Not to toot our own horn, but, wow, do we have some fun things planned for you this weekend! For starters, there’s a chance to celebrate New Years just one more time — Greek-style, Winter WonderFest is still rocking the Pier and there are some goats waiting to watch you figure 8 at the zoo. What are you waiting on? Read on for more and get out there!
photo: National Hellenic Museum
Celebrate the New Year with Vasilopita
Celebrate the New Year with The National Hellenic Museum’s annual blessing and cutting of the Vasilopita, a popular tradition in Greek and Greek-American homes. The Vasilopita, a cake flavored with orange and cinnamon to symbolize the sweetness of life, is baked with a coin or trinket inside. The first piece, generally cut by the oldest member of the family, is handed to the youngest child in the family. The person who finds the coin or trinket hidden in the cake is considered blessed for the New Year. Sat., 9:30 a.m. National Hellenic Museum. Free with admission ($10/adult; $7/children; free for ages 2 & 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. 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.
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.
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.
A Winter Thrill Fill at Navy Pier
Get your thrill fill at Navy Pier’s Winter WonderFest, which has rides for all ages. New attractions this year include the Polar Extreme, a double-sided inflatable slide and obstacle course, interactive Arctic Peaks Climbing Walls and an expanded, more challenging Winter Rules mini golf course sure to offer an additional layer of friendly competition and frozen holiday fun. Fri. & Sat., 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; -Sun., 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Navy Pier. General admission is $9 online & $10 walk-up; Activity ticket $23 online & $25 walk-up. All ages. Event details.
Playdate at Old Town School of Folk Music: Fiesta de Colores
A guitarron, a vihuela, a family band, soaring voices, thrilling harmonies, colorful streamers, songs from Mexico and traditional dancing to make your heart sing. Wear your most colorful clothing and fill the Chicago winter with color! Sat., 10 a.m. Old Town School of Folk Music. $7/person; free for members. 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.
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. Make sure you mark your calendars for the ice carving competition on Dec. 12, 2 p.m.-5 p.m.! Dec. 11-Jan. 31., various hours. MB Financial Park. Skating is free, tubing is $3/run. All ages. Event details.
Let us in on your weekend plans in the Comments below!