Oh, By the Way…

Things to Do When You’re Bored at Home: THE BOREDOM EMPORIUM

When Boredom Beckons…

we all get boredddddddd once in a while. Even though we probaly have  a million better things we could be doing,sometimes you’ve just gotta respect the feeling and go with the flow to have some fun ! Hopefully though, these posts will release you from your bordeom slump! If you’re still bored, it is time to go to the L I B R A R Y (:





“When you think about it, most of the good ideas came along to make sin a whole lot easier.” 
-Joe Hill, Horns







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Check out the website STUMBLEUPON!

If and when boredom overtakes you the first place you must look to break free of the bounds of boredom is www.stumbleupon.com. This nifty website opens the door to an abundance of informative and fasinating websites. Just install the toolbar and encode your interests and BAM-O, you have a never ending stream of websites tuned specifically to your interests. So try it today!


Step Two: Read through our list of things to do!

72 Things (and Counting!) to Do When You’re Bored

1.Star gaze in your backyard

2.Look at old photographs (you were so cute… what happened?!)

3.Make a collage/poster out of your old photos

4.Rearrange the furniture in your room (ask for permission first!)

5.Paint/draw a picture

6.Write a thank-you note to someone important in your life

7.Teach your pet a new trick (be patient!)

8.Write a poem

9.Plant something (in a pot or outside if it’s warm enough!)

10.Climb a tree

11.Throw out stuff you don’t need (donate old clothes!)

12.Make a CD or playlist of your favorite songs or as a gift for someone

13.Learn words in a foreign language

14.Talk to your parents about your ancestors (believe me… it’s cooler than it sounds!)

15.Ride your bike

16.Learn to do a sudoku in the newspaper

17.Go jogging, bike riding, roller skating, etc

18.Call up neighborhood friends and play soccer, baseball, basketball, tennis, Frisbee, etc

19.Teach yourself sign language (use youtube.com or google.com to find info on it!)

20.Reread your favorite childhood book

21.Bake cookies

22.Lie out on the grass and decide what the clouds in the sky look like

23.Call someone you haven’t talked to in a REALLY long time

24.Take a bubble bath

25.Make a movie/documentary

26.Write in a journal

27.Cut out cool newspaper/magazine pictures and make a new wallpaper (ask for permission!)

28.Mow the lawn (your parents will LOVE you!)

29.Set up a tent in your backyard and go “camping”

30.Go sledding!

31.Learn to cook something new (pasta is an easy starting point)

32.Make a video on your computer (see if you have the right program first)

33.Invite everyone you know and have a snow “war” – make teams, forts, and snowballs!

34.Make someone a card just because

35.Learn origami

36.Ask your dad for some scraps of wood, nails, and a hammer – see what you can make!

37.Play a board game you think you’re too old for

38.Learn a card trick

39.Read a joke book

40.Play Wallyball! Look up rules at: http://www.wallyball.com/

41.Plan a fun outing for another day

42.Learn how to do a French braid on someone else’s hair… then try your own!

43.Put together a puzzle

44.Rake and then play in the leaves

45.Have a squirt gun or water balloon fight

46.Play 20 questions

47.Invent a new game… maybe even make your own board game with pieces and all!

48.Learn to juggle

49.Pick a bouquet of flowers and put them on the table as a nice surprise

50.Have a car wash or lemonade stand

51.Invent a secret code

52.Hide a “treasure” and make a scavenger hunt for your friends

53.Start your own blog

54.Play a nice, funny prank on someone

55.Make a time capsule


57.Learn some big words to impress (or confuse!) others with

58.Go exploring! There are probably tons of things you forgot you had at home…

59.Have a picnic in  your backyard

60.Watch TV on mute and make up the dialogue

61.Think of nicknames for everyone you know

62.Start collecting something

63.Start a nature scrapbook

64.Sidewalk chalk!

65.Make goop! (Mix 2 cups water, a few drops of food coloring, and 6 cups cornstarch/cornflour.)

66.String beads or macaroni on some dental floss to make a cool necklace or bracelet

67.Make a smoothie

68.Make birthday cards for all your friends and family so they’re ready for the year

69.Put on a play

70.Collect canned goods for a soup kitchen

71.Use fabric paints to decorate a shirt

72.Make your own list of things to do when you’re bored!

Additional Ideas!

73. Choreograph a dance to one of your favorite songs

74. Google yourself

75. Make your own calendar–great for the new year

76. Do the Daft!

77. FreeRice: We know, we know. FreeRice is old news. Run by the United Nations World Food Program, FreeRice donates 10 grains of rice to those in need for every correct answer you give on a test of English vocabulary. (To put it in perspective, it takes about 20,000 grains to feed an adult for an entire day–but don’t despair! FreeRice has donated over 73 billion grains of rice since 2007.) Questions get harder as you prove you know your stuff, and easier if you’re stumped. But do you know the full range of FreeRice’s quizzes? We didn’t. Head over now to be quizzed on a wide range of subjects, including Famous Paintings, Chemical Symbols, Spanish Vocabulary, Pre-Algebra, and World Capitals! Be careful, though. You might end up learning something.

72 Things to Do When You’re Bored: Summer Edition

  1. Use your imagination
  2. Write a sidewalk chalk haiku
  3.  Play 700 square hopscotch
  4.  Do arts & crafts
  5.  Walk for a good cause
  6.  Volunteer at a pet shelter
  7. Make friendship bracelets
  8. Grow a garden and plant sunflowers
  9. Build a giant sandcastle at the beach
  10. Make popsicles or ice cream
  11. Catch fire flies
  12. Look at the stars and play identify the satellite
  13. Set up a lemonade stand
  14. Dig up dinosaur bones in your back yard
  15. Have a spa day
  16. Throw a themed party
  17. Fly a kite
  18. Make tie dye t-shirts
  19. Have a picnic
  20. Go to a festival
  21. Learn to cook
  22. Make origami
  23. Play extreme Marco Polo
  24. Build a time capsule/ catapult/ bench/ birdhouse
  25. Learn a new sport  (ex: archery, bocce ball)
  26. Build a tree house
  27. Go on a treasure hunt/scavenger  hunt
  28. Run a mile
  29. Perform your own musical
  30. Learn card games and tricks
  31. Beat your parents at monopoly
  32. Learn how to hula-hoop
  33. Make a scrapbook
  34. Have a water fun day with water balloons, water guns, and sprinklers
  35. Learn to basket weave
  36. Weave a crown of daisies
  37. Mold Jello into shapes
  38. Play leap frog
  39. Climb trees
  40. Make s’mores at a back yard campout
  41. Celebrate a random holiday (ea; the summer solstice)
  42. Watch a foreign film
  43. Make a travel brochure for your imaginary place
  44. Play laser tag
  45. Go to a roller rink
  46.  See a drive-in movie
  47.  Ride your bike
  48. Start a journal or blog
  49. Learn a new language
  50. Set your watch to a different time zone
  51. Watch 90’s cartoons upside down
  52. Decorate your sun glasses
  53. Wash grandmas’ car
  54. Visit a museum
  55. Climb a mountain
  56. Explore a new neighborhood
  57. Go to the zoo
  58. Play “I spy”
  59. Color in a coloring book
  60. Make music
  61. Organize a massive game of duck-duck goose
  62. Try to fry an egg outside
  63. Design a roller coaster out of straws
  64. Take a hike
  65. Blow up a marshmallow with a magnifying glass
  66.  Make a list of goals and start working toward them
  67. Go to a carnival
  68. Spends time with family members
  69. Visit a local landmark
  70. Become a photographer
  71. Watch Phineas & Ferb for fun summer ideas
  72. Apply sun block, don’t talk to strangers, and have a happy safe & relaxing summer!



Step Three: Make sure to scroll through the rest of our suggestion until your boredom is gone!

Rock Away The Boredom!

Are you bored with your music? Does you iTunes shuffle send shivers up your spine? Or are you simply looking to expand your musical horizons past what you’re used to? Either way there are some great places to look at on the internet which will get your musical juices flowing!


Bandcamp is a website where artists directly upload their music for download. Fans pay minimal charges (usually significantly cheaper than buying a CD in stores or off iTunes) and then can directly download. An additional bonus is that many new artists put their music up for free download in order to get their name out.

Blalock’s Indie/Rock Playlist

Blalock’s Indie/Rock Playlist, or BIRP! is a monthly free stream and download of more than 100 indie and rock songs complied by the website with the permission of the artists. All past playlists are archived so if you want do listen to one from June 2009 then you certainly can. These playlists can be a great way to hear about songs and artists you may not have heard of before (and may not ever).

Pandora Internet Radio

Pandora is an internet radio station where you create your own custom radio stations according to the artists and songs that you like. Pandora then takes those songs and creates random playlists using songs like those you requested. The songs you get may not be something you’ve heard before, but for the most part they accurately follow the artists you chose. It’s like a musical wizard, reading your mind and giving you songs you’ll love!


Grooveshark is an internet radio station similar to Pandora. The major difference between the two is that Pandora chooses the  music for you, whereas on Grooveshark you choose the music. Using Grooveshark’s huge library of music you can create your own personal playlists which you can then listen to online.


Oh, and don’t forget TuneGlue! This website is great for finding artists similar to those that you already like. It creates a visual map connecting artists you like with others you might like too. By hitting the expand button your map grows larger and larger, giving you a large number of artists to choose from!

also, check out http://musicovery.com/  and http://www.thesixtyone.com/


10 food documentaries that everyone should see!

Since our summer reading theme this year is “Reading is Soooooooo Delicious” this summer is the perfect opportunity to learn all about your food! Where it comes from, how it is grown, and how it is prepared. Some of these documentaries are quite shocking and may not be suitable for younger viewers with sensitive stomachs. You have been warned. Without further ado, here are some of the most influential documentaries of all time (some with links included.)  Others you can easily find on Netflix or rent them from your local library or video store!  Turn a boring summer afternoon into one filled with learning about one of the most important things that keeps you alive! FOOD!


this documentary  gives you a look at all the foundations of where your food came from, how it was grown, prepared and what the cost of that food really was.  This movie brilliantly covers what each of us should know today as an informed citizen, and respected human being. Your health, your family’s health, your money, our environment and the future economy depends on it.


Like Food Inc., this movie is a wake up call to each of us to examine what we eat, where our health, environment and farmers are concerned. Unlike Food Inc., this movie is coming at the same topic, but from more of a perspective of a new vision and movement to make a change in our paradigms and habits for our future. It is suitable for most of the whole family from early teens on



This movie offers an in-depth investigation into the disturbing truth behind the unlabeled, patented, genetically engineered foods that have quietly filled U.S. grocery store shelves for the past decade. In fact it explains the whole concept of genetically modified food in common terms so that everyone understands what they are getting into consuming or promoting such products. You may laugh at times, you may even cry at times, and you will no doubt feel disbelief when you learn about our judicial and political systems when it comes to protecting us – the consumer and citizen.


This is a fantastic documentary that is really well put together and entertaining enough even for young teens. This movie tells it like it is when it comes to our food and our health status today. It guides us through the topics by asking us a series of questions we need to consider and ask ourselves. It starts with the question of “Why are we so fat?” and finishes off with the question “What happens if we don’t change?”


A Delicate Balance will be most embraced by people who are serious about their health and ready to make changes and move into a healthier lifestyle for themselves, their families and the planet. I suspect a lot of what the movie presents will be very new and extremely shocking to most of you out there, but that is why I recommend it to open up your mind and heart. It may just save your health, if not your life.

a hard hitting raw food documentary – collection of interviews with scientists, MDs, nutritionists, naturopaths and medical journalists all over the world. You’ll discover: Who needs vitamins? Is organic better? How safe is our food? What is the best ways to detox? What is the best way to lose weight and keep it off? Good health makes a lot of sense but it does not make a lot of dollars. The ‘Sickness industry’ is a trillion dollar business! How to use food as medicine to prevent illness and fight chronic and degenerative diseases such as cholesterol, anxiety, depression, heart disease, mental illness – depression, anxiety.


Raw food reality show. Kind of. The idea of food as medicine is really put to the test in this movie. Cameras follow “reality patients” who have chronic conditions from heart disease to diabetes. Doctors show these patients how to adopt a whole foods plant based diet as a main way to heal their illnesses. You can see the challenges and successes the patients face on their journeys.


Ever wondered if it’s REALLY so important to buy locally? Well, this raw food documentary takes you from the farm to the family kitchens and public restaurants (interviews with chefs included!) across the US to find out if and why local ingredients are so sustainable…and yum!

Ian Cheney and Curtis Ellis are two New England 20-somethings who travel to Iowa to plant a single acre of corn. They come in as blank slates, clueless about farming and agriculture in general. What they learn over the course of a year is shocking to anyone who isn’t part of the system already: their crop isn’t edible, it’s processed to create animal feed and corn products, and it’s impossible to make a profit entirely on their own. Instead, government surplus demands and mammoth corporations conspire to keep them relatively powerless and almost completely broke. Ian and Curtis leave Iowa as new men – with $28 in their pocket and loads to talk about later.

Why are Americans so fat? Two words: fast food. What would happen if you ate nothing but fast food for an entire month? Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock does just that and embarks on the most perilous journey of his life. The rules? For 30 days he can’t eat or drink anything that isn’t on McDonald’s menu; he must wolf three squares a day; he must consume everything on the menu at least once and supersize his meal if asked. Spurlock treks across the country interviewing a host of experts on fast food and an equal number of regular folk while chowing down at the Golden Arches. Spurlock’s grueling drive-through diet spirals him into a physical and emotional metamorphosis that will make you think twice about picking up another Big Mac.

Other documentaries that are available on Netflix ( some about food, some about other things that you should be educated about):



Cool Chicago-land Things to Do!

So often, we complain about having nothing to do. Conversations with our friends usually go like this: “What do you wanna do?”, “I don’t know, what do you wanna do?” Well, here’s a bunch of answers to that question! We composed a list of the coolest places we know in and near Chicago. They’re all fun, safe, and totally available to you!

YR – Year Round         Sp – Spring                  S – Summer                 F – Fall             W – Winter

Cascade Drive In (S)1100 E. North Avenue, West Chicago, IL 60185
Sit under the stars and watch 2 newly released movies for the price of one! Admission for ages 11 and up is $8.50, and the movies start as soon as it gets dark. Bring a blanket!

Chicago Pizza & Oven Grinder (YR)              2121 N. Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614
Test your appetite by trying one of the unique ½ or 1-lb Pizza Pot Pies; these mushroom look-alikes appear in a bowl and resemble upside-down pizzas.
** Right by Lincoln Park Zoo!

Chicago Lakeview Shopping (YR)                 3200 block of Clark, near Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL
Eclectic boutiques, ethnic restaurants, and wild thrift stores line the streets for a truly off-the-beaten-path shopping. Ragstock (812 W. Belmont) caries ‘50s style clothing all the way to modern attire. The Alley (3228 N. Clark St) is full of punk and goth clothes as well as funky boots, snazzy jewelry, dresses, incense, and all sorts of knick-knacks. Don’t let the Belmont Army Surplus (855 W. Belmont) fool you: they carry very little actual army gear. Instead, the store is full of cool designs for the most adventurous trendsetter; here, you’ll find nothing you need but everything you want.

Chinatown (YR)                                  Near intersection of Cermack Rd and Wentworth Ave
Stroll around the nation’s 2nd largest ethnic-Chinese neighborhood, stop at a restaurant to eat some authentic food, and admire the exquisite architecture. It’s a really cool place to take some pictures and get a little feel for the Far East. Parking is relatively easy on weekdays, but on weekends, consider taking the Red Line and getting off at Cermack/Chinatown, directly in front of the main gate.

Comedy Sportz (YR)                                      929 W. Belmont, Chicago, IL 60657
Laugh out loud at some silly improv performed like a sports match. The comedians interact with the audience, asking for suggestions, and then play games to get points. Cheer on your favorite team… but only if your sides aren’t splitting from laughter! Tickets are usually about $20, but check their website to find discounted days.

First Folio (S,F)                        Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 W. 31st Street, Oak Brook, IL 60523
Stretch out on a blanket with family and friends and enjoy the hilltop breeze as you watch a performance of one of Shakespeare’s great plays. Adult ticket prices are typically near $25, but if you see the show within the first 3 nights, prices are much lower! If you can’t get out there for the summer, the theater group also puts on special renditions of Edgar Allen Poe’s plays in October. Check out their website for more info. http://www.firstfolio.org/

Glazed Expressions (YR)                                 Several locations in Chicago-land area
Feeling crafty? Head over to this “paint-it-yourself pottery place” and decorate a mug, cookie dish, vase, ceramic cat, etc. to your best abilities! This artsy studio provides you with the item to decorate, the paint, and glazes it for you in just one week. All you have to do is work magic with your paintbrush and pay $15-20 for the supplies. It’s a whole lot of fun, makes great gifts, and is something you can hold on to for years to come. Check out their website for the 5 locations near Chicago: http://www.myglazedexpressions.com/index.htm

Hinkley Skate Park                                        Busse & Morris, Park Ridge, IL 60068
Try out your moves at this skate park! Whether you prefer inline skates or a board, you can practice your cool tricks outdoors. Admission is free, so just bring your kneepads!

Hot Doug’s (YR)                                              3324 N. California, Chicago, IL 60618
Craving a hot dog? This quirky restaurant has lots to offer: The Elvis, The Keira Knightly, The Pete Shelley… they also have duck fat French fries and all kinds of other fun snacks. They are only open for lunch hours, though: Mon-Sat from 10:30AM to 4:00PM. Also, check their website to make sure they aren’t closed; they tend to celebrate random reasons. http://www.hotdougs.com/default.htm

Illinois Beach State Park (YR)                                   Lake Front, Zion, IL 60099
Want to spend a day at the beach, hike some forested trails, and then camp out in a tent without having to drive to Wisconsin? This park has it all! Make a camping reservation through their website, or just head over to enjoy a friendly day in the great outdoors between sunrise and sunset. http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/Landmgt/PARKS/R2/ILBEACH.htm

Kafein(YR)                                                     1621 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60201
If you’re in the mood to just hang out somewhere and chat with friends, take the Purple Line to Davis and head to Kafein.  This funky coffeehouse has the typical boho vibe, complete with comfy couches, well-read books on the shelves, and Trivial Pursuit on the tables. Mondays are open-mic nights, the drinks are scrumptious, and they have tasty croissants and sweet treats. It’s open late, too! 2AM Sun-Thurs and 3AM Fri-Sat.

Kerasotes 12 Showplace (YR)                                   301 Golf Mill Center, Niles, IL 60714
Golf Mill Mall opened a new movie theater a few years ago, and they are now showing 3D movies! Check their website or call for movie times. 3D movies cost $2 more than regular movies, but who wouldn’t pay that to be able to wear goofy glasses in public for 2 hours? http://www.kerasotes.com/Home.aspx

Lake Opeka (YR)                                             2222 Birch St, Des Plaines, IL 60018
Paddle-boating, fishing, picnicking…  it’s all right under your nose! This not-too-big lake is just blocks away from Allstate Arena and also hosts plentiful free summer concerts. Whether you want to rent a paddle-boat ($10-14 per ½ hour) or just stroll around feeding the ducks old bread crumbs is up to you.

Lincoln Park Zoo (YR)                                    2001 N. Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614
Stroll around the shaded park and check out the animals… for free! Then head down to the little lake and rent a paddleboat for 4 for $12/30 minutes, or sit by the little river and watch kayakers race through it.

Margie’s Candies (YR)                                    1900 N. Western Ave, Chicago, IL
The coolest ice cream place since 1921, even the Beatles snacked here after their show at Comiskey Park. The ice cream is served with a bowl of hot fudge, and they offer over 50 different sundaes. They also have sandwiches, soups, and salads, but people go for the ice cream and their specialty hand-dipped candy. They open early and close late, so you can satisfy that sweet tooth at just about any time of day! If you want to take the El, get off at the Blue line’s Western stop.

May I Have This Dance (YR)              5246 N. Elston, 2nd floor, Chicago, IL 60630
Want to learn to Latin, Ballroom, or Swing Dance? This studio offers lessons for all levels and also has social dancing on Fridays for $10-15 (although bring a group of friends; sometimes it’s an older crowd). Check out their website for more info, and get ready to learn to shake that thang! http://www.mayihavethisdance.com/home.php

McCormick Tribune Ice Skating Rink (W)    Millennium Park (Washington & Michigan Ave)
Grab your old ice skates or bring a few bucks to rent a pair and glide away in the heart of Chicago on this popular ice skating rink. Don’t want to risk breaking any bones? Walk over to The Bean and watch skaters whizz, twirl, and race on the rink below you.

Midway Plaisance Ice Skating Rink (W)       1130 E. Midway Plaisance North, Chicago, IL 60637
Open usually until about 7PM, this 5-year-old ice skating rink provides an active outing for a pleasant winter day. Prices are comparable to other ice skating rinks, and during the warmer seasons, the rink is great for in-line skating.

Millennium Park (YR)                                    Washington Ave. & Michigan Ave., Chicago
This Chicago staple is home of The Bean, the Pritzker Pavilion, and the faces fountains, and it’s a great day trip. Walk around the park, bring a picnic, or splash around in the faces fountain in the afternoon and head over to the nearby Grant Park for a summer-night free concert later. There are tons of restaurants and cafes in the immediate area, and the park is just a block away from Lake Shore Drive. If you’re really up for walking, head south to the Shedd Aquarium and Field Museum or go north towards Navy Pier. Either way, it’ll be a day well spent in the city.

Mitsuwa Market (YR)                                    100 E. Algonquin Rd, Arlington Hts, IL 60005
Like a mini-mall, Mitsuwa is made up of numerous Japanese stores, including a supermarket, toy shops, and food court. Try some of the authentic, sometimes unheard of, food and buy some to share with family at home. If you’re into Japanese culture, this is a cool place to look into.

Molly’s Cupcakes (YR)                       2536 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60614
You haven’t experienced a phenomenal cupcake until you try one from Molly’s. Their unique fillings, frostings, and toppings can make anyone’s mouth water… and they’re just $2 apiece! They also have drinks and other sweets, so feel free to hang around!

North Branch Trail System (YR)       Devon & Caldwell to Tower Road & Edens Expy.
Grab a bike/roller skates/ jogging shoes, sunglasses, and get some exercise on a forested trail! The trail has plenty of different starting locations, so check out their website to find one convenient for you. Bring a picnic and Frisbee to enjoy when you’re tired of biking, or head out to the northern end of the trail and relish in the beauty of the Chicago Botanic Gardens (free admission if on foot or bike). http://www.fpdcc.com/tier3.php?content_id=68&file=map_68e

North Park Village Nature Center (YR)       5108 N. Pulaski, Chicago, IL 60646
Take a break from city life and get a breath of fresh air on a beautiful walking trail. The relatively flat, paved trail winds through forest-y areas, over a pond, and just near a Chicago park. Bring a Frisbee and enjoy a peaceful walk!

Oakton Driving Range (Sp, S, F)                    2800 Oakton St,  Park Ridge, IL 60068
Have you ever golfed before? Either way, practice your swing for a while! Open 8AM-10PM every day, this driving range is a great place to work on your skills… or lack thereof. Buckets of balls cost between $5 and $12.

Pioneer Park (Sp, S, F)                                   7135 N Harlem Ave, Niles, IL 60714
In addition to a playground, basketball courts, baseball diamond, and concession stand, this park contains an 18-hole mini golf course and multiple batting cages. Open daily until approximately 10PM.

Putting Edge (YR)                              4105 N. Harlem Ave, Norridge, IL 60706
Put on some white clothes and get ready to shine while playing some glow-in-the-dark mini-golf. One game costs just over $9, and the center is open from about 11AM to 9 or 10PM throughout the year.

Richardson Farm (F)                          9407 Richardson Rd, Spring Grove, IL 60081
This fall, make the hour-long drive to enjoy a day or evening on a farm! Get lost trying to find your way out of the largest corn maze in Illinois ($7-10 per person) and then enjoy a free campfire once it’s dark. If you can get a large enough group together, reserve a wagon ride, too! They are only $3.75 per person with a 20 person minimum.

Rogers Park                                        Between Lunt and Rogers Ave along the lake
Bring some checkers pieces and learn a thing or two from some of the old, more experienced players outside in the sun! This great park is on the beach, too, so you can wade around in the water afterwards.

Summer Dance (S)     Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park (601 S. Michigan Ave)
Get your boogie on in the heart of Chicago. Live bands play music for all tastes, ranging from salsa to reggae to polka, and admission is free. Check the website for scheduled bands. There is a cement dance floor to dance on, and plenty of grass surrounding it if you’re more of a watcher. Make sure to bring water – dancing makes you sweat!

Superdawg (YR)                                 6363 N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60646
Place your order and relax in your car while you wait for your delish hot dogs to be brought to you at this classic ‘40s drive-in. The food is fantastic, the neon lights set a retro vibe, and it’s a cool new way to eat.
** Right by the start of the North Branch Trail System & Whealan Pool!

Tea Lula (YR)                                      Fairview & Main, Park Ridge, IL 60068
If you’re in the mood for a relaxing time, head over to this quaint café and try one of their 100 flavors of tea! If you like one enough, you can buy a bag to keep. It’s a great place to chat with friends over a cup of tea.

Trails of Terror (F)                              5801 N Pulaski Rd, Chicago, IL 60646
Not recommended for young children or scaredy-cats… see if you can make it out without screaming your lungs out! The Chicago Park District’s Peterson Park holds an annual event in which “victims” walk down the dark, forested trails. It’s ranked “High” on the scare-factor, costs between $6 and $8 as of 2007, and is open between the hours of 6:30PM and 9PM. Can you handle it?

Uncle Fun (YR)                                                1338 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60657
Like a large garage sale, this shop has tons of gadgets and knick-knacks for everyone! The employees like playing jokes on customers, and the store is full of great gag gifts for just about anyone. Let your inner child have some fun!

Whealan Pool Aquatic Center (S)    6200 W. Devon Ave, Chicago (just east of Milwaukee Ave)
For just $5, splash around in a great zero depth pool and slip down 2 twisty slides, catching some sun and goofing off with friends. The pool is located just off of the North Branch Trail System and Superdawg (see above).

Vertical Reality (YR)                          732 Prairie St, Aurora, IL 60506
Head over to this rock climbing gym to test your strength! See if you can make it to the top of the 32 foot wall, or just scale around the 8,000 square feet of climbing space they offer. Super fun, lots of laughs, and definitely something worth trying. Can’t make it as far as Aurora? Visit the Dick’s Sporting Goods in Niles (5601 Touhy Ave, Niles, IL 60714) for a smaller version but equal fun!

Village Creamery (YR)                                   8000 Waukegan Rd, Niles, IL 60714
In the mood for some yummy ice cream? How about some strange flavored ice cream? Village Creamery has both! From chocolate to Kraft cheese, they let you taste any flavor before you pick your favorite. Open 11AM to 10PM daily.

Viva! (S)                                              Grant Park, Chicago
Every August, the Viva! Chicago Latin Music Festival takes place in Grant Park, full of vibrantly colored dresses, spicy music, and breath-taking dance. Best of all: admission is free! So grab a friend and head to Grant Park (August 23-24 this year) between 10:30AM and 9:30PM for some cultural fun!

WhirlyBall (YR)1880 W. Fullerton, Chicago, IL 60614
Mix together basketball, lacrosse, and bumper cars and get ready to play this high-speed game. Anyone over the age of 8 can play, and when sitting in bumper cars, it doesn’t matter if you’re athletic or a couch potato, tall or short, guy or girl; you simply use hand-held scoops to shoot your whiffle balls at your scoring target. It’ll definitely be a night of laughs. Walk-in prices are $12 per person per half hour with a 4 person minimum, and renting a court costs approximately $200 per hour (you can split it with up to 20 friends!)

Wilson Skate Park (Sp, S, F)              700 W. Wilson, Chicago, IL
This modern skate park is located just off of Lake Shore Drive, providing its patrons with fantastic views as they skate down the ramps, grind on the rails, and whiz through the bowls. The park is mainly for skateboarders, and it is very safe. Now, go get some exercise!

Ziegler’s Apple Orchard (F)               32363 N. Bacon Rd, Grayslake, IL 60030
Climb trees and pick off the best looking apples on this great orchard. They have 16 acres with 12 varieties of different apples open Saturdays and Sundays from 9AM – 5PM. Then, go on and bake some great pies! If your family doesn’t have any recipes, look them up online.

If you are aware of any other great places, please share them with us! We’d LOVE to hear your suggestions!



CubeeCraft is a fun online site that offers many different projects drawn in their own style called “Cubees.” Cubees can be built by printing them out on a printer, and then cutting them out. No glue or tape is required. The site contains the schematics for all sorts of Cubees from Space Ghost to the Companion Cube. It even has Cubees from one of my favorite new anime series, Gurren Lagann.

All in all, if you’re looking for a fun craft, print out a few Cubees.

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