Dare we say it? It’s been a less than brutal winter. . . by Chicago standards anyway. No need for winter hibernation, folks! Take advantage of the mild temps and hit up a family comedy show, go on a gnome hunt or see enchanted trains at Morton Arboretum. Read on for other weekend activity ideas with the family!

photo: Morton Arboretum



Laugh as a Family with That’s Weird Grandma
Grandma takes a time machine to visit student-written stories set in the past, present and future. Can Grandma repair the space-time continuum and return to the present? With the help of students’ stories. . . anything is possible. Sun. Event details.


Experience Gallagher Way’s Winter Wonderland
Gallagher Way is decked out with lighted flare bigger and brighter than ever before! You’ll find ice skating, curling and skating lessons and more! Make it extra special and go glamping at Hotel Zachary. Fri.-Sun. Event details

Giggle with Storytown Improv
From superheroes to undersea adventures, princesses to dinosaurs, Storytown takes you on an interactive, fully improvised adventure! Sat. Event details

Lincoln Park

Listen to Storytime at Peggy Notebaert
Head to Hands on Habitat to listen to a story picked for Peggy Notebaert’s littlest visitors, and then keep the fun going with games and activities. Sat. Event details

Mag Mile

Act Like a Big Kid at Toys “R” Us Adventure Playland
This vast indoor wonderland celebrates all the whimsy, silly and FUN of toys and play! Explore over eight mind-blowing rooms featuring brands you know and love. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Get Your Laughs at Potted Potter
This parody condenses all seven Harry Potter books (and a real-life game of Quidditch) into seventy hilarious minutes. Even if you don’t know the difference between a horcrux and a Hufflepuff, you’ll roar with laughter.  Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Millennium Park

Figure 8 at Millennium Park’s Ice Skating Rink
Take a spin on the ice with a magnificent view. Once again this year, the rink will offer free ice skating lessons. Fri.-Sun. Event details

Portage Park

Build a Magnificent Fort with the Family
Enter a world of play and creation as Filament Theatre transforms into a playspace to build new worlds. Using cardboard boxes, sheets, clotheslines and more, families build adventures of their own devising. Sat. & Sun. Event details.



Be Dazzled at Paramount Theatre’s Beauty and the Beast
Great dancing candlesticks! The Beast, Belle and everyone’s favorite enchanted castle characters will come to an incredible new life, ready to thrill, entertain and amaze. Fri.-Sun. Event details.


Go on a Gnome Hunt
Gnomes are invading Morton Arboretum for a game of hide-and-seek in the Children’s Garden. Can you find them all? Read, set, go! Fri.-Sun. Event details.

NEW! Marvel at Morton Arboretum’s Enchanted Railroad
Watch on as an intricate mini model railroad winds through magnificent scenery. This two-level interactive display is specially designed for the kiddos because it’s meant to be viewed from just two feet off the ground. Fri.-Sun. Event details


Be Amazed by Chicago Sinfonietta’s MLK Tribute
Chicago Sinfonietta presents its annual MLK Tribute Concert, celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through family, equity and the encouragement to execute positive change. Sun. Event details

— Maria Chambers


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. . . and check out our Events calendar for even more suggestions.