Where to make DIY gifts with kids in Chicago this holiday season


Everybody loves a thoughtful holiday gift. However, often the best gifts aren't the most expensive or biggest items under the tree.


"It's important to teach kids and families that they don't have to buy `new' for the holidays to give something special," says Heather Grance, manager of public programs at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. "They can reuse and renew materials to make fun, one-of-a-kind gifts that recipients will love."

For those who don't have the time or inclination to make their own gifts, buying handmade items from local artisans is another thoughtful option. With a little time and creativity, families can find gifts that are both economical and sentimental. Here are a few local resources for families looking for handmade gifts this holiday season.


Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum's Green Family Holiday Fair

When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 2
Where: 2340 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago
Cost: Admission to the holiday fair is free (museum admission not required
for entry)
Details: Local vendors will be selling their eco-friendly holiday wares. Many of the items are handmade and one-of-a-kind.
Website: naturemuseum.org


Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum's Gifting Green Workshops

When: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Nov. 24-25;
Dec. 22-23 
Cost: $3 per project, $5 for two projects
Details: Participants can "upcycle" by diverting unwanted materials from the landfills and turning them into handmade gifts. For example, kids can use pieces of felt from thrift shop sweaters to create tree ornaments.
Website: naturemuseum.org


Wishcraft Workshop

When: Classes/workshops are offered in the morning, afterschool and on weekends
Where: 2312 W. Roscoe, Chicago
Cost: Varies
Details: Throughout the holiday season, Wishcraft Workshop offers a DIY class for everyone (whether you are "crafty" or not). This is an opportunity to create handmade gifts with the help of creative craft experts by your side. Options include: "Kids + Grown-ups Making Stuff Together," "(Little) Hand-Made Gift Workshops" (minimum age is 4) and "(A Little Bigger) Hand-Made Gift Workshops" (minimum age is 7). Projects range from homemade play tents to pendants to picture frames.
Website: growartists.com



7th Annual Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Market

When: Dec. 1-2; 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: Pulaski Park Fieldhouse (1419 W. Blackhawk St., Chicago)
Cost: Admission is free
Details: This family-friendly market offers a variety of handmade creations from local indie artists. Get into the holiday spirit while you shop thanks to festive tunes, a free photo booth and a free trolley offering rides to other neighborhood shopping destinations.
Website: renegadecraft.com/chicago


Kids Eat Chicago

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