Come on, Chicago! Let’s forget those dropping temps and heat things up with non-stop fun! See mini trains chugga-chugga at Morton Arboretum, meet a sloth named Sparky! and zip down Polar Peak in Rosemont. Read on for the scoop on these and more hot happenings!
Visit Sparky! at Lifeline Theatre
Lifeline Theatre’s KidSeries presents Sparky!, a world premiere musical adaptation of the novel by Jenny Ofill and illustrated by Chris Appelhans. Meet Libby, who desperately wants a pet, but her mother says she can only have one that doesn’t need to be walked, bathed, or fed. So she orders a sloth and names him Sparky. It’s love at first sight! Sat. & Sun., 11 a.m. & 1 p.m. Lifeline Theatre. $15. Ages 5 & up. Event details.
From superheroes to undersea adventures, princesses to dinosaurs, Storytown takes you on an interactive, fully improvised adventure. The actors use audience suggestions and ideas to create a different story every week. Kids design the setting and help shape the story. The actors, artists and musicians bring it to life. When the possibilities are endless, no two stories are ever the same. Sat., 10:30 a.m. Stage 773. $10. Ages 3-10. Event details.
Figure 8 with Goats at Lincoln Park Zoo
Whizz past the goats and cows at the rink in Farm-in-the-Zoo at Lincoln Park Zoo. Snacks and winter warming drinks are available for purchase and will keep the whole family happy. Fri., 4 p.m.-8 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., noon-8 p.m. Lincoln Park Zoo. $5 admission, $5 skate rental. All ages. Event details.
Pre-Broadway Premiere of Gotta Dance
Need some adult-only time? Sit back and be entertained by Broadway In Chicago’s Broadway-bound musical comedy about professional basketball’s first ever aged 60-and-older dance team. Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m. Bank of America Theatre. All ages. Event details.
Ice Skating with a View
Take a spin on the ice with a magnificent view at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park. Once again this year, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events will present Winter Workouts with FREE skating lessons, Fri.-Sun., one hour before the rink opens. Fri., noon-10 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun., 10 p.m.-9 p.m. Millennium Park. Free skating, $12/skate rental. All ages. Event details.
Have a Sleepover with a T-Rex
The lights will dim as you explore the rituals of ancient Egyptian culture, guided by the light of your flashlight. Next, you prowl an African savannah with giraffes, hippos and man-eating lions. Take a break by playing games from around the world or looking at giant bugs from right in your backyard. Cap your night of exploration and adventure with cozy bedtime stories, before drifting off to dreamland in one of their amazing exhibits. Fri., 5:45 p.m.-Sat., 9 a.m. Field Museum. $65+/person. Ages 6-12 & their family. Event details.
Near South Side
Cast a Line at the Chicago Boat, RV & Strictly Sail Show
If lakeside beach-y fun sounds good right about now, the Chicago Boat, RV & Strictly Sail Show is the show for you. Cast a line in the Huck Finn Trout Pond, where pros teach catch and release techniques with live trout, act like a crazy hamster in an inflatable wheel on water at Rockin’ Rollin’ Bubbles and much more! Fri., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-7 p.m. McCormick Place. $14/adult; $20 for a 2-day pass (online only); free for children 15 & under. All ages. Event details.
Run! Jump! Fly! Adventures in Action
Kohl Children’s Museum is out to show kids that exercise is fun with their newest exhibit, Run! Jump! Fly! Adventures in Action. Visitors will engage in five different exercise simulations that include surfing, snowboarding, kung fu and rock climbing – all in a fun and immersive environment. Fri. & Sat., 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., noon-5 p.m. Kohl Children’s Museum. $11; free for children 1 & under. Ages 0-8. Event details.
Hunt for Gnomes and Build Them Sweet Homes
Gnomes are invading Morton Arboretum for a game of hide-and-seek in the Children’s Garden. Can you find them all? Search for them throughout the week and then come back on the weekend to continue the hunt and create a keepsake, light-up gnome home of your own. Sat. & Sun., 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Morton Arboretum. Hunt is free with general admission; home building is $7/member, $10/non-member. All ages. Event details.
Be Enchanted by Trains that Glide Through Every Season
The kiddos can watch trains travel through all four seasons with the Enchanted Railroad. They’ll see bright orange pumpkins in the fall display, and they’ll even spy fluffy little daffodils as the trains sweep through spring. This interactive display is specially designed for the kiddos because it’s meant to be viewed from just two feet off the ground. Fri., 10 a.m.4 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Morton Arboretum. Free with admission. All ages. Event details.
It’s Not Rosemont . . . It’s Frozemont!
Winter has had quite a magical effect on Rosemont. In fact, MB Financial Park has turned into a wonderland of fun, complete with tubing, ice skating, brilliant lights and more. At the center of “Frozemont” is the four-story Polar Peak tubing hill — the grade is steep and the ride is thrilling. (There is a kiddie slope for those that don’t need as much adrenaline.) Nearby, the NHL-sized ice rink is surrounded by glittering lights and has skate rentals available for $8. Make sure you mark your calendars for the ice carving competition on Dec. 12, 2 p.m.-5 p.m.! Thru Jan. 31., various hours. MB Financial Park. Skating is free, tubing is $3/run. All ages. Event details.
Let us in on your weekend plans in the Comments below!