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Northbrook Winter Carnival

Winter Carnival | Northbrook, Ill.


Celebrate the season with indoor and outdoor activities at this annual family event.

When: Check website for schedule.
Cost: Free

An Afternoon with the Short-Eared Owls

Glacial Park Conservation Area | Ringwood, Ill.

Enjoy a winter hike at dusk to search for these endangered creatures. Bring binoculars if you have them, and dress for the weather. Afternoon begins with a short indoor presentation.

When: 4-5:30 p.m.
Cost: $2, free resident

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

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Chicago Minifigure Swap

Legoland Discovery Center | Schaumburg, Ill.

Throughout the course of the weekend, if guests see a Legoland team member with a minifigure on their name badge, they can trade for any minifigure brought from home.In addition to the swap, guests can visit the designated Minifigure Trading Zone to trade with a Lego Model Builder, stop by one of the kid-friendly trading posts and trade with another guest, participate in the Minifigure Comic Workshop to create a scene using Lego bricks and minifigures, and take photos with popular Lego minifigure models.

Cost: Free with admission

The Professional Bull Riders Chicago Invitational

Allstate Arena | Rosemont, Ill.

Fans will witness thrilling 8-second rides and jaw-dropping wrecks throughout the adrenaline-fueled event, as the Top 35 bull riders in the world risk it all against the best bucking bulls. During Round 1 on Friday, Round 2 on Saturday and Round 3 on Sunday, the bull riders will face one bull each. Following Round 3, the Top 15 riders with the highest cumulative scores after the three rounds will advance to the Built Ford Tough Championship Round for one more ride and a chance at the event title.

When: 7:45 p.m. Jan. 13; 6:45 p.m. Jan. 14; 1:45 p.m. Jan. 15
Cost: $22 and up

Exelon Family Series: SEA

Harris Theater for Music and Dance | Chicago, Ill.

Elizabeth Streb and her Action Heroes demonstrate the courage required to travel into uncharted territory with their new show, SEA -- a pure Action-Explosion. The SEA experience will include an interactive soundtrack where audience members will contribute to the DJ/Producer’s playlist using Pandora.

When: 2 p.m.
Cost: $10 and up

Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Chicago Sinfonietta | River Forest, Ill.

This year’s program includes a never-before-seen performance featuring young musicians from every corner of the city playing and singing “side by side” with the orchestra. The signature Sinfonietta performance will highlight the next generation of diverse musicians being developed in Chicago and celebrates the city’s intergenerational dedication to the messages of Dr. King. Performances take place at North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie (Jan. 14), Wentz Concert Hall of North Central College (Jan. 15) and Symphony Center (Jan. 16).

When: 8 p.m. Jan. 14; 3 p.m. Jan. 15; 7:30 p.m. Jan. 16
Cost: $18-$99

Willy Wonka

Prisco Community Center | Aurora, Ill.

Based on the beloved children’s story by Roald Dahl, Willy Wonka is a fun-loving, family musical, as the timeless story of a world famous candy man and his quest to find an heir come to chocolate-covered life. Audiences will indulge in the delicious adventure of Charlie Bucket and four other lucky golden ticket winners as they tour the mysterious chocolate factory. The performance is sprinkled with hit songs from the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, including “The Candy Man,” “Cheer Up, Charlie,” and “I Want It Now.”

When: 7 p.m. Jan. 13; 2 and 7 p.m. Jan. 14; 2 p.m. Jan. 15
Cost: $11, $9 in advance


Naperville Park District | Naperville, Ill.

Join the Cat in the Hat as he follows the adventures of Horton the Elephant, who despite all odds saves the Whos, protects the egg, and restores unity to the Jungle of Nool. A kaleidoscope of Dr. Seuss characters come to life to tell the story of loyalty, acceptance and friendship. Tickets are on sale at the Naperville Park District at and at the Administration Building, 320 W. Jackson Ave., and at the new 95th Street Center, located at 2244 W. 95th St.

Cost: Call for cost

Frosty Fest

Gurnee Park District | Gurnee, Ill.


Celebrate the season of winter with lots of fun, free activities including: ice sculpting, horse-drawn carriage rides, dog sled demonstrations as well as free treats, sledding and snowshoeing.

When: 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Cost: Free
Kids Eat Chicago

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