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


You've eaten enough eggs and bacon with Santa to last a lifetime, so this weekend is all about creative ways to celebrate the holidays, from Legos to hayrides to snakes, plus a different kind of holiday breakfast. Or how about a jubilee, a jamboree or a hootenanny? Don't worry, our calendar is full of all kinds of kid-friendly activities happening throughout Chicago and the suburbs - for traditionalists and rebels alike.

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Winter Holiday Hayride

Ride on a decorated hay wagon through the streets of Palos Heights singing Christmas carols then return to the Nature Center to enjoy food, crafts and other activities.


Chicago's Irish Christmas Market

Northcenter Town Square is transformed into a family-friendly, European-style outdoor marketplace that features a tree-lighting ceremony, Santa, Christmas Tree Parade, crafts, activities and more.


Holiday Jamboree

Get ready to groove as Mr. Dave releases his new kids album, Feeling Good, during his all ages hip hop / rock & roll kids show.


Brunch with the Grinch

Enjoy a 'green-inspired' brunch, games, crafts and a visit from the Grinch himself.


LEGO Train Show

The Northern Illinois LEGO Train Club presents a model train show, displayed in a creative diorama that includes special items and whimsical pieces made by members.


Family Concert: Duke It Out!

This Nutcracker performance pairs the classical (Tchaikovsky) and jazz (Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn) versions of the holiday favorite. Featured ensembles include Forum Jazz Dance Theatre, Moscow Ballet’s children’s cast, The Kate Jablonski Statement, Tapman Productions, Visceral Dance Chicago, Wheatland Dance Theater, and other companies and choreographers participating in Dance Chicago 2016.


Family Basket Weaving

The Chicago Weaving School shares the basics of weaving, beginning with twining, an essential basket weaving technique. Apply this new skill and create a small, expressive basket using natural rattan reed and various materials from Lurie Garden. Registration required.


Polar Adventure Days

Explore Northerly Island and come face-to-face with live animals, engage in winter activities, and create nature-inspired crafts. Events take place both outdoors and inside of the Visitor Center. Tour the Northerly Island Natural Area; see Siberian huskies, wolves and other live animals; encounter birds of prey from Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation; explore the island on snowshoes (if there's snow); enjoy a treat and sip hot cocoa. Dec. 10; Jan. 21; Feb. 25.


Gingerbread Jubilee

Decorate a unique gingerbread barn while listening to festive music, sipping hot chocolate, and enjoying cookies. Pre-assembled gingerbread barns, icing and candy trimmings provided. Up to six family members may decorate one barn.


Holiday Hoopla with a Lil' Hootenanny

Celebrate the holidays and the New Year with Bump Club & Beyond's annual holiday party. For tickets:



Family Christmas Party

Featuring a performance by the Dionysus Dance Troupe, the event includes making traditional Koulourakia cookies, photos with Santa Claus, painting and crafts that include designing a Karavaki (Christmas boat), wreath, and model Acropolis. Students in the Museum’s Greek Language and Culture classes will sing and dance and docents will be offering tours of the second floor exhibition Aegean: Creation of an Archipelago and the third floor exhibition Reaching for the American Dream: The Greek Story in America.


Holiday Treasure Hunt and Tea Party

Visit all four stops on the year’s Treasure Hunt to complete an activity book with fun stamps and colorful stickers. Visit the state-of-the-art Ryan Education Center, located in the Art Institute’s spectacular Modern Wing. Then join Artie the Lion and all of his friends for a festive holiday tea party. Choose from three start times: 10:45 a.m., noon and 1:30 p.m.


“Make a Snake” Ornament Open House

Get in the holiday spirit Willowbrook style by crafting a fun, colorful snake ornament, and then meeting some of DuPage County’s snakes face-to-face.


Dan Zanes: Holiday Sing-a-Long Brunch Show

An afternoon of exuberant, social and holiday music for kids and “kid sympathizers.” His concerts are an old-fashioned interactive experience where people of all-ages can sing and dance.


Hanukkah Happenings

Enjoy Hanukkah crafts, dreidel games, photo booth and a raffle and rock out with award-winning kid's rock musician Jeanie B.


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