5 places in Skokie to survive winter break

No matter where you live, what you do or how you celebrate, the holidays are about sharing tradition and creating new memories. However, after the gifts have been opened and the kid’s entertainment quota filled, you are now faced with days off from school and very bored children.

Here becomes the challenge – creating memories before the bored kids start to complain! Whether you live in Skokie or haven’t visited in a while, there are many reasons to become a “Village” person for the day. Here are a few amazing places to check out in the Village of Skokie to keep your little ones fa-la-la-ing far into the New Year.

The Skokie Library

If you have never checked out the Skokie Library you have no idea what you’re missing. This is so much more than a book zone. Offering daily entertainment far beyond the vast collection of books for every age and stage, there’s a fantastic play space, complete with puzzles, puppets and toys, as well as a crafting area available on a daily basis. The technology center was recently updated with iPads complete with age-appropriate apps and games. Additionally, they have a community calendar that is complete with movies, daily activities like story times or workshops, and live shows for kids of all ages.

This is a must-do for vacation days and a local Skokie library card holder never leaves without books, DVDs or even video games to keep them busy when they get home. (Hint: make some Skokie Library card holder friends, it’s worth it!) Check out their online calendar for a full listing of activities over the holiday break including feature films like “Maleficent” and “How to Train Your Dragon 2.”

The Exploritorium

Part of the amazing Skokie Park District, The Exploritorium is a gem for locals and visitors alike. An interactive play space complete with costumed dress-up, water play, music play and climbing through tubes and tunnels – there is something for so many ages. I have been here with babies up to about age eight with success.

A can’t-miss for the holidays is the Iddy Biddy New Years featuring an early New Years celebration (in the morning with a countdown to noon!). Your little one gets the excitement of the holiday without the cranky, overtired midnight stay-up. The entire space will be transformed into a mini Times Square, complete with a DJ and balloon drop. Preregistration is required, so be sure and grab a spot early!

The Skatium

What holiday season is complete without an ice skating day? Grab the kids, some hot cocoa and head over to the Skatium in Skokie. This full size ice rink offers public skating hours and skate rental. There is also a concession stand for taking a snack break. Call for public skating hours (847) 674-1500, ext. 2900

Bughouse Art Studio

Painting pottery is always fun with the kids and it makes a great gift. But Bughouse offers more than just painting pottery, they can help you create your artwork from scratch! With daily studio hours or classes, Bughouse will walk you through pottery making, painting and glazing your piece. This is perfect for older children or tweens and teens sitting around the house. Check out their calendar for hours and open studio times.

The Skokie Theater

Have a little old school family fun at this vintage little theater that happens to have fantastic holiday shows for family. Playing this December? A Christmas show, Christmas at the White House, featuring tales of holidays with the presidents through the years, a Hanukkah show and The Way Jews Rock featuring Even Sh’siyah. Both of these shows are for one night only.

Holidays and days off are manageable when you plan ahead. Take my advice and visit all five of these awesome places (hey, that’s five days covered!!). Happy Holidays!!

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