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Chicago Travel & Adventure Show

Rosemont, Ill.

Features more than 1,200 travel experts from the world’s top destinations, tours and suppliers to help travel enthusiasts find, plan and book their dream vacation. Stages include: the Destination Theater, where attendees can gain insight and in-depth information about specific destinations; the Savvy Traveler Stage, where visitors can gain the how-to tips on how to travel smarter; the Taste of Travel Stage where top chefs hold live cooking demonstrations and offer samples; and the Global Beats Stage, where performers invite visitors to feel the rhythm of exotic cultures. Travel & Adventure Theater Stage speakers include Rick Steves, host of PBS' "Rick Steves' Europe;" CBS Travel Editor Peter Greenberg, Frommer's Guide editor Pauline Fromer, and family travel expert Collen Kelly. Family entertainment includes a rock climbing wall, camel rides and Segway rides.

When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Jan. 21; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Jan. 22
Cost: $15, $22 two-day; free kids 16 and under

Weekend Family Class: Loco for Cocoa

Chicago Botanic Garden | Glencoe, Ill.

Investigate the raw ingredients of chocolate, taste test different types of chocolate, and practice dipping fruits and snacks into melted chocolate to make treats extra enjoyable.

When: 9:30-11 a.m. or 1-2:30 p.m.
Cost: $23 per child

Winter Solstice Fireside

Emily Oaks Nature Center | Skokie, Ill.

Celebrate the Winter Solstice and learn how nature played a role in the origin of many holiday traditions. Enjoy a craft and a short hike to wassail (sing and wish health) to the forest, followed by warm spiced apple cider by the indoor fireplace while hearing the myth of the Oak King and Holly King.

When: 3:30-5 p.m.
Cost: $5

That's Gross

Glacial Park Conservation Area | Ringwood, Ill.

Come learn about the gross things animals do and why they do them.

When: 1:30-3 p.m.
Cost: $5, free resident

Fur, Feathers and Winter Coats

Lake Katherine Nature Center and Botanic Gardens | Palos Heights, Ill.

Compare the wonders of fur and feathers to an old winter coat to see how animals keep themselves warm in the winter.

When: 9:30 a.m. Jan. 19-20; 10:30 a.m. Jan. 21
Cost: $6

Surf The White Winter Wave

Sagawau Environmental Learning Center | Lemont, Ill.

Enjoy a Polynesian spin on winter by skiing the “frozen wave” our winter storms leave in their wake. After skiing, relax and enjoy surfing videos and live updates on surf conditions from Oahu’s North Shore. Dress Hawaiian and win a prize.

When: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

February Free Days

Brookfield Zoo | Brookfield, Ill.


Admission is free on Saturdays, Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursday through the month of February. Admission to Hamill Family Play Zoo is also free.

Cost: Free, parking fee applies

Navy Pier hosts Chicago International Puppet Theater’s Festival Neighborhood Tour

Navy Pier | Chicago, Ill.


A full day of free family-friendly entertainment in the Crystal Gardens. Attend three special 45-minute performances and participate in fun activities and workshops between shows. The performances feature three festival artists, Magali Chouinard (2 p.m.), Schroeder Cherry (3 p.m.) and Interstate Arts (4 p.m.). Following each performance, guest can speak with the artists and learn more about their puppets.

When: 2, 3 and 4 p.m.
Cost: Free

Ramps & Rollers Party

DuPage Children's Museum | Naperville, Ill.

DuPage Children's Museum kicks off it 30th birthday year celebrating Mission in Motion. Ramps & Rollers was the Museum's very first exhibit 30 years ago and continues to be a favorite today. Enjoy activities throughout the Museum, a collaborative art project, mini coaster rides and performance by Chicago Hoop Dancers.

When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday
Cost: Free with museum admission.

Fossils and Dinosaurs

Midwest Museum of Natural History | Sycamore, Ill.

Learn about dinosaurs, the lives they lead and the fossils they left. Registration is required.

When: 1 p.m.
Cost: $2
Chicago Parent Special Needs Playdate

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