Chicago winters are long and the threat of cabin fever is strong. Lucky for you (or the nanny), we did a bit of research and found ways to keep the kids moving, learning, laughing and happy every weekday this winter.  Read on and start loading up your Palm Pilot (you still have one of those, right?) with to-dos.

photo: Adler Planetarium

Monday, Monday . . . so good to us!

Young Explorer's MondayCalling all curious explorers! Children and their families can try stellar hands-on activities like Fly a Kite, Stories Under the Stars, and more. Adler Planetarium, 1300 S. Lake Shore Dr., Museum Campus; Monday, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Baby & me. Parents, grandparents and caregivers are invited to a weekly group aimed at helping adjust to a new baby. A nurse representative will be on-hand to answer questions and facilitate discussions. Kohl Children's Museum, 2100 Patriot Blvd., Glenview; Monday, 9:30 a.m.

Meet the Discovery Squad. Be on the lookout for the men and women in black to take a peek behind the curtain and learn about the vast collections in the vaults. The Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr. Museum Campus. Monday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

A storytime at the Museum. Walk into the pages of a different book with interactive storytelling led by expert museum staff. Kohl Children's Museum, 2100 Patriot Boulevard, Glenview; Monday, 11 a.m.

Arbor reading adventure. Read stories, make a craft and head outside for an adventure walk in this popular and interactive storytime. Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle; Monday, 11 a.m.-11:45 a.m.

Shadow puppet storytimesCozy up for a story with Bill and his trusty sidekick who puts on an amazingly shadowy performance. Wonder Works Children's Museum, 6445 W. North Ave., Oak Park; Monday, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Catch a live show with That's Weird Grandma: Stories for Change. Written by kids. Performed by a rotating crew of big people with live music, original dance numbers, wigs and props galore. Neo-Futurist Theater, 5153 N. Ashland Ave., Andersonville. Monday, 8 p.m. (Thru February 19)

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photo: Play Logan Square

Toe Tingling Fun on Tuesday

Hurray for Toddler TuesdaysThe tiniest LEGO® fans are invited to join in for fun and learning featuring educational activities during a time the Center is open exclusively for them. LEGOLAND Discovery Center Chicago, 601 N. Martingale Rd., Schaumburg; Tuesday, 10 a.m.-noon.

Story time mixed with a smidgen of playThis unique children’s toy store has a great selection of books amongst their toys because they understand story time is play time! Play, 3109 W. Logan Blvd., Logan Square; Tuesday, 11 a.m.

Who doesn't love free food? Bring the kids hungry and they can eat for free while you indulge in traditional german faire. Hofbrauhaus Chicago, 5500 Park Place, Rosemont; Tuesday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

For those that need things to be a little quieterThe music is turned off, lights dimmed and distractions dialed back for the comfort of guests who struggle with the usual energy level at a trampoline facility. Sky High Sports, 6424 Howard St., Niles & 2244 Corporate Lane, Naperville; Tuesday, 3 p.m.-6 p.m.

Get over the hump Wednesday

Get silly with Mr. Singer. Sway along to a joyful jamboree featuring animal songs and dances for wee ones. Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark St., Lincoln Park. Wednesday, 9:15 a.m. & 10 a.m.

Storytime with songs and craftsPop into this book café for storytime with the owner, a former pre-K teacher, Miss Kimberly. Volumes Book Cafe, 1474 N. Milwaukee Ave., Wicker Park; Wednesday, 10 a.m.

Can't get enough of storytime! This femme-focused bookstore hosts a morning of singing, dancing and silliness. Women & Children First Bookstore, 5233 N. Clark St., Andersonville; Wednesday, 10:30 a.m.-11 a.m.

Spend your day covered in paintKids use a variety of paints, methods and canvases as they learn to express their stories, to create new things and expand their understanding of the world around them. Wonder Works, 6445 W. North Ave., Oak Park; Wednesday, 11:30 a.m.

And yet . . .another storytime. Chi-town tots are invited to a free storytime in the kiddy section. Making the offer even sweeter, it's sometimes accompanied by various treats from the café. Barnes & Noble, 1441 W. Webster Ave., Lincoln Park; Wednesday, 11 a.m.

Be a science sleuth. Watch your kids morph into scientists as they study evidence, make predictions and test their hypotheses. Kohl Children's Museum, 2100 Patriot Blvd., Glenview; Wednesday, 2:30 p.m.

Liter-artly. Discover the world of make believe by immersing yourself in new worlds and exciting adventures with the art of storytelling. Wonder Works Children's Musuem, 6445 W. North Ave., Oak Park,; Wednesday, 3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

A storytime at the Museum. Walk into the pages of a book with interactive storytelling led by expert museum staff. Kohl Children's Museum, 2100 Patriot Boulevard, Glenview; Wednesday, 3:30 p.m.

photo: 57th Street Books

Thursdays . . . almost to the weekend!

Meet the Discovery SquadBe on the lookout for the men and women in black to take a peek behind the curtain and learn about the vast collections in the vaults. The Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr. Museum Campus. Thursday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

A Spanish storytime. This cozy Hyde Park fave holds a baby-friendly Spanish story time with books, songs and lots of movement. 57th Street Books, 1301 E. 57th St.; Thursday, 10:30 a.m.

Furry Thursdays. If your child loves animals this is one program they won’t want to miss. Team members will teach kids about a different animal each week. Wonder Works Children's Museum, 6445 W. North Ave., Oak Park; Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Watch a live turtle feeding. Watch as animal experts feed Opal, Onyx and the rest of the resident box turtles. Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N. Cannon Dr., Lincoln Park; Thursday, 1 p.m.

Theatre gamesThrough a variety of creative dramatic exercises, kids will enhance gross and fine motor skills, problem solving, listening and speaking skills, following directions and building confidence. Kohl Children's Museum, 2100 Patriot Boulevard, Glenview; Thursday, 1:30 p.m.

Toying with tech. Introduce kids to the exciting world of technology in a way that’s developmentally appropriate with themes that change monthly. Kohl Children's Museum, 2100 Patriot Boulevard, Glenview; Thursday, 2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

Put the active in interactive. Teach kids how to get and stay healthy and build endurance, stretch muscles and build gross motor skills. Kohl Children's Museum, 2100 Patriot Boulevard, Glenview; Thursday, 2:30 p.m.-4 p.m.

Sewing workshop. Teach kids the basics of sewing with hands-on projects. Wonder Works Children's Museum, 6445 W. North Ave., Oak Park; Thursday, 3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

Explore for free. Enjoy a free night wandering three floors of play, discovery and imagination sponsored by Target. Chicago Children's Museum, 700 E. Grand Ave., Navy Pier.; Thursday, 5 p.m.-8 p.m.

Yahoo! Friday Fun!

Meet the Discovery SquadBe on the lookout for the men and women in black to take a peek behind the curtain and learn about the vast collections in the vaults. The Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr. Museum Campus. Friday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Get silly with Mr. Singer. Sway along to a joyful jamboree featuring animal songs and dances for wee ones. Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark St., Lincoln Park. Friday, 9:15 a.m. & 10 a.m.

Arbor reading adventure. Read stories, make a craft and head outside for an adventure walk in this popular and interactive storytime. Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle; Friday, 11 a.m.-11:45 a.m.

Shadow puppet storytimesCozy up for a story with Bill and his trusty sidekick who puts on an amazingly shadowy performance. Wonder Works Children's Museum, 6445 W. North Ave., Oak Park; Friday, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Freaky Fridays! Kids will see hands-on science experiments conducted right before their eyes that will fill them with wonder . . . and knowledge. Wonder Works Children's Museum, 6445 W. North Ave., Oak Park; Friday, 3 p.m.-4 p.m.

photo: Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Activities that happen on the daily

Go gnome huntingGnomes are invading the Children's Garden for a game of hide-and-seek. Can you find them all? You have all winter to give it a go! Morton Arboretum, 4100 IL Rte. 53, Lisle; Daily, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. (Thru March 31)

Be enchanted by trains. Marvel at a world of tiny enchantment and watch on as an intricate mini model railroad winds through a magnificent scenery. Morton Arboretum, 4100 IL Rte. 53, Lisle; Daily, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. (Thru Feb. 19)

Build It! Play in a larger than life collection of building blocks that encourages children to explore their creativity while learning about architecture, science and storytelling. Kohl Children's Museum, 2100 Patriot Boulevard, Glenview; Daily; Monday, 9:30 a.m.-noon; Tuesday-Friday, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Dabble in the arts. Create together with your child in guided art activities based on monthly themes. Kohl Children's Museum, 2100 Patriot Blvd., Glenview; Daily, 10 a.m.-noon & 1 p.m.-4 p.m.

More art adventuresArt has never been so much fun! Children and adults explore their creative sides in this fully engaging, open-ended art experience. Wonder Works, 6445 W. North Ave., Oak Park; Monday & Wednesday-Friday, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Non-stop daily activities in the zoo. Animal lovers can educate themselves on zoo residents and what goes into their care. From seal training to ape care, you'll find it all! Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark St., Lincoln Park; Daily, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Winter outdoor play. Head to the Children’s Garden for frosty fun with activities that complement the day . . . like painting snow or building a fort. Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle; Daily, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Ice skate with a viewTake a spin on the ice with a magnificent city view. McCormick Tribune Ice Rink, Michigan Ave., between Washington & Madison Streets; Monday-Thursday, noon-8 p.m.; Friday, noon-10 p.m.

Have a critter connection. Snakes, turtles, salamanders. . . . Peggy Notebaert has these and over 50 more animal species that reside in their lab. Make friends with one of these creatures and learn all there is to know about your new pal. Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2450 N. Cannon Dr., Lincoln Park.; Daily, noon-12:30 p.m.

Butterfly release. Who doesn’t love butterflies?  Experience their beauty as new butterflies are released daily at the Butterfly Haven exhibit. Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2450 N. Cannon Dr., Lincoln Park., Daily, noon-12:30 p.m.

How will you make the most of your winter weekdays in Chicago? Tell us your secrets in the Comments below!

— Maria Chambers

Other stories to help you plan your week:
We Want to Pump . . . You Up! Great Gyms With Childcare
Must-See Family Shows and Musicals in February
Free (or Super-Affordable) Playgroups to Join