Come on, Chicago! Let’s forget those freezing temps and heat things up with non-stop fun! See tiny gnomes at Morton Arboretum, meet some of hockey’s great at MB Financial Park or take a family cooking class. Read on for the scoop on these and more hot happenings!

skate-with-the-greats-chicagophoto: MB Financial’s Skate with the Greats



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. Sun. Event details.

Make the Kids Hoppy by Visiting Frogs: A Chorus of Colors
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is hopping with 70 different exotic live frogs from around the globe. The ex-“ribbit” provides families a chance to go eyeball-to-eyeball in the fun, colorful, vibrant and vocal world of frogs. Fri.-Sun. Event details.


Take Family Cooking Classes at The Kids’ Table
Kids work side-by-side with their parents (or grandparents!) 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. Event details.


Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah
Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy this January with Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah. This high-energy, feel-good production puts a contemporary spin of jazz, gospel, and blues on Handel’s Messiah. Sat. & Sun. Event details.

Millennium Park

Figure 8 with a Pretty Sweet View
Take a spin on the ice with a magnificent view at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink. The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events will present Winter Workouts with FREE skating lessons, Fri., one hour before the rink opens. Fri. & Sat. Event details.

Museum Campus

Meet a Scientist at The Field
Explore the wonders of The Field’s collections in a whole new way with their Meet a Scientist series. Scientists will be on-hand discussing their work and showing real artifacts and specimens from over 24 million objects not currently on display. Fri. Event details.

Near Southside

Cast a Line at the Chicago Boat, RV and 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.-Sun. Event details.

Wicker Park

Kids Nite Out to  Cook, Eat and Craft
Everyone deserves a fun night out every once in a while – even the kiddos! Drop the kids off for dinner and craft time at The Kids’ Table. Kids get to make their own meal and work on a special craft to take home while you . . . do whatever you want! Fri. Event details.



Spend a Day with Disney’s Little Mermaid
Who doesn’t love the blockbuster 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 this magical production. Fri.-Sun. Event details.


It’s Huntin’ Season: Search 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. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Oak Park

Beginner’s Art Studio Drop-In at Wonder Works
Art has never been so much fun! Children and adults explore their creative sides in this fully engaging, open-ended art experience. Trained facilitators assist with the artistic process and children create masterpieces. Sat. Event details.


Skate with the Greats at MB Financial Park
MB Financial Park has once again partnered with the Chicago Blackhawk Alumni Association to present the fifth annual “Skate with the Greats”. Hockey fans will have the opportunity to meet Blackhawk player Duncan Keith, as well as Blackhawk alumni including Tony Esposito. Sat. Event details.

For more ideas on how to spend your weekend, check out our Family Events Calendar.

Chat with us about how you’re going to spend your weekend in the Comments below!

— Maria Chambers