You pick. Stay snug as a bug under a blanket this weekend at home or brave the chill in favor of outdoor fun in Chicago. A new way to see The Nutcracker, a virtual German Christmas market and a children’s film fest you can watch from home. . . we’ve done the work to find the best of the best. Read on for our Editor’s picks.

photo: Art on theMART

See The Nutcracker on Art on theMART
With the cancellation of The Joffrey Ballet’s The Nutcracker, a newly animated digital display will be shown as part of Chicago’s Art on theMART. Fri.-Sun. Event details

Enjoy an Eat & Learn Family Date with Little Diner’s Crew
Little Diner’s Crew is hosting Children for Change, a three-part virtual dining and dialogue series that will educate and encourage children to discuss and change the roots of racism, social inequality and injustice. Sat. Event details

Take a Hike, No Matter the Temps!
Sure, sure, it’s cold. But fresh air, unforgettable scenery and a chance to spy on animals is a guaranteed day of autumnal family fun. Check out our favorite trails that range from under a mile to seemingly endless. More details.

Enjoy a Children’s International Film Fest. . . at Home!
Calling all movie lovers, young and less young! The Chicago International Children’s Film Festival is back with films the entire family will enjoy. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Find the Best Cup of Hot Chocolate
Jack Frost has started the nose-nipping, so it’s time for us to start hot-cocoa sipping. Bundle up and warm the bellies at one of our favorite hot chocolate spots. Bonus: You’ll be supporting local restaurants! More details.

Plan an Epic Road Trip
Take the opportunity to do a little squad-bonding on a cold-weather road trip that offers a change of scenery from your 4 walls at home. More details.

Shop a Virtual Christkindlmarket
Christkindlmarket is going virtual this year! Shop the handmade gifts, food and drinks and kids can participate in Kinder Club activities from the comforts of home, anywhere in the world. Fri.-Sun. Event details

Play Hide & Seek with Massive Trolls at Morton Arboretum
Use the vast open spaces to play a giant game of seek, looking for unusual creatures, each standing 15- to 20-feet-tall. Guardians of the forest, trying to make sense of the human world. Just like us! Fri.-Sun. More details.

Have a Drive-In Meal at Antique Taco
Antique Taco Bridgeport has turned the parking lot into a drive-in restaurant. They have window trays, fun Drive-In special menu items and the kids pack has a toy included. Fri.-Sun. Event details

Intro Your Kids to an Iconic Favorite at The FRIENDS Experience
Get a Chicago-style Italian Beef ready for sandwich-loving Joey because the wildly popular FRIENDS Experience is here! Celebrate your favorite friends and revisit some of the series’ most classic moments. Fri.-Sun. Event details

Prep for Next Summer with Swim Lessons
Your beach days might be over for the season, but keep your guppies moving and strengthening their swim skills all winter long by signing them up for swim lessons. More details.

Didn’t find what you’re looking for? Luck is on your side because we have loads more to-dos on our calendar—even lots of virtual activities to connect with people, museums and businesses all over the country. Check it out!

— Maria Chambers


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