This weekend is going to be snow much fun. Mid-winter means lots of family activities to put on the calendar (the busier you are, the less stir-crazy you’ll be!). So dive into dog sledding and cool delights at Brookfield Zoo, snow sculpting at Navy Pier, Monster Jam in Rosemont and Valentine’s Day parties for all ages. Read on for our picks and have a blast.
FREEze Day at Brookfield Zoo
Mush! You’ll want to speed right over to this event for a dog-sledding demonstration by the Green Valley Dog Drivers, a winter weaving craft and Bird of Prey Zoo Chats. It’s all free — so tour the zoo while you’re at it. Held Sun., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. All ages. Event details.
Disney on Ice presents “Frozen”
This famous tale of sisterly love and magic comes alive on the ice. Take the journey with Elsa, Anna, Sven, Olaf and the rest of the gang. Make sure to warm up those pipes because there will be sing-a-longs to faves like “Let it Go” and “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” Held thru Sun. at United Center. Tickets starting at $25. All ages. Event details.
Ten-foot-tall blocks of snow are transformed into majestic snow sculptures before your eyes. The wintery blast continues with snowboarding, penguin encounters, games and snow art. If your fam sticks around late enough, they can watch the sculptures come alive during the Nighttime Illumination. Held Sat., 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. All ages. Event details.
Sod Room XOXO Valentine Party
Your little candy lover will get a sugar rush from the sweets table and burn off energy during playtime. As a family, enjoy unique caricatures sketched by local artist Nora Balayti. You can even visit the TK Photography pop-up Valentine Studio for a keepsake you’ll cherish for years to come. Held Sun., 9:30-11:30 a.m. at Sod Room. Tickets are $20/1 adult & 1 child; $15/extra child; $6/extra adult. All ages. Event details.
Sénéké West African Percussion Ensemble
Discover the beauty of music from West Africa when this group performs. Their spirit of education begins with their name: Sénéké means ”cultivation” in Malinke, and they’re here to help your fam explore traditional West African music, song and dance. Held Fri., 11 a.m. at Chicago Cultural Center. Free. All ages. Event details.
Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation’s Be My Valentine Family Event
Get the ball rolling with a brunch buffet, then boogie to tunes from DJ Kareem, rock out with Little Miss Ann, make jewelry, enjoy a mini makeover and play arcade games. It’s family fun for a good cause. Held Sun., 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at The Ritz-Carlton Chicago Hotel. Tickets range $65-$100. All ages. Event details.
“The Selfish Giant” on Stage
Get ready for a puppet show with imagination — and plenty of intrigue along the way. Here’s the jist: A grumpy giant forbids children from playing in his garden. After the children are locked out, the trees and flowers refuse to grow and the garden plunges into an eternal winter. Then one morning, the children sneak back into the garden, bringing with them the happy rebirth of spring. This is a production of Blair Thomas & Company and Chicago Children’s Theatre. Held thru Feb. 22 at Ruth Page Center for the Arts. $38/adults; $28/kids. All ages. Event details.
See the dirt fly as the world’s best monster trucks battle it out in the ultimate event of high-octane speed, racing and destruction! Monster Jam is a car-crushing explosion of demolition and stunts done by drivers who never let the energy lag. Held Thurs. & Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., 1 & 6 p.m. Tickets start at $22. Ages 4 & up. Event details.
Polar Peak at FROZEMONT
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.) Held thru Mar. 1. $20/hour for tubing; ice skating is free and skate rentals are $8. All ages. Event details.
Winter Chilly Fest
This is a perfect mix of indoor-outdoor fun. Kick things off with a chili dinner, then skate on a pond, go snowshoeing, relax on a hayride, sip hot chocolate by the campfire and roast gooey marshmallows. Held Sat. & Sun., 4-8 p.m. at Emily Oaks Nature Center. Tickets are $6-$12. All ages. Event details.
How are you kicking off February with the fam? Tell us in the Comments!
— Kelly Aiglon & Natasha Davis
photo: Brookfield Zoo