Moms in the Mix


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.


Blowing My Kids’ Minds, Brick By Brick
By Kate Rockwood
“When can we come back to the splashy ball museum?” my nearly 4-year-old asks, at the end of each visit, before the Museum of Science and Industry is even out of our review mirror. She and her younger brother gave the mammoth museum such a cutesy name because of their favorite room inside: The Idea Factory features a series of kid-height waterways, bright plastic balls and pneumatic tubes. They can—and do—spend hours moving balls along the water and overhead.

But when my kids began a serious building phase earlier this month, I kicked myself for not distracting them away from splashy balls and toward the museum’s special Lego exhibit instead. When I heard that the Brick by Brick exhibit had been extended through Sept. 4, I knew we wouldn’t miss our chance again and signed us up for tickets. (This exhibit requires timed ticket entrance.)

Unlike The Idea Factory, which tends to attract a hip-height crowd, the Brick by Brick exhibit was bustling with building fans of all ages (yes, even adults were unabashed about building elaborate towers and ambitious structures). My kids ogled the 60-foot-long Golden Gate bridge replica, the scaled-down Roman Colosseum, the fairy castles and Ferris wheel, all made entirely from Legos. But the real highlights were the hands-on areas.

They built cars to race down an inclined ramp, and tight-roped across life-sized I-beams meant to demonstrate construction strength. We tried as a family to build a foam tower that could withstand a simulated earthquake (we failed—to my preschooler’s peals of laughter—four times). And when my 2-year-old found a corner literally covered in Lego bases and realized he could build directly on the walls, well, his jaw dropped for a solid 10 minutes.

Though we have a giant bin of Legos at home, I realized we’d only seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to brick building. The MSI’s exhibit doesn’t only show off the engineering and architecture that’s possible with a tiny piece of plastic—it has an abundance of every size, shape, color and accessory imaginable, so kids can dig in themselves. When I loaded the kids back into the car, after indulging them with a super-long visit and a brisk walk past the Lego-filled gift shop, my almost 4-year-old grinned up at me and gave the visit her highest seal of approval by asking, “When can we come back to the Lego museum?”

Kate Rockwood is a journalist, mother and diehard Chicagoan.


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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
March is my birthday month. Which, mind you, is quite different than saying, “My birthday is in March.” My birthday is March 9, but I unabashedly reserve the right to celebrate, well, myself for the duration of the third month of the year, every year.
This might seem strange, especially considering I’m turning 35—which is still relatively young, at least in my view, but some would say it’s old enough to begin shying away from acknowledging my birthday at all. Which I vehemently pooh-pooh.

Here’s how I figure: as busy mothers, wives, girlfriends, friends, employees and a million other things, it’s absolutely beyond 100 percent perfectly acceptable to pat ourselves on the back for being alive and doing a good job of it.

There are days I climb into bed and feel a brief sense of awe at everything that took place that day. The morning dash to get my 7-year-old son off to school, lunch packed, backpack zipped, shoes on. The 9-to-5 workday, which pretty much always sees its own set of challenges, successes and somewhere in-betweens. The evening routine of dinner, soccer practice, homework, playtime and bed. Then whatever time I can squeeze in for fun stuff, like a book or a movie, or boring stuff, like cleaning or paying bills. I mean, sheesh! The days are these little tornados that come and go and eventually, comprise the passage of time.

There’s Mother’s Day to feel appreciated, it’s true. But heck, nearly half of the female population falls under that category. So yeah, when the annual opportunity comes up to celebrate me and only me, I’m gonna go right ahead and take it.

And you should, too. Book a spa day by yourself or with friends. Force your significant other, I mean politely request, a night out together or dinner at your favorite restaurant. Get your nails done, and when they start to chip and look crappy, get them done again. Immediately. Keep a promise to yourself to get up early to work out certain days of the week.

Whatever it is that makes you happy, do those things during your birthday month. Because ladies, you rock.

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As a mom, I try to promote female narratives as often as possible. As an avid reader, I'm borderline obsessed with instituting family-wide reading times on a daily basis. (If I can squeeze in more than one a day? Golden. I mean, Zadie Smith's latest isn't exact going to finish [...]
Wed, Mar 29, 2017
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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... [...]
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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
Storytelling is an art form older than writing and still engages children and adults in a way only stories can. After story time, enjoy a unique opportunity to explore... [...]
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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... [...]
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An action packed week full of games, superhero training, spectacular science, amazing art and more. Come dressed as a favorite hero or villain or craft your own... [...]
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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