AUTHOR: MM TITLE: 4th of July Bento Weekend DATE: 7/07/2008 07:15:00 AM ----- BODY: The weather in Chicago couldn't have been better for the 4th of July weekend. We took advantage of it and headed around town with the kids. Wanting to make sure we ate well and didn't spend a fortune on food downtown, I packed lunches for all 4 us the three days (Fri, Sat and Sun). (the majority of the pictures I took of said lunches are on hubby's camera so I'll have to add them later) Day 1: the 4th of July My older son's favorite playground is the "green playground" down at Millenium Park and we wanted to get out of the neighborhood and explore a bit so we headed downtown. Traffic was easy, my husband being the urban landscape creature that he is knew exactly where to park without fighting parking garage madness and off we went on our first adventure. From the "green park," we headed over to Chicago's wonder, Millenium Park. Crossing the bridge over Columbus Drive, we caught a glimpse of the annual Taste of Chicago--and the millions of people streaming through the tent lined streets. Without the kids we may have ventured over but honestly, it looked too uncomfortable to get our stroller through so we passed and found a spot on the grass under the bandshell. Great weather, great lunches, good people watching. Couldn't have asked for a better Fourth. Day 2: Off to the lakefront we went. I have to admit, it's one of Chicago's prettiest features. During the summer, miles of beaches and parks come alive with people playing soccer, golf, beach volleyball (yes, in Chicago!) and kids running about into Lake Michigan. This year, we really lucked out with an actual spring that lasted more than a week and my kids are old enough to be interested in watching boats and staring at the water.

My boys
Again, another day of packed lunches eaten on the grass. After lunch, we headed over to a local street fair. There are at least one every weekend and they are usually pretty inexpensive and kid-friendly if you go early. A lot of local bands play at these affairs and it's a great way to catch up with friends who live in other parts of the City since the fairs are very neighborhood-centric.
Another day out in the sun with the family--can't believe the weekend's almost over! Day 3: Off to the Zoo we go! The Lincoln Park Zoo here in Chicago is one of the few FREE zoos left in the country. It's at the Lakefront, there's usually parking somewhere in the neighborhood and our kids can't get enough of it. The polar bears were actually out this time around doing their synchronized swimming. Mister couldn't get enough--he was entralled. I think he's found his favorite exhibit which suits me just fine--I could spend all day watching them too. Our lunches:
Mister's lunch Bub's lunch Parental lunch part 1
Parental lunch part 2
Contents of the kids' lunches: sliced hotdog, carrot sticks, mango chunks, jelly treat, ginger biscuits, ketchup.
Contents of the shared parental lunch: hotdogs, carrot sticks, the last of the mango salsa, hard boiled eggs, dill dip, stir fried veggies (from Whole Foods) with a dash of soy sauce.
After the zoo, we headed home for quick naps and then off to a birthday party where we got to catch up with a lot of our old neighbors. I don't think we've been so busy on a three-day weekend in such a long time and we all ate well, played well and slept well so in the end, it was well worth the timing and effort to make sure we got out of the house each day.

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-------- AUTHOR: MM TITLE: 4th of July Bento Weekend DATE: 7/07/2008 07:15:00 AM ----- BODY: The weather in Chicago couldn't have been better for the 4th of July weekend. We took advantage of it and headed around town with the kids. Wanting to make sure we ate well and didn't spend a fortune on food downtown, I packed lunches for all 4 us the three days (Fri, Sat and Sun). (the majority of the pictures I took of said lunches are on hubby's camera so I'll have to add them later) Day 1: the 4th of July My older son's favorite playground is the "green playground" down at Millenium Park and we wanted to get out of the neighborhood and explore a bit so we headed downtown. Traffic was easy, my husband being the urban landscape creature that he is knew exactly where to park without fighting parking garage madness and off we went on our first adventure. From the "green park," we headed over to Chicago's wonder, Millenium Park. Crossing the bridge over Columbus Drive, we caught a glimpse of the annual Taste of Chicago--and the millions of people streaming through the tent lined streets. Without the kids we may have ventured over but honestly, it looked too uncomfortable to get our stroller through so we passed and found a spot on the grass under the bandshell. Great weather, great lunches, good people watching. Couldn't have asked for a better Fourth. Day 2: Off to the lakefront we went. I have to admit, it's one of Chicago's prettiest features. During the summer, miles of beaches and parks come alive with people playing soccer, golf, beach volleyball (yes, in Chicago!) and kids running about into Lake Michigan. This year, we really lucked out with an actual spring that lasted more than a week and my kids are old enough to be interested in watching boats and staring at the water.

My boys
Again, another day of packed lunches eaten on the grass. After lunch, we headed over to a local street fair. There are at least one every weekend and they are usually pretty inexpensive and kid-friendly if you go early. A lot of local bands play at these affairs and it's a great way to catch up with friends who live in other parts of the City since the fairs are very neighborhood-centric.
Another day out in the sun with the family--can't believe the weekend's almost over! Day 3: Off to the Zoo we go! The Lincoln Park Zoo here in Chicago is one of the few FREE zoos left in the country. It's at the Lakefront, there's usually parking somewhere in the neighborhood and our kids can't get enough of it. The polar bears were actually out this time around doing their synchronized swimming. Mister couldn't get enough--he was entralled. I think he's found his favorite exhibit which suits me just fine--I could spend all day watching them too. Our lunches:
Mister's lunch Bub's lunch Parental lunch part 1
Parental lunch part 2
Contents of the kids' lunches: sliced hotdog, carrot sticks, mango chunks, jelly treat, ginger biscuits, ketchup.
Contents of the shared parental lunch: hotdogs, carrot sticks, the last of the mango salsa, hard boiled eggs, dill dip, stir fried veggies (from Whole Foods) with a dash of soy sauce.
After the zoo, we headed home for quick naps and then off to a birthday party where we got to catch up with a lot of our old neighbors. I don't think we've been so busy on a three-day weekend in such a long time and we all ate well, played well and slept well so in the end, it was well worth the timing and effort to make sure we got out of the house each day.

Labels: , , , ,

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