Free winter fun in Chicago for kids

November 21, 2011 10:25:25 AM PST
Winter is upon us, but that's no excuse to stay trapped inside. There are plenty of fun, free and family oriented activities across the Chicago area.

kidwinks.comhas released its "Chicago Family Winter Fun Guide" to help parents find indoor and outdoor activities for children of all ages.


Polar Adventure Days are part of the Chicago Park District's Nature Oasis program, which was designed to help Chicagoans of all ages experience the wonder of nature right here in the city at some of the parks with large natural areas. Polar Adventure Days is a free series held on three winter Saturdays at Northerly Island on the Museum Campus.

Polar Adventure Days offer families the opportunity to explore Northerly Island and come face-to-face with live animals, engage in winter activities, watch ice sculpture carvings, and create nature-inspired crafts. Don't forget to dress warm, since activities take place both outside and inside!

Where: Northerly Island, 1400 S. Lynn White Dr., Chicago
When: Three Saturdays, from 12 to 4pm: December 10, January 21 and February 18
Cost: Free
Ages: All Ages


Outdoor ice skating can be enjoyed for free at many spots throughout Chicago and the suburbs, and you can find a list of these Chicago area skating rinks at

A popular rink in the city, the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park kicked off the winter season by opening this past Friday. Skating here is free and open to the public.

Where: On Michigan Avenue between Washington and Madison Streets
When: The rink is open through March 13th, 2011, weather permitting. Free lessons will be offered early mornings Saturdays and Sundays in February (except Feb. 20th).
Cost: Free to skate, skate rental is available for $10
Ages: All ages


The annual Thanksgiving Day feast for the animals is a chance for families to help dish out tasty nutritious treats to the goats, cows, llamas and horses in the Children's Zoo. After helping out, guests can watch as zookeepers feed some of the not-so-tame animals like the hawks, owls, woodchucks and raccoons.

Where: Children's Zoo in Brookfield Zoo, 8401 31st Street, Brookfield, IL
When: Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24, at noon
Cost: Free admission to Brookfield Zoo, the Children's Zoo and Hamill Family Play Zoo on this day
Ages: All ages

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