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Gingerbread House Workshop

Gingerbread Festival |

Includes story time with the Gingerbread Man, a procession and tree lighting ceremony on Friday, complimentary carriage rides, visits with Santa and Gingerbread Boy and Girl and a gingerbread house contest, Gingerbread Man Hunt and more
When: Check website for schedule
Cost: Free

Family Day/Open House

Big Run Wolf Ranch | Lockport, Ill.


See wolves, a cougar, bear, groundhog, skunk and more, including growing tiger Shere Khan. Plus, food, drinks, gift shop, music, raffles and fun. Special guest: Santa Claus and Area 51 Exotics Educational Animal Show. Season passes and adoptions available.

When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: $5

The Flying Meat-Eaters: Hawks, Owls, Falcons and Vultures

Trailside Museum of Natural History | River Forest, Ill.


Drop in to learn to learn about the life history of the carnivorous birds of our area.

When: 1-2:30 p.m.
Cost: Free

Bison Feeding

Elgin Public Museum | Elgin, Ill.

Kids and adults have the chance to participate in the morning feeding of the Zoo's year-round residents: the deer, elk and bison. Participants meet at the museum to learn a little about the natural history of these hooved animals from Marge Fox, museum educator. Afterward, everyone will walk to the Lords Park Zoo. Contact the museum to reserve a spot.

When: 7 a.m.

Leftover Science

Discovery Center Museum | Rockford, Ill.

Turn cranberries into chemistry, engage in fruitcake physics, and find out what happens to whipped cream when it’s dropped in liquid nitrogen. Bring the family and kick off the holiday season with extraordinary demos and festive arts and crafts.

When: 11:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Cost: Free with admission

Green Metropolis Holiday Fair

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum | Chicago, Ill.

The museum partners with the Green Parents Network for a special day of family fun and holiday shopping with local fair trade businesses.

When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: Free with museum admission

Gingerbread FIREhouse Contest and Exhibition

Aurora Regional Fire Museum | Aurora, Ill.

All entries must depict a firefighting-themed architectural structure (a firehouse, burning building, etc.), real or imaginary. Participants are invited to compete in one of three divisions: junior, adult or advanced. Entries will be judged on Nov. 29 and are on display through Dec. 20.

When: 1-4 p.m.
Cost: $15-$25 entry fee; museum admission

The Fresh Beat Band

Rosemont Theatre | Rosemont, Ill.

Nickelodeon’s preschool music group head back on the road for a brand-new nationwide concert tour. The show features Kiki, Marina, Twist and Shout performing the band’s greatest hits including “Bananas,” “Here We Go” and a remixed version of “Great Day,” plus new songs including the pop classic, “Walk Like An Egyptian.”

When: 1:30 and 5:30 p.m.
Cost: $29.50-$49.50

Show Up for Autism Benefiting Autism Care and Treatment Today

Gorilla Tango's Skokie Theatre | Skokie, Ill.

Includes an informal reception and refreshments, performance featuring Chris Fascione, and a post-event photo opportunity. 100% of proceeds go to supporting ACT Today.

When: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Cost: $25-$75

It's A Wonderful Life with "Zuzu"

Hollywood Palms Cinema | Naperville, Ill.


Karolyn Grimes, 'Zuzu' from "It's A Wonderful Life," shares her experiences on her favorite iconic Christmas movie. Meet 'Zuzu' and watch "It's A Wonderful Life" on the big screen.

Cost: Free

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