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Little Explorers: Have a heart for our bird friends

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

Kids eat like a bird, tasting pasta (worms), raisins (insects) and sunflower seed. Children will also examine bird feathers and nests. Plus, take a walk outside to look for birds and try a bird feeder project.

When: 9:30 a.m. Thursday-Friday; 10:30 a.m. Saturday
Cost: $6

Winter Games for Families

Prairieview Education Center | Crystal Lake, Ill.

Enjoy favorite games with an added nature twist. Games may include nature-themed bags, tag, “What Time is it Mr. Fox?,” Tree Twister, Duck, Duck, Goose and more.

When: 7-8:30 p.m.
Cost: $5, free resident

I Heart Birds Valentine’s Day Dance

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum | Chicago, Ill.

Exotic bird species will join guests for a fun-filled Valentine’s party. Feathered visitors will include a blue-headed macaw, a black palm cockatoo, a silvery-cheeked hornbill a golden conure and the special return of Ivy, an Ivory-billed aracari. Parents and children can meet the birds, discover more about their lives and habits, craft a birdy valentine, and then shake their tail feathers on our dance floor. Dinner is included.

When: 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Cost: $30, $25 member; $15 kids; $5 kids 2 and under

Monster Jam

Allstate Arena | Rosemont, Ill.

The Monster Jam Triple Threat Series can only be seen in select cities and features the most extreme athletes of Monster Jam. Chicago-area fans will witness a fierce battle for the championship with each competitor using customized high-powered vehicles: Monster Jam Speedsters, Monster Jam ATVs and the famous Monster Jam trucks. Pit Parties (10:30 a.m.-noon Saturday and Sunday) give fans the opportunity to meet the Monster Jam athletes and get up close to the Monster Jam trucks.

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday; 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday; 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday; 1 p.m. Monday.
Cost: $22, $12 kids 12 and under; $10 Pit Passes

Fury Youth Presents Henry V

Chase Park | Chicago, Ill.

Packed with action, intrigue, and the largest stage combat scene in Teen Bard history, Fury promises to deliver an exciting performance for Shakes aficionados and first-time viewers alike.

When: 7 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays
Cost: $15

Hand-Pulled Lollipop Class

Sweet Pete's Candy | Lake Forest, Ill.

Learn the art of old fashioned candy making. Sweet Pete’s confectioners turn boiled sugar into hand pulled lollipops. Guests shape their own lollipops to take home.

When: 6:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesdays; noon-1 p.m. Fridays
Cost: $15

Once Upon a Castle

Chicago Children's Museum | Chicago, Ill.

An original exhibit inviting young imaginations to create their own kingdom in a one-of-a-kind castle-themed play space. Kids hold the power to play in a castle complete with secret tunnels, a rope bridge, tower, dungeon, throne room, wizard's room, kitchen, feasting table, market and more, setting the stage for a fantastical experience where the only limit is one's imagination.

Cost: Free with museum admission

Dream with Da Vinci

DuPage Children's Museum | Naperville, Ill.

Visitors will learn the basics about Da Vinci and the Renaissance era; children will add their own ideas and voices to the exhibit. They can explore elements of flight and connect today’s technology to Da Vinci’s innovations; explore several machines and structures, from bridges to clock gears; try on the role of engineer; express themselves with different artistic mediums, from clay to crayons; and dress up in Renaissance clothing.

Cost: Free with museum admission

Children’s China: Celebrating Culture, Character and Confucius

Kohl Children's Museum | Glenview, Ill.

This interactive exhibit explores what life is like for children in China. Kids will celebrate the annual holiday, National Teachers’ Day, while learning to write “thank you teacher” in Chinese characters on a touchscreen notepad. Kids will shop in a traditional Chinese neighborhood market and then prepare a healthy meal while working in a restaurant. In the home, visitors will learn how families celebrate the Chinese New Year and participate in a daily dragon parade led by a traditional dragon headdress. Computer interactives invite children to experience the art of paper cutting, discover their lunar calendar animal and play traditional musical instruments. A key focus of the exhibit will be Confucius, the inspirational teacher and moral leader still considered to be a hero to children in China today.

Cost: Free with museum admission

Fun Unplugged: Little Adults

DuPage County Historical Museum | Wheaton, Ill.


Located in the room across from the Museum’s electric HO gauge model railroad, the exhibit displays popular and homemade toys that entertained children without electricity, from army figurines to tea sets, board games, dollhouses, erector sets, irons, stoves, cabins, and more.

Cost: Free
Kids Eat Chicago

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