Escaping the house on cold winter days takes courage (and a lot of coffee), but this weekend’s family events are good motivation. Join the roar of the crowd at a monster truck show, hop in a Valentine’s Day photo booth, head to Brookfield Zoo for free, and more. Go ahead and get your motor running.



Monster Jam
The monster truck series guns it into Chicago, with tricks and stunts done by machines weighing more than 10,000 pounds. There to entertain you are five World Champions, including the best-known monster truck of all time, Grave Digger, driven by versatile veteran Carl Van Horn. Held Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 2 & 7:30 p.m. Allstate Arena. $12-$57.50. All ages. Event details.

Lincoln Park

Baby Loves Disco Valentine’s Day Ball
The ultimate family dance party is back with its 10th annual Valentine’s Day ball. Make lovey-dovey arts and crafts, enjoy face painting, do family slow dances, munch on healthy snacks and wash down all the juice boxes you can drink. Come dressed in red, naturally. Held Sat., 1:30-4 p.m. Lincoln Hall. $15 for walkers & up. All ages. Event details.

Valentine’s Day Free Photo Booth 
Say cheese and give your little Valentine a squeeze. Land of Nod stores in Chicago and Oak Brook are setting up a photo booth and will take free photos. In Chicago, the photographer is from A Little Photo Studio. Score 10% off your in-store purchase for attending. Held Sat.,10 a.m.-1 p.m. (Chicago); 1-3 p.m. (Oak Brook) Free. All ages. Event details.


The Red Balloon Co. Warehouse Sale
It has a cult following, so see what all the buzz is about. Score great deals on past season merchandise and sample picks from favorite children’s clothing brands. Held Thurs.-Sun., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. All ages Event details.

West Loop

Disney on Ice presents Let’s Celebrate!
Your favorite Disney friends whirl around the rink at this mashup of favorite holidays and celebrations from around the world. Songs and costumes are part of the world tour that includes stops in Brazil for a Carnival parade, Hawaii for a luau with Lilo and Stitch, and Japan for the Sakura cherry blossom festival. Held thru Feb. 9. United Center. Tickets start at $18. All ages Event details.

Gold Coast

Be My Valentine Family Party for Charity
This charity event makes our heart grow two sizes. Money raised goes to the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation. Gather the family and enjoy countless Valentine’s activities and a concert by award-winning children’s musician Justin Roberts & the Not Ready for Naptime Players. Held Sun., 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Ritz-Carlton Hotel Chicago. Tickets starting at $65. All ages. Event details.


NPN Developmental Differences Resource Fair
Get valuable info and connect with other families at NPN’s 3rd annual event that serves parents of children with developmental differences. You’ll gain an understanding of school options, service providers and nonprofits that speak to issues you care about. Sun., 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. All ages. Event details.

A Musical Valentine’s Day Party
Want a Valentine’s party with rhythm, heart and soul? Join The Music Playhouse for singing, dancing and playing to your favorite love songs. You’ll also enjoy a snack and will do a holiday craft to take home. Sat., 4-5 p.m. Free. $8. All ages. Event details.


FREEze Day at Brookfield Zoo
Go animal! It’s a free admission day at Brookfield Zoo, and it’s filled with outdoor activities for the entire family. Join members of the Green Valley Dog Drivers and their four-legged friends as they demonstrate dog sledding on the zoo’s West Mall. You’ll also learn about some of the zoo’s animals during special Zoo Chats. Held Sun., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. All ages. Event details.

Which of these events will you attend first? Let us know in the Comments section below.

— Kelly Aiglon

Photo: Monster Jam