Will the groundhog see his shadow? Who will win the Super Bowl? These questions will be answered this weekend. Hold tight! And meanwhile, rest easy with this foolproof prediction: You’re going to have a blast over the next few days. The family fun around town includes the Chinese Lunar New Year Parade, a world premiere musical from Chicago Children’s Theatre, a Japan Fest in Oak Park and more.
Chinese Lunar New Year Parade
Your passage to the Far East and Chicago’s largest Chinese New Year celebration starts at the Chinatown gate. Fireworks kick off this colorful procession that includes floats, marching bands, lion dances and a 90-foot-long “Mystical Dragon.” Held Sun., 1-3 p.m. Starts at 24th St. & Wentworth Ave. Free. All ages. Event details.
Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money
This world premiere musical by Chicago Children’s Theatre sweeps you into the misadventures of a 10-year-old “spy” that plots to save Flint, Michigan, from financial ruin. As the action plays out, a live band lights up the room with contemporary African-American music through the decades, including Motown, disco, rap, rock, soul, jazz and hip hop. Held thru Mar. 2. Ruth Page Center for the Arts. Tickets start at $25. Ages 6 & up. Event details.
Milk & Cookies Happy Hour with Poochamungas
Move, groove and down some milk and cookies, while you’re at it. The latest in the Lakeview Children’s Acoustic Music Series features Poochamungas. The band, made up in part by musicians affiliated with Old Town School of Folk Music, has off-the-charts energy and real stage presence. Get off your feet to the sound of blues, folk and Americana. Held Fri., 3:30 p.m. Heritage Littles. $6. All ages. Event details.
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 Jan. 29-Feb. 9. United Center. Tickets start at $18. All ages Event details.
“Forts” at Chicago Children’s Museum
What kid hasn’t built their own little hideaway? Super-size the favorite pastime at this new exhibit, where you get an abundance of unexpected building materials, including stairs to nowhere, headboards, cabinets, doors and more. From two-story stakeouts to space stations, the possibilities are endless. Held thru Apr. 20. Included in museum admission of $14; children 1 and younger are free. All ages. Event details.
Northbrook, Oak Brook & South Barrington
Free Bowling During the Super Bowl
You get to watch the Big Game. Your kids get to bowl. Win, win! Everyone enjoys free bowling and $4 pizzas at Pinstripes during the Super Bowl. Beginning at the coin toss, all games of bowling will be complimentary and each lane has its own flat-screen TV broadcasting the game. Sun., 4-10 p.m. Admission is free. All ages. Event details.
Jet-set to Tokyo by way of Oak Park and River Forest. This event is an immersion in Japanese language and culture, and families get to try activities such as origami, calligraphy, tea ceremony rituals, games, toys, crafts, sumo wrestling, kimono-wearing and more. Performances include drums by Tsukasa Taiko, an Aikido demonstration, traditional dance by Fujima Dance Studio, live harp (koto) and children’s singing from Montessori Language Academy. Held Sat., noon-4 p.m. Oak Park and River Forest High School. Free. All ages. Event details.
Where are you going for fun this weekend? Let us know in the Comments section below.
— Kelly Aiglon
Photo: Chinese Lunar New Year via Liana_Kyle on Flickr creative commons