309377164_749407943098739_4664719834390455447_n

“What If?”

What if...you just accept. What if...you don’t question. What if...you simply open your heart to the possibility. What if...you ignore the negative. What if...you believe the positive will certainly outweigh the negative. What if...you follow your heart. What if...in the process, your heart is opened. What if...you just give this...

Why GiGi’s?

"Did you know that GiGi’s Playhouse serves over 25,000 families (just like mine!) and offers over 232,000 program hours annually?! Allow me to tell you why it’s hugely important to support GiGi’s Playhouse, and why as a parent, I will always make it a priority, regardless of our financial situation....

Why Do We Have a Gala Every Year?

Down syndrome is the most common chromosomal disability in our country and yet, it is the least funded. To ensure lasting acceptance, we must continue showing the world what individuals with Down syndrome are truly capable of achieving as students, co-workers, friends and valued members of their communities. All our...

A Few Words from Our Founder

Ten years ago we held our first ever “friendraiser” benefiting the future GiGi’s Playhouse Oak Forest (now Tinley Park). It took our team just 17 months to move from conception to grand opening. The entire journey was beautiful. The love and support we received at every fundraiser gave us the...

Meet our Volunteer Josie!

Josie LaPapa is a Sophomore at the University of Illinois, studying Speech Pathology and Disabilities Studies. Josie is our current book club leader and has volunteered with our book club since high school.  She lead book club from her dorm room last semester! This summer, Josie was able to lead...

Did You Know We Offer Literacy Tutoring?

Each individual learns to read and develop literacy skills at a different pace. The GiGi's Literacy Program builds a foundation in whole word recognition, phonics, vocabulary, comprehension and improved articulation through one-on-one literacy tutoring adapted to fit the learning style of individuals with Down syndrome. The ability to read opens...

Matt is an Inspiration!!!

Why does Matt love going to GiGi's? A couple years ago he participated in GiGi Prep. This program worked on life skills, math, reading etc.  It also concentrated on healthy life styles that included healthy eating, learning about food groups and exercise programs. This program was a huge benefit to...

Our Adults Can Cook!!!

We hosted our first adult cooking club (ages 18+) in our new location in November of 2018. It has evolved to be so much more and has such a special place in my heart. The program started out slow (on purpose) and we made breakfast several times (their favorite foods.)...

Volunteer Spotlight: Tracey Vicario

Hi! My name is Tracey Vicario and I am one of the leaders of the Fantastic Friends program here at GiGi's Playhouse Tinley Park! I have been a part of this program since the end of 2020 during the pandemic. We started with online programs but it has been so...

What is Playhouse Pals?

Playhouse Pals is for children from 3 through 6 years of age with a parent/guardian. Participants will interact with, prepare and try healthy snack items, having fun while learning the importance of good nutrition. What makes this program even better is that is co-lead by one of our own participants,...

Meet our EPIC Leader Tracey!

“My name is Tracey Ardizzone-Droesch.  I started volunteering at GiGi’s Playhouse in 2018, after my daughter, Catherine, went to a Teen-Tastic program with her key club at her high school.  She loved it so much and, since we both enjoy volunteering so much, we thought it would be a great...

The Power of the Word “Yet”

Learning about all the different milestones a child needs to hit and at what age they should meet these milestones is eye-opening, exciting, and terrifying all at once. We have always focused on what our son could do, rather than getting hung up on what he couldn’t do, or where...