Acting like kids in Chicago

The boys had a couple of days off from school last week. I’m pretty sure it was not for good behavior. Anyway, they actually did have really great conferences, so we decided to reward them with a little trip down to the city. Yes, we live near Milwaukee, but we hadn’t ventured to Chicago yet. And it’s only two hours away. It’s like we’ve fallen off the interstate of life and into the sticks, unable to pull ourselves away from the peace of the country.

Since the weather was decent, we headed to Navy Pier first. Our kids are 3,5, and 7, so a lot of stuff there wasn’t really age-appropriate for them. Meaning it required more than a 5 minute attention span. However, the Children’s Museum rocked! Plus, it was free for 4 members of our military family.

three-with-webThe Big Backyard area had been “spookified,” and was super cool. Lots of shadow play and spooky sounds. But not too spooky. It’s a Children’s Museum, for Pete’s sake.

buildingThe boys really enjoyed building. The museum was almost deserted…we had whole rooms to ourselves.

heavy-equipment

Now there’s a sight that would terrify many a construction worker on a job site! Heaven forbid she sees a shiny object and forgets to drive.

Water-play

The water play area was enormous, AND some genius had equipped it with raincoats and smocks. Perhaps the one in Washington doesn’t have those because everyone in Washington is just used to being wet. I’m going to drop it in a suggestion box when we move back, though!

spider

The next day, we surprised the kids with Legoland Discovery Center. We’ve been to Legoland in California, and they loved that. This was indescribably smaller, but they thought it was amazing. My husband and I needed a drink afterward. Unlike the museum, there were about 5000 kids in a 5000 square foot space. Or maybe it just seemed like it.

lionShe knows no fear. The lion, however, ran away as soon as she got out of his mouth.

Skyline His grandpa helped build the Sears Tower, so he consented to a photo in front of the (Lego) skyline.

swinging

Monkey Boy spent most of his time in the jungle gym area. Those Lego bricks are soft, by the way.

test-track

The real Lego fanatic, our oldest loved designing vehicles and testing them with his new-found friends. Whom we’ll never see again, but he just doesn’t get that.

tiger

From Lego animals to the real thing…we spent a few hours at Lego, then headed back to Milwaukee for trick-or-treating at the zoo.

trick-or-treat

Since we live out in the sticks, we had to go to town to trick-or-treat. I had convinced the kids that trick-or-treating at the zoo would suffice, but it did not. They only got about 6 pieces of candy each, so on Halloween we had to go out again.

pumpkinhead

Apparently Pumpkinhead here agrees with my boys’ assessment of their comedic abilities.

sad-train

After standing in line for half an hour for a 10 minute train ride, Cupcake dropped her bucket getting on the train. We managed to collect all 6 pieces of candy, though, so she eventually recovered.

All in all, a successful mini-vacation. I discovered that Chick-Fil-A is only 2 hours away, right next to IKEA. The kids burned a lot of energy and thought they had a large time. When we trick-or-treated on Halloween, they collected half a bucket of candy in about 45 minutes, so they were thrilled with that.

Here’s the riddle of the day: At our house, you put your candy outside your bedroom door when you go to bed. During the night, the Great Pumpkin comes and takes away your candy, but leaves you a gift. This year, the boys got color-changing Hot Wheels and a book and Cupcake got a mini-Barbie dressed in a pumpkin costume and a book. They were thrilled with their presents. So why couldn’t we just have given the Great Pumpkin those 18 Twizzlers we got at the zoo?