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Chicago Toy & Game Fair

Chicago, Ill.

This fair offers families, teachers, toy and game enthusiasts the chance to preview new toys and games, meet Toy and Game Inventors, have a picture taken with Star Wars characters and more.

When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Nov. 22, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 23
Cost: $10, $5 kids 3-13, free kids under 3

The BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival

Chicago , Ill.


The event is held along North Michigan Avenue between Oak Street and Wacker Drive. Festivities run all day and the lighting procession begins at 5:30 p.m. The day begins on Pioneer Court with family-friendly interactive activities, Santa Claus and top musical entertainment. The evening’s grand marshals, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, lead a parade of more than 40 floats, helium-filled balloons, marching bands and top musical performers as they illuminate more than one million lights along The Magnificent Mile. Event concludes with a fireworks display over the Chicago River.

When: Events and performers 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Lighting Procession at 5:30 p.m.
Cost: Free

Fall Open House

Lake View Nature Center | Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.


Celebrate the autumn harvest by making a fabulous fall project, enjoy a seasonal hike, snack around the glow of a campfire and take a festive hayride around the lake.

When: Noon-4 p.m.
Cost: Free

Backyard Birding

Prairieview Education Center | Crystal Lake, Ill.


Brighten the dreary winter days by bringing these winter birds to you. This program will focus on how to identify McHenry County’s winter birds and how to attract them to your backyard. Participants will make a simple bird feeder to take home.

When: 10-11:30 a.m.
Cost: Free

Gingerbread FIREhouse Making Workshop

Aurora Regional Fire Museum | Aurora, Ill.

This two-hour, hands on, beginner class is suitable for both families and novice adults. Each individual (or parent/child team) will design and decorate their very own gingerbread firehouse or burning building. Following the workshop, participants are invited to leave their completed creations for entry into the Aurora Regional Fire Museum's Gingerbread FIREhouse Contest.

When: Noon-2 p.m.
Cost: $40 per gingerbread entry

Lapidary Activity Day

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art | Elmhurst, Ill.


See demonstrations by artists from the West Suburban Lapidary Club including: beading, silversmithing, cabochon cutting, wire wrapping and faceting. Free hands-on activities andjewelry cleaning.


When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: Free

Physical Theatre Movement and Dance Smash Up

Beverly Arts Center | Chicago, Ill.

A cross-department workshop combining physical awareness on stage, creative movement, and modern dance. Students will work with a theatre instructor and a dance instructor.

When: 2-4 p.m.
Cost: $31

Gather Holiday Gift for Good Fair

Gather | Evanston, Ill.

Parents can shop for items sold by artisan mommas, caregivers and social enterprises while children play.

When: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cost: Free with admission

Step Afrika!

Elgin Community College Visual & Performing Arts Center | Elgin, Ill.

Step Afrika! blends percussive dance styles practiced by historically African American fraternities and sororities, African traditional dance, and influences from a variety of other dance and art forms. Performances integrate dance, songs, storytelling, humor, and audience participation.

When: 7:30-9 p.m.
Cost: $32

Family Matinee Series: Downtown Sounds

Chicago Symphony Orchestra | Chicago, Ill.

Focuses on composers such as George Gershwin, Bedřich Smetana and Ottorino Respighi who wrote music about their favorite places, portraying city streets and bustling neighborhoods as well as tranquil settings with different melodies and rhythms. Featured works Gershwin’s An American in Paris; Smetana’s The Moldau from Má vlast; Resphigi’s Fountains of Rome and more. WTTW’s Geoffrey Baer will narrate the “Downtown Sounds” program.

When: 11 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.
Cost: $6-$57

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