Plainfield: 4 – 8
Bolingbrook: 4 – 7
Shorewood: 4 -7
Joliet: 4 – 7
Crest Hill: 4 – 8
Romeoville: 4 – 7
Oswego: 3:30 – 8
Aurora: 4 – 7:30
Lisle: 3 – 8
Wheaton: 3 – 7
It’s almost Halloween, and the kids can’t wait to get out there and Trick or Treat this Wednesday. I have to admit that I’m probably just as excited! It’s long been one of my favorite holidays and it brings back great memories of my childhood Halloween memories from the 80’s. Our kids will never know what it’s like to wear a plastic mask or stretch a vinyl jumpsuit on over their clothes… or what a homemade Halloween costume really looked like (before moms could make them on their Cricut machines, lol).
It pretty much went like this…
And the Halloween commercials on t.v. were the best!
I couldn’t wait for the “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” special to play during prime time. We didn’t have things like DVR’s back then, so you had to be sure to make plans to be home to watch them live. If you were lucky, and you had a VCR, you could try to set it to record, but that was really taking your chances with the technology of the day. Prime time holiday specials were really a treat for our generation. And I bet most people will never have heard of my absolute favorite Halloween movie (unless they happen to be Tim Curry fans… or had the HBO cable channel as a kid) but the The Worst Witch will always be the best in my book!
Leave your favorite Halloween memories in the comments!
One of my childhood dreams was to have an entire bowl of cookie dough, all to myself.
Honesly, I had no idea that eating raw cookie dough was even legal; but that was before I knew about Cookie Dough Creations!
Did you know that you can have brownie batter, sugar cookie, cake batter, oreo, and peanut butter cookie dough by the spoonful? You won’t get worms; and you won’t die of samonella… and you can blissfully eat raw dough and batter by the spoonfull without the haunting parental guilt of developing any digestive diseases.
You might gain a bit of weight by patronizing too frequently, but thankfully, death isn’t waiting for you on the other side of your dessert! I’m actually thankful that we live just far enough away to prevent our trips from becoming habitual. Fair warning to any cookie dough rookies out there; yes, there is such a thing as too much cookie dough. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…
In addition to cookie dough, they also have a large selection of ice cream, milk shakes, and sundaes. There’s a lot of pressure in deciding between cookie dough and ice-cream, so it’s perfectly respectible to go for the cookie dough topped ice cream option. My pick is always the classic Chocolate Chip Cookie dough, but that doesn’t stop me from stealing a nibble of whatever my kids have ordered. My son Eric is just like me, he always goes for his old stand-by, Brownie Batter, but the rest of my kids switch it up every time we go, so there’s always a mix of sampling to be done.
Stop by Cookie Dough Creations the next time you’re in downtown Naperville. It’s like getting permission to lick the bowl, over and over and over and over…
Julie Ferenzi | Realtor ®
john green Realtor
“Hey kids! What do you want to do today?!”
If there is one thing I have learned from my 20 years of being a mom to 6 kids… it’s this: NEVER say those words!
Never. Not ever. Unless you like ending up in hopeless debates with little people for hours. Debates that end up in stand-offs, which ultimately lead to tantrums or staying home and doing something boring like yardwork, or laundry.
I don’t know why my husband keeps breaking this rule (like every single weekend), because you’d think that by now, he’d follow this one simple suggestion: offer two options. “Would you rather go to the park or go on a walk?” That’s it. It’s simple. Kids vote, and the majority rules.
Nope. Never happens that way when dad does holds the family meeting. I love him to death, but will he ever learn?
Since our 2 oldest were working today, the hubs asked our 4 youngest… (and myself), what we wanted to do today.
He got 5 different answers: Great America, Haunted Trails, DuPage County Fair, The Brookfield Zoo, The Morton Arboretum… and my vote for the fair was knocked down the hardest, which made me crabby for the next 2 hours, lol. I knew we could do any of the other stuff anytime, but the fair was ending today. I finally came around after we found a Groupon for Haunted Trails and took the 3 youngest Ferenzi’s there for the day.
I mean… you can’t be crabby driving a Go-Kart. Or playing Skee-ball. Or cashing in tickets for prizes, right?
I’m so thankful she’s already a careful driver! I still have 10 years to go!!!
… and then there’s the prize wall:
I had to put my “kid goggles” back on, to remember the magnificene of this kind of moment, and I remembered why all 3 of them wanted it all!
Logic takes over in a situations like this at the store, and we pass on over-priced items we know we can buy cheaper somewhere else, but suddenly winning takes on a bigger meaning when it comes in the form of tickets and prizes; even if the adjusted price of a candy bar forms the equation of : winning = the price of “struggling” to win + the high rate of arcade-inflation.
And remember the agony of selecting your prize? Oh, the feels!
Eliza was carefully planning her choices at the prize counter…
And there were so many games to choose from! And then both Jason and Eliza won some extra tickets from a game that paid out big!
And we didn’t plan on it, but we ended up playing mini-golf again!
I guess my years of mini-golf aversion are finally over. The kids are big fans, and I have a feeling this has become a new summer tradition.
Leo didn’t realize it at the time, but the Ring Pop he won at the prize counter is part of the new “Tongue Painted” collection. His lips matched his shirt, and there was no going back. He was upset that we had to go to Walmart for some necessities after our adventures, blue lips and all… but thankfully, the baby wipes I keep in the car reduced some of the blue and running errands after our day at Haunted Trails went off without a hitch.
Finding things to do in Plainfield and the surrounding areas isn’t hard for me to do, but I remember when I didn’t have a clue on where to find the fun. After living here for 20 years, I love helping others find the joy of living in the area!
Oh, and they do great birthday parties. We’ve had a few, and been to many. If you’re looking for a great place to host a birthday party any time of year, they do a great job!
And while we didn’t meet here, Tony and I officially met at their sister location Enchanted Castle in Lombard… at the Karoke stage in 8th grade. Who knew that by the time we were 40 we would have been married for 19 years, with 6 kids!
Julie Ferenzi | Realtor
john greene Realtor
WE HAD SO MUCH FUN!
I saw a Groupon online, early into the summer and this looked like a good time. I’m a sucker for great photography and the photos I saw for the event were epic. They totally sold the show! We bought ours up… and told our good friends so they could make a night of it with us too!
I was really looking forward July 14th because I couldn’t wait for the Burndown at Sundown at the Joliet Route 66 Raceway, but I knew that by the time we had arrived at the date of the event, we would had already plowed through the larger portion of our summer; and that made me sad. Oh, that “summer time sadness” that punches me in the gut every year like clockwork. (thanks for putting your version of it into words Lana Del Rey!) After posting about it the week it hit me hard, I was relieved to know that I wasn’t alone.
I have no idea how he found it in him to fall asleep during any of this! EVEN WITH EAR PLUGS… it was LOUD!
… and we ran into one of Eliza’s best friends at the race!
It’s funny how we miss so many things right before our eyes. Part of the reason I decided to start blogging again about things to do in the area is because of how many posts I see on FB looking for recommendations for things to do in the Plainfield area. I’ve spent the last 19 years in Plainfield raising our tribe of Ferenzi’s. I’ve turned over a lot of stones in the area… and I’m always looking for more!
LOVING THE LOUD!
I forgot that we probably should have brought ear plugs. The smaller time trials weren’t as loud, but my years of concertgoing reminded me that hearing loss is bad; and once the funny cars started up, and ultimately the jet cars hit the track, it was necessary! A quick trip to the merch truck had us sitting pretty. We could still feel the LOUD pound in our chests without ringing in our ears.
Events at the Joliet Route 66 Raceway are posted at the beginning of every race season. We had such a great time, hopefully you do next year too!
Julie Ferenzi | Realtor®
john greene Realtor
Summer fun for everyone!
I was so sick of my kids whining, complaining… and playing video games yesterday, that I made them put their shoes on and get in the car. I didn’t ask for opinions, or take votes. I just drove them all away from our house without any plan in mind. My only agenda was to escape all the arguing and chaos for a little while.
I did a quick search on my phone looking for things to do, and Wilderness Falls in Bolingbrook came up at the top of the list.
I have to confess how much I have always hated mini-golf because it’s the ultimate game of “cheats and do-overs”. (Seriously, you keep you’re own score…) Part of me is still convinced places like this still exist as an excuse for 1st dates, but the thing that made this game fun was that I didn’t play. There were no cheats allowed and my kids already knew I was fed up with listening to them argue and fight, so a swing and a miss was par for the course!
We lost a few golf balls along the course, and it was not without some sibling rivalry, but for the most part it was a nice escape from the dog days of summer. In the end, the kids had a great time, and they even asked me if we could go back again sometime. Wilderness Falls for the win!
Julie Ferenzi | Realtor ®
john greene Realtor
1311 S. Route 59
Naperville, IL 60564
Every year our family makes a summer bucket list of things we want to do, and places we plan to visit local for some Plainfield family fun. We try to mix it up a bit so the kids stay excited about the things we plan. This year my husand took the lead in making sure we didn’t “run out of summer” and bought our family tickets to a Chicago Fire game over the 4th of July weekend. We had great seats and it was a great game against New York City. It was even better when Chicago Fire won 3-2!
It was hotter than the devils armpit the night we went. They let us bring in 1 bottle of water per person because of the heat index warning that day… and it didn’t help much at all. I still ended up buying drinks that had ice because it was sweat drenching heat even after the sun went down.
We are huge soccer fans, and all of my kids have played soccer. We snuck in a few baseball players over the years, but soccer has been our mainstay. Except for our youngest. Eliza just joins sports for the uniforms and costumes, lol.
The Chicago Fire Season doesn’t end until late in October and there are plenty of opportunities to catch a game this season! Check the schedule and get your tickets for some local Plainfield family fun. If you love soccer, you will love this team, this stadium, and the experience!
Stay tuned for some more local advice on where to be this summer for the most local fun!
We live & love local… and I will bring it all back to you!
john greene Realtor
Things to do in Plainfield this summer:
Tucked away, on the quiet street for which it is named, sits the often overlooked… Ottawa Street Community Pool. I don’t know what got me thinking about it this week, but a few of the kids and I took a drive over to the pool yesterday to get some info on the hours and prices.
Getting a pool pass this late in the season didn’t make a bit of sense since it’s already the middle of July, but that’s fine by us since the daily resident rate is so reasonable! It’s only $4 a person from 12:oo-4:30… and just $3 a person for a night swim from 7:00-8:30. Swim all day Saturday or Sunday from 12:00-8:00 pm for just $4.00 a person! Seniors 55+ and older? You can swim for $2.00 during the day or on the weekends… or FREE during evening hours!
We have lived here for 20 years now, and I have to admit, it’s been way too long since we’ve been back for a visit. When we were new to the area we came a few times, but for the last 2 years we have purchased pool passes for the private Springbank Aquatic center just a few minutes from our home, and in the years before, we had purchased passes for Joliet’s Splash Station.
We have a big family. There are 8 of us in all. Passes for us for anything have always been the way to go. Springbank is great, just too pricey for me for the amount of times the kids actually want to spend the day there, these days. And Joliet Splash Station is nice, but when the summer camp kids are there it gets WAY too crowded, and I have an anxiety attack the whole time worrying about my kids who can’t swim… or don’t swim very well!
In recent years, the “big kids” have started doing their own things; and it’s strange transitioning from the mind-set of having to “supersize” everything in life, to remembering that my 6-pack is hardly ever all with me at the same time anymore. Lately, it’s just been me and 2 or 3 of the younger kiddos for our out-and-about adventures this summer. Today it was just me and my two youngest; Leo who just turned 9, and Eliza who is 6.
The high dive won the day with Leo! Eliza is trying so hard to learn how to swim.
I used to spend my days wishing for the big ones to learn how to do all of these things on their own, to these days; wishing the littles needed me just a little bit more. Clearly that’s not the case. Look at Leo’s jump off the high dive! He must have done it about 30 times today!!!
I’m such a fan of all of the things the Plainfield Park District has to offer, I just wish I had remembered this hidden gem in the community a lot sooner! If you’re looking for things to do in Plainfield this summer, I definitely recommend adding this to the top of the list!
Julie Ferenzi – Realtor
john greene Realtor
1311 S. Route 59
Naperville, IL 60564