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The Lincoln Carnival

Oak Park, Ill.

Games such as "Plinko" and "Bozo Buckets," a goldfish toss, bingo, face painting and airbrush tattoos, balloon animals and a cake walk. Plus, raffles and healthy meals and snacks.

When: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Chocolate Expo and Market

The Morton Arboretum | Lisle, Ill.

Celebrate chocolate and its connection to the natural world. Visit, taste, and buy specialty chocolates and treats from a variety of vendors.

When: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: Free with admission

Natural Valentine

Glacial Park Conservation Area | Ringwood, Ill.

Enjoy a short hike, have your family's picture taken, and then make a "natural" picture frame to complete your Valentine's Day gift. Picture frames are limited to one per family.

When: 1:30-3 p.m.
Cost: $5, $3 resident

Nature Discovery Day

Heller Nature Center | Highland Park, Ill.


Visit nature classrooms, complete a craft to take home, explore the science of nature, go sledding or cross country skiing, view live animals and enjoy a roasted marshmallow around a crackling campfire. Activities may vary and some are weather dependent.

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


Lake Katherine Nature Center and Botanic Gardens | Palos Heights, Ill.

Attractions include hayrides, animals, children’s crafts, face-painting and snowshoeing.


When: Noon-4 p.m.
Cost: $5, free kids 3 and under

Kids' Paint Day

Pilcher Park Nature Center | Joliet, Ill.

A day of painting seasonally themed art. Light refreshments are provided.

When: 10 a.m.-noon. Feb. 6 and April 17
Cost: $25

Lunar New Year Celebration

Brookfield Zoo | Brookfield, Ill.


Enjoy traditional Chinese lion costume dance, goat feedings, zoo chats, face painting, and a live Chinese Cuisine Cooking Demonstration by Chef Ying. Also, make a take-home red lantern, snap a picture in the dragon photo booth, enjoy a Year of the Monkey Scavenger Hunt through the indoor Tropic World exhibit, and receive a lucky red envelope with a special prize inside.

When: 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: Free

Winter Exploration Days

Forest Preserves of Cook County | Chicago, Ill.


Enjoy snowshoe nature hikes and sledding (weather permitting), plus winter crafts, a campfire and more.

When: Noon-4 p.m.
Cost: Free

Wonders of Winter

Mayslake Peabody Estate | Oak Brook, Ill.


Enjoy horse-drawn hayrides, snowshoeing, ice fishing and geocaching. Meet live birds of prey from Willowbrook Wildlife Center’s raptor education program at this free all-ages event. Warm up around an open fire while making s’mores and then step inside historic Mayslake Hall for games, crafts and exploration of the historic building.

When: 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Cost: Free

Strandbeest Kids Day

Chicago Cultural Center | Chicago, Ill.


This Family Day focuses on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics). Interactive activities and making opportunities will be offered throughout the building along with demonstrations of the exhibition’s kinetic sculptures. Interact with modular snake robots from Carnegie Mellon University, use your imagination to create toys with FrankenToyMobile and more. Part of the opening weekend activities for the exhibition Strandbeest: The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen.

When: Noon-4 p.m.
Cost: Free

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