Thinking Outside the Box

BabbaBox Activity Kits


Your little elf gets a bigger kick out of guessing what his presents hold (“An Imperial V-wing Starfighter?”) than actually opening them (“Gee, thanks for the undershirts, Grandma”).

Unwrap some real excitement with BabbaBox. The new subscription service, created by a local mom, mails your kiddo an activity-filled package every month. Contents (for kids ages 3 to 6) include books, craft projects, and digital apps that spark learning and fun, not to mention answer the big what-to-do-today question.

September’s insect-themed box bubbled over with craft materials to make a ladybug and butterfly, a picture book about an earthworm, a bug magnifying jar, and digital links to creepy-crawly activities. This month is about gratitude and includes a thank-you card craft, a story about thankfulness, and a disposable camera for taking pictures of things you’re grateful for.

As for future box themes? They’re kept under wraps.

BabbaBox (773-930-4760 or babbaco.com), $30 per month.

this week in chicago!
McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade
Marching bands, equestrian units, dance troupes, and a circus act join the annual procession.
Why: Giant Elmo, Fred Flintstone, and Curious George balloons soar sky high.
When: Thurs., 8-11 a.m.
Where: State St., b/t Congress Pkwy. & Randolph St.

Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
The plucky children’s book character comes alive on the stage in a story about how giving is as nice as receiving.
Why: It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
When: Thru Jan. 8, 2012.
Where: Emerald City Theatre at Apollo Theater, 2540 N. Lincoln Ave., at Wrightwood St. Tickets at 773-935-6100 or online at ticketmaster.com. Adults and children, $15-$32.

Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
Secure your spot on the good list by welcoming Santa to his downtown throne while the towering fir gets illuminated.
Why: Warm up with hot cider at Christkindlmarket Chicago.
When: Wed., 4:30 p.m.
Where: Daley Plaza, Washington St., at Dearborn St.

Photo: Courtesy of BabbaCo

McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade
S State St
bt Congress Pkwy & Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60605
Apollo Theater
2540 N Lincoln Ave
@ W Wrightwood Ave
Chicago, IL 60614
Daley Plaza
W Washington St
@ Dearborn St
Chicago, IL 60602