Holiday season has crept up again and while some of us would rather hide in the house and wait it out, there are still those cute wide-eyed kids who are still pretty new to all of this. Give your little ones the gift of fun this weekend with everything from dog sledding demonstrations to gift markets to a snowy museum exhibit.
Polar Adventure Day
Make like you’re in the tundra and have a wintry blast. Chicago Park District’s event is back and you can roam Northerly Island while dabbling in arts and crafts, snowshoeing (if there’s enough fluffy white stuff), dog sledding demonstrations, live music by The Dreamtree Shakers, a toddler zone with faux ice fishing, and live animal meet and greets. Held Sat., noon-4 p.m. Free. All ages. Event details.
Get your thrill fill at this blowout, which has rides for all ages, including a 28-foot-tall zip line, a slippery snowflake slide and a brand new toddler obstacle course. There’s also an ice skating rink and holiday train that zig-zags through lighted houses and scenes. Held Fri. thru Jan. 12. Admission is free; must by wristband to participate in rides and activities. All ages. Event details.
Snow Much Fun Exhibit
Have a (snow)ball at the hands-on exhibit that celebrates the season. The frosty fun takes place indoors — no mittens required. Go “skating” in your socks, build with oversized ice blocks, play dress-up with snowmen and throw fake snowballs. Held thru Jan. 5. Chicago Children’s Museum. Included in museum admission of $14/person. All ages. Event details.
HO HO Holiday Tunes & Bubbles Dance Party
For a holly, jolly and harmonic time, head to this highlight of the Roscoe Village WinterFest. Kids get egg shakers and puppets and sing Christmas tunes, and the grand finale is dancing underneath a bubbles machine. Held Sun., 2-4 p.m. Musical Magic. Free. All ages. Event details.
Peterson Garden Project Holiday Market
The non-profit organization has a cool mission: to inspire a new generation of urban gardeners. In that spirit, bring your little sprouts to its annual market. Peterson Garden Project is transforming its learning center into a pop-up bazaar filled with handmade, one-of-a-kind gifts from local artists. Held Fri. thru Dec. 14. Free. Event details.
Winterfest & Cookie Walk
This holiday happening has some delicious perks: local, gourmet cookies from neighborhood businesses. Grab a map and cookie tin and stop by more than 50 spots for treats. Meanwhile, you’ll see Saint Nicholas, enjoy a variety of family-friendly acts, and warm up inside the hospitality tent with free hot chocolate and coffee. Held Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Marion Street, between Lake Street & North Boulevard. $20 family fee to collect cookies. All ages. Event details.
Holiday Market & Jeanie B! Show
The village comes alive with free activities for the whole family, including a tree lighting ceremony, the Tinley Toyland Parade, the Parade of Lights, photos with Santa, carriage rides and a gift bazaar. Be sure to get there for a live gig by kindie rock favorite Jeanie B! on Saturday at 12:15 p.m. Event held Fri., 6-9 p.m.; Sat., noon-5 p.m.; Sun., noon-5 p.m. Oak Park Avenue Train Station. Free. All ages. Event details.
How are you celebrating the holidays this weekend? Let us know in the Comments section below.
— Kelly Aiglon
Photo: Courtesy of Chicago Park District