Top 5 events for families in Chicago this weekend: January 17, 18 and 19

The weekend is finally here. And, with it comes moderate temperatures (for Chicago) and an extra day for all of us to commemorate the dream, the message and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Here is the Raising World Citizens list of the top five events for families in Chicago this weekend - Friday, January 17, Saturday, January 18, and Sunday, January 19. You also can see my list of the top five ways to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. day with your family in Chicago here.

1. Chicago Boat, Sports & RV Show
McCormick Place-North Building
2301 S. Lake Shore Drive
Thurs., Jan. 16 - Mon., Jan. 20 (see website for hours)
Admission is $12 for adults; Free for kids (15 years and younger)

Maybe it's because I have two boys, but my kids love to see and "drive" all of the boats and RVs at the Chicago Boat, Sports & RV Show that takes over McCormick Place each year. Besides checking out all of the sporting equipment, kids also can participate in a whole host of fun activities, including climbing aboard a life-size pirate ship - the Gypsy Rose III, trying their luck with fishing in a catch-and-release trout pond, and participating in a water walking sport called Rollers where you walk (or rather fall…) in an inflatable ball in a shallow pool of water. Of course, while you're there, you can dream of the day when spring will come to Chicago and the boats will return to the slips at the harbors along the shores of Lake Michigan...

2. Fairy Tales by William Bolcom
Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Courtyard Theater
Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand Ave.
Sat., Jan. 18 and Sun., Jan. 19 at 10 and 11:30 am
$20 adults, $15 children ages 12 and under

The Chicago Shakespeare Theater at Navy Pier offers families the chance to introduce their children to performing arts and fairy tales in an hour-long family concert. The concert, which is best enjoyed by children ages four and up, features William Bolcom's staged Fairy Tales, which include The Fisherman and His Wife, The Frog PrinceJorinda and Joringel, and The Hare and the Hedgehog. Families also will be treated to excerpts from the Simple Symphony by Benjamin Britten, composer of the Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra. On both days, at 11 am, performers will be available for autographs and pictures in the theater's lobby and young musicians will demonstrate and answer questions about the featured instruments.

3. Family Ciné Workshop
Alliance Française de Chicago
810 N. Dearborn St. (Gold Coast)
Sat., Jan. 18 from 1:30 - 4 pm
$5 per family (maximum of 4 members)

The theatre at the Alliance Française de Chicago is a quiet, cozy spot to join with other families in being exposed to French films. This Saturday, you and your family can view Un monstre à Paris. The movie, released in 2011, is set in Paris in 1910 and centers on a "monster" and his love for a beautiful, young singer. The "musical adventure film" and has been said to be very loosely based on The Phatom of the Opera.  Following the 90-minute movie, children can enjoy an activity and a goûter (snack).

4. Family Hip-Hop Workshop
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
1147 W. Jackson Blvd. (West Loop)
Sat., Jan. 18 from 1 - 2 pm
$20 per family (discounts available for multiple classes)

On the third Saturday of each month, families can head to Hubbard Street for a family workshop. This weekend, families can explore rhythm and coordination with hip-hop. The workshops are recommended for parents and children ages six to 13 years old.

5. Family Night at the Swedish American Museum
Swedish American Museum
5211 N. Clark St. (Andersonville)
Fri., Jan, 17 from 4 - 7 pm
Free event

Friday night is Family Fun Night at the Swedish American Museum in Andersonville. The free event celebrates the museum's new exhibit, Dressing Swedish: From Hazelius to Salander.  From 4 - 7 pm, you and your family can enjoy a bevy of  activities, including designing your own clothes. Reservations are recommended and can be made via email or by calling 773.728.8111.

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