Favorite holiday activities for older kids

As kids get older, some of the activities that once delighted them are now considered “too babyish.” The good news is that there are lots of activities and family outings that are fun for your older kids.

Illumination at the Morton Arboretum

The 50 acres of woodlands bathed in theatrical LED lighting is breathtaking no matter what your age, but it is a particularly great option for older kids who have graduated from waving light-up penguins at ZooLights. They can really appreciate its awesomeness, as well as some of the science that goes into making these amazing exhibits a reality.

My family loves that it’s always different year to year, so it feels new each time we visit. This year check out the all-new Tinsel Harmony, where families or groups can sing together and watch lights glow and move to the sound of their voices, and Ornament Hill, a carpet of thousands of sparkling points of light. The trail is more than a mile long, and older kids can handle the hike and sit safely around the fire to enjoy their hot chocolate.

It runs now through Jan. 2.

A Christmas Story: The Musical at the Paramount Theater

“You’ll shoot your eye out!”

Now through Jan. 3, see the classic holiday film about Ralphie Parker’s quest for the Red Rider BB Gun in the 1940’s come to life on stage as a musical. At a run time of 2 hours, 10 minutes and a PG rating with the heads up that “some material may not be suitable for children,” the show is best for older kids. As a bonus, the Paramount Theater is always beautifully decorated for the holidays.

If a night at the theater sounds like fun for your family, also consider these other great holiday shows.

Holiday Tea (or Holiday Hot Chocolate)

If your kid is a major foodie, head to Suzette’s Creperie in Wheaton to enjoy their three-course Christmas Tea together. The third course is a scrumptious Sweets Buffet with cookies, candies and cakes. It’s offered now through Dec. 31. Tea is offered at 2:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and at 1 p.m. on Sundays. Call ahead for a reservation.

If you and your kiddo would appreciate a more relaxed atmosphere, head to Le Chocolat du Bouchard in Naperville for some amazing hot chocolate.

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