Fun things to do with kids this weekend in Chicago(land)

 
 

We're smack-dab in the middle of the dog days of winter, when we're looking for something - anything! - to add a little excitement to our humdrum lives. This weekend, break up the mundanity by learning something new at a museum or nature center, seeing a show that's brand new to Chicago, or catching an exhibit before it hops on out of town. Plus, our full calendar has all the other great activities happening throughout Chicago and the suburbs that are perfect for bored kiddos.

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Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival

The second Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival will showcase an entertaining, eclectic and eye-popping array of puppet styles from around the world. Marionettes, shadow puppets, Bunraku, tiny toy puppets, animated objects and other emerging forms of puppetry will all be on full display at Chicago's top cultural institutions, large and small, all over the city. In addition to public performances, visiting artists from around the globe will lead free, hands-on workshops, panel discussions, family drop-in events, late night Puppet Slams and special presentations on the history and craft of puppetry.

 
 

Ramps & Rollers Party

DuPage Children's Museum kicks off it 30th birthday year celebrating Mission in Motion. Ramps & Rollers was the Museum's very first exhibit 30 years ago and continues to be a favorite today. Enjoy activities throughout the Museum, a collaborative art project, mini coaster rides and performance by Chicago Hoop Dancers.

 
 

Weekend Family Class: Loco for Cocoa

Investigate the raw ingredients of chocolate, taste test different types of chocolate, and practice dipping fruits and snacks into melted chocolate to make treats extra enjoyable.

 
 

Winter Solstice Fireside

Celebrate the Winter Solstice and learn how nature played a role in the origin of many holiday traditions. Enjoy a craft and a short hike to wassail (sing and wish health) to the forest, followed by warm spiced apple cider by the indoor fireplace while hearing the myth of the Oak King and Holly King.

 
 

Rock & Mineral Identification

Geologist Sara Johnson presents an introduction to rocks and minerals. Learn how to make a basic mineral test kit. Hands on identification procedures include observation skills and hardness tests. All materials are provided. Reservations required.

 
 

Winter Luau Open Skate

Enjoy treats, raffles, and treat bags for all children.

 
 

Musical Petting Zoo

Children can try a wide range of instruments at a musical petting zoo as well as enjoy music games and refreshments while parents learn about the Music Institute from faculty and staff. Jan. 8: Evanston East Campus, 1490 Chicago Ave.; Jan. 21: Highland Park Library, 494 Laurel Ave.; Jan 22: Winnetka Campus, 300 Green Bay Road.

 
 

The Hundred Dresses

A timeless tale that explores the bonds of friendship, the willingness to be yourself, and the courage that it takes to stand up to others—even when you’re standing alone.

 
 

Night Runner

The story of Cora, an enslaved 12-year-old, and the Night Runner, the mythic but dark figure who shows her the way. When a cruel slave owner arrives and snatches Cora's brother Marcus in exchange for debt, Cora flees to find him. In steps the legendary Night Runner, a fierce, fast-talking female superhero, who helps Cora escape to freedom and discover her own inner strength. On Jan. 26 and Feb. 5, there will be a post-show discussion. The performances on Feb. 10-11 will be interpreted in American Sign Language. The performance on Feb. 9 will include a live audio description of the visual and physical events onstage for patrons who are blind or have low-vision.

 
 

Fable-ous!

Harrington T. Jordan was the fastest Hare that ever lived – so how did he end up losing his race against the Tortoise? Make some new friends in a world premiere comedy that turns the world of Aesop’s fables on its ear. An audio description and touch tour take place Jan. 21; open captioning on Jan. 28 and an autism/sensory-friendly performance on Feb. 4.

 
 

Frogs: A Chorus of Colors

Get eyeball to eyeball with 70 vibrant and vocal frogs from around the world. The hands-on, family-friendly adventure includes opportunities to glide like a flying frog on a mini-zip line, test your jumping skills against various frogs and play dress up in colorful frog costumes. Guests can also activate recorded frog calls, view frog videos, spin a zoetrope and perform a virtual dissection.

 
 
 
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