The Non-Boring Parent Weekend (Seriously)

If you live away from your parents or your in-laws, you might have had situations similar to mine. A long weekend has been set aside for those relatives to visit and suddenly you’re the tour guide and have to decide what you’d like to showcase for your family! Maybe you know exactly what your parents would love or hate (that makes your planning easy), but if you’re stuck or have too many ideas, these may help.

Comedy Show – pick the right show and you just might have the highlight of the weekend! Many cities have improv groups, but you could also see a local play or musical if improv or stand-up isn’t for you. We checked out The Shakespeare Improv Company at IO Theater – a group of guys create an entire 2 act shakespearean style play on the spot. My jaw hurt from laughing all night!

shakespeare improv - io theater chicago

shakespeare improv - io theater chicago

Shopping – this surely doesn’t make or break a weekend, and I would advise not filling a weekend with it (unless that’s the purpose to the visit in the first place), but it can be really enjoyable! Browse through local stores and vintage shops or set aside some time for a shopping morning. As a kid, I used to come to Chicago and Schaumburg just to shop downtown and at Ikea with my mom, so we went back to Ikea together for the first time in over 10 years!

things to do when relatives visit - ikea

ikea schaumburg

Distillery Tour – if this doesn’t seem like it could fit anyone in your family, you could visit a coffee roaster, do a wine tasting, a brewery tour, etc. Try to pick something at least one person is passionate about or at least the group is willing to learn more about. You could also do a historical tour of your city (I personally prefer the food/drink related kind for the samples). We checked out Koval Distillery here in Chicago, because both my husband and my father are bourbon fanatics. Support something local!

koval distillery tour chicago

koval distillery tour chicago

Meals Out – easy, except choosing where to go! Think of places you’ve been wanting to try because it has great reviews or take the ‘rents to one of your local favorites. Just make sure you take them somewhere that’s NOT a chain, or at least isn’t available where they live. We’d been dying to try Longman & Eagle, and the giant whiskey list obviously fit after our Koval tour! We also HAD to make them try Hoosier Mama Pie…one of my 5 favorites here in Chicago!

Longman & Eagle Chicago

Longman & Eagle Chicago

Longman & Eagle Chicago
Longman & Eagle Chicago
chicago bakeries - hoosier mama
Hoosier Mama Pie Company, Chicago

Meals In – you don’t have to be out and about doing something every part of every day. Return the favor of your parents feeding you for x amount of years and make them dinner one night! Fancy or casual, eat dinner at your home and don’t feel like you have to rush! We made paninis (and they were a hit).

Aviary Photo_130899481248395318

All in all, enjoy the time you have together and try some new things. What do you like to do when relatives or friends visit?

Lydia Jane

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14 thoughts on “The Non-Boring Parent Weekend (Seriously)

  1. My parents were just here last weekend. I was nervous how I would entertain them. We ended up going to IKEA then walking the Woodfield mall. It was a hit for each family member.
    They stayed at the Days Inn (highly recommend) in Lake View. Conveniently located next to Stan’s Donuts + Yolk.
    This post has me excited for their next visit! Improv sounds like a fun evening!


  2. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m slowly accumulating reasons to visit Chicago solely from reading your blog. It looks like a ton of fun, plus I pretty much have to visit an IKEA wherever I go. Think I should do it? I haven’t been to the States in years!


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