Chicago Kids Activities: Ten Awesome Ideas for Family Fun in Chicago Over Winter Break.

 

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If things are heading downhill at home get out of the house and enjoy some of the many events on tap in the Windy City.

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1.  For Your Little Princess or Fireman.
Let their imagination run wild at Fantasy Kingdom. This "Kingdom" is filled with lilliputain-sized buildings and costumes where kids can let create their own fantasies. Daily admission $12 per child; adults and siblings under age 1 are free.  1422 N. Kingsbury Street.

2. Walk in a Winter Wonderland.
Snowflakes glisten, children
listen as the miniature trains wind over bridges, under trestles, past
waterfalls and through more that 80 mini-replicas of Chicago's favorite
landmarks at the Winter Wonderland City inside the Regenstein Center at
the Chicago Botanic Garden.  $10 nonmembers, $8 members, Children and
seniour $8 nonmembers, $6 members; Children 2 and under, free. Or go
FREE on Tuesdays through December 21.  10a.m to 6p.m. daily.  Lake-Cook
Rd. 1/2 mile East of the Edens Expressway in Glencoe. Through January 2,
2011 closes at 3p.m. December 24 and closed all day on December 25)

3.  Take Your Favorite Little One to the North Pole on the Polar Express.   

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The
magic of Christmas comes alive for all wide-eyed believers as they step
aboard the Polar Express for the trip of a lifetime.  Many area park
districts, as well as the CTA, Illinois Railway Museum and the Fox River
Trolley Museum offer Polar Express trips or holiday trains.  For a
complete list of trips go to Santa on the Train.

4.  Ice Skating.
Skate at the Daley Bicentennial Plaza Ice Skating
outdoor rink in Grant Park. 337 E. Randolph St. $6 skate rental or free
with your own skates.  OR skate at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in
Millennium Park.  $10 skate rental.  Michigan Avenue between Washington
and Madison.  Noon to 8p.m., M-TH.,  Fridays Noon to 10p.m., Saturdays
10a.m.-10p.m. and Sundays, 10a.m.-9p.m. Open through March 13, 2011. OR
check out area park districts to skate near home.

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5. Head to the Hills.
If things are starting to head downhill at
home why not head to the place where going down hill is fun.  Check out
area sledding hills and information on 54 different hills at sledding hills

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6. Keep Your Favorite Ballerina on Her Toes.
A special Nutcracker Tea
for children complete with tea service, holiday cookie decorating and
an opportunity to meet the Joffrey Nutcracker ballet students will take
place at the Palmer House Hilton. 17 E. Monroe St.  $35 adults; $18
children, ages 6 to 12; free for children, 6 and under. Saturday,
December 18 and Sunday, December 19 from 2:30p.m. to 4:30p.m.
Reservations 312 917 3404.  OR you may want to head to The Joffrey Nutcracker where
children and adults can catch some holiday spirit at the 120-minute
performance featuring the entire Joffrey company in beautiful costumes,
Tchaikovsky's score, and an extravagant set design.  Auditorium Theatre
of Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress Parkway. Tickets, Box Office, 50
E. Congress Parkway, Monday through Friday, noon to 6p.m. or
Ticketmaster 800 982 2787.  Through December 26, 2010.

7. If Your Kids are Driving You Bananas Return the Favor.
Take them to the Go Bananas Indoor Family Entertainment Center filled with rides, game and food.  4516 N. Harlem Ave., Norridge, 708 669 7029.

8. Pump It Up Chicago.
Let the kids jump, climb, slide and bounce their way through the holidays while keeping warm indoors at Pump It Up--named America's #1 Inflatable Party Zone.  821 W. Eastman, Chicago.

9. Kids Can Jump for Joy at Xtreme Trampolines.
Xtreme Trampolines offers commercial grade trampolines in a giant 45,000 square foot space with 5 separate zones, a giant foam pit and a trampoline dodgeball court.  485 Mission Street, Carol Stream.  

10. Celebrate Christmas Around the World at the Museum of Science and Industry.
The Museum of Science and Industry's 69th annual Christmas Around the World features a "Holly Jolly Holiday" theme illuminating the Rotunda with 30,000 lights and more than 1000 character-inspired ornaments on the main tree with 50 additional trees reflecting traditions from around the globe.  Also visitors will enjoy choral groups and ethnic performances taking place daily. 57th Street and Lake Shore Drive Through January 9, 2011.  Free with Museum admission.

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