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MOM'S LITTLE BLACK BOOK | Adulting On the Fox Aboard St. Charles Paddlewheel Riverboat

by Kristen Kucharski


This is me! My very first #MomsLittleBlackBook @GlancerMagazine adventure without my girls since 2009 when I first started writing the column. It’s September and it’s Back to School; and although it looks very different for most this year due to remote learning and COVID-19 accommodations, it looks substantially different to me as both my girls are away from home

living on college campuses.

I am officially an empty nester and this month I put the Mom back in #MomsLittleBlackBook as I gathered my friends and set off on the St. Charles Paddlewheel Riverboat specialty BYOB Sunset Cruise for Ages 21+.

Yes – I was adulting – a strange new word other than MOM! We packed our appetizers and drinks and boarded the boat for a peaceful evening with a bluegrass band and striking skyline. I enjoyed friendship and laughter in a whole new way and truly felt like I was a million miles from home. We met new people and experienced a first-hand appreciation for the rivers that flow in our backyards while cruising safely at 30-45% capacity, allowing for 6-foot distancing from those outside our social bubble.

Even though I cannot say enough wonderful things about the adults only BYOB Sunset Cruise just 45 minutes from home, I am also excited to share all of the other all-ages opportunities available such as the sunset cruises for any age; kid cruises with specialty themes like princesses and pirates and story times; History Cruises; Birding by Boat; Yoga & Cruise; and so much more! The boat sails through October so there is still plenty of time this year to take advantage of these pure and simple escapes on the Fox River.

As for this mom, well you might just find her aboard the Monarchs & Margaritas cruise on September 12 enjoying snacks and beverages on the Pottawatomie veranda before boarding the riverboat to learn more about the important role the Fox River plays in the monarch’s stirring saga.


Enjoy travel from the era of Mark Twain through a green corridor of scenic beauty. Both boats have open-air upper decks for unobstructed sightseeing and the lower decks have windows that can be closed in cool or rainy weather. Public tours are reasonably prices from May to October. Enjoy recurring events, such as Kids Cruises, Sunset Cruises, Storytime Cruises and many more Private charters available, too.

St. Charles Paddlewheel Riverboats

8 North Avenue, St. Charles, IL

(630) 584-2334 •

Hours: Varies depending on cruise selected.

Price $: Varies depending on cruise selected.


Naperville mom Kristen Kucharski graduated from Illinois State University in 1992 with an International Business Degree. She has two energetic daughters and her house is always full of children. Kristen’s column titled, Mom's Little Black Book, is a monthly feature written for moms who are looking for ways to keep their kids busy. Read her past columns at