Whew! The hubbub of the holidays has almost gone silent and you still have several days of winter break to savor with the kids. Yippee! On tap this weekend: a snow globe party and WonderFest at Navy Pier, light displays and so much more. Here are your best bets for keeping things merry and bright.

photo: Chicago Children’s Museum’s Snow Globe Party

IN THE CITY

Bucktown

Party the Day Away at Little Bean Cafe
Ring-a-ding-ding in 2019 with the whole family the day before—December 30, to be exact. Join the gang at Little Beans Cafe for a preschool party complete with a DJ spinning tunes, dancing, pizza, mocktails, a balloon drop, and, of course, all the fun you can handle before this year comes to a giggly halt. Sun. Event details.

Lincoln Park

Watch ZooLights Illuminate the Night Sky
One of the nation’s only free-admission zoos flips the holiday switch with ZooLights. With the light displays throughout the grounds your fam can stroll through the twinkling winter wonderland created by over 2 million lights, take photos with Santa, enjoy food and drinks, watch ice carving demos, partake in carousel rides and go-’rounds on the Lionel Train Adventure. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Sing Along with Jeanie B.
Join Chicago-based singer, songwriter and pre-school music teacher Jeanie B for sing-and-dance-along fun.  Jeanie’s musical styles range from rock and folk to classic country, blues, bluegrass and Bossa Nova/jazz.  Tthere’s something for everyone. Sat. Event details.

The Loop

Step Back in Time at the Shen Yun 2019 World Tour
The People of ancient China have long held that their magnificent culture was a gift from heaven. Art was primarily a means to explore the connection between humankind and the higher universe. Let Shen Yun take you on a magic journey through 5,000 years with animated backdrops, exquisite hand-made costumes, high-flying leaps, thunderous drums and a mesmerizing live orchestra that will transport you to another world.  Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Navy Pier

Get Your Winter Thrill Fill at Navy Pier
Get your thrill fill at Navy Pier’s Winter WonderFest, which has rides for all ages. Being Chicago’s biggest and best indoor winter playground, it features 170,000 square feet filled with rides, giant slides, indoor ice skating and holiday decor that is sure to get you into the holiday spirit. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Make Snow Angles at CCM Snow Globe Party
Chicago Children’s Museum invites visitors to experience the joys of winter and create unforgettable memories. . . indoors! The Great Hall becomes a life-sized snow globe with thousands of flakes floating through the air while families dance together, lifting every spirit in the “globe”. Sat. & Sun. Event details.

THE ‘BURBS

Brookfield

Experience Holiday Magic at Brookfield Zoo
Chicagoland’s largest lights festival, Holiday Magic at Brookfield Zoo features over one million LED lights. Indoor exhibits remain open for viewing of animals. Guests can take part in singing to animals and special Zoo Chats. Sat. & Sun. Event details.

Lisle

Illumination at The Morton Arboretum
Returning for a 6th year is the crowd pleasing Illumination: Tree Lights at Morton Arboretum.  Walk the mile-long path and gaze in amazement at the LED-lit trees through the winter woods.  Bright light shows set to The Nutcracker music and glowing trees that respond to touch and sound will amuse and stimulate the senses of all ages! Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Rosemont

Figure 8 with Alice in Wonderland & The Mad Hatter 
Take a morning spin on The Chicago Wolves Ice Rink with Alice in Wonderland and The Mad Hatter. Sun. Event details.

Schaumburg

Build Memories at Holiday Bricktacular at LEGOLAND Discovery Center
LEGO fanatics are invited to explore holiday-themed builds, participate in their own challenges, take part in a scavenger hunt in MINILAND Chicago’s winter wonderland, take advantage of photo opps with a Christmas sleigh built entirely out of bricks and letter writing to the Master Model Builder with suggestions on future holiday builds. Sat. & Sun. Event details.

— Maria Chambers

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. . . and check out our Events calendar for even more suggestions.