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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

Where the Wild Things Are: The Works of Maurice Sendak

Museum of Science and Industry | Chicago, Ill.

Explore original artworks by Sendak, including sketches, illustrations and works on paper. Presidents, illustrators, friends and celebrities also share their words about the renowned author—how he inspired them, influenced their careers and touched their lives.

Cost: Free with museum admission

Frogs: A Chorus of Colors

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum | Chicago, Ill.

Get eyeball to eyeball with 70 vibrant and vocal frogs from around the world. The hands-on, family-friendly adventure includes opportunities to glide like a flying frog on a mini-zip line, test your jumping skills against various frogs and play dress up in colorful frog costumes. Guests can also activate recorded frog calls, view frog videos, spin a zoetrope and perform a virtual dissection.

Cost: Free with museum admission

Winter Play

The Morton Arboretum | Lisle, Ill.

A self-guided glimpse into the world of outdoor play will depend on the day. Possibilities include painting snow or building a fort.

When: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. daily
Cost: Free with admission

Gnome Hunt

The Morton Arboretum | Lisle, Ill.

Search for gnomes in the Children's Garden using your best "I Spy" skills. Checklist provided.

When: 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. daily
Cost: Free with admission

Beginner's Art Studio

Wonder Works | Oak Park, Ill.

Kids and adults can explore their creative sides. Materials change daily and trained facilitators assist with the artistic process.

When: 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday and Wednesday-Saturday; 12:30-4:30 p.m. Sunday
Cost: Included with admission

The Snow Queen

AlphaBet Soup Productions | Lombard, Ill.

This frozen fairy tale comes to life in this all-new adaptation of the Hans Christian Anderson classic. Follow Gerda on her whimsical quest to save her sister Kai before they are forever trapped in the Snow Queen's palace. Playing at various venues including Joliet Junior College, North Central College, Museum of Science & Industry, Tivoli Theatre, Prairie Center for the Arts and more.

When: 10:30 a.m. Check website for schedule.
Cost: $8.50

Jack and the Beanstalk

Chicago Kids Company | Chicago, Ill.

Jack and his dancing Spanish cow Carmelita try to save their village from the crazy Giant. Runs 10:30 a.m. select weekdays, Jan. 28-April 2, plus 1 p.m. Saturdays, Feb. 28 and March 21. Check website for exact dates. Performances at Stahl Family Theater, 5900 W. Belmont Ave. (Oct. 27-March 1) and Jedlicka Performing Arts Center, 3801 S. Central Ave., Cicero (March 8-18).

When: Check website for schedule. 10:30 a.m. weekdays; 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12
Cost: $12

Night Runner

Merle Reskin Theatre | Chicago, Ill.

The story of Cora, an enslaved 12-year-old, and the Night Runner, the mythic but dark figure who shows her the way. When a cruel slave owner arrives and snatches Cora's brother Marcus in exchange for debt, Cora flees to find him. In steps the legendary Night Runner, a fierce, fast-talking female superhero, who helps Cora escape to freedom and discover her own inner strength. On Jan. 26 and Feb. 5, there will be a post-show discussion. The performances on Feb. 10-11 will be interpreted in American Sign Language. The performance on Feb. 9 will include a live audio description of the visual and physical events onstage for patrons who are blind or have low-vision.

When: 10 a.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Cost: $10

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