Chicago Toy and Game Fair

Navy Pier | Chicago, Ill.

Play with toys and games from all around the world and meet their inventors, stage events, characters, Radio Disney, Top Trump Tournament, KenKen Tournament, Star Wars Breakfast, mascots and more. New in 2012, toy and game fashion show on Nov. 14.

When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday
Cost: $10, $5 kids, free kids under 3 and Scouts in uniform

Tree of Lights Ceremony

Union Station | Chicago, Ill.

FREE  

Kick-off to the Christmas season and the annual Red Kettle campaign. Celebration includes musical performances by cast members of the Goodman Theatre's "A Christmas Carol" and the Salvation Army Brass Ensemble and culminates in the lighting of an 18-foot-tall Christmas tree.

When: 5 p.m.
Cost: Free

500 Clown Frankenstein

Viaduct Theatre | Chicago, Ill.

Just as Victor Frankenstein created his monster from parts of many different people, this new iteration of "500 Clown Frankenstein" is constructed by a cast of rotating performers. Five clowns reconfigure into three different casts, each charged with the same task: "make monster."

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday
Cost: $15-$25

Unboxed: Adventures in Cardboard

Chicago Children's Museum | Chicago, Ill.

See a toy so amazing, so unbelievable, it has the power to transform into anything you want it to be. Enter a world where imagination rules, and ordinary becomes extraordinary.

Cost: Free with admission

Magic

Chicago History Museum | Chicago, Ill.

Take a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the world of magic and its historic roots in Chicago. Features a multimedia object theater experience, artifact display and live performances. Discover the tricks of the trade and witness Chicago's magical past reappear before your very eyes.

Cost: Free with admission

Welcome to the Universe

Adler Planetarium | Chicago, Ill.

Visitors become space adventurers and set off on a journey to discover the Universe in a way never done before. Travel a billion light-years and back, fly through space, orbit the Moon, zoom into a canyon on Mars, and soar through the cosmic web where a million galaxies shower down. The experience was created utilizing real telescopic data and the best scientific imagery.

Cost: $28 pass (includes admission); $22 kids 3-11

Extreme Mammals

Field Museum | Chicago, Ill.

Exhibit examines the ancestry and evolution of numerous species, ranging from huge to tiny, from speedy to sloth-like, and displays animals with oversized claws, fangs, snouts, and horns. Highlights include taxidermy specimens, an entire skeleton of a giant hoofed plant-eater, a life-size model of the largest land mammal that ever lived, one of the oldest fossilized bats ever found, and an impressive diorama featuring the swamps and forests of an island in the Arctic. Runs May 26, 2012-Jan. 6, 2013.

Cost: $22-$29 adults, $18-24 seniors and students, $15-$20 kids 4-11; included in Discovery and All-Access passes

Charlie Brown and the Great Exhibit

Museum of Science and Industry | Chicago, Ill.

Exhibit explores Schulz's personal history and his role as the sole inspiration and artistic talent behind Peanuts and its unique cast of characters. Through original cartoons, reproductions and related Peanuts ephemera, guests see how characters were developed and evolved. Schulz's Santa Rosa, Calif. studio, recreated for the first time, allows for a deeper look into his work and life. Kids and families have a chance to exercise their own Schultz-like creativity with activities like making a zoetrope.

Cost: $5, $3 kids 3-11, plus admission

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

The Spirit of the Marathon: From Pheidippides to Today

National Hellenic Museum | Chicago , Ill.

Learn and connect to the history of the Marathon race, inspired by the Battle of Marathon (490 BC), from the first Marathon race in the 1896 Athens Olympics to today. Includes section on The Chicago Marathon. Children are invited to participate in a Race for Pheidippides scavenger hunt to redeem a prize. Exhibit coloring pages also available.

Cost: Free with admission
 





 
 
 
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