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A Winter's Walk

Trailside Museum of Natural History | River Forest, Ill.

Enjoy a guided nature walk through the winter woods, followed by a tasty snack and hot cocoa by a campfire. Registration required. Dress to be outdoors the whole time.

When: 1-2:30 p.m.
Cost: $1 per person

Sleepover Safari

Brookfield Zoo | Brookfield, Ill.

Get a glimpse into what happens at Brookfield Zoo at night. Enjoy a pizza dinner and craft activities, then go on a night hike that highlights zoo residents and nocturnal Illinois wildlife. The next morning, wake up to a hot breakfast buffet, a morning hike and a visit to an animal exhibit.

When: 6:30 p.m.-9 a.m.
Cost: $70, $60 member

Holiday-Break Activities

Mitchell Museum of the American Indian | Evanston, Ill.

Kids, accompanied by an adult, can make simple versions of objects inspired by Native American cultures to take home as souvenirs or gifts. From 2-2:30 p.m., hear Native American stories told in the museum's Teaching Lodge area.

When: Dec. 26-28; Jan. 2-4
Cost: Free with admission

Kwanzaa Kinara Candlelighting

DuSable Museum of African American History | Chicago, Ill.


Light the kinara with The Tuskegee Airmen Inc., Alderman Willie B. Cochran, the South Side Community Arts Center, Truestar Magazineand Teen Talk Radio Theater.

When: 1 p.m.
Cost: Free

Kalapriya Performances

Field Museum | Chicago, Ill.

Enjoy breathtaking performances by the Kalapriya Center for Performing Arts, as dancers lead you on a journey through India, inspired by the court dances of India performed for kings and queens.

When: 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Cost: Free with admission

Extended Holiday Hours

John G. Shedd Aquarium | Chicago, Ill.

Enjoy a special extended schedule for the holidays.

When: 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Dec. 1-23; 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Dec. 26-30

Christmas Day and New Year's Day Jumping

Pump It Up Chicago | Chicago, Ill.


All ages are welcome to jump at special Holiday Family Jump hours.

When: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. or 1:15-3:15 p.m.
Cost: $10 kids

Kwanzaa Observance Program

Malcolm X College | Chicago, Ill.


Includes performing artists, cultural activities, and vendors. Guests can visit the African Marketplace to purchase traditional clothing, food and more located in the college's lobby. The Kwanzaa Ceremony begins at noon every day and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, starting with the Kwanzaa Ritual, an explanation of the Kwanzaa Symbols and Principles, and ending with the Cultural Edu-tainment and Expressions.

When: 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Cost: Free

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.


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

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