5 winter blues busters on the North Shore

Getting tired of being cooped up at home? Fear not, my friends! I’m here to turn those winter blahs into hurrahs (Dad joke). But seriously, I’m pretty sure that by now, you’re sick of your kids playing video games, watching the same annoying cartoons and generally just being in the house—all of which are excellent reasons to exit the premises and have a little local fun. Check out these upcoming events on the North Shore—from carnivals to owls (yep, the hootin’ kind), you’ll find something for every age. And you, while you’re at it.

Winter Waterland 

There’s something about swimming (indoors, of course) in the dead of winter that’s quite delightful. It’s like the best of opposite seasons becoming BFFs right before your eyes. Kiddos ages 6 to 12 can go for a swim, then warm up with some hot cocoa and a winter craft. 

When: Jan. 13, 1-3 p.m. 

Where: Recreation Center of Highland Park, 1207 Park Ave. West  

Cost: $15 residents, $25 non-residents/non-members

Northbrook Winter Carnival

Winter, you’re lookin’ pretty awesome right about now. Horse-drawn trolley rides, sled dog demos, ice sculpting, holiday bingo, and—wait for it—a singalong with Anna and Elsa. (I’m dead.) Enjoy a fun day outside, then warm up with a sammy from the Toasty Cheese food truck. 

When: Jan. 13, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. 

Where: Meadowhill Park, 2479 Maple Ave., Northbrook   

Cost: Free admission

A Hootin’ Good Time 

Have you ever met an owl (you didn’t like)? Get to know some feathered friends courtesy the Wings and Talons Organization. Little ones ages 6 and older will learn fun facts about the birds’ habitats, characteristics and quirks, up close and in person. 

When: Jan. 14, 1-2:30 p.m.

Where: Heller Nature Center, 2821 Ridge Rd., Highland Park 

Cost: $9 per person

Science in the Snow

Science in the winter > science in any other season. Aspiring scientists ages 6 to 10 will learn if a bubble can shatter like glass, how to make a snowflake and several more fun experiments in the snow. Bring warm, waterproof outdoor clothing and boots. 

When: Jan. 15, 9-11 a.m.

Where: Heller Nature Center, 2821 Ridge Rd., Highland Park 

Cost: $15 per person

Parent and Tot Drop-In 

Play kitchens to puzzles, climbing toys to crafts, let your little one ages 1 to 3½ have a little fun with other kids their age. (What I’m really trying to say is this: getting out their wiggles is the name of the wintertime game.) 

When: 9:15-11:15 a.m., every Thursday through March 30  

Where: Jewett Park Community Center, 836 Jewett Park Dr., Deerfield  

Cost: $3 per person

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