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Skate for History on Presidents' Day

Arlington Heights Historical Museum | Arlington Heights, Ill.

Enjoy a roller skating party to help preserve Mount Prospect's 1896 Central School. A limited number of skates will be available for rental ($5).


When: Noon-5 p.m.
Cost: $5

President's Day Pets

Midwest Museum of Natural History | Sycamore, Ill.

Learn about a few of the presidents' pets on President's day, and then interact with some of the museum's live animals while learning about what kind of pet a reptile is.

When: 1-4 p.m.
Cost: Free with admission

Smarty Pants Big Balloon Show

Winnetka Community House | Winnetka, Ill.

This all-ages show features magic, comedy and amazing giant balloon props. At this performance, one audience member will be chosen to become part of the show.

When: 10-11 a.m.
Cost: $7

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

Freedom: A History of US

Naper Settlement | Naperville, Ill.

Exhibit explores the evolution of freedom by examining critical figures and events in U.S. history from founding until 1968. Visitors can view reproductions of a rare 1776 printing of the Declaration of Independence, a secretly printed draft and official copy of the U.S. Constitution, Lincoln’s handwritten notes of speeches and letters by leading figures such as Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony and others. There will also be a variety of local components on display, including reproductions of a letter written from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a NCC Chapel Convocation Program, and a pair of shoes on display that were worn by North Central College student, Mike Bibler, who wore them to the Selma March in 1965.

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

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

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