Five Chicago Holiday Activities for Kids

Seeing the Zoo Lights a few weeks ago made me wonder what other winter wonders I should seek out for the kids. I did a little thinking about holidays in the past, and a lot of research, and here is what I’m going to try to see before all the magic ends…

1. Brookfield Zoo. They also have Holiday Magic, another spectatular zoo light exhibit. In addition to the lights there are over 400 decorated Christmas trees, ice sculptures, magicians, and jugglers.  Many exhibits are also open, like the Hamill Family Play Zoo which has lots of holiday kid friendly activities. The lights run from 4pm – 9pm for three weekends. December 3rd and 4th, the 10th and 11th, and the 17th and 18th. Also open from December 26th until the 31st. Regular admission fees are $13.50 for adults and $9.50 for children over 3. Parking is $9.00 per car/van.

2. Train Exhibits at the Chicago Botanical Gardens Wonderland, open November 25th – January 1st from 10am – 6pm and the Morton Arboretum Enchanted Railroad open November 25th to January 8th, 9am – 4pm. While at the Arboretum, search for the Hidden Gnomes in the Children’s Museum and join in on their Winter Outdoor Play.

3. Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier. Open December 2nd – January 8th, exclusive of holiday hours. Most days they open by 10am. Closing times vary. Admission is free but you’ll need to buy an activity wristband to ride the rides. They go for around $15 – $20 depending on the package you decide on. If you are at Navy Pier, you can also visit the Childrens Museum. They have a fake snowball and fort exhibit as well as a ‘ice skate with your socks’ rink for kids this winter.

4. CTA Holiday Train. The train is decorated with lights and more. Santa and his elves ride the train passing out candy canes. It’s a great little afternoon activity. Normal CTA rates apply.

5. Ice Skating at Millennium Park. The rink is open on Friday, November 18, 2011 through Sunday, March 11, 2012, weather permitting. The rink is free and open to the public. Skate rental is available for $10. Hours vary so check the website.

This is posted and more on my growing group of lists for Chicago at Hidden Little Gems.

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