Sure, it’s cold, we’ll give you that. But, you’re tough Chicagoans, you can handle it! Grab your parkas and hit the ice rinks or sled the hill at Frozemont. When you need a break from the chill, dream of travel adventures at the Chicago Travel and Adventure show, take in a bit of theater or visit Peggy Notebaert’s Butterfly Haven, where it always feels tropical. Read on to learn about these fab happenings and much more!
photo: Storytown Improv
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. Kids design the setting and help shape the story. The actors, artists and musicians bring it to life. When the possibilities are endless, no two stories are ever the same. Sat., 10:30 a.m. Stage 773. $10. Ages 3-10. 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. The bright exhibit space and colorful, intricate and interesting art makes this engaging for kids as well. Fri.-Sun., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. National Hellenic Museum. $10/Adults; $7/children; free for ages 3 & under. All ages. 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 happy. 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.
Pre-Broadway Premiere of Gotta Dance
Need some adult-only time? Sit back and be entertained by Broadway In Chicago’s Broadway-bound musical comedy about professional basketball’s first ever aged 60-and-older dance team. Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m. Bank of America Theatre. 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, Fri.-Sun., one hour before the rink opens. Fri., noon-10 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun., 10 p.m.-9 p.m. Millennium Park. Free skating, $12/skate rental. All ages. Event details.
Spend the Weekend with Beauty and the Beast
Come watch a Disney classic come to live and be reminded all over again the strength of true love. Belle, Beast, Gaston and all your favorite characters will delight your child with comedy, romance and audience participation whether they are new to the story or have watched it countless times. Fri., 10:30 a.m. Stahl Family Theater. $12. Ages 2-8. 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. It’s love at first sight! Sat. & Sun., 11 a.m. & 1 p.m. Lifeline Theatre. $15. Ages 5 & up. Event details.
Go Down the Rabbit Hole with Alice in Wonderland
Theater Polonia Stage presents a fantastical musical telling of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland with amazing choreography, colorful costumes and fantastic set design. Adventure with Alice, a young girl whose curiosity is sparked when she follows a talking White Rabbit. While chasing him, she falls down into a deep hole on the bottom of which there is a magical and strange world. Fri.-Sun., 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Vittum Theater. $25/adult; $18/kids. Ages 5 & up. Event details.
4th Annual Double-Header Kids Concert
This is the Fourth Annual Double-Header Kids Concert with the Little Miss Ann Band and Future Hits, two very popular local kids musicians. This very interactive, fun kids concert will have kids clapping and dancing. Drinks are available for purchase. Sat., 3 p.m. The Hideout. $5-$10. 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.
It’s Not Rosemont . . . It’s Frozemont!
Winter has had quite a magical effect on Rosemont. In fact, MB Financial Park has turned into a wonderland of fun, complete with tubing, ice skating, brilliant lights and more. At the center of “Frozemont” is the four-story Polar Peak tubing hill — the grade is steep and the ride is thrilling. (There is a kiddie slope for those that don’t need as much adrenaline.) Nearby, the NHL-sized ice rink is surrounded by glittering lights and has skate rentals available for $8. Thru Jan. 31., various hours. MB Financial Park. Skating is free, tubing is $3/run. All ages. Event details.
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, hop aboard a reproduction 19th century tricycle and have fun pretending your adventuring around the world in the Green Screen Photo Booth. Bonus for families: one of the keynote speakers is Colleen Kelly of the popular series Family Travel with Colleen Kelly. Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. $12/online; $16/in-person; free for ages 16 & under. All ages. Event details.
Let us in on your weekend plans in the Comments below!