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Chicago Toy & Game Fair

Chicago, Ill.

This fair offers families, teachers, toy and game enthusiasts the chance to preview new toys and games, meet Toy and Game Inventors, have a picture taken with Star Wars characters and more.

When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Nov. 22, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 23
Cost: $10, $5 kids 3-13, free kids under 3

Settlers' Day

Settlers Day | South Holland, Ill.


Visit with costumed living history demonstrators, representing American history from French fur trading days, pioneer times, and the Revolutionary and Civil War periods.  Activities include joining an imaginary wagon train, guided history hikes, trying your hand at a two-person buck saw, and making a craft.

When: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cost: Free, donations of money or food accepted

Skull Detectives

Trailside Museum of Natural History | River Forest, Ill.


Examine real skulls to figure out which animal stole the missing lunch.

When: 1-2:30 p.m.
Cost: Free

Hansel & Gretel's Gingerbread Ball

The Ritz-Carlton Chicago | Chicago, Ill.

Enjoy a private performance of the musical by Ernie Nolan and Justin Roberts Hansel & Gretel: A Wickedly Delicious Musical Treat followed by a rockin’ party at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago with lunch, dancing, crafts and activities, a chance to meet the characters from the show, live and silent auctions, a private performance by Grammy-nominated artist, Justin Roberts.

When: 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Cost: $125; $450 family of four

Santa’s Workshop

Beverly Arts Center | Chicago, Ill.

Kids create a painting while learning about color mixing, blending, brush techniques, and a bit of art history, with hot chocolate and snacks for an afternoon of fun.

When: 2-4 p.m.
Cost: $31

Little Miss Ann and Mr. Dave

Old Town School of Folk Music | Chicago, Ill.

Family concert featuring two kids musicians who are also Old Town School Wiggleworms teachers.

When: 11 a.m.
Cost: $11

Muscle Car & Corvette Nationals

Donald E. Stephens Convention Center | Rosemont, Ill.

The world's largest all in-door specialty event devoted to classic muscle cars and Corvettes, features more than 500 of the world's rarest and most desirable muscle cars and Corvettes. Includes The Great American Muscle Car Giveaway, classic Shelby Models on display, muscle bikes and plenty of activities for the kids, including the Schwinn muscle bike display, a model car build and a scavenger hunt to win prizes.



When: 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Nov. 22; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 23
Cost: $20-$25; free kids under 12

Enter the Holidays with Michelle Houts’ Winterfrost

The Book Stall at Chestnut Court | Winnetka, Ill.


A visit with author Michelle Houts, reading from and discussing her new novel, Winterfrost. When 12 year old Bettina is unexpectedly placed in charge of the family farm (and her baby sister) she has to contend with the nisse, mischievous creatures upset when they don’t receive their expected Christmas treat.

When: 1-2 p.m.
Cost: Free

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. In 2014, the theme highlights temporary exhibit Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives. Explore new artifacts and experiences in this exhibit, including a section on the making of animated film Frozen and costumes from films such as The Santa Clause and Maleficent.

Cost: Free with admission

Plant Hunters

Morton Arboretum | Lisle, Ill.

The new library exhibit highlights the crucial research that takes place at The Morton Arboretum and brings awareness to the work of other notable plant researchers throughout history. Artifacts rare photographs of turn-of-the-century China taken by renowned plant collector, Ernest Henry Wilson. Visitors can explore modern plant hunting by getting a close look at instruments used in the field and during scientific study. The exhibit also features interactive elements, challenging visitors to identify various plant species while they learn about the state of threatened trees and plants as well as the conservation efforts of scientists at The Morton Arboretum.

Cost: Free with admission

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