Macaroni Kid Peoria

by Gabrielle Balzell

A “one-stop shop" for family-friendly activities…

Are you sick of doing the same old thing with your family every weekend? Are you tired of wasting free time looking for something to do with your kids instead of actually doing something? Macaroni Kid Peoria may be the perfect solution for you!

“I really think parents should have more time to do things with their family as opposed to planning them,” says Melissa Hucal, editor and publisher of Macaroni Kid Peoria. “This makes it easy for them. We’ve taken all of the guesswork out of [it], and we’re kind of their personal planner for their activities.”

A national organization that first started in New York, Macaroni Kid is a “one-stop shop” that provides parents with resources, tips and tricks to make parenting easier… and more fun. After seeing the need for a way to connect more families in her community, Hucal started a local affiliate of Macaroni Kid, which now serves more than 2,000 families in the Tri-County Area through its free weekly e-newsletter and website,

The paramount feature of the website is its calendar, which details all of the kid-friendly events and activities going on in the Peoria area, but it also includes everything from activities to do on a rainy day at home to tips on traveling with kids to a directory of businesses parents may like… and more. And after you find something interesting, the website’s “My Macaroni” feature allows you to save upcoming events you’ve selected as a PDF document that you can print out or refer back to later.

“I really want [families] to be able to experience firsthand what a great place this is to raise a family,” Hucal says. “We have so many things I think that are just well-kept secrets for families… My hope is that the longer I publish this, we’ll be able to surface more of those to more families in the area so they’ll be really proud to say that they’re raising their families in Peoria.”

While Macaroni Kid Peoria already has a strong following, Hucal would love to see it grow further with more families using its online resources and subscribing to its newsletter and additional local organizations contributing their events to the website. To receive info on all the family fun going on in central Illinois, sign up at If you want to submit your own idea, email iBi