Browsing Category


Teen, Tween, Volunteering

Cookie Knows! 2020 New Year’s Resolutions

It’s not just a new year, it’s a new decade! This is a great time for teens to think about forming new routines and habits and trying new things. Here are five  New Year’s resolution to share with your children.

  1. I’ll watch more live theater. With the Teen Arts Pass, teens can experience live arts performances around Chicago for just $5. There’s even an app for that!
  2. I’ll tell someone if I’m experiencing persistent sadness and loss of interest in friends and activities. And I’ll encourage my friends to get help if they need it. NAMI Chicago provides support, information, and resources through their hotline: 312.563.0445. 
  3. I’ll find a new way to incorporate exercise and outdoor adventure. You can start with snowtrekking at Northerly Island!
  4. I’ll help my community by volunteering for local aid organizations. Thrillist has an excellent roundup of local volunteer opportunities. Be sure to check for any age restrictions. Most organizations allow minors to volunteer as long as an adult is present.
  5. I’ll eat more healthy fruits and vegetables. Several Chicago farmers markets operate year round including  Green City Market, Logan Square Farmers Market and the 61st Street Market.
Camps and Classes, Teen, Tween

Winter Break Camps and Activities for Tweens and Teens

Winter Break is a great time to follow an existing passion or learn a new skill! Check out these interesting winter break camps and activities for tweens and teens in Chicago.

The Second City
Work on improv skills, stand up, clowning or learn to make an improvised movie.
Great for kids and teens age 6-18.

The Chopping Block
Hands-on cooking classes where teens work on simple but sophisticated recipes that they can recreate at home.
Great for tweens and teens age 12-16.

During day off camps, kids build mobile games, create robot obstacle courses, 3D print and more at the Codeverse studios in Lincoln Park.
Great for kids and tweens age 6-13.

JASC Taiko Drumming
Not exactly during winter break but this is too cool to leave out! Learn the art of authentic Japansese Taiko drumming during this week long class.
Great for kids and adults age 8+.

REI Moonlight Winter Hike 
This is a guided winter hike through Indiana Dunes National Park.
Great for teens and adults age 14+.

Teen, Volunteering

Fall 2019 Volunteer Opportunities

Is your teen looking for ways to give back this holiday season?  Check out these options for tried-and-true volunteer faves and a few that you might not have seen before! 

1. Be a Part of the Light 2019
Join My Block, My Hood, My City in decorating 8 miles of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive with holiday lights and decorations. They need lots of volunteers that want to spread holiday cheer! Sign up here.

2. Working Bikes
Working Bikes gives donated bicycles new life by providing transportation to people in homeless transition, refugee resettlement, and youth empowerment programs in our own community. They also donate thousands of bikes each year to global partners. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities in their warehouse. No mechanical experience necessary!

3.Free Geek Chicago
FreeGeek Chicago is a not-for-profit community organization that recycles used computers and parts to provide functional computers, education, internet access and job skills training to those who want them. Volunteers participate in “Open Build” times which provide an excellent opportunity to get tons of hands-on experience with a wide variety of computer hardware and to learn first-hand the challenges and satisfaction of building a working system.

4. Cradles to Crayons
Cradles to Crayons helps to provide babies and children living in low-income and homeless situations the essential items they need to thrive through donations and community support. Volunteer at their Giving Factory and help sort, quality check, and pack donated items for distribution. 

5. Shedd Aquarium
This one is a bit more of a commitment but it sounds really cool. Be an exhibit interpreter and connect with guests, share animal stories, and inspire conservation! Tweens as young as 12 can participate (with an adult).