Summer Reading Ideas + Giveaways!

During the summer, reading can often take a backseat to more adventurous play. Since our Chicago Museums offer a number of free days, I built a loose schedule of sorts to keep my kids on track and engaged in selecting FREE books from the library that go along with museum themes. I even toss a movie night in once a week!

For example, last week the Field Museum hosted a free day on Friday. Here is what our Week of Dino looked like:

Monday– We read How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night by Jane Yolen (there are a bunch in this series- all adorable).

Tuesday– We took our toy dinosaurs out into the yard and created a moat for them to play in.

Wednesday– At night, we watched Night at the Museum (rated PG; my 4 year old was just old enough to enjoy it without being terrified).

Thursday– We read a dino book with sound effects similar to this one– Charlotte thought she was hilarious, roaring along with them!

Friday– Our trip to the Field Museum! By this time, the kids were SO excited to meet Sue the T. Rex that they could barely sit still. The museum was incredibly crowded with field trippers and big groups, so we checked out Sue then made a beeline for the Crown Family Play Lab. It had an exhibit where kids could learn about anything from picking corn and storing in a pueblo home to animals of the forest to dinosaur shapes.

TIP: The Crown Family Play Lab at the Field Museum is the perfect place for little ones age 2-6, and all big groups must pre-register to visit (which means it is pretty much just families in there). 

TIP: For the Field Museum- don’t enter through the main “South” entrance- walk around to the “East” entrance instead. It is stroller-friendly and a lot less crowded!

Want more museum free days? Check out this post from the Chicago Loop Macaroni Kid site! You can also win a pack of 4 tickets to the Shedd…read on…

Meatheads, a fast-casual family restaurant in the Chicagoland area, is sponsoring a program called #VoraciousReaders in order to prevent summer “brain drain” and keep reading. They are hosting a slew of fun-filled FREE events at all of their locations, and reward kids who read 5 books over the summer with a Lil’ Meathead burger. Meatheads is my kids FAVORITE place to eat, and it is top of my list because of both the food AND staff. I visit the Northbrook location quite often, today in fact! The staff got a high chair for me, brought our food out, split milkshakes for my kids, gave us an extra apple sauce, and stopped by the table to see how were were doing. It is seriously the only place I feel welcome with my two rambunctious kiddos, and the fact that their food is outstanding doesn’t hurt!

In addition to this, they are also giving away 4 passes to the Shedd Aquarium AND a $50 Meatheads gift card! In order to enter, post a picture of your favorite children’s book on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest using the hashtag #VoraciousReaders between 6/1/2015 – 8/1/2015. They will draw 6 entries to win this awesome Shedd + Meatheads prize pack! For more info, check out their Community Programs page here.

Want to win a $25 gift card to Meatheads? Simply comment on this blog post with your favorite children’s book, and I will pick a winner on June 15th! Happy summer and keep on reading!

Here is the fine print: Giveaway ends June 15th, 2015 at 11:59 PM CST. Contest open to Residents of the US only. Winners will be selected randomly via The winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. No purchase necessary. Thank you to Meatheads for providing the giveaway!


1 Comment

  1. July 9, 2015 / 6:09 pm

    A little behind on emails, so just saw this. Thanks for the Mac Kid shout out! 🙂