Follow in the footsteps of your favorite characters by visiting Chicago attractions that bring two beloved books alive before your very eyes!
The Wright 3 by Blue Balliet: Tour at the Robie House, Hyde Park
When their 6th grade teacher explains that a historic yet neglected local home, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House, risks falling into total disrepair, Calder, Petra and Tommy feel compelled to act. The trio puts their unique talents to work, discovering the secrets held by the house and uncovering important clues towards finding a mysterious buried artifact along the way.
Read the book and then head over to the real-life Robie House to see Frank Lloyd Wright’s genius in person and make some of your own exciting discoveries. Designed in 1908, it’s considered one of the most important houses in the history of American architecture. Wright spent the first twenty years of his career and raised his six children from his first marriage in this very house. Every Saturday at 1:30 p.m., parents and children ages 6+ are invited to take part in the upbeat Wright 3 Tour, a 45 minute tour that highlights scenes and locations featured in the book.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum: Picnic at Oz Park, Lincoln Park
Did you know the tale of Dorothy and her journey to see a magical wizard was spun by L. Frank Baum right here in Chicago? The Baum family moved from South Dakota to Chicago’s Humboldt Parkin 1891. While here, Baum made his living as a newspaper reporter, a department store window dresser, and a traveling chinaware salesman. Legend has it that one blustery Chicago winter day, he bumped into a group of his children and their friends on the street: they begged him to return home and weave a tale as entertainment, and he rewarded them with the story of a young Kansas girl who was whisked away by a cyclone to a magical land.
Today, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow, Dorothy and her little dog Toto all reside at Chicago’s very own Oz Park, on the corner of Webster and Larabee streets on the city’s near north side. Head to the four corners of the park and search for the Oz five, then spread out your blanket in the charmingEmeraldGarden, where you’ll be surrounded by colorful flowers. Climb on the wooden Emerald City and swing on the tire in Dorothy’s Playlot. For dessert, pick up an Orange Julius–a delightful mix of orange juice and vanilla ice cream–at the Dairy Queen window located on the northeast end of the park, across from the Emerald Garden.
For more information on Oz Park, including information on Chicago Park District programs offered on site, visit http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/parks.detail/object_id/95E1837E-FE05-42A7-8ACA-FD697E49EA22.cfm