Little Naturalists

Irons Oaks | Olympia Fields, Ill.

Bring your budding naturalist to Irons Oaks to explore the natural world together.  Each session a different natural topic is explored with activities, stories, games, or an art project. Dec. 13: Winter Birds; Jan. 23: Snow Fun; Feb. 13: Animal Tracks.

When: 9:45-11 a.m.
Cost: $6, $4 resident

Mr. and Mrs. Claus Holiday Photos

Navy Pier | Chicago, Ill.

Families can visit the Family Pavilion Stage for a professional photo with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

When: Check website for times
Cost: Call for cost

Share a Story with Santa Claus

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

FREE  

Santa reads a story aloud, before he and Mrs. Claus tale photos and mingle. A special lunch of a slice of pizza or hot dog and a small drink, plus 10 game credit can be purchased for $3.

When: 11:30 a.m.-1:45 p.m.
Cost: Free

Dinner with Santa

Olympia Park | Chicago, Ill.

Enjoy dinner, games, photos with Santa and more.

When: 6-8 p.m.
Cost: $12

Holiday Lights Display

Mooseheart Child City & School | Mooseheart, Ill.

One of the Chicago area's largest and most spectacular holiday light displays, encompassing a 1.8-mile drive-through course. Features larger-than-life holiday characters, children-oriented figures, and mythical creatures, plus architectural lighting. A special visit from Santa takes place on Dec. 7-9, 15-16 and 21-23.

When: 5-9 p.m.
Cost: $10 per car (plus an additional $1/pair for 3-D glasses); discounts on website

Magical Moments Celebration

Westfield Old Orchard | Skokie, Ill.

FREE  

Adjacent to Macy's in the fountain will be giant ornamental display. The three holiday trees display light shows set to music. A walk-through tree will be located near the Koi Pond. As you approach, the lighting changes. There will also be a skating rink near Bloomingdales that launches Nov. 17 (weather permitting). The price to skate per person is $12 and $10 if you bring your own personal skates.

Cost: Free

Winter Flower and Train Show

Lincoln Park Conservatory | Chicago, Ill.

FREE  

Model trains will wind their way through a miniature village set in a field of poinsettias. The village is made entirely of natural materials and features a variety of Chicago-style homes and famous buildings such as the neighborhood bungalow, Chicago Theatre and Chicago Water Tower Place. Nov. 26-Jan. 8.

When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: Free

Silo Exhibit

Wagner Farm & Heritage Center | Glenview, Ill.

Visitors can walk inside the two-story silo and turn the crank of a silage machine, watching "corn plants" delivered to the top of the silo. Plus, learn about the history of silos and silage, build miniature silos with building blocks simulating wood, brick and metal and much more.

Cost: Free with admission

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

How People Make Things

DuPage Children's Museum | Naperville, Ill.

A new traveling exhibit created by Children's Museum of Pittsburgh that links familiar childhood objects to a process of manufacturing that combines people, ideas and technology. Inspired by the factory tour segments from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, the exhibit offers hands-on activities using real factory tools and machines to create objects including crayons, a baseball bat and a matchbox car, just to name a few.

Cost: Free with admission
 





 
 
 
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