Explore and Much More

Poor second children.

With my first born I took tons of classes at Wiggle Worms, Gymboree, Language Stars, Lil Kickers and had endless play dates with kids his own age. With my second, nothing.

Just the other day I marveled at how much we’ve all changed as moms. I was at the park with a few of my seasoned mom friends. We all huddled together in a corner chatting while our kids glommed onto another mom or nanny who was playing hide and seek with her kids. Did we go help out? Nah. Must be a nanny, we thought. Who else would have that much energy?

We’ve gone from being the cheerleaders in high school to the stoners who hang out under the bleachers at football games.

Part of me feels no guilt. When my first born is at school I need to run errands and do housework. They can both do play dates together in the afternoon (albeit with kids my first born’s age and any other younger siblings they may have). Besides, he doesn’t know what he’s missing, right?

Part of me thanks I should make more of an effort. So today, after dropping Jack at school, I invited a friend along with a kid about Ben’s age to Explore and Much More.

Ben at Explore and Much More

I’ve been to quite a few ‘pay to play’ spaces in Chicago and this is one of my favorites. The layout is such that you never have a big, open space for kids to run and smack into each other. Or shove big rolling toys into other kids. And also unlike some other spaces there are loads of really great, smart toys for the kids to manipulate. There are not a lot of places for your kids to get lost. And it’s super clean. No moms walking around with hot coffee. The cost to play all day is $12 for the first kid, $9 for siblings. Adults are free. They are open during the week from 9-1, then 2-5. On the weekends if there are no parties they have open play as well. You can also get a discounted punch card if you want to go 10 times of more. Don’t forget your socks!




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1 thought on “Explore and Much More

  1. Your opening line reminds me of the book “A Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy” ‘s chapter on sterilization. To paraphrase….with your first child you use the sterilizer, taking out the teets with tongs, re-sterilizing the minute it accidentally touches the counter. With your second child you run the bottles and bits through the dishwasher, thinking, if it’s good enough to clean our dishes, it’s good enough for the newborn. Third child – a quick squish under the running hot water from the faucet. Yup, that’ll do. Fourth child. My forth child is busy pulling his pacifier out of the dog’s mouth as I type. Had me in stitches and so true whether we’re talking sterilizing, playing with them, taking time to teach. I taught my boys how to read at 3. THREE. Amazing system I’d found. But my daughter is 7 and can’t read a word [of English. She reads Italian beautifully] Why? Because I haven’t taken the time to teacher her. Talk about mommy guilt! xxx

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