School is out, and we're even partway through summer school. We've done the obvious things with the wee ones - from heading to Legoland to visiting the zoo. The further we get into summer - and the older the wee ones get - the more we search for something unique and different to do.
Enter Chicken in the Car and the Car Won't Go: Nearly 200 Ways to Enjoy Chicagoland with Tweens and Teens. This book, written by Melisa Wells, is a travel guide to Chicago and its suburbs that isn't meant for parents with young kids nor adults. It's a market that doesn't really have anything out there, and as a parent of kids who like to do "grown up" things sometimes, this is perfect for us.
I love finding hidden gems all around Chicago that Melisa has uncovered, from the drive-in in West Chicago that I didn't know existed to Dave's Down to Earth Rock Shop & the Prehistoric Life Museum in Evanston. Both were news to me, and hello, I went to college in Evanston. We found a ton of things to do that we've never experienced before, and they span a variety of seasons, so this book is valuable for far more than just summer vacation.
Melisa did a great job organizing it, so you can scan through activities by section of Chicago so that you can find things to do in specific areas. There's also an index by city in the back - as well as an index by location name and by type of activity (show, sports, fun and games, food, etc). Each entry not only has the location details from website to address, but also includes the hours and approximate cost of each entry. They all have detailed descriptions to help you understand if the activity is up your alley or not - and let's face it, we all have different interests.
Chicken in the Car and the Car Won't Go also includes tons of useful information about Chicago in the front of the book to help with planning. She shares local information on television and radio stations, as well as how to get around Chicago and more. I love her suggestions of how to use social media to get discounts and answer questions. She really thought this through, and it's an easy to use book. I can't wait to go visit some of the new places we've discovered since paging through the book. I may even devise a summer camp later this month, as Melisa details how to do in the introduction.
But wait - so you live in or someday want to visit Chicago and need this book? You could go buy it. Or you could win an autographed copy from me! I have one to give away. So what do you have to do to win? First of all, let me stress that you must follow all the rules. If you do not follow the rules, your entry will not count!
This contest is open until Monday July 11 at 7pm CST. I must have a valid way to reach you, so leave me your email address in your comment or be sure your profile has your email address visible. No duplicate comments will count. This giveaway is open to US residents age 18 and older. Winners will be selected via random.org and must respond within 48 hours of being notified by me or I will select a new winner.
Mandatory Entry: Tell me - what is your favorite touristy activity?
Bonus Entries (leave a comment for each entry - if you put it all in one comment, I'll count it as one entry):
1) Earn one additional entry for following me on Twitter, then tweeting this contest with the following tweet: "Need to find something for tweens or teens to do in Chicago? Win the perfect book from @honestandtruly http://bit.ly/jRSx30" (leave a link to your tweet as your comment and make sure you do all the steps!)
2) Earn one additional entry by following this review blog publicly via Google Friend Connect.
3) Earn one additional entry by following my “regular” blog Honest & Truly! publicly via Google Friend Connect.
In the interest of full disclosure, I was given a copy of this book by its author. I also helped with some of the editing of the book and provided encouragement for it along the way. That said, I have not received any compensation, and as always, all opinions expressed remain my own.