Winter break ideas for Chicago families

Once all the presents have been unwrapped and the excitement has started to dwindle, we all face the inevitable quandary: What to do with the kids for the rest of winter break. Here are some ideas for keeping them entertained, whether it’s just for one day or all the way through to the New Year.

Winter Break Ceramic Camps

Kids make and glaze clay projects and break for lunch. Pick one or more days. Registration required. Call or email to register.


Holiday-Break Activities

The entire family can make and take home simple versions of traditional Native American item, including concho belts, bolo ties, God’s eyes and beaded keychains.


Winter Carnival

Activities include daily family public skate sessions, two charity hockey games, hockey/figure skating lessons and much more. Some events are free and several require pre-registration.


Winter Break Camp

Explore the zoo and do activities to discover animal diversity, environmental conservation and ways Lincoln Park Zoo cares for animals at the zoo and conserves them in the wild.


Winter Break Activities at Bead In Hand

Kids can choose to make any of three projects based on the Frozen theme: Snowflake Ornament, Interchangeable Headband/Necklace, or Ice Crystal Wand. Other color options will be available for each of the above projects. The knowledgeable staff can help select materials and give advice on design and technique for projects to do at home.


Winter Skywatch Live!

Audiences observe and discover seasonal constellations, visible solar system objects and the majestic beauty of nature’s most impressive light show, the Aurora Borealis, which comes to life right before their eyes.


Holiday Hoopla

Discovery Center’s lunchroom transforms into holiday headquarters that merges hands-on arts and crafts with amazing math and science. Vote for your favorite Christmas cookie, snip a snowflake, create delightful designs, and discover hidden shapes.


Holly Days

Create a diorama of your family’s favorite holiday traditions. Visit our Neopolitan crèche and holiday Thorne Rooms for inspiration.


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