Responsibilities as an adult, especially around this time of year, can feel like the weight of the world on your shoulders. Remember when you were a kid and your biggest responsibility was feeding Hubert the goldfish? Or remembering to flush (some never successfully graduate from this stage)? Here are five ways to act like a kid and tell stress and responsibilities to take a temporary hike.
Play all day.
The sheer joy of discovering a new toy or game to play with is unrivaled when you are a child. You can’t wait to get it out of the box, ripping it open and discarding directions immediately, just diving in and indulging in the thrill. (I almost get the same thrill when clothes that I have ordered arrive on my doorstep, but I digress).
As an adult, one way that we can act like a kid is to simply play. Play for adults can be forced since there are always distractions at home- laundry to do, bills to pay- so find somewhere else to play. If you are so jaded that Candyland doesn’t even light a fire within, it is time to step up your game. Pun intended.
The Chicago Toy and Game Fair is North America’s largest toy and game fair and will have over 125 interactive exhibits. Some time tested favorites like Rummikub last year- I met the inventor!) will be there in addition to sneak peeks at some of the hottest holiday toys before they hit the shelves.
If you need an adult break, you can hit up the Beer Garden for a brew and brouhaha. The Beer Garden will have the most entertaining grown up games, including the latest from the Exploding Kittens team. I am secretly hoping that they debut their new game “You’ve Got Crabs” because it sounds positively hilarious. PS- I get a big chunk of my holiday shopping done at the fair- some vendors even have discounts, so I buy birthday presents for my kids’ friends in bulk as well.
CHITAG Fair Info:
Location: Navy Pier (600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago)
Dates and Hours: November 23rd 10am-6pm and November 24th 10am-5pm
Cost: $14 for adults and $7 for children, available here. Get 50% off each ticket when you use the promo code CHITAG50!
Have a tea party.
My 5-year-old asks to host a tea party every week or so. We roll out the beat-up Minnie Mouse tea cart while she sloshes water all over the kitchen and manages to scatter cookie crumbs to all surfaces. I love these times with her, but it would be nice to get a break and let someone else do the work (and cleanup).
The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party hits Chicago for its fifth season December 7-29th at the Chicago Children’s Theatre, The Station located in the West Loop. It is a combo stage production and tea party which gives antsy kids (and adults) an alternative to traditional theater. The show lasts less than an hour and consists of 3-D puppetry enhanced by multi-talented actors dressed in period style.
Immediately following the performance, guests are invited to the Victorian-style dining hall where places are set with hot cocoa, cookies and activities and allow parents to join in and act like a kid. I fully intend on dressing to the nines (elbow-length gloves and all) and popping my pinky all in the name of a fancy tea party.
Play dress up.
Listen, you are NEVER too old to play dress up. Even if fashion freaks you out, it can definitely be FUN when you have someone on your side who knows what will look good on you.
If you can afford a personal stylist, go for it. They can help you with a closet clean out by forcing you to get rid of those items you are clinging to for nostalgia…like those Z Cavaricci jeans. Stylists can spot holes in your wardrobe that will magically pull multiple looks together. Or, you can hire them to shop for you. Many stylists will go to their fave boutiques/stores and pull styles in your size they think will work. Some shop and bring the looks to you.
The cost depends on a few factors and some stylist charge strictly by the hour, while others will sell you a package that accomplishes your sartorial goals. My friend Katie Schuppler has been in the styling business for years, and works both ends of the price spectrum when it comes to items to purchase. Check her out here.
If you can’t afford a personal stylist, head to a boutique that hires knowledgeable sales assistants. Not nosy ones, or pushy ones, but knowledgeable ones that lend a hand. My least favorite store to go into is White House Black Market because their staff is ON TOP of me the minute I walk in the door.
I have had luck with Evereve– they even have Goldfish crackers and a play space for your kids while you shop. Some cute boutiques in my area with stylish, reasonably priced items are gigi BOTTEGA, Apricot Lane, Payton Rose and Share/Shack (which is a combo home goods and fashion store). Each of these stores have multiple items under $100, so you can walk out of the store with a few things and not go broke! I act like a kid in a candy store in these boutiques- so much joy in trying new looks.
Major tip- communicate with the sales associates at the store. Let them know how you like to shop- if you need help, if you want to be left alone, if you are looking for something specific, if you have no clue.
Plan a play date.
Oh play dates. Remember when your mom organized your social calendar and you had built in friends that magically appeared on your doorstep? Maintaining adult friendships is difficult, especially when kids are thrown in the mix. So why not act like a kid and plan a play date for your friends?
This holiday season, a few friends and I are planning a holiday pub crawl aptly entitled “Sleigh All Day.” We are raising funds for our elementary school while organizing the biggest holiday play date our town has seen. The attire? Like the holidays threw up on you. I am talking about all-out holiday cheer for the whole village to hear. Like these Tipsy Elves suits.
Here are some tips for planning your play date aka bar crawl:
- Have a theme. Why are you hosting this play date? Think of some signifying attire or accessories to create a cohesive group.
- Start early. Bars are less crowded before 9pm and more likely to accommodate your crew. Better yet, start at a bar for dinner to get a solid base.
- Pick 4-6 bars in close proximity (or organize mass transit like a trolley).
- TELL the bars you will be coming. See if you can organize a drink special for your group at each location.
- Get a good idea of how many people will be on the crawl. You can have an evite with RSVPs or sell tickets, but not openly advertising your event will help keep things under control.
- Create a creative hashtag so you can all see ALL the photos.
- Have a stop or two with food. Or order some pizzas to a bar. Something to soak it all up.
- Aim to have at least one, at most two drinks per bar.
- Take a bathroom selfie. Just because. You don’t have to share it.
Cheers to being able to act like a kid this holiday season and make the most of the magic!