Forget that it’s a tad chilly outside. This weekend is going to fill you with the warm-fuzzies. Why? You can snuggle up with the animals at Lincoln Park Zoo, hang with Skippy Jon Jones and his chihuahua friends, ring in the Chinese New Year and more. Read on for our Editor’s picks for your weekend action plan. Bundle up and let’s go!
photo: Emerald City’s Three Little Kittens
Chicago Kids Company Presents: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Chicago Kids Company presents live professional children’s theater with its production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, a musical adaptation of the classic fairy tale. All CKC performances feature audience participation and are fun for the whole family. Fri., 10:30 a.m. Beverly Arts Center. $12. Ages 2-8. Event details.
Transcending Boundaries: Experience the Art of Anthony Quinn
The National Hellenic Museum pays tribute to the legendary actor and artist Anthony Quinn, who brought to life one of the greatest and most life-affirming literary characters of our time – the irrepressible Zorba the Greek. Fri.-Sun., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. National Hellenic Museum. $10/Adults; $7/children; free for ages 3 & under. All ages. 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. Sat., 10:30 a.m. Stage 773. $10. Ages 3-10. Event details.
Skate Free in Lakeview
New! Skate the free community rink next to the popular Lakeview restaurant Barcocina, open daily when weather permits. Daily, 3 p.m.-10 p.m. Barcocina. Free. All ages. Event details.
Family Cooking Class: The Kids’ Table
Kids work side-by-side with their parents to make and then enjoy a delicious meal. It’s the perfect combo of a fun activity, hands-on cooking instruction, a delicious dinner and recipes so you can recreate the dishes at home. Sat., 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. The Kids’ Table Lakeview. $22.50/person (member); $25/person (non-member). Ages 2 & up. Event details.
A Detective Game with Cat-titude
This interactive spy story provides the purrr-fect opportunity to show your little ones the mystery and excitement of live theatre. With the promise of pie and the smell of a rat close by, gather clues to help Three Little Kittens find their missing mittens and make new discoveries before Mother Cat comes slinking home. Fri., 10 a.m.; Sat., 9 a.m. & 10:30 a.m.; Sun., 10 a.m. Emerald City’s Little Theatre. $15; $8/children 1 & under. Ages 0-5. Event details.
Skippy Jon Jones in the Cirque de Ole
Based on the best-selling book series, this tale of the imaginative feline and his Chihuahua pals will capture your child’s attention and take them on an adventure complete with daring circus tricks and endearing storylines. With a theme of self acceptance and acceptance of others, this fun family friendly play runs 1 hour. Fri., 10:15 a.m.; Sun., 1 p.m. The Apollo Theatre. $15 & up. Ages 3 & up. 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 smiling. 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.
Release the Butterflies!
Who doesn’t love butterflies? Experience their beauty as new butterflies are released daily at the Peggy Notebaert Museum’s Butterfly Haven exhibit. Daily, 2 p.m. Peggy Notebaert Museum. $9/adults; $6/ages 3-12; free for ages 2 & under. All ages. Event details.
Sleepover with the Animals at Lincoln Park Zoo
Interested in sleeping among Lincoln Park Zoo’s amazing animals? Grab your nighttime gear and join the zoo for an indoor overnight adventure! Evening Only (6 p.m.-10 p.m.), Overnight (6 p.m.-8:30 a.m.) Lincoln Park Zoo. Evening $42 ($35/members); Overnight $70 ($60/members). Ages 5-12, with their parents. Event details.
Explore the Sounds of China
East meets West as the world-renowned National Chinese Traditional Orchestra and Chicago Symphony Orchestra present a musical celebration of Chinese New Year. Listen as traditional folk music and instruments unite with contemporary Chinese and Western classical music to create celebratory sounds of spring. Ticketholders are also invited to a free preconcert event featuring special performance by winners of the Chinese Fine Arts Society Confucius Competition. Sun., 3 p.m. Symphony Center. $20-$50. 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, one hour before the rink opens. Fri., noon-10 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 10 a.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. The Field Museum. $65+/person. Ages 6-12 and their family. Event details.
Chinese New Year Lantern Festival
Bring the entire family to celebrate and learn more about the Chinese New Year with an afternoon of dance, music and martial arts performances. Featuring the best of Chicagoland’s students and professionals keeping traditional Chinese arts alive, the Crystal Gardens will be transformed into a festive marketplace filled with vendors, craftsmen and activities appropriate for all ages. Sun., noon-4 p.m. Navy Pier Crystal Ballroom. Free. All ages. Event details.
Near North Side
Discover a Magical Wonderland with Snow Angel
Chicago Children’s Theatre will present a limited, one-week-only engagement of Snow Angel, an original wordless piece that cleverly uses movement, masks and music to tell the story of a brother and sister duo who discover a magical wonderland in a new snowfall. Full of fun, creative staging, physical antics and audience interaction, Snow Angel gently teaches lessons about caring and friendship. Fri., 10 a.m. & 7 p.m.; Sat. 11 a.m., 2 p.m. & 6 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m. Ruth Page Center for the Arts. $39/adults; $24/children. Ages 3-8. Event details.
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. Sat. & Sun., 11 a.m. & 1 p.m. Lifeline Theatre. $15. Ages 5 & up. Event details.
Family Cooking Class: The Kids’ Table
Kids work side-by-side with their parents to make and then enjoy a delicious meal. It’s the perfect combo of a fun activity, hands-on cooking instruction, a delicious dinner and recipes so you can recreate the dishes at home. Fri., 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. The Kids’ Table Wicker Park. $22.50/person (members); $25/person (non-members). Ages 2 & up. Event details.
Kids Nite Out: Dinner & a Movie
Everyone deserves a fun night out every once in a while – even the kiddos! Drop the kids off for dinner and a movie at The Kids’ Table. Kids get to make their own dinner of Sloppy Joes, Oven-Roasted Fries & S’mores with Homemade Graham Crackers and they’ll watch Little Rascals Save the Day. Sat., 6 p.m.-9 p.m. The Kids’ Table Wicker Park. $36/members; $40/non-members. Ages 4 & up. Event details.
Passage to China at Chicago Botanic Garden
Passage to China is a film trilogy documenting Denise Keller — a Chinese-German TV hostess — and her vast travels to various parts of China during the second half of 2014. Each part is 52 minutes, and shown in English with Chinese subtitles and covers Chinese culture, art, history and nature. Sat. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Chicago Botanic Garden. Free. 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.
Let us in on your weekend plans in the Comments below!