Hasta la vista, 2016! It’s been real, but we’re ready to see what 20-17 has in store. This month, we’re keeping you indoors and tucked away from this ridiculous cold. From stage shows to train displays, check out our Editor’s picks for kicking off the new year in the Windy (and frigid) City.
(1) Above and Beyond: The Sky’s the Limitless
Take a fascinating look at aviation’s past while looking toward aerospace’s advancements for the future at Above and Beyond. This dynamic exhibit focuses on how past inventors turned their dream of flying into a reality, and how current innovators continue to push past the limits of Earth and space.
When: Thru Jan. 8
Hours: Daily, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Museum Science and Industry (MSI), 5700 S. Lake Shore Dr., Hyde Park
Cost: (Included in admission) $18/adults, $11/ages 3-11
(2) Disney’s The Little Mermaid
Who doesn’t love the blockbuster Disney movie about a mermaid who longs to leave her enchanted underwater kingdom to find love up above? No matter your age, your experience with the story, or if you believe in mermaids or not (they’re totally real), your family will want to be front and center when the curtain goes up on Paramount’s magical new production.
When: Thru January 15 (new shows just added!)
Hours: Showtimes vary, check calendar
Where: Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora
(3) That’s Weird Grandma: The Revenge of the Winter Matinees
Barrel of Monkeys is pleased to bring back its popular weekend matinees with That’s Weird Grandma: The Revenge of the Winter Matinees. Take the entire family to escape the winter doldrums at this line-up of safe, funny, heart-warming and perfectly weird stories written by CPS students and adapted for stage.
When: Sundays, January 8-January 29
Hours: 2 p.m.
Where: Neo-Futurist Theater, 5153 N. Ashland Ave., Andersonville
Cost: $12/adults; $6/ages 11 & under
(4) 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.
When: Beginning January 13
Hours: Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle
Cost: Free with Arboretum admission
(5) Sign Up for Weekend Circus Class
Kids will have a blast and learn amazing new skills at a weekend circus class. Trapeze, lyra, aerial silks, tumbling, gym wheel, trampoline – you name it, they’ll do it!
When: Saturdays beginning January 14
Hours: 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
Where: CircEsteem, 4730 N. Sheridan Rd., Uptown
(6) Chicago Children’s Theatre’s The Hundred Dresses
With the New Year comes the return of an all-time favorite, Chicago Children’s Theatre’s The Hundred Dresses, the smash hit musical about a young girl who struggles with bullying and learns what it takes to stand up to others – even when you’re standing alone.
When: Beginning January 17
Hours: Tues-Fri., 10 a.m.; Sat. 11 a.m., 2 p.m. & 6 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m. & 2 p.m.
Where: Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn St., Near North Side
(7) PLASTIQUE: A Puppetry Workshop
As a part of the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival, join Théâtre Puzzle and Adventure Stage Chicago for an exclusive puppetry workshop and explore the magic of found objects as dramatic tools. Limited tickets available, so act fast!
When: January 21
Hours: 4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
Where: Vittum Theater, 1012 N. Noble St., Noble Square
(8) Frogs: A Chorus of Colors
A Chicago favorite, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, will soon be hopping with 70 different exotic live frogs from around the globe. The ex-“ribbit,” Frogs: A Chorus of Colors, provides families a chance to go eyeball to eyeball in the fun, colorful, vibrant and vocal world of frogs. Kids can also glide like a frog on a mini zip-line, test their jumping skillz, model colorful costumes and more!
When: Thru January 22
Hours: ., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N. Cannon Dr., Lincoln Park
Cost: $9/adults; $6/ages 3-12; free for ages 3 & under
(9) Chicago Travel & Adventure Show
Dream about your next family vacation at this mega-expo, which has plenty of enticements for kids. Ride on Segways and Trikkes, ride a camel, try scuba in a heated pool and have fun pretending your adventuring around Arizona in the green screen photo booth.
When: January 21 & 22
Hours: Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River Rd., Rosemont
Cost: Single Day $11 online, $15 at the door; Two-day $18 online, $22 at the door; free for ages 16 & under
(10) World Premiere of Manuel Cinema’s Magic City
It’s a very exciting time for theater in the Windy City! Chicago Children’s Theatre welcomes guests to the first ever production in their new West Loop home! Manual Cinema’s first all-ages show, loosely adapted from Edith Nesbit’s 1910 novel The Magic City, uses overhead projectors, paper shadow puppets, live actors in silhouette, miniature toy theater and live musical accompaniment to create an innovative theatrical experience.
When: Beginning January 27
Hours: Showtimes vary
Where: Chicago Children’s Theatre, The Station, 100 S. Racine Ave., West Loop
What are your plans to make November a month to remember? Tell us about it in the Comments below!
— Maria Chambers