Bonnie Kenaz-Mara


Chicago’s Best Kids’ Concert Venues: S.P.A.C.E.

Just north of Chicago in Evanston, S.P.A.C.E. Is doing what urban dwellers thought impossible… bringing cool to the suburbs. S.P.A.C.E. stands for Society for the Preservation of Art and Culture in Evanston, and despite the lofty name, they do live up to their goal.


Photo Credit: Bonnie Kenaz-Mara

Chicago’s Best Kids’ Concert Venues: Old Town School Of Folk Music

Old Town School of Folk Music (OTSFM) is the largest independent community arts school in the United States. Numerous classes are offered for adults and children. The school is also home to a fantastic, small theatre. The acoustics are excellent and even in the balcony and no seat is further than 45′ from the stage…



Chicago’s Best Kids’ Concert Venues: Lincoln Hall, Schubas

Lincoln Hall hosts Chicago Families in the Loop’s hit series for the swing set, Brunch & Boogie, that runs once every several months. These big extravaganzas sell out fast and feature live bands, sweet swag bags, high-end raffles, and loads of sponsors with activities, info, and snacks. A special brunch menu is available at the bar, although not included in the event cost…


Photo Credit: Bonnie Kenaz-Mara

Chicago’s Best Kids’ Concert Venues: Reggie’s Rock Club

Chicago’s south loop, or low side, is home to Reggie’s, a sweet space with excellent sound and a triple threat. Reggie’s Rock Club is a performance space on one side. Attached is Reggie’s Music Joint, a restaurant/ bar with a smaller stage. Finally, Record Breakers is a music themed store where you can buy anything from band tees and memorabilia to CDs, DVDs, and hard to find vinyl.


(credit: Bonnie Kenaz-Mara)

Guide To McFetridge Sports Center

Weather wimps can get their skate on year-round at McFetridge Sports Center, the city’s only public indoor rink. Even when the weather outside is frightful, you can take to the ice for exercise or fun at their NHL-size ice arena with seating for 1,200 spectators. McFetridge also boasts the city’s only public indoor tennis courts, a tennis pro shop, snack shop and ice skate rental…



Get Ready For Chicago’s Upcoming Expos

Check out these boat and car expos if you’re considering a purchase, or go walk around anyway, just for fun and to keep out of the cold. The dreams are free.


(credit: Kids Shows Chicago's facebook)

Chicago’s Best Kids’ Concert Venues: Beat Kitchen

Chicago’s northwest side is home to a small bar with one of the biggest line-ups for the way underager’s and their parents. Every weekend, the booster seats go on the bar stools and families come by to rock together. Beat Kitchen has excellent food on funky menus, sandwiched between vintage record album covers…


(credit: Bonnie Kenaz-Mara)

Top Three Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks In Chicago

‘Tis the season for ice skating. Chicago’s winter is here to stay. Well, for a few long months anyway, so get out and enjoy it. There are a plethora of outdoor rinks (10 to be exact) within the city limits, open November 28th-February 28th. Here are the three best!


(credit: Bonnie Kenaz-Mara)

Chicago’s Best Sled Hills

A day of sledding in Chi-Town requires some planning and usually entails loading up the car and making a drive. Still, we’ve discovered some gems over the years. Here are our favorites.


(credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Guide To Elmhurst In Fair Or Foul Weather

Elmhurst, Chi-town’s suburban cousin to the West, is a fun place for day tripping year round. Here’s a list of all the things you can do in Elmhurst year-round, no matter what type of weather Mother Nature offers up!


(credit: Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

Guide To The John Hancock Center

The Hancock, as locals call it, is in the Streeterville area of Chicago, and is still a formidable building at 100-stories and 1127-feet (344 m). Tourists gawking up at its heights sometimes fall prey to pickpockets…



Family Fun Guide To Chicago’s Greek Town

Chicago is a mini United Nations, with a multicultural feast of neighborhoods. It’s great to be able to travel the world with your kids without the jet lag. One of our favorite areas is Greek Town, just west of downtown Chicago.


"Eleventh Hour" haunted house (credit: JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)

Chicago’s Best Haunted Houses

Back in the day, I worked for three seasons in Chicago’s haunted houses. If you think it’s a rush being scared by costumed characters in gruesome scenes, it’s 100 times more fun to work one. A number of friends I introduced to haunted house acting work 15 years ago are still in the industry…


(credit-Bonnie Kenaz-Mara)

Family Fun Guide To Children’s Theatre

Chicago has a well-deserved reputation as a great theatre town and it’s not all adults-only! Chi-town has no shortage of world class, family friendly options. Here are our favorite places for children’s theatre.


North Park Village Nature Center

Guide To North Park Village Nature Center

There’s a wilderness oasis in the middle of the city, with deer and wildlife abound. North Park Village Nature Center has easy hiking trails, a marsh with a resident heron, and free classes for Chicagoans from toddlers to retirees…


Empty Classroom

Guide To Chicago’s Best Tutoring Resources

Need to supply your child with tutoring? Then here’s the guide for you…


Photo Credit: Bonnie Kenaz-Mara

Chicago’s Best Dog Parks

Even though the weather is getting cooler, man’s best friend still needs to get out of the house every once in a while. So where in the city can you take Fido to let loose? […]


(credit: Bonnie Kenaz-Mara)

Guide to Promontory Point

Chicago’s gorgeous lakefront includes 15 public beaches along 26 miles of shoreline. However, between the south side beaches lies a true treasure, know by locals as “The Point.” Promontory Point is a popular wedding site, boasts one of the best views of the Chicago skyline, has great bike trails, and is the only place on the lakefront that fire pits are permitted.



Family Fun Guide To Wheeling

Chicago’s northwestern suburb of Wheeling is a little over 8 miles square, and known for its restaurants. The Metra line passes through Wheeling, allowing for an easy commute to Chicago. The village boasts good schools, racial diversity, forest preserve space and even an airport. Family Circle August 2008, lists Wheeling as one of the 10 best towns in the US to live in.


(credit: Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

Guide To: Family Fun In Pilsen

Chicago’s lower West side community of Pilsen has a strong Hispanic and artistic presence and is known as an affordable place to raise a family. It’s a great neighborhood to wander around and explore, with loads of public art and storefront galleries…