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Chinese New Year Kickoff Celebration

Chicago Cultural Center | Chicago, Ill.

FREE  

The Chinese Fine Arts Society kicks off the Year of the Monkey with a festive display of Chinese dance, music, and martial arts. The Long Yun Kung Fu Troupe, founded by Jackie Chan and traveling from China, will give a special performance showcasing a new art form melding martial arts with elegant traditional Chinese dance. Wear red for good fortune.

When: Noon-1 p.m.
Cost: Free

Stroller Tour

Art Institute of Chicago | Chicago, Ill.

This 30-minute tour is designed for parents and caretakers of children 18 months and younger. The tour will begin in the Modern Wing. Valet service and coat check are available at the entrance.

When: 11:30 a.m.-noon
Cost: $25, $10 member

Pets Unleashed

Chicago Children's Museum | Chicago, Ill.

Kids can play with dozens of life-sized, stuffed animal pets, care for them, and even dress up and act like them. Filled with climbable dwellings, caretaking props, wearable accessories, movable structures, and "pets" of all types and sizes, this exhibit provides a platform for boundless self-expression and imaginative play. In addition, there will be live pets on Saturdays at noon. The Anti-Cruelty Society will bring specially-trained dogs and guinea pigs for the little ones to interact with each week. Pets Unleashed offers a pathway for kids to develop compassion, empathy and respect, toward themselves and others.

Cost: Free with museum admission

Build It!

Kohl Children's Museum | Glenview, Ill.

Exhibit puts an innovative spin on classic building blocks by letting children explore and interact with ten different varieties of blocks in a single space. Stations in the exhibit include Shadow Play: kids can build structures and cast shadows using directional lights; Build It, Test It, Shake It: kids can build and test the strength of their structures by using weights to see if they can withstand a downward force; Sweet Home Chicago: using large floor blocks and small table-top blocks, kids follow blueprint graphics to construct famous Chicago skyscrapers.

Cost: Free with admission

Adventures with Clifford The Big Red Dog

Discovery Center Museum | Rockford, Ill.

Board the Birdwell Island ferry and journey to the world of Clifford, America’s beloved big red dog. Slide down Clifford’s tail, work together to fill Clifford’s big dog bowl with bones, hunt for sea shells at T-Bone’s beach or “work” in the fish and chip shop on Birdwell Island and more.

Cost: Free with museum admission

Black Creativity Juried Art Exhibition

Museum of Science and Industry | Chicago, Ill.

The longest-running exhibition of African-American art in the U.S. features more than 100 dynamic works of art from amateur and professional African-American artists from around the nation, as well as a youth category which features work by a dozen area high school artists.

Cost: Free with museum admission

Enchanted Railroad

The Morton Arboretum | Lisle, Ill.

The annual event features a larger-than-life platform with two levels and as many as 12 model trains, including a miniature replica of an Amtrak train. Enchanted Railroad also features a Lego train car crafted by Sean Kenney, artist and creator of the popular Nature Connects exhibit; the train car was originally created for a 2009 episode of NBC’s “30 Rock.” Other highlights include pint-sized details of the arboretum’s grounds, small figurines highlighting some of the arboretum’s most beloved events and interactive elements, perfect for kids.

When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Jan. 17-Feb. 22.
Cost: Free with admission

Winter Play

The Morton Arboretum | Lisle, Ill.

A self-guided glimpse into the world of outdoor play will depend on the day. Possibilities include painting snow or building a fort.

When: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. daily
Cost: Free with admission

Gnome Hunt

The Morton Arboretum | Lisle, Ill.

Search for gnomes in the Children's Garden using your best "I Spy" skills. Checklist provided.

When: 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. daily
Cost: Free with admission

Family Event: Chinese New Year

Art Institute of Chicago | Chicago, Ill.

FREE  

Come celebrate the year of the Monkey with a special art activity.

When: 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: Free
 











 
 
 
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