Jamie Bartosch, Suburban TravelingMom

Jamie Bartosch, Suburban TravelingMom

Jamie Bartosch is an award-winning newspaper reporter in suburban Chicago. She loves to travel, and blogs for TravelingMom.com from the viewpoint of a "typical suburban mom." Her goal is to provide honest, useful information to help families save time, money, and make the most of their family vacation. A married mother of two, Jamie grew up in the Chicago suburbs, lived in the city for 16 years, and is now back in the suburbs raising her two kids. Learn more about her at www.JamieBartosch.com


Best Family Holiday Events in Chicago 2017 – Your Essential Guide

Silver bells, silver bells, it’s Christmas time in the city … and that means fun, holiday events in Chicago with the family. Millennium Park is the epicenter. Families can ice skate with Santa, listen to choirs sing international Christmas songs, dance along to “The Nutcracker,” or watch the annual tree lighting. Best of all, almost all of it is free! Read our Chicago holiday guide for families, and join in on the Chicago holiday traditions. Holidays events in Chicago 2017 Shopping and shows, skating and singing…Chicago does the holidays up right. There is SO MUCH for families to do...

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Where to See the Best Holiday Lights Displays in the Midwest

Folks in the Midwest take their holiday lights displays seriously. Many of the more impressive illuminations across the region are family traditions. From Illinois to Ohio, Wisconsin to South Dakota, Michigan to Missouri, here are the best Midwest holiday lights displays to see this year. Illinois East Peoria: Following its 30th annual Parade of Lights Nov. 21, the Winter Wonderland drive-through light display opens for the season. Follow along with the guided radio tour. Nov. 24-Dec. 31 Alton: More than 3 million lights adorn the trees in Rock Spring Park for “Christmas Wonderland.” Visit with Santa in the enchanted forest, or go...

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4 Reasons to Take the Chicago Architecture Foundation Boat Tour

Chicago has tours centered on food, gangsters, art, neighborhoods and more. One of the best tours? The Chicago Architectural Foundation’s boat tour. It’s not a boring lecture about architecture. It’s a beautiful slow boat ride through downtown Chicago, past the city’s iconic buildings. The tour teaches you about history, politics, business, art and, yes, architecture. Plus, you’ll find Instagram-worthy photo ops at every turn. The Chicago Architecture Foundation offers 90 different tours in Chicago – ninety! – on foot, train, bus, boat or trolley. They cover everything from general skyline tours to niche interests, like Tiffany glass or the...

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After the Hurricanes – Which Caribbean Island Is Best for Your Family?

The hurricanes that ripped through the Caribbean this fall devastated some of the islands, but not all of them. Actually, the majority of Caribbean islands remain open (and anxious) for business during the upcoming winter travel season. So which Caribbean island is best for your family’s winter vacation? Which Caribbean Islands Can You Visit Now? The hurricanes hit some popular Caribbean winter destinations hard. Places like Puerto Rico, and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands are not ready for tourists yet, and still have long roads to recovery. But most other islands survived the storms and are ready to...

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After 20 Years in a Junk Drawer, Disney World Honors Grandma’s Unused Tickets

When Walt Disney World says a ticket has no expiration date, the company stands by that. Even if it’s a paper ticket from the 1990s. A Michigan grandma shared her story with TravelingMom.com about bringing her old, unused “No expiration date” paper tickets to the gate at the Magic Kingdom this year. And guess what? The tickets were honored, saving her more than $1,100. Here’s her story. It’ll make you think twice before you mock people who stash things in junk drawers. And it might make you want to dig through your own. Disney World’s Old “No expiration date” tickets In...

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8 Things to Do with Kids in Chicago’s Wrigleyville Neighborhood

If you’ve ever watched the Chicago Cubs on TV, then you’ve seen fans celebrating in Wrigleyville, the neighborhood on Chicago’s north side that’s home to the Cubs’ ballpark, Wrigley Field. While Wrigleyville is a hard-partying area filled with bars and rowdy fans, there are still fun things to do with kids there. It’s gonna get even more family-friendly soon, because the Cubs owners plan to add an ice rink and family movie nights. Wrigley Field is where the Chicago Cubs play, and the north side neighborhood around it is affectionately known as “Wrigleyville.” Here are some family-friendly things to do...

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What’s New (and Fun!) for Kids at Navy Pier in Chicago

Navy Pier in Chicago is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the Midwest, and it’s undergoing some major changes. In recent years, locals have come to view Navy Pier as a tacky tourist trap and avoided it. Now, it’s becoming much more appealing thanks to added park space and cultural offerings. Suburban TravelingMom Jamie Bartosch, a Chicago native, spotlights some of the new features of Navy Pier. They’re things families will definitely want to check out. What’s New at Chicago’s Navy Pier If you ask a Chicagoan what they think of Navy Pier, you’ll probably get an eye...

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17 of our favorite kid-friendly restaurants in Chicago

Families visiting Chicago frequently ask me, “What are good restaurants for kids?” So I’ve finally decided to compile a list of our favorite restaurants. Whether you’re looking for a $2.49 authentic Chicago hot dog or a $15.99 kids-sized filet mignon, here are some can’t-go-wrong options for kid-friendly restaurants in Chicago. While most Chicago restaurants have kids menus with things like a hamburger or grilled cheese, these restaurants go beyond that. Favorite kid-friendly restaurants in Chicago If your kids will eat eel sushi or plantains, then you don’t need this list of kid-friendly restaurants in Chicago. You’ll be fine anywhere...

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7 Reasons Why Kansas City, Missouri is a Fun Multi-Generation Vacation Destination

Kansas City, Missouri is everything you want in a multi-generation vacation destination.  It’s easy to get to. There are a wide range of fun things to do. It’s easy to get around and navigate. And, perhaps most importantly, it’s budget-friendly. One grandma, two moms, and four kids, ages 7-13, recently spent a long weekend in Kansas City, Missouri,  and every generation in our multi-generation group gave the city a big thumbs up. It’s a perfect blend of hipster and historic, and exudes both big and small town charm. But the main reason Kansas City is a great multi-generation vacation...

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Is Blizzard Beach Water Park Worth a Day Out of Disney World Parks?

After numerous trips to Disney World spent in the parks, SuburbanTraveling Mom went rogue at Walt Disney World this year and took a detour to Blizzard Beach Water Park. Rather than spend all of our days on rides and roller coasters in the parks, she opted for a day at Blizzard Beach. It’s one of two water parks on the Disney property (the other being Typhoon Lagoon), but what are the pros and cons of visiting Blizzard Beach? Should You Visit Blizzard Beach while at Walt Disney World? The temperatures were in the mid-90s – very hot for us Chicagoans –...

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