Winter Discovery Camp

Heller Nature Center | Highland Park, Ill.

Bundle up for a morning of playing in the snow and discovering what makes winter such an amazing season. Dec. 26; Jan. 3.

When: 9 a.m.-noon
Cost: $30

Arctic Adventures

Prairieview Education Center | Crystal Lake, Ill.

Kids spend time both indoors and outdoors participating in nature based activities, making crafts and exploring the woods and prairie. If weather permits, play in the snow. Bring a lunch, and dress for the weather.

When: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cost: $8, $5 resident

Trash to Treasure: Sounds of the Season

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum | Chicago, Ill.

Move, play, and sing with Lily Emerson, the Nature Museum's Camp Artist in Residence, in this special family workshop exploring the sounds of the season. Help Lily write lyrics for a new song celebrating nature in winter and play along to the tune with your own, newly-created musical instrument. Be sure to bring your holiday trash (wrapping paper, boxes, cards, etc.) to decorate your instruments and create trash-to-treasure recycled thank you cards. Runs from 11 a.m.-noon Dec. 26-28.

Cost: Free with Museum admission. Thursdays are suggested donation days for Illinois residents.

Winter Break Clay Camps

Kids Clay Room | Chicago, Ill.

Kids make and glaze clay projects and break for lunch. Pick one or more days. Registration required. Call or email to register.

When: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Dec. 23, 27, 30, Jan. 3
Cost: $40

Comedy Sportz

Gorilla Tango's Skokie Theatre | Skokie, Ill.

Fast-paced comedy show for the whole family. It's improvisational comedy played as a sport by members of the World Comedy League. Two teams battle for laughs and points as they make up scenes, games and songs on the spot. The audience votes for the winners, a referee calls the fouls and they even play the national anthem before each match.

When: 7:30
Cost: $25

World’s Winter: Celebrations in Chicagoland

Chicago Cultural Alliance | Chicago, Ill.

Exhibit showcases the different cultural winter celebrations celebrated in Chicagoland including: Chinese New Year, Diwali, Filipino Simbang Gabi, German Silvester, Latvian Winter Solstice, Lithuanian Kučios, Polish Wigilia and Swedish Saint Lucia Day. The winter traditions are displayed in five separate locations. The CCA and its Core Members are also hosting exhibit related events, including tours of Core Member sites, cultural performances, holiday bazaars, cooking classes and family educational activities.

Cost: Check website

Master Juggler Mike Vandruska

Morton Grove Public Library | Morton Grove, Ill.


One of the tallest jugglers working brings his amazing tricks and skills including a unicycle, audience involvement and juggling to music.

When: 2-3 p.m.
Cost: Free

Bling In The New Year

Des Plaines Public Library | Des Plaines, Ill.


Come into the library and create new accessories for the new year. Make a perfect pair of felt bow hair clips or a bowed head band to ring in the New Year in style.

When: 2-3 p.m.
Cost: Free

Winter Wonderland Family Swim

Goldfish Swim School St. Charles | St. Charles, Ill.

Fun activities include a winter-themed craft, raffles, giveaways, and more.

When: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Cost: $5, $15 family

Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light

Chicago, Ill.

This Chicago tradition began in 1942. The museum's 45-foot Grand Tree takes center stage in the Rotunda, surrounded by more than 50 smaller trees decorated by volunteers from Chicago's ethnic communities to represent their various cultures and holiday traditions. Stroll through the trees, enjoy falling "snow" and savor  performances on the stage. School choral groups perform during the week, and ethnic song and dance performances take place on the weekends.

Cost: Free with admission

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