A 2022 Locally Sourced Easter in Chicago


Easter is coming up! And no, I am NOT ready.

Here are some amazing goodies from local businesses that I scored for the

kiddos Easter baskets! Many of these ideas are still available

for you to rush out and last minute add to your basket!


Easter Basket Stuffers


Brainy Day Box

  • Don’t miss out on spring themed sensory fun for your little one!



  • Cool it on the candy and stick an awesome tee in that basket!
  • You can also use the code HELEN20 or BUNNY for a discount!
  • Easter basket ideas?
    • They have 3 awesome books you can order: Women in Science, Women in Sports, and Women in Art
    • There are also lots of pastel colored shirts perfect for Easter, spring, and Earth Day. They have encouraging words and powerful women to emulate. Not to mention the softest clothing around! What’s better than that?


Fizzy Magic Bath Fizzies

  • What kid doesn’t love bath bombs?! The special themed boxes for the holidays are always fun because they come with so many bath bombs! Perfect for me to split amongst all 4 kids. The spring themed box is absolutely perfect for the kids Easter baskets!
  • But we also are so excited for the Celebrate Earth Box which is all about sunflowers! (Ukraine’s National Flower)
    • Your box will include:
      • sunflower seeds,
      • a sunflower journal to record the growth
      • 5 fizzies with flower surprises inside
      • a water toy and bubble popper!


  • The coral reef box is also an amazing choice to celebrate Earth Day!
  • We love making bath time magical with pure and safe ingredients that smell great and soften the skin!











Rebecca’s Cakes By Design

  • You know we love our “Paint and Eat” cookies! So of course we had to order Easter / spring themed ones from Rebecca!
  • She has an amazing storefront in Bartlett now for all of our dessert needs!






Created By Bash Crayons

  • You can never have enough crayons, so you might as well make them cute!
  • Name crayons, initials with a cute shape, or just cute shapes like bunnies and Easter eggs!




State of Play Kids

  • Although perfect for Easter baskets, the rainbow colored Midwest and Windy City tees are a must have for spring and summer!
  • Kids will love it just as much as parents and who doesn’t love a good matching outfit for the fam?




Colorful Creations

  • Another great surprise for the girls Easter baskets.
  • They are a huge fan of the fun bows and these are so adorable for Easter.
  • How cute is this?! Message her Facebook page and see what she’s got left in stock!

Mama & OG

  • THIS is the Instagram account to follow! I love all of her sensory bin ideas and adventures with her kiddo! (Plus I love that we both have toddlers with the initials OG!)
  • Her resin letters / numbers are gorgeous and perfect for Montessori play. Last year her lovely sister (@momschoolpsych) made these awesome monogrammed cases perfect to hold them for their Easter baskets.
  • May be too late to order these for Easter but that shouldn’t stop you from just ordering in general!

Kido Chicago

  • The CUTEST toy store in the city!
  • Luckily my 2 yr old doesn’t remember shopping for his own Easter basket gifts! Not only are the toys here adorable, but the book selection is FANTASTIC! Everything you need to create a perfectly diverse home library.


Stacey M. Design

  • The inclusive guided journals, notebooks, encouragement cards, and gifts would be an excellent addition to a childs Easter Basket or for any time of year!
  • Encourage a love for writing and social emotional learning with these products!


EmKay Inspired

  • How cute are these spring earrings?! Perfect for a daughter with pierced ears or a gift for mom!




Easter / Spring Treats!


Stan’s Donuts and Coffee Chicago

  • Multiple locations around Chicagoland
  • I hope they bring back the Peeps donuts this year!


Sugargoat Sweets

  • Easter decorated shortbread cookies, cupcakes, and cookie decorating kits are available to order on the website beginning April 2nd!


JoJos Shake Bar

  • Chicago
  • Naperville
  • Peep Show Hot Chocolate
  • Peeps N Cream Shake
  • JoJo’s outdoor Candyland ends 4/24! Make sure to reserve a table ASAP

XO Marshmallow

  • Chicago
  • Did you know the world’s 1st marshmallow cafe is in Chicago?
  • We visited this adorable cafe last year and enjoyed their latest spring flavors!
  • My son got the frozen lemonade topped with marshmallow, jelly beans, and peeps!
  • I got the Frozen Key Lime Pie! Yum!
  • Their current location in Rogers Park closes March 30th and they will be moving to Lincoln Park after a short hiatus to stay tuned!


Vanille Patisserie

  • Chicago
  • They always have adorable treats around the cafe for treats and basket stuffers!
  • Adorable spring themed cakes, basket fillers, DIY kits, sugar cookies, macarons, and more!
  • Use code SPRING22 for online Easter orders!

Premo’s Ice Cream

  • Oak Lawn
  • This ice cream shop is just the cutest! Their fun creations are to die for and the kids and I all tried something different!
  • I got a giant banana split encased in an Easter egg, the girls got the Cadbury Creme shake, and the boys got vanilla soft serve ice cream with gummy butterflies, easter sprinkles, and strawberry syrup.

Sweet Mandy B’s

  • Easer / spring cutouts sure to please the whole family!
  • Not to mention, all sorts of other sweets perfect to pass around the table.


Forget Me Not Cookies

  • Easter ordering of these adorable cookies is now LIVE!
  • What’s available, you may be asking?
    • Paint Your Own Cookies & Easter Egg Kits
    • Giant Egg Tic Tac Toe Set (fun for easter basket) & Bunny Faces on a Stick
    • Mini Bunny Bait Pouches
    • Personalized Cookies (ideal for Easter Basket)
    • DIY Cookie Kits
    • 6″ Cookie Cakes
    • Adorable Floral Peeps and other sets
  • When is Pick Up you may be wondering? All items will be ready for pick up Thursday, 4/14 (4-7pm); or Friday, 4/15 (10am-1pm or 4-7pm). Some of our DIY items are available for pickup earlier in the week in Yorkville



Entree Kitchen

  • My go to meal planning service in Carol Stream always has a delicious menu of frozen / refrigerated meals to make #momlife a whole lot easier!
  • Not only does she have your day to day covered but the Easter brunch menu has you covered from savory to sweet with four entrees to choose from and two sides.
  • Plus an adorable cupcake decorating kit to make your day extra special.



Hey Sugar

  • Geneva
  • The floral decorations inside always remind me of spring no matter what season it is!



Easter / Spring Events

Holi – The Festival of Colors

  • April 9th at 11 AM
  • Naperville, Grand Pavilion Riverwalk
  • “Getting to throw handful of brightly colored powder at friends and foes seems too good to be true. Yes it’s true! Vedic Cultural Society invites all members of the public, from people with understanding of festival to ne’er-do-wells who simply get a kick out of chucking organic dyed flour at strangers to celebrate the festival of color. Throw your worries to the wind.”
  • Easter isn’t the only spring holiday! Holi is an important spring festival for Hindus to celebrate spring, friendship, family, and the victory of good over evil.


Windy Acres Farm Geneva

  • Geneva
  • April 2, 3, 9, 10, 16th
  • “Visit the baby barnyard gang, say Hello to the Easter Bunny (please bring your own camera for photo opportunity), take a ride on the Springtime Choo-Choo Egg-spress Train and stay a while at the crafty corner. Afterwards, enjoy the local artisan craft market. Visit anytime, 10am-4pm. Tickets required for all guests ages one and older.”


West Town Bakery

  • Chicago
  • Bunny Brunch on April 10th with the Easter Bunny!


Grahams 318

  • Geneva
  • Mommy & Me Spring Bunny Windsock Workshop
    • April 14th at 10 AM
    • “Come create a Spring Bunny Windsock! Your little artist will take home their personalized art to display! This workshop also includes a delicious chocolate bunny from Graham’s Chocolates.”
  • Pictures With The Easter Bunny
    • April 16th at 10:30
    • “Join us for an egg coloring workshop and professional pictures with the Easter bunny! Eggs and coloring materials will be provided, and your complimentary, digital photos will be shared with you via email following the event. We’ll also be raffling off a Nintendo Switch and $20 gift cards to local businesses.”


Breakfast with the Bunny at Brookfield Zoo

  • April 9, 10, and 16th
  • All tickets are General Admission and include parking


Easter Egg-Stravaganza at Lincoln Park Zoo

  • Lincoln Park Zoo
  • April 16th
    • 8 a.m.–12 p.m. | Meet the Easter bunny, enjoy outdoor activities plus games and music
    • 8 a.m.–12 p.m. | Free carousel and train rides (weather permitting)
    • 8:30, 9:30, 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. | Egg hunts (Note: Egg hunt times are assigned and will be selected during checkout.)


Aqua Egg Hunt at Oak Brook Park District Family Aquatics Center

  • Oak Brook
  • April 14th & 15th
  • “Join us for an Aquatic Egg Hunt at the Family Aquatic Center! Each registration is for a 90-minute experience that begins with the egg hunts and ends with open swim for the entire family.  We have changed our format to help spread out the crowds. This year we will be offering 5 separate egg hunt events with a maximum enrollment of 100 egg hunters to help spread out the gathering of people. Each event will have registration opportunities for all ages. Please note the day and time that you are registering for!”
  • Parents accompany children for free.
  • As of this posting there are still time slots available for this unique hunt but they are filling fast!


Downtown Batavia Egg Hop

  • April 16th at 10 AM
  • Downtown Batavia’s Annual Egg Hop will return on Saturday, April 16. Check out the schedule of activities below!
    • 10am-12pm – Egg Hop around Downtown Businesses
    • Peg Bond Center:
      • 10am-1pm Business Booths.
      • 10am-12pm Petting Zoo with Kates Kritters Mobile Petting Zoo
      • 10:15am – 3 and under Egg Hunt
      • 10:30am – Spring Stories with the Batavia Public Library
      • 11:00am – Learn the Bunny Hop with Batavia Academy of Dance
      • 11:30am – Easter Show with River City Church
      • 12:30 – Raffle Drawings


Berwyn Park District and Great Easter Parade

  • Pre-registration is required, give them a call (708)749-4900 and reserve your spot for the hunt.
  • The Easter Bunny will be riding in a float down 16th Street from Jefferson Field to Prairie Oak Gym where he will join the Easter Eggstravaganza. (Begins at 10:30, immediately following the hunt.)


Valentine’s Day in Chicagoland 2022

If February is about showing the love, let’s show the love to the Chicagoland small businesses that need our support the most!

Enjoy this list of local businesses to support as well as awesome events

going on this month!

Edible Treats



  • West Town Bakery & Diner
    • Chicago
    • Delicious Valentine Day creations include:
      • Cookie decorating kit
      • Strawberry cheesecake cookies
      • Cakeballs
      • Mini heart cheesecakes
      • Cupcakes
      • Linzer heart cookies
      • Chocolate Smash Hearts
      • Love Bug cakes (premade or decorate yourself)
      • Mini cheesecake conversation hearts
    • MUST preorder by 2/9
  • Dip & Sip Donuts
    • Preorder your Valentine themed 6 pack and the Valentine DIY donut decorating kit!

  • Sugargoat by Stephanie Izard
    • Chicago (shipping available through Goldbelly)
    • “Whether you’re treating yourself, your gal-pal or your partner, we’re here to make the day as sweet as can be!”
    • Preorder ASAP
    • Valentine’s Day cookies, cake, cupcakes, and “be mine” cookie pie.
  • Goddess and the Baker
    • Adorable cookies and macarons that you can even ship to a loved one!
    • Dine in for a gorgeous Raspberry Cardamom Mocha Latte
  • Bombobar
    • Their seasonal Valentine’s items launch February 1st!!
    • Enjoy the Valentine’s Day Hotter Chocolate and Bombs!
  • XO Marshmallow
    • Heart shaped marshmallows for your hot cocoa would be perfect!
    • Or how about the S’mores Kit For 2?

  • JoJo’s Shake Bar
    • “In preparation for Valentine’s Day, JoJo’s ShakeBAR is debuting its lovable menu featuring our over-the-top Love Shake, extravagant Cupid’s Cocoa, and a variety of other sweet treats and decadent cocktails. Available in JoJo’s heated Candy Land tent until February 20, 2022.”
  • Mollys Cupcakes’
    • Heart shaped chocolate chip cookie or brownie
    • Cupcake assortment of their most valentine filled flavors
    • Valentines cheesecake sampler
    • Chocolate strawberries and truffles
  • Vanille Patisserie
    • All Valentines orders need to be placed by 11 am, Friday the 11th.
      • Macarons
      • French pastries
      • Cutie cakes
      • DIY cookie kits
  • RJK Productions
    • Downers Grove
    • The “beary” cute breakable desserts were the PERFECT way to take this holiday to the next level for the kids. They are really going to get a kick out of this when they wake up to their surprises on the 14th.
    • On top of that, the menu consists of heart shaped chocolate covered oreos, heart hot cocoa bombs, coffee bombs, kid bomb valentines, and teacher gift sets!



  • Rebecca’s Cakes By Design
    • Bartlett
    • It has become a new tradition to order “Paint & Eat” cookies for each holiday. It’s a dessert and craft in one!
    • On top of that she will be carrying:
      • Conversation heart cookies in mailbox
      • Cake pops
      • 6″ Valentines heart cake
      • Chocolate covered strawberries
      • Cupcake bouquets (6 cupcakes)
    • Baked goods prepared in a nut free kitchen.




  • Olive + Emmental
    • Valentine’s Day charCUTErie box with 3 available sizes / flower combo packages.
    •  Don’t forget a vday kids cuterie board for the little ones!
  • Hey Sugar
    • Geneva
    • Besides the over the top hot cocoa creations, you’ll love the Valentine’s Day selections of cupcakes and cookies!

  • Portillo’s
    • “We’re giving our Famous, homemade Chocolate cake a new shape in this Valentine’s Day edition. Single-layer heart shaped chocolate cakes are now available for pre-order at all Portillo’s restaurants. Plus, a portion of the proceeds from every heart shaped cake purchased will benefit an organization close to our heart – The American Red Cross.”
    • Don’t sleep on the brand new, chocolate covered strawberry shake!
  • Lou Malnati’s
    • “What’s better than a box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day? A heart-shaped pizza from Lou Malnati’s, of course!”
    • “9″ heart-shaped pizzas are available at all locations starting February 7th through Valentine’s Day.”
  • Sugar Milk Cafe
    • Naperville
    • This adorable cafe has over the top milkshakes like the new Sweetheart Milkshake for V-Day!




Fun Packages


  • Staycation at The Kimpton Hotel Monaco Chicago
    • Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, the Monaco is “suite” for families like you. Why not do something for the whole family this Valentine’s Day? This February package includes:
      • Suite accommodations
      • A bottle of Prosecco
      • A bottle of non-alcoholic sparkling wine for the kids
      • Do-it-yourself Valentine’s Day cookie decorating kit (includes 4 cookies)
  • Waterlemon
    • La Grange
    • The Valentines Day Balloon Box:
      • All 3 balloon boxes come with a custom-made, oversized candy heart message sticker affixed to the front. All boxes are filled with helium-filled balloons in colors that correspond to the sticker colors as well as air-filled balloons at the bottom of the box.
    • The Valentine’s Day Bash Box
      • 1 set of heart plates
      • 1 set of heart napkins
      • 1 set of matching cups
      • 1 cupcake kit for 2 dozen cupcakes with the sweetest toppers EVER or adorable cookie cutters
      • 1 hard copy of Love Is book by Diane Adams
      • 2 heart pinatas favors
      • 2 large scale + beautiful coloring posters
      • 1 dozen pink + red balloons (includes weight)
  • Dazzling Divas
    • Downers Grove
    • Book your divas GAL-entine spa day or order a valentine bundle! TEXT 1-708-378-2702
      • manicures
      • facials
      • makeup
      • hair sparkles
      • cupid kisses face freckles
      • hot chocolate with whipped cream and sweet heart candies
      • take home heart rings and spa headband






  • State of Play Kids
    • Nothing says Valentine’s Day more than showing your love for the city you adore! Super simple, but super cute and a size for every member of the family!

  • Makoshey
    • We adore this company for their girl positive clothing. The super soft, comfy, and inspirational clothing is a fan favorite in our household and the perfect tee for February is the Maya Angelou, “Love recognizes no barriers” tee. Order yours today!
    • Use code HELEN20 for a discount!




Crafts & Gifts


  • Fizzy Magic
    • These aren’t just your every day bath bombs people!
    • “Educational Bath Fizzies – Fun, Fizz & Learn!. Pure & Safe Ingredients with essential oils to calm kids before bedtime but best of all – each fizzy contains a surprise, clue to guess and fun fact to learn along with bedtime story relates to the surprise.”
    • The Valentine Limited Edition Box has surprises inside the fizzies to match the included valentines for your kids to color and hand out.
    • The perfect, non-candy, valentine! Use in the tub or use in a sensory table!
  • Mama & OG
    • Her handmade resin items are to die for and I am so excited that we scored these adorable chocolates to add to the play kitchen!
    • Also, “Eye Heart You” dough stampers and Valentine hair clips!
    • If you missed this drop, keep an eye out for her St. Patricks Day collection!
  • Colorful Creations
    • Do you surprise your little ones with Valentine gifts? Check out the princess shaker necklaces from Colorful Creations!
  • Confetti FunBy Russell
    • We ordered two of the pink heart confetti to decorate the table with on Valentine’s morning for our annual breakfast!
    • This 6 year old kidpreneur was brought to our attention by the fabulous We Events Chicago!
  • Hopscotch City
    • Hopscotch City can always be counted on for adorable printables and craft ideas and Valentine’s Day is no exception!
    • Check out her etsy shop for a cute Valentines Day Mailbox printable!
  • Pop of Paper Co.
    • “Looking for a simple and fun Vday craft? Pick up one of our Valentine Mailboxes to decorate and collect love notes all month long!”
    • Love is in the air with our Valentine POP Box! Boxes include:· Valentine inspired felt garland· Make your own Valentine bracelet· Paper honeycomb hearts to hang· Meri Meri Valentines Card with glasses· Heart paper chain craft· Meri Meri Stickers

      · Heart wreath craft

      · Valentine treats

      · Hanging heart box craft

      · Valentine monster craft

  • Kido Chicago
    • If you are making Valentine gift bags for your littles, I highly recommend purchasing books and toys from Kido!


  • Stacey M. Design
      • Valentine’s Day is about loving others and also, loving yourself!
      • Her inclusive, guided journals, notebooks, and most importantly, the social emotional learning curriculum, are fantastic tools to help children love each other despite our differences, and also love themselves!






  • Ice Castles
    • Lake Geneva
    • Although this event always sells out quick, I have checked for tickets and still found availability intermittently. Possibly as additional dates and times are added.
  • Lake Geneva Winterfest
    • Feb 2nd – 6th
    • “As the only national snow sculpting championship in the United States, Winterfest welcomes the most talented and award-winning sculpting teams from across the country. Be here to witness 15 state-champion teams at work during an epic 3-day competition where their artistry is put to the test in creating remarkable, larger-than-life snow sculptures. The snow sculpting competition runs 11am Wednesday through 1pm Saturday at Riviera Plaza and Flat Iron Park along the beautiful shore of Geneva Lake. It’s FREE to attend and view, and sculptures will remain on display through Sunday (and until they melt).”
  • Long Grove Cocoa Crawl
    • February 5th 11 am – 3 pm
    • Free event!
    • Free carriage rides from 11 – 4
    • There will be 3 Tents serving complimentary hot cocoa sponsored by Long Grove Village Tavern and Long Grove Confectionery. Many retailers will have cocoa inspired treats for their customers while they shop and restaurants will have chocolate specials for their diners! (see website)
  • Ice Art Walk
    • Downtown Wheaton
    • Saturday, February 5th from 12 PM – 3 PM
    • Brave the cold for a fun day in Downtown Wheaton with the family to tour the custom-carved Ice Art Walk ice sculptures sponsored by and displayed outside sponsoring businesses.
  • Downers Grove Ice Festival
    • February 4th – 6th
    • “Enjoy a fun winter weekend downtown Downers Grove. Nearly 60 unique ice sculptures will line the streets for you to enjoy as you walk downtown Downers Grove! Watch large blocks of ice become art during the live Ice Carving demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday from 11am-3pm at the Main Street Train Station.”
  • Wauconda Winterfest 2022
    • Wauconda WinterFest is back for 2022 on February 12th & 13th. Held both on Bangs Lake and on land at Lindy’s Landing, with special events through the Wauconda Park District. Fun for all ages!
    • Events include Hockey Skills Competition, Scavenger Hunt and Hike, Burling Tournament, Free Skate on Lake, Kid activities, Soup Smackdown, Tent Takeout, and more!
  • Spring Valley Winterfest
    • Schaumburg
    • February 12th & 13th
    • “Experience and embrace the beauty of winter! This family event features snowshoeing, outdoor games, s’mores and cocoa around the fire, dogsled demonstrations by Adopt A Huskey, Inc., and more!”
    • Admission fee is $3/person or $12/family, purchased at the event.
  • Oak Lawn Children’s Museum Sensory Friendly Valentine’s Play Session
    • February 16th
    • “Join us for a Happy Hearts, Healthy Hearts Sensory Friendly Play Session for children with special needs and their families. Enjoy time at the museum with lowered lights and sounds. Therapist from a.c.e. therapies will be here to help families address everyday obstacles. Event will include themed sensory and motor skills activities and heart health and kindness interactive games and crafts. Come dressed in your favorite Valentine’s Day gear.”
    • Pre-register
  • Bartlett Winterfest
    • February 19th from 12-4
    • “Experience winter on the prairie. Adopt-A-Husky will be at the Bartlett Nature Center with teams of Siberian Huskies and sleds. Watch as they run a mile trail and learn about the history of dog sledding and the equipment they use. Other outdoor activities will be taking place weather permitting, including snow shoeing and snow painting. There will also be an Iditarod slideshow presentation and other indoor activities. To ensure a safe and fun environment, please leave your own dogs at home. This event is and requires no advanced registration.”
  • The Kids Table
      • “We have a full line-up of virtual cooking classes for kids, teens and families. With interactive instruction from our skilled instructors, young chefs get to chop, mix and roll their way to a different delicious dish in each class – with enough to share with the fam! Kids learn valuable culinary skills and new recipes, enjoy a fun hands-on activity, and are inspired to expand their taste buds to discover that “real food” can be really good.”
      • Keep an eye on their February sessions for some fun Valentine themed recipes!
  • Chitown Movies
      • Enjoy a romantic movie the old fashioned way!
      • This Pilsen drive in is showing rom com classics for a date night and family friendly films as well!
  • Bubbles at 900 N Michigan
    • Visit us anytime from 12 – 6 PM daily for drop-in art!
    • Week of 2/7: Valentine plant hangers
    • Week of 2/14: Marble painting trays
    • Week of 2/21: Mason jar aquariums
  • A Fairy Tale Ballet Valentine’s Day Camp
    • Rapunzel’s Wedding Day is the theme
    • 2/14 for 2-3 yr olds
    • 2/11 and 2/13 for 3-6 yr olds
  • National Eat Ice Cream For Breakfast Day is February 6th!
    • Check out your favorite creameries for special offerings that day or just to support their business and purchase a sweet treat!
    • Kimmer’s
      • Wheaton, St.Charles, Batavia
      • “It’s back! Our breakfast flavors will be in house for National Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast day on Saturday, February 5th! Our doors will open early, at 9am.
    • The Milk House Ice Cream
      • Pingree Grove
      • “Join us for a fun weekend of breakfast inspired ice creams…. Maple Blueberry Waffles, Cereal Milk, Magically Delicious, Peach Bellini Sorbet, Coffee & Donuts & a couple more surprises!”
  • Paint The Ice at Gallagher Way
    • February 20th from 3-5 PM (Public skate from 11-3)
    • “We will provide the paint, you bring the creativity!”



For The Parents (Date Night Ideas)



  • Scentcerely Yours
    • Geneva
    • Keep an eye out for their Valentine’s Day Special
    • This is also a fantastic place to visit with the kiddos! The kids and I loved creating our own scents for our candles!

  • Girl & The Goat Meal Kits
    • “Experience a meal kit adventure straight from the Goat restaurants to your home kitchen! With James Beard Award-winning chef Stephanie Izard as your sous chef, you’ll be guided through a flavorful, restaurant-quality meal featuring fresh, seasonal ingredients.”
    • Preorder and pick up in Chicago or select suburb locations.
  • Alinea Valentine’s Day Dinner To Go
    • Celebrate Valentine’s Day at home from the cities top, fine dining, restaurant.
    • Pick up your prepaid order in Chicago or various suburban pick up locations.
  • Puttshack
    • Oakbrook Mall
    • Upscale, tech infused, mini golf
  • Pinstripes
    • Oakbrook, Chicago
    • Upscale bowling and bocce
  • Immersive Van Gogh
    • A romantic date night idea if you haven’t made it to this exhibit yet!
  • The Forge Lemont
    • Valentine’s Weekend Globe Dining spots are running out!
    • Make your Valentine’s Day adventurous by exploring the ropes course towers, play laser tag, and / or a romantic jaunt around the ice rink!

Shop Chicago Local This Holiday Season

It is one of the goals of this website to constantly support our local

Chicagoland businesses! Perhaps you will be able to find some last minute

gift ideas or at least businesses to follow and order from in the future.

Every business listed below is one our family has supported and continues to do so on a

regular basis!


Edible Treats



  • RJK Productions
    • Downers Grove
    • Perfect gifts for teachers, christmas parties, neighbors, etc!
    • Hot cocoa bombs, coffee bombs, fun breakables, and more!


  • Rebecca’s Cakes By Design
    • Bartlett
    • It has become a new tradition to order “Paint & Eat” cookies for each holiday. It’s a dessert and craft in one!
    • On top of that she will be carrying:
      • DIY Holiday cookie kit
      • DIY Christmas Tree Cake Kit
      • Holiday cupcakes
    • Baked goods prepared in a nut free kitchen.


  • Olive + Emmental
    • A Holiday Wreath charcuterie board would be the perfect gift to your holiday gathering!


  • Moments Savored
    • These holiday treat tins are so adorable and the perfect stocking stuffer or gift to accompany a gift card!


Fun Packages




  • WE Events
    • Balloons fit for every occasion, with proceeds donated to a cause!
    • Not only can you order amazing balloon garlands and get fantastic event planning, but for the holidays make sure to download her FREE Holiday Around The World Coloring Sheet and her Santa letter template.
      • Take the Santa letter to visit one of her magical holiday displays to mail. If you choose the “express mail” option aka donate to our partner charity you are guaranteed a letter back from Santa himself! Click here for more info! (Receiving a letter back only is an option for a limited time!)


  • Dazzling Divas
    • Christmas Break is the perfect time to book a private spa party for your own kiddos or a whole group of friends!
    • Try out the “Deck The Glam Mansion” package!
      • Manicures
      • Hair sparkles
      • Makeup
      • Facials
      • Spa Headband
      • Xmas hair clip
      • Xmas craft
      • Hot cocoa & S’mores Bar
      • Write letters to the North Pole!








  • State of Play Kids
    • Nothing screams shop local more than gifts from State of Play! The perfect gift for the Midwestern family!




  • Makoshey
    • We adore this company for their girl positive clothing. The super soft, comfy, and inspirational clothing is a fan favorite in our household and the long sleeved tees and hoodies are perfect for winter.
    • Not to mention, what better gift than to commemorate historical idols? Choose from the many Heroic Women T-shirts!
    • Use code HELEN20 for a discount!


  • Colorful Creations
    • The holiday collection is too cute for words!
    • Hair bows, head bands, and necklaces with the cutest sparkles, characters, and fun colors!


  • Kido
    • The ultimate boutique to shop for the best in children’s clothing, books, and toys!
  • Zion & Co
    • We love our “Mini” jean jacket from this local baby and toddler boutique and can’t wait to wear it when Eleanor’s arm is cast free!


Crafts & Gifts




  • Ljacs + JLaur Explore
    • Open ended sensory play to enjoy each day of winter break!
    • These winter wonderland kits were a huge hit for my kiddos!


  • Fizzy Magic
    • These aren’t just your every day bath bombs people!
    • “Educational Bath Fizzies – Fun, Fizz & Learn!. Pure & Safe Ingredients with essential oils to calm kids before bedtime but best of all – each fizzy contains a surprise, clue to guess and fun fact to learn along with bedtime story relates to the surprise.”
    • The Holiday Limited Edition Box has holiday squishy surprises inside as well as a Light Up Tree Poop Hat!
    • Or purchase a gift card or monthly subscription. The perfect gift from grandparents, aunts, uncles, godparents, etc!
    • The perfect, non-candy, gift! Use in the tub or use in a sensory table!


  • B.Ash Crayons
    • Custom crayons from the west suburbs of Chicago! They make for adorable stocking stuffers, party favors, you name it!


Stacey M Design

  • “Welcome and thank you for visiting my shop! My mission is to empower children. I publish a series of guided journals designed to help kids feel more confident and valued. My collection of blank journals, spirals, note cards, birthday cards, and other products each feature illustrations of kids with a variety of skin tones, hair colors, hair styles, and abilities. Because kids see themselves in my artwork, the artwork makes kids smile and feel empowered.”
  • For roughly 2nd graders and up, the guided journals are absolutely amazing to encourage creative writing and self expression! My older two kiddos love them! My younger daughter enjoys drawing in the spiral notebook because the drawing on the front cover, “looks just like her!”


  • Brainy Day Box
    • These winter kits are perfect as a winter break boredom buster or holiday gift!
    • All kits come with ball of homemade (taste safe) playdough, snowman pieces, winter accessories, and stem challenge and learning activity cards.


  • Mama & OG
    • Always obsessed with the beautiful letter & number resin sets which make for wonderful gifts for your own children or family members!
    • What I didn’t know is that I would be even more obsessed with the resin hair clips! Beautifully paired with our holiday outfits!
    • Although the online shop is currently closed, you can still purchase from Bubbles Academy in the 900 shops!



  • Hopscotch City
    • Holiday Printable Pack for kids
    • Digital download only. Six festive printable activities for your kids to enjoy! Color, cut, lace & more.
    • Activities include:
      – Create a snowglobe scene
      – Color a nutcracker
      – Color & cut holiday cookies
      – Color, cut & lace an ugly sweater
      – Cut & string a DIY Garland
      – Write a letter to santa



  • Pop of Paper Co
    • Christmas Kid Decor Pop Box. This box includes:
      • Christmas themed felt garland
      • Honeycomb paper tree ornaments
      • Pom pom tree craft
      • Clothesline clip reindeer ornament craft
      • Snowman + snowflake decal craft
      • Paper chain advent calendar craft
      • Santa hats + candy canes


The Laboratory Collective

  • “Kids become a character in a mystery game solved using science and puzzles! Science kits delivered to your home.”



Experience Gifts



  • Kidsperience
    • Give the GIFT of EXPERIENCE today! Plus, support a mom who designed an APP to give better gifts! EASILY and AFFORDABLY gift Museum Memberships, Lessons, etc!


  • Jump parks, museums, childrens museums, zoos, art classes, cooking classes, music classes, and dance classes are all welcome gifts! Especially when parents do not want to accumulate more toys! Check out our favorite local experiences below!



Looking for Holiday activities this weekend or some yummy winter treats? Check out our previous posts!

How To Keep Your Kids Safe Near Garage Doors


Thank you to Intergreat Solutions for sponsoring this post


When was the last time you had your garage door inspected?

As a parent, one of the first things you probably do is to childproof your home. But most of us often neglect the garage door safety measures. You should treat the garage as a potential danger as the garage door is heavy and experiences a lot of tension.

Since children can be a little curious sometimes, you should know how to keep your kids safe near garage doors. And to guide you, you can follow these simple and doable garage door safety tips to ensure the safety of your precious children:

Inspect Auto-Reverse Mechanism

Today, garage doors have sensors to check if there are obstructions under the garage door. Once it detects something, it will automatically activate and reverse to prevent garage door injuries and damages on a property. As a parent, the sensors are your assurance for your children’s safety. After all, under the law, residential garage doors must have sensors in them. If you’re experiencing issues with your sensors, then you should contact a professional garage door repair service.


Position the Garage Door Opener in an Unreachable Height

Kids love to play all the time. With one look away, they can be playing with the remote buttons of the garage door opener without your knowledge. So, it is crucial to keep the garage door controller out of reach all the time.


Remove Clutter

Most garage owners make their garage space a storage area. If you have a kid, remove the unnecessary clutter to avoid accidents within the garage. Also, keep the tools, chemicals, and other sharp objects out of reach at all times.


Conduct Regular Inspection and Maintenance

When you have a well-maintained garage door, you are protecting your family from possible accidents. Since garage doors experience heavy strain every day, it is essential to check them and their parts regularly.  Moreover, your garage door requires maintenance, such as lubricating the moving parts at least every six months and cleaning the debris along the tracks. That way, you will prevent early damages or breakages on components or the whole garage door itself.


Educate Your Children

Part of the healthy growth of children is making them understand the dos and don’ts within the house. So, you can teach your kids as they grow up about the dangers of the garage door, and they should not play with the remote device or its other components. Also, teach them that it is not okay to run around the garage while the door is opening or closing. Then if possible, you should keep the toys of your children out of the garage. In this way, they won’t attempt to open the garage door without your knowledge.


Repair Broken Garage Doors Right Away

As a parent, you probably know the dangers of broken springs, unbalanced door movement, and snapped cables of the garage door. So, if you see signs of damage and need a service such as garage door spring repair, visit an online business directory to find one next to you. A garage door technician can professionally repair and replace broken parts to keep your family safe from the falling risk of the garage door. Moreover, an expert technician can advise on how to keep your kids safe near garage doors.

Chicago Foam Company Review



Hey! Did you see on the gram that my laundry machine overflowed and flooded the backyard?!



JK! That was just an impromptu foam party / kiddie rave from Chicago Foam Company!


Chicago Foam Company is the latest, pandemic friendly, party feature to hit Chicagoland! Once I started seeing posts circulate on social media, I just couldn’t resist contacting them and requesting to review their experience. Although I wish I had discovered them earlier in the summer, Wednesdays 80 degree day was perfect to take a break from e-learning and head to the backyard for a foamy surprise!

Although this is an awesome feature to accompany any block party, birthday party, etc., we decided to use their services for some family fun in the backyard. Everything lately has just been so stressful and a backyard of foam was just what the doctor ordered!

So how does it all work?

Per their website:

  1. We bring everything but the water—including sound system, beach balls (for safety reasons, you’ll blow them up yourself), and .75 horsepower Foam Cannon. (Vroom vroom!)

  2. We hook up to your water source and electrical outlet. (We bring more than 50 feet of hose and extension cords.)

  3. You and your guests have a blast in the foam.

  4. We clean and pack everything up. We can leave the foam out if you like (most people want to keep it) and it will typically last for another 10-15 minutes of fun.



I can attest that it really is just as simple as that! We booked, they arrived, hooked up to our hose and outlet in our backyard, and away we went! The kids danced and played in the foam to some kid friendly tunes and enjoyed one of the final days of summer. Once our time was up, the company left and the foam stayed around for a little while longer for the kids to play in before our backyard looked exactly the same as before he arrived.

Does a party get any better than that? The kids had a blast, no clean up on my part, and memories to last a decade.

Although the kids are pictured in their swimsuits, my sister in law and I joined in on the fun fully clothed. I would have expected to come out soaked but my clothes were really just a little damp. So I am heavily considering using their services again for a halloween party in the beginning of October. Yes, the temps will be cooler but, it’s foam! The foam itself won’t be cold and it really barely clings to you so the kids won’t be shivering like they just got out of a pool. And with their new glow foam addition, I can’t imagine a more fun way to celebrate Halloween than a night time foam party!

Not to peer pressure you or anything, but nothing is cooler than a mom who let their kids ditch last period to go to a backyard rave. Just sayin. 😉


P.S. You’re The Best Kids Cards

I am sure we have all asked our children to prepare cards for family members and friends birthdays in order to provide them a small role in being generous to other people and to show gratitude to friends and family.

Depending on age and artistic ability, the end result will vary. I know with my own children, they struggle at this stage with doing more than a small picture and writing their name. And although I know family and friends are grateful for anything they make, I still always felt like I had to add more so that the recipient would understand the reason we were sending the card. By adding additional wording or helping them decorate I felt like I was taking the project out of their hands a little.

I discovered the business, P.S. You’re The Best just a few weeks ago and I couldn’t help but think, “What a wonderful solution!” The kids love to color so they really enjoy coloring in the black & white cards. They find the joke that is included with each card hilarious, and there is still ample space for them to add their own pictures and signatures. My initial thought was that this would be perfect for birthdays and special occasions for family members but considering the state of the world today and our inability to visit friends and family… what a fantastic opportunity to reach out to loved ones “just because” and let them know we are thinking of them. Not only that, but the line of healthcare hero cards enabled us to begin a project of decorating cards for nurses working in COVID-19 units to be dispersed along with a food delivery coordinated by the Moms of the Western Suburbs Facebook group.



There are a few charity opportunities around that allow children to work alongside their parents for a good cause, but they aren’t in great abundance. Or not feasible for everyone. Nowadays these opportunities will be even more slight unfortunately. But a project like the healthcare hero cards was the most perfect way for them to contribute to a good cause and to begin a conversation about why we are supporting healthcare workers and why we should be grateful for all of their hard work. I would encourage all families to have these conversations and purchase some cards to deliver to their local hospitals!

The owner of P.S. You’re The Best, Amanda Hamblin was gracious enough to respond to some interview questions and let the WSWDTC family discover more about this local mom and her local business!


Q. So what is the WHY behind P.S. You’re The Best and when did you launch?


A. “I have always wanted to start my own business. I have had many ideas over the past several years, but non of them really stuck with me. I started doing crafts and projects with my toddler and initially thought I would start documenting our days playing with play dough and making sun catchers. Then one day, about 9 months ago, I forgot to have my daughter make a birthday card for her grandma’s birthday.  I was running around trying to find crayons, paper, stickers, envelopes and everything else to make this thoughtful handmade card. Then to top it off I didn’t have any stamps to get it in the mail, and ideally it should have been in the mail yesterday. 

At the same time one of my best friends sent me a card in the mail. It wasn’t a birthday card or a Christmas card. It was a just because card. My family and I had just moved away from home, and she must have known how much I was missing everyone. When I received that card in the mail it made me smile, cry, feel warm, appreciated, missed, thought of and noticed. It’s crazy how a card can elicit so much emotion. To think she thought of me and took the time to get a card, sit down and write a long thoughtful note felt like getting a warm hug from my best friend. It was exactly what I needed. 
These two stories paired together made me realize sending mail isn’t the easiest thing to do. It is so much easier to send a text, call, or leave a voicemail. That’s when I thought, ‘How can I make it easily accessible for kids and families to stay connected in a way that has been lost? A way that connects people on a different level and portrays something deeper than a text.’ “

Q. I see that there is a monthly subscription service, how does it all work?

A.PS You’re the Best offers two different options! In both options kids get to connect to the special people in their life by creating something unique and sending it via snail mail.” 

Monthly Subscription Box
  • Each month kids get a box packed full of Cards, Envelopes and Stamps to create and send to the special people in their life. The box also includes different activities the kids get to do and create. Each box has a monthly theme that goes with some of the fun silly days that are celebrated in the month.
  • It is a monthly service. You are charged each month for the next box. You can sign up for the subscription so it automatically gets renewed each month or choose to give it as a gift and just receive one month.
Card Packs
  • These are popular with grandparents and families that just want to send cards, but not subscribe to the whole box full of activities.
  • The card packs come with cards, envelopes and stamps so the cards can be sent out asap!
  • Card packs start with 5 cards and go up to infinity!


Q. Tell me a little about your background and your connection to Illinois.


A.I am from Alton, IL, right across the river from St. Louis, MO. We moved to the burbs about 2 years ago, 3 weeks after my littlest was born. I am married to my main man! We will celebrate 11 years married in June. We have two little girls. EJ is my sweet, princess loving, ninja girl who is almost 4. Penny is my little play buddy and Frozen lovin almost 2 year old. I am a teacher who stopped teaching in the classroom when my first was born. Now I teach online in the mornings along side PS You’re the Best.”


Q. This is a question we ask all of our guests (Well, Congratulations! You are the first guest!) What are your favorite things to do with kids in the Chicagoland area?!


A. “We haven’t lived in the Chicago area too long, but we do enjoy all the parks in the area. We are always trying to find a new Forest Preserve or someplace to go walking and hiking. In the summer you will find us at Cyprus Cove all day everyday! Colonial Cafe is our favorite place to grab dinner and we also really like walking around downtown Naperville when it is nice out.”


Q. Last question, what is the main thing you would like to impart about your business?


A. “Handmade cards are more than just a simple note (though a simple note is always special). Handmade cards, especially when made by kids, reflect time, love, creativity and thoughtfulness. These are values that can’t be taught, but experienced and shown through small acts of kindness. Now parents can rest well knowing that a box of cards, and all the supplies needed to create and mail, will be sent to their door step monthly.

Here is some food for thought, cards suit every occasion and can be gifted to anyone. “