Backyard Monsters

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum | Chicago, Ill.

Exhibit challenges guests to communicate, move and live like bugs at interactive stations. Live insects are featured throughout the exhibition, plus larger-than-life robotic creatures allow visitors to observe the often overlooked beauty and complexity of the insect world.

Cost: Free with admission

Snowflake's Learn to Skate Clinic

Rink Side Ice Arena & Family Entertainment Center | Gurnee, Ill.

Snowflake "Learn to Skate" Clinics are an introduction to Rink Side's learn to skate classes. They are open to any child ages 2-11, there will be 30 minutes of instruction and 15 minutes of free time. There is a public session following the clinic and everyone can stay to skate! (Regular admission fees apply.) Sessions are held Dec. 26-29, 31, Jan. 2-5.

When: 10:30-11:15 a.m.
Cost: $12 per clinic; skate rental $3

Sweet Home Chicago: The History of America’s Candy Capital

Harold Washington Library Center | Chicago, Ill.

FREE  

Exhibit includes numerous artifacts, photographs and other documentary items that tell the story of Chicago's iconic candy makers, including Snickers, Lemonheads, Butterfingers and Cracker Jack.

Cost: Free

Oink, Baa, Moo: Farm Fun

Waukegan Public Library | Waukegan, Ill.

FREE  

Interactive learning centers include a barn slide, apple orchard and chicken coop. Maggie, a life-sized fiberglass milking cow sponsored by Golden Oaks Farm in Wauconda, will be the focus of the new exhibit. Maggie is over five feet tall and features a working udder that recirculates the water that children "milk."

Cost: Free

Enchanted Railroad

Morton Arboretum | Lisle, Ill.

See model trains loop around a holiday-themed track. Santa has his own car. Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas.

When: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 26-Jan. 6
Cost: Free with admission

Snowman Contest

Irons Oaks | Olympia Fields, Ill.

FREE  

Build a snowman out of biodegradable and natural items to win. Fill out an entry form at the main office.

Cost: Free

Skating in the Sky

360 CHICAGO | Chicago, Ill.

If you're looking for an alternative to skating at Millennium Park this winter, look up. Way up-94 stories, to be exact. Touted as the World's Highest Ice Skating Rink, the 94th floor of the John Hancock Center gives ice skaters a bird's-eye view of the city and the lake.

At 20 feet by 45 feet, the rink is probably too small to be your solo destination of the day, but paired with a trip to see the view from the Hancock, it's a nice way for kids to burn off energy while parents enjoy the great view. And because it's synthetic ice, skaters stay warm and don't get wet.

The rink is scheduled to be open for skating from 9 a.m.-11 p.m. through April 18. A 25-minute skate session costs $6 (in addition to the cost to get into the Hancock Observatory). You can bring your own skates or rent some there for a dollar.

 

When: 9 a.m.-11 p.m.
Cost: $6 per 25 minutes, $1 skate rental, plus regular Observatory admission

Blue Man Group

Blue Man Group at Briar Street Theatre | Chicago, Ill.

Blue Man Group is a multi-sensory experience that fuses innovative theatrical spectacle and powerful original music with hilarious comedy to create a performance experience unlike any other. One of the world's most popular theatrical productions, today's Blue Man Group is a blend of signature material that has been in the show since the opening, as well as newer passages that examine the influence of technology on today's world with a funny and perceptive look at contemporary communication vehicles.

When: Performance dates and times vary. A full schedule can be found at: www.blueman.com/chicago/buy-tickets
Cost: $49-$97

Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical

Emerald City Theatre Company | Chicago, Ill.

In a world where a trip to the Laundromat threatens to separate Trixie from her beloved bunny, a girl needs a hero to help--Dad. Can her parents understand what she's saying in time to rescue Knuffle Bunny? Performances run Oct. 2, 2012-Jan. 6, 2013.

Cost: $16, $13 kids, limited number of $10 tickets available for all performances

Have You Seen My Daddy?

eta Creative Arts Foundation | Chicago, Ill.

Musical that chronicles the sociological effects upon youth from fatherless homes and how they manage to uplift themselves in spite of it. Kwanzaa week holiday performances are Dec. 26, 27, 28. Regular run is Jan. 12-June 1, 2013.


When: 2 p.m.
Cost: $6
 





 
 
 
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