3, 2, 1 . . . 2015 is done! Time to get pumped for adventuring and lazing in 2016. Shows that focus on travel and boats, bundling up for snow play and figure 8 making, berry picking and apple munching, toes dipped in watering holes or new experiences — there’s something for every season and interest lined up for the year. Read on for our Editor’s picks for making the most of family time.
photo: Chicago Boat, RV and Strictly Sail Show
(1) Cast a line at the Chicago Boat, RV and Strictly Sail Show where kids can learn catch and release techniques and act like ginormous hamsters in an inflatable wheel on water.
(2) Daydream about your next family adventure at the Chicago Travel and Adventure Show, which has plenty for kids: they can try out Segways and Trikkes, catch a ride on a camel or pedal a 19th-century tricycle.
(3) Retire your sock skates in favor of the real thing while the weather’s perfect for these outdoor ice skating rinks.
photo: courtesy of Emerald City Theatre for Apollo Theater
(5) Introduce your kids to the sweet 70’s grooves of Schoolhouse Rock Live! at Apollo Theater.
(6) Check out The Field Museum’s newest exhibit, The Greeks and schedule time to Doze with the Dinos.
photo: Topgolf Naperville
(7) Winter, spring, summer or fall, tee up at Topgolf’s newest location in Naperville.
(8) Have you heard the news? Because it was such a hit, Book of Mormon is circling back around to Chicago for more. Don’t miss your chance to see this performance at The PrivateBank Theatre!
photo: Berry picking via Oriana Van Someren
(9) Berry-stained fingers and homemade pies are the things memories are made of. Check in on local berry farms to see when their fruits are prime for the pickin’.
(10) Turn your radio dial to 88.5 and re-live the glory days of drive-ins and lazy summer days with the kids at Cascade Drive-In.
(11) For any kid who wishes they could live in a LEGO universe, Brickworld is a must-do for 2016.
photo: Navy Pier fireworks
(12) From Memorial Day to Labor Day, keep your eyes to the skies to experience Navy Pier’s bi-weekly fireworks, every Wednesday and Saturday.
(13) Explore the gardens at Morton Arboretum or simply lounge listening to live music during Thursday Family Nights, June – August.
photo: Hamill Family Wild Encounters via Maria Chambers
(14) A trip to Brookfield Zoo should definitely be on the agenda. Don’t forget to pop into their newest exhibit, Hamill Family Wild Encounters, for an unforgettable hands-on experience.
(16) Create a new family tradition of rocking out at Kidzapalooza, the music festival for kids within Lollapalooza. Get inspiration for your own songs as you dance and sing to some of your favorite kindie musicians, and craft your own “masterpieces” at the arts and crafts tables.
photo: Centennial Beach Naperville
(17) Dream about a perfect Chicago summer dipping your toes in one of our awesome watering holes that are a bit rugged and off the beaten path.
(18) Save the date for the 33rd Annual Chicago International Children’s Festival, the largest film festival dedicated to kids, Oct. 28-Nov. 6
(19) How lucky are we in the midwest that our change of seasons make for the perfect apple growing conditions? Come fall, dust off those wagons and fill ’em with crisp sweetness at one of our many orchards.
photo: Christkindlmarket via Kelly Aiglon
(20) We just closed down Christkindlmarket for the season, but don’t forget to keep it on the agenda for next year. Because, it’s just that good.
What plans are you pumped for in 2016? Shout it out in the Comments below.