 4 year olds and pre-kindergarten, as well as full-day and half-day kindergarten classes.

You'll find more info about St. Peter School in the Geneva and Batavia section of the guide. The school is also hosting an Open House for families with children of all ages  on Sunday, May 6, at 12:30 p.m. If interested, you can RSVP to Toni at 630-232-0476. (Make sure you let her know Go West sent you!) Lunch will be provided.

I want to thank St. Peter School for helping make the Go West Preschool & Daycare Guide possible.

Finally, if you know of a preschool or childcare provider that is not in the guide -- or if you are a provider interested in learning how to advertise in the guide -- please contact biz@gowestyoungmom.com.


Earth Day Events in Chicago's Far Western Suburbs

Earth Day is Sunday, and there are a number of opportunities this week for you and your family to mark the occasion. These are in chronological order and note that some do require pre-registration.

Photo by FlyingSinger on Flickr.

WEST CHICAGO: The West Chicago Public Library is offering an Earth-friendly craft, using recycled materials, on Friday, April 20, from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. This does require advance registration; if you're not a West Chicago Public Library cardholder, then call the Youth Services Department at 630-231-1552 to register over the phone.

AURORA AREA: The Fox Valley Park District is hosting a "Spring Spruce-Up" on the morning of Saturday, April 21. Scout groups, church groups, friends and families are invited to help spruce up local parks including Blackberry Farm, Montgomery Park, North Aurora Island Park, O'Donnell Park/Prairie Path, South Broadway Park and Waubonsie Creek Park. Call Debbie Smith at 630-966-4555 to sign up.

Click to read more ...


The Go West Summer Camp Guide: 2012 Edition

I'm very happy to debut the Go West Summer Camp Guide - 2012 Edition! 

This guide will be updated throughout the spring, so please check back regularly. This guide will have a permanent home under "Good Times" as well as in the left sidebar on the home page, next to the Indoor Play Guide, Go Guide, etc.

If you know of a camp or a Vacation Bible School that should be listed but is missing, please send the info (or even just a tip) to editor@gowestyoungmom.com. If your organization is interested in an expanded, featured listing, which includes premium placement, please also contact editor@gowestyoungmom.com.

Also, I hope you'll join me in thanking two organizations that are helping make the Go West Summer Camp Guide possible. 

Bright Horizons is the world's leading provider of employer-sponsored childcare, back-up care, early education and work/life solutions. It has a number of centers located around the Chicago area, including Elgin, Naperville, Wheaton, Lisle, Schaumburg, Oak Brook, Arlington Heights and many more. Bright Horizons also offers summer camps. "Our World Our Backyard" is designed for preschool-age children, in which preschool environments are transformed into distinctive summer spaces. "Camp Explorations X-treme Summer" is for school-aged children and includes a focus on fitness and technology. You can learn more about Bright Horizons' Summer Camps here.

Waubonsee Community College is a longtime sponsor of Go West Young Mom, and it offers summer camps at its campuses in Aurora, Plano and Sugar Grove, as well as West Aurora High School and the Kendall County Outdoor Education Center in Yorkville. The "Xcelerate Enrichment Camps" focus on such topics as LEGO Robotics, science, computers, movie making, fashion design, cooking, rock music and secret agents. Waubonsee also has camps just for preschoolers, too. You can learn more about Waubonsee's summer camp options here.

So thanks to the support of Bright Horizons and Waubonsee, I'm sure you'll find some wonderful camps to help make sure your children have a happy, safe, exciting and enriching summer.


Summer Camps in Geneva, St. Charles and Batavia

Summer Camps in the Greater Aurora Area, including Oswego and Montgomery

Summer Camps in the Greater Elgin Area

Summer Camps in the Wheaton and West Chicago Areas