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Make Your Own Wooden Toys

Glacial Park Conservation Area | Ringwood, Ill.

Learn how to make your own wooden toys to keep for yourself or give them as a gift. The wood being used for these projects comes from a non-native, invasive plant called buckthorn. We will learn about this invasive plant and why we work so hard to remove it from our natural areas.

When: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Cost: $5, free resident

Owls-Predators of the Night

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

Become a forensic scientist and dissect an owl pellet and listen to recordings of owl's eerie calls. Plus, play a predator/prey game in the prairie and other games to help understand animal strategies of survival.

When: 3:45-4:45 p.m.
Cost: $5

Turkey Jumps

Pump It Up Chicago | Chicago, Ill.

Work off those extra calories or let the kids play while you shop.

When: 8:30-9:30 a.m. (toddlers only), 9:30-11 a.m., 11:15 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
Cost: $12

Parent/Child Thanksgiving Goodies to Share

Naperville Park District | Naperville, Ill.

Work together with your child to create delicious dishes sure to please any crowd. Each parent/child pair will bring home a few creations to share with the family. Recipes provided.

When: 9:30-11 a.m.
Cost: $39, $26 resident

Pumpkin Pie! A Family Program

Angelic Organics Learning Center | Caledonia, Ill.

Learn to make a delicious dessert, while learning about how they care for the soil, vegetables and animals on the farm. Includes a tour of the vegetable farm where squash are grown. Dress to be outside doing farm work. Bring a sack lunch.

When: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Cost: $18

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 2015, the celebration will focus on a robot theme in honor of the museum's temporary exhibition, "Robot Revolution."



When: 9:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. daily; extended hours on select days.
Cost: Free with admission

Run! Jump! Fly! Adventures in Action

Kohl Children's Museum | Glenview, Ill.

The exhibit allows visitors to engage in exciting activities including surfing, snowboarding, kung fu and rock climbing all in a fun and immersing environment. Visitors jump into “Action Star Training,” which are play activities that build strength, coordination, balance and endurance, and can earn stamps for each adventures they try in their Action Trackers. At the conclusion with their visit, guests can bring home a 3-day Action Tracker to build on the skills and activities they learned and incorporate them into their own lives.

Cost: Free with museum admission


John G. Shedd Aquarium | Chicago, Ill.

Developed and designed exclusively by Shedd, the one-of-a-kind exhibit will offer guests an immersive visual, audio and hands-on experience, immersing guests in the changing lives of salamanders, sirens, frogs, toads, newts, and more. Tadpoles will swim overhead, unusual and surprising amphibian sounds will fill the air, frogs in every color of the rainbow will hop and little-known, limbless caecilians will swim and slither.


Materials Science

Museum of Science and Industry | Chicago, Ill.

Learn the science behind familiar materials, like plastics and metals, explore where materials science is headed next and discover how breakthroughs in materials science have shaped our world. For the first time at MSI, an Atomic Probe Field Ion Microscope will be on display. This tool allowed scientists to image materials at an atomic level and opened up a whole new world of understanding and innovation.

Cost: Free with museum admission

Robot Revolution

Museum of Science and Industry | Chicago, Ill.

Robot Revolution will explore how robots, created by human ingenuity, will ultimately change how we play, live and work together. The exhibit will allow guests to step into a visionary world where robots are not just a curiosity, but a vital asset. The exhibit will come to life with a collection of cutting-edge robots that have been secured from some of the most innovative global robotics companies and universities. Guests will have extraordinary opportunities to interact with robots that have rarely been shown to the public before.

Cost: Check website

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