Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ideas for the Holiday Week

Happy Holidays! The holiday week is coming up, and offers up some top picks for the weekend and for next week. In addition to these events, you might still be able to find a spot in a Winter Break camp for your kids.

Through December 30
A Christmas Story, The Musical!

The Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., Chicago
The Musical! chronicles young and bespectacled Ralphie Parker as he schemes his way towards the holiday gift of his dreams - a Red Ryder Action Air Rifle BB Gun - "You'll shoot your eye out kid!" A kooky leg lamp, outrageous pink bunny pajamas, a maniacal department store Santa, and a double-dog-dare to lick a freezing flagpole are just a few of the distractions that stand between young Ralphie and his Christmas wish. NO CHRISTMAS DAY SHOW. All ages. $35-$79. Read more...

Through December 31
Goodnight Moon: The Musical
Victory Gardens, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago
CCT’s family-friendly celebration of one of the most iconic children’s books of all time. Watch as Bunny’s room magically comes alive as he dances and sings his way to sweet dreams through nursery rhyme scenes with dancing bears with chairs, the Cat and the Fiddle, the Cow Jumping Over the Moon and even a trip through the night sky with dancing constellations. Ages 4 and up. Remaining shows on December 23, 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31. $25 children; $35 adults. Read more...

Through January 1
Winter Carnival

Glenview Ice Arena, 1851 Landwehr Rd., Glenview
Avoid winter break boredom! Come to the Glenview Ice Center’s annual Winter Carnival held during the school holiday break. Check the web site to see which activities take place each day, including Public Skating, Skating Lessons, Introduction to Development Hockey Lessons, Drop & Shop, Parent-Child Hockey Scrimmages, Family New Year’s Party, New Year’s Day Celebration, Ice Factor Competition, Hockey Skills Competition and more. All ages. Fees vary based on activity. No activities on Christmas Day. Read more...

Through August 2012
New Exhibit! Gods, Myths and Mortals

National Hellenic Museum, 333 S. Halsted Street, Chicago
Gods, Myths and Mortals invites visitors on an interactive journey through the world of ancient Greece. Visitors of all ages will meet the gods, experience ancient Greek daily life and interact with the epic poems The Iliad and The Odyssey through over 25 engaging interactive components – climb into a 12 foot tall Trojan Horse, journey into a Cyclops Cave and then a karaoke cave to sing like a Siren. Alla ges. Free with general admission, $7-$10. Closed Christmas and New Year's Day.


Through January 8
Winter WonderFest

Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago
Enjoy more time to have more fun inside an enchanted 170,000 square foot winter playground! Bring the entire family for days of entertainment, Chicago Blackhawks indoor ice skating, huge inflatable slides, rides, and so much more. Your family holiday memories are even more cherished when shared at Winter WonderFest. Special events are taking place throughout the festival, see web site for details. All ages. Free to attend, prices vary by activity. Open on Christmas Eve, closed Christmas Day!

Through January 1

Lincoln Park Zoo, 2200 N. Cannon Dr., Chicago
See the Zoo lit up in beautiful holiday lights, and enjoy a visit with Santa in the wildest spot in town, animals from around the world, live ice carving, holiday crafts, delicious food, hot spiced wine and unique holiday shopping. CLOSED DECEMBER 24 & 25. All ages. Free! Read more...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Unconventional holiday theater: Tinsel! The Musical

Not your usual holiday story! This season, your family can visit the magical world of the North Pole with TINSEL! THE MUSICAL, an original holiday musical from Chicago's local Li'l Buds Theatre playing at the Greenhouse Theater.

Tinsel! The Musical tells the story of a nearsighted reindeer's rise from life as a clumsy waitress in Frosty's diner to being a famous recording artist. With a unique blend of country, jazz, blues and pop music, young audience members will learn about the pitfalls of fame and the rewards of being true to yourself.

For all ages. Playing now through December 20. Tickets $12 for kids, $18 adults. Learn more at

Greenhouse Theater is located at 2257 N Lincoln Ave., Chicago.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Chicago area Winter Camps 2011

Find a winter camp or winter break activity at some of these great Chicago and suburban locations. This is just a small sampling of the many winter camps you'll find on our Winter Camps page!

Actors Gymnasium Circus & Performing Arts Camp
927 Noyes Street, Evanston
The Actors Gymnasium Circus and Performing Arts Winter-Break Camp is perfect for young performers who want to strengthen, stretch and flex their creative muscles. Each day begins with a warm-up, followed by training and workshops in circus, drama, and movement. Circus skills covered include juggling, tumbling, trapeze, tightwire, stilts, and more. Ages 9-14 years old. December 27-30 & January 3-6, 9am - 4pm. $265 for one week, $475 for both. (847) 328-2795. Learn more...

Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe
Children ages 5 to 8 will investigate weather, explore seasonal adaptations of plants and animals, and enjoy a visit to our Wonderland Express holiday exhibition. Writers' Theatre will provide campers with activities for developing their creative expression. December 19 – 22, 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Nonmembers $275 / Members $220. (847) 835-8361. Learn more...

Easel Art Studio
1911 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
Easel art studio's winter camp runs December 16th till January 6th, and offers a 9am to 1pm camp or a 9am to 3pm camp. Each day a different activity is planned, and we've teamed up with Penguin Foot Pottery and Dance Spa South so thatkids can create pottery pieces and dance the snowflakes away. So pack a lunch, (no nut products please), throw on your snow pants and join the fun! Half day $45 per day, full day $75 per day. (773) 360-1720. Learn more...

Emerald City Theatre School
2933 N. Southport Ave., Chicago
Come inside and out of the cold with our theatre teachers and other campers to warm up with drama games, songs, and storytelling activities. Special winter-themed crafts will round out our time together. On the final chilly day, campers will present their very own unique winter wonderland full of their own characters and stories to family and friends. December 26 - 30, 2011 and/or January 2 - 6, 2012. Ages 3.5 - 5: Half Day AM Camps Monday - Friday, 9 am - 12 pm, $225. Ages 6 - 10: Full Day Camps Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm, $450. (773) 529-2690. Learn more...

GreenApple Campus
DePaul University Naperville and Lincoln Park Campus
At Destination Innovation Winter Break, come build, invent, create and innovate with GreenApple Campus. Lego, Robotics & Digital Media are all on the menu plus pizza for full day participants. Session 1 is Dec 26 to 30, Session 2 is Jan 2 to Jan 6. $350 Monday - Friday 9:00am to 3:00pm (pizza lunch included full day only.) $180 Monday - Friday 9:00am to 12:00pm. $75 single day 9:00am to 3:00pm. (877) 735-4550. Learn more...

Hubbard Street Dance Center
1147 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago
Winter Break Dance Camp - Design, Dance and Discover! A Hubbard Street Dance Chicago/Chicago Children’s Museum experience. Come join HSDC and CCM as we celebrate the spirit of play. Students will spend three days in the studios of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago exploring the creative processes of dance and visual art – presenting their work to friends and family in a fabulous performance in the Great Hall at the Chicago Children’s Museum on the fourth day. January 3-6, 2012. $225. (312) 850-9766. Learn more...

Visit for a full list of Winter Camp options!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Breakfasts, Brunches and Lunches with Santa

Santa must have been dieting all year, because efforts are underway all over town to help fatten him up. Join Santa at one of these many breakfasts and brunches, and help him make sure his bright red pants don't slip off while he's out delivering toys! Find more in the Calendar of Events.

Note: Pretty much all of these events require reservations, so call and plan ahead.

Breakfast with Santa at Lamb's Farm
December 10, 11, 17, 18.
Santa heads over to Lamb's Farm for a delicious buffet and holiday activities, including a picture with jolly ol’ St. Nick and a reading by Mrs. Claus of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas on December 10.

Time: Seatings at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and Noon
Cost: $15.95 per person (Children under 2 eat free with a $7.95 charge for all activities and photo with Santa)

Learn more

Breakfast with Santa at Brookfield Zoo
Saturdays and Sundays December 4-18.
Santa doesn't leave out the animals on his tour of morning feasts. Join him at Brookfield Zoo for a child-friendly buffet, and Santa will join in for family photos and give the kids a holiday gift.

Time: Seatings at 9am and 11am
Cost: Adults member $29, nonmember $29; Child member $21.50, nonmember $27.50. Under 3 free.

Learn more

Breakfast with Santa Claus at Macy's State Street and Old Orchard
Saturdays and Sundays, Dec 3-18.
Fuel up before you shop with an exclusive breakfast with Santa Claus at Macy's. Enjoy a yummy, plated breakfast, children's entertainment and a visit from Santa Claus.

Time: 9 am
Cost: $16.95 per person and $12.95 for children under 10 years.

Learn more

Shedd Holiday Breakfast
Saturdays, November 26th, December 10th, 17th & 24th, 2011
Santa might miss an entire day of work at this event, with activities going on all day! The day begins with a full breakfast, and then your family can enjoy The Polar Express 4-D Experience, A Holiday Fantasea aquatic show, meeting Santa at the Polar Play Zone, photos and more.

Time: 8am
Cost: $44.95 for adults & $34.95 for children 3 to 11, Shedd members receive a $5 discount.

Learn more

Breakfast with Santa at Soldier Field
December 10
Santa drops by our Bears' home turf for a fantastic holiday breakfast feast. Join him for the Unied Club's fine dining, and enjoy activities including a hand-made ornament contest, cookie decorating, an electric train display and more.

Time: 10:00am
Cost: Adults $55; Children 4 to 12 $25; Under 3 Free

Learn more

Lunch Cruise with Santa on the Spirit of Chicago
December 10
Santa will be cruising on the Chicago River along with guests for this lunch with Santa aboard the Spirit of Chicago. Your family can enjoy a festive lunch buffet, live solos by the talented staff and engaging DJ entertainment.

Time: Board at 12:30pm, Cruise 1:15 - 3:15pm.
Cost: $39.90 per adult, $19.95 per child age 3-12

Learn more