Moms in the Mix

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Welcome to MOMS in the MIX presented by
The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago

Welcome to MOMS in the MIX, a Virtual VIP Insider Playgroup devoted to Chicago Moms featuring: special outings and VIP opportunities at The Museum of Science and Industry and other Chicago attractions for kids, the latest mommy news and parenting tips, Monthly Mom Blogs, best kid friendly places to eat and play, and much more.

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‘Where the Wild Things Are’ tames and delights children and parents alike
By Jeni Williams
Your kids might not be wearing a wolf suit during their visit to The Museum of Science and Industry, as Max does in Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are. But once they step inside a special exhibit named after Sendak’s best-selling book, they’ll feel as if they’re on an adventure just the same.

Two of the book’s most famous lines—“Oh, please don’t go! We’ll eat you up, we love you so!”—are painted above a model depicting Max in his “private boat” as he prepares to leave the place where he reigned as king over all wild things.

A wooden cutout of a boat sits in front of a wall where its mast is projected against the night sky, letting kids pretend they are the ones setting sail for a great adventure. And walls painted with life-size versions of Max and the Wild Things, flying from one tree branch to the next, are perfect for child-size reenactments.

Just as wonderful as the careful attention to detail around Where the Wild Things Are in this exhibit are examples of other works from Sendak’s prolific career, such as artwork from Little Bear, a children’s book series written by Else Holmelund Minarik and illustrated by Sendak. You’ll also find drawings of costumes and sets Sendak created for the theater and opera in addition to the 100 picture books he illustrated.

Most of the 50 pieces showcased in this exhibit, displayed in two hallways on the museum’s main floor, are from private collections. For my 9- and 7-year-old girls, Kayley and Lily, who both love art, the pencil drawings of favorite storybook characters and the stories of how Sendak became a children’s author and illustrator held their interest completely.

My girls loved the idea of Sendak drawing his first illustrations on the cardboard inserts from the shirts his father tailored or finding inspiration from events such as the Lindbergh baby kidnapping. They were fascinated by the series of “MacBeth” drawings Sendak created for a 10th-grade project, for which he received an A+—and, especially, in knowing that he gave the project to his teacher as a gift afterward. And they leaned in close to get a good look at Sendak’s drawings of Mickey Mouse, one of his favorite cartoon characters growing up.

The story of Sendak’s professional also is curiously wonderful. One of Sendak’s first jobs was as a window dresser for FAO Schwarz, where his work caught the eye of children’s book editor Ursula LeGuin. She hired him as a children’s book illustrator and launched his six-decade career.

“Where the Wild Things Are: The Works of Maurice Sendak” is on display through Feb. 20 at the Museum of Science and Industry. Admission for this exhibit is included with museum admission. You might follow it up with a showing of “Great White Shark” on Omnimax—and get a close-up view of real live wild things in their natural habitat.

Jeni Williams is a mom of two girls and one boy. They share their happy home with two cats and two dogs.

To see all the Chicago Parent Blogs, click here.


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Mom to one, Katie is a marketing copywriter by day, worker-outer whenever possible and valiant lover of top 40 hits.

Feeling the love on Valentine’s Day and beyond
By Katie Niekerk


When I was a kid, Valentine’s Day was one of my favorite holidays. (That has changed in the intervening decades.) Receiving cards from classmates, making my own by hand, all the warm and fuzzies on the day itself—what wasn’t to love about a day for love?

Though it might no longer make my “favorite holiday” list, St. Valentine still affords me the opportunity to relive the day through my 7-year-old son. This weekend, he asked, “Mom, are we making valentines for my class again this year?” I said that I’d like to, if he’s up for it. He agreed. “Everyone gives everyone a valentine at school,” he said.

In the current cultural climate, I couldn’t help but consider the wonderful simplicity of that. Everyone gives everyone a valentine. Everyone feels deserving of love.

Of course, it’s one thing to communicate someone else’s worth during a 24-hour period dedicated to being nice. The real question is, how does that extend beyond? Beyond Valentine’s Day, beyond National Random Acts of Kindness Day (which, by the way, falls on Feb. 17)?  

While pondering this, I decided to create an advent calendar of sorts for Valentine’s Day. But instead of simply counting down, each day will bring an act of love for someone else. Paying for a Starbucks order for someone behind me in line. Baking cookies to put out in the kitchen at work. Actually delivering the compliments I usually keep to myself.

There are all sorts of ways for kids to get in on the kindness, too. Have your little ones make cards for family members or friends to send in the mail for an unexpected pick-me-up. Leave small, anonymous gifts on neighbors’ doorsteps, from a little basket of candy to a gift card for a restaurant you know they like.

I know it’s cliché, but it’s so important now: a little kindness goes a long way. Take February as a chance to mine the power of love—for yourself, those close to you and strangers alike.

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March is Youth Art Month, a month set aside to promote art and art education. Lake County is full of places for kids to get creative and create art, but you don't have to stick to the kids classes to see art, especially this month! Check out all the places [...]
Thu, Feb 23, 2017
Source: Moms In The Mix – News

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This interactive exhibit explores what life is like for children in China. Kids will celebrate the annual holiday, National Teachers' Day, while learning to write... [...]
Source: Moms In the Mix – Events
Visitors will learn the basics about Da Vinci and the Renaissance era; children will add their own ideas and voices to the exhibit. They can explore elements of... [...]
Source: Moms In the Mix – Events
An original exhibit inviting young imaginations to create their own kingdom in a one-of-a-kind castle-themed play space. Kids hold the power to play in a castle... [...]
Source: Moms In the Mix – Events
The outdoor adventure includes snowshoeing, geocaching, log climbing, or animal tracking, depending on weather conditions. Hot chocolate and trail mix provided. [...]
Source: Moms In the Mix – Events
The outdoor adventure includes snowshoeing, geocaching, log climbing, or animal tracking, depending on weather conditions. Hot chocolate and trail mix provided. [...]
Source: Moms In the Mix – Events

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See where the power of play can take you at the Museum of Science and Industry’s newest exhibit, Brick by Brick! Explore architectural marvels—all rendered in LEGO bricks—like the Roman Colosseum, the Golden Gate Bridge, the International Space Station, and more. This hands-on look at engineering and architecture also challenges you to put your own brick creations to the test under challenging conditions. For more information, visit msichicago.org.