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Entries in holidays (64)


Celebrating New Year's Eve with the Kiddies

Remember those New Year’s Eves where you’d have the time of your life, donning a fabulous dress to dance and celebrate with your best friends until dawn? Yeah, me neither. New Year’s has always been an overrated, expensive holiday in my book. And now that I have a kid, I have a ready-made excuse to stay home, watch old movies and eat fondue with my hubby.

Photo courtesy of Navy Pier. But if you’d like to celebrate New Year’s Eve with your children, here are a few options – all of them have earlier countdowns than the traditional midnight version. I owe a huge thanks to Time Out Chicago Kids. Their own list tipped me off to several of the event below, and has a number of other suggestions if you're open to driving to Chicago or the North Shore. Please let me know if you know of other kid-friendly events; I’ll be glad to update this list.

Noon Year’s Eve

LEGOLAND in Schaumburg will celebrate a “Noon Year’s Eve” with a balloon drop, mini-figurine swap and special New Year’s giveaways. Doors open at 9am. Admission is $19 for adults, $15 for kids, with discounted tickets available online at their site.

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May Your Days Be Merry and Bright

This lovely sign is in downtown Batavia. Photo by RCG Photography.


Easy Breakfast Recipe: Eggs and Sausage Casserole

Photo by laurenipsum on Flickr.I know we’ve posted a lot of recipes here in the last few days, but I just had to share this one today. My mom has been making this casserole for more than 20 years, and we eat it while we open presents around the tree on Christmas morning. Of course it’s delicious, but it’s also great because you can assemble it a day ahead and just pop it in the oven an hour before you’re ready to feed the hungry masses. It's also filling and will hold everyone over until Christmas dinner later in the day. But of course there is no reason you have to save a dish this tasty just for a holiday ...


2 pounds sausage

9 eggs, beaten

3 cups milk

1 ½ tsp. dry mustard

1 tsp. salt

3 slices bread, cubed

1 ½ cup grated cheddar cheese


Brown meat, drain and mix in eggs, milk, dry mustard, salt, bread cubes and cheese. Pour into greased cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Can be assembled a day ahead, then baked the next morning.


She'sWrite: Making New Christmas Traditions 

Logan’s preschool sometimes gives him “homework” assignments, which always means after school work for mum and dad too. This week we had to do a piece on our family’s Christmas traditions and it got me thinking, what are our traditions?

The columnist's son Logan helps decorate their tree.Our family is still pretty young and small, so we don’t have a lot of them yet, largely because this is our first Christmas at home. But that’s one of the cool things about having your own family, you get to start your own traditions, do things your way.

I looked back on my childhood to see, what did we do? Three things popped into my mind.

Baking Christmas goods for the neighbors. I grew up in a cul-de-sac and all the neighbors would swap treats. I remember loving to make homemade sugar cookies, mostly because I like eating icing. Also mom’s peanut clusters, were beyond yummy.

Christmas light drives. My mom, dad, my sister and I would get in the car and drive around looking at people’s crazy holiday light displays. The local newspaper would print out the best houses in various neighborhoods which we’d use as a guide to the spectacular shows. The most packed display was the Kirby’s house. There wasn’t a square inch of their yard that wasn’t blazing, singing or dancing to spread Christmas cheer.

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Avoid the road to boring with these activities for kids over the winter holiday break

Most schools in the area are taking off an entire two weeks for the holiday break, so you are likely looking for at least a few activities to keep your kids busy during that time. Here’s a list of programs we know of that currently have openings – but you’ll want to register asap. There are also some drop-in movies and activities listed, as well. Please let us know of other opportunities, and we’ll continue to update this guide.

You should be able to avoid "Boring-land" with a bit of planning. Photo by Kerry! on Flickr.The St. Charles Park District has a few openings left for its “No School Day Trips” on Dec. 20 to Brunswick Zone, Dec. 21 to Safari Land, Dec. 22 to Adler Planetarium and Dec. 23 to the Build-a-Bear Workshop. Call 630-513-6200 to register or for more info.

Noble Fool Theatricals’ Performing Arts Academy is holding “Holiday Camps” at the end of December. Children ages 6-8 can enroll in the “Kids Acting Technique/Improve” camp, while children ages 9-12 can enroll in the “Tweens Musical Theatre” camp. Click here for more info, or call 630-364-0550.

The DuPage Children’s Museum in Naperville has two different mini-camp sessions, either Dec. 20 and 21 or Dec. 27 and 28 for children ages 7-10. The theme is “Kids Design Engineering.” Call 630-637-8000 ext. 0 or click here for more information.

The Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin is showing “Elf” on Wednesday, Dec. 22 at 1 p.m. as part of its “Teen Scene” activities. The movie will be shown in the Community Rooms; no registration is necessary. Hot cocoa and cookies will be provided.

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