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Tadpoles & Nature Babies Open House and Winter Party

Pilcher Park Nature Center | Joliet, Ill.


Discuss the upcoming Winter Solstice, make crafts, take a hike and enjoy snacks and a story with a visitor from an animal friend.

When: 10-11 a.m.
Cost: Free

Solstice Night Hike

Prairieview Education Center | Crystal Lake, Ill.

Investigate old ways to celebrate this celestial event while creating new traditions, including a luminary-candlelight night hike ending at a warm campfire. Dress for the weather and outdoor activities. Please do not bring flashlights.

When: 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Cost: $2, free resident

TILT the Season

360 CHICAGO | Chicago, Ill.

Enjoy sky-high views of the city lights and frosty lakefront from the 360 CHICAGO floor. Then, say hello to Santa, who will help spread holiday cheer every weekend and Christmas Eve (10 a.m.-2 p.m.). Photos with Santa will be complimentary for 360 CHICAGO guests. Other special gifts will include a complimentary one-day Child pass to the Shedd Aquarium and kids will TILT for free every Wednesday.

When: 9 a.m.-11 p.m.
Cost: Free with 360 CHICAGO admission

Selfies with Santa

Skydeck Chicago | Chicago, Ill.

Dressed in his signature red suit, Santa will roam around Skydeck Chicago so visitors can take pictures with him.

When: 1-5 p.m.
Cost: Free with Skydeck admission

Diggers and Dump Trucks

Wonder Works | Oak Park, Ill.

Dig polished rocks from a play dough quarry and then transport them along a wooden railroad; use toy bulldozers, front-end loaders, and dump trucks to load and transport pebbles; help make garages to house the trucks when the day's work is done, using many types of construction materials.

When: 10 a.m.-noon
Cost: Free with museum admission

Milk & Cookies Event

Schaumburg Boomers | Schaumburg, Ill.


Attendees have the opportunity to take pictures with Santa Claus and mascot Coop, enjoy some free milk and cookies, and help put the finishing touches on the Boomers Christmas Tree

When: 3-5 p.m.
Cost: Free

Charles Dickens Brunch

Drake Bros. | Chicago, Ill.

Visit The Drake to see carolers and whisper holiday wishes into Santa's ear at The Charles Dickens Brunch. Menu includes soup, salad and appetizer, a carving station and desserts. Kids enjoy a la carte selections such as grilled cheese, beef sliders and cheese pizza.

When: Noon-4 p.m. Dec. 13-14 and 20-23
Cost: $89, $44 kids

A Christmas Carol

Mudlark Theater Company | Evanston, Ill.

We all know the story. Of Ebenezer Scrooge and that fateful Christmas Eve when the Ghosts of Christmas came to change the heart of the infamous old miser. Featuring an extraordinary cast of both adult and youth performers, Mudlark Theater is thrilled to present our brand new adaptation of this beloved holiday story.

When: 7 p.m. Dec. 12, 13, 18, 19 and 20; 2 p.m. Dec. 14 and 21
Cost: $12, $10 kids

A Christmas Story Reunion

Hollywood Palms Cinema | Naperville, Ill.

Meet "Flick" Scott Schwartz, "Scut Farkus" Zack Ward and everyone's favorite little piggy "Randy" Ian Petrella. Watch "A Christmas Story" on the big screen and hear stories of a holiday family classic. Autographs and pictures with the stars available.


Musikgarten with Wendy Morgan

Wilmette Public Library | Wilmette, Ill.


Wendy Morgan loves to get kids singing, wiggling, jumping, dancing and having a great time. Her original songs encourage children to use their imaginations, teach musical basics like melody and rhythm, and show kids how to have fun with words.

When: 9:30, 10:30 and 11:30 a.m.
Cost: Free

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