Backyard Monsters

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum | Chicago, Ill.

Exhibit challenges guests to communicate, move and live like bugs at interactive stations. Live insects are featured throughout the exhibition, plus larger-than-life robotic creatures allow visitors to observe the often overlooked beauty and complexity of the insect world.

Cost: Free with admission

Sweet Home Chicago: The History of America’s Candy Capital

Harold Washington Library Center | Chicago, Ill.

FREE  

Exhibit includes numerous artifacts, photographs and other documentary items that tell the story of Chicago's iconic candy makers, including Snickers, Lemonheads, Butterfingers and Cracker Jack.

Cost: Free

Oink, Baa, Moo: Farm Fun

Waukegan Public Library | Waukegan, Ill.

FREE  

Interactive learning centers include a barn slide, apple orchard and chicken coop. Maggie, a life-sized fiberglass milking cow sponsored by Golden Oaks Farm in Wauconda, will be the focus of the new exhibit. Maggie is over five feet tall and features a working udder that recirculates the water that children "milk."

Cost: Free

Illinois State Fair

Springfield, Ill.

This event features entertainment, carnival, parade, kids' tent, petting zoo and animal shows.

When: Aug. 7-17. Grounds open 7 a.m.-midnight, buildings open 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Cost: $7, $3 kids 5-12 and seniors, free kids under 5

Snowman Contest

Irons Oaks | Olympia Fields, Ill.

FREE  

Build a snowman out of biodegradable and natural items to win. Fill out an entry form at the main office.

Cost: Free

Skating in the Sky

360 CHICAGO | Chicago, Ill.

If you're looking for an alternative to skating at Millennium Park this winter, look up. Way up-94 stories, to be exact. Touted as the World's Highest Ice Skating Rink, the 94th floor of the John Hancock Center gives ice skaters a bird's-eye view of the city and the lake.

At 20 feet by 45 feet, the rink is probably too small to be your solo destination of the day, but paired with a trip to see the view from the Hancock, it's a nice way for kids to burn off energy while parents enjoy the great view. And because it's synthetic ice, skaters stay warm and don't get wet.

The rink is scheduled to be open for skating from 9 a.m.-11 p.m. through April 18. A 25-minute skate session costs $6 (in addition to the cost to get into the Hancock Observatory). You can bring your own skates or rent some there for a dollar.

 

When: 9 a.m.-11 p.m.
Cost: $6 per 25 minutes, $1 skate rental, plus regular Observatory admission

Blue Man Group

Blue Man Group at Briar Street Theatre | Chicago, Ill.

Blue Man Group is a multi-sensory experience that fuses innovative theatrical spectacle and powerful original music with hilarious comedy to create a performance experience unlike any other. One of the world's most popular theatrical productions, today's Blue Man Group is a blend of signature material that has been in the show since the opening, as well as newer passages that examine the influence of technology on today's world with a funny and perceptive look at contemporary communication vehicles.

When: Performance dates and times vary. A full schedule can be found at: www.blueman.com/chicago/buy-tickets
Cost: $49-$97

Bud, Not Buddy

Chicago Children’s Theatre | Chicago, Ill.

Bud, Not Buddy  follows the journey of a young African-American orphan as he searches for his father. Clues kept in a suitcase lead him to adventures in Depression-era Michigan, where he finds community among a group of jazz musicians and, ultimately, an unexpected sense of home. Performances are Jan. 12-Feb. 24, 2013.

Cost:

Hip-Hop Aesop III: Jazzed, Bopped and Beat-Boxed

eta Creative Arts Foundation | Chicago, Ill.

This third installment continues the marriage of classic literature to music. Students will be introduced to Blues concepts along with other contemporary music. Playwright J. e Franklin reconstructs timeless fables about morals and values that stimulate critical thinking in a setting filled with music, fun, and laughter. Showtimes are 10 a.m. and noon Monday-Friday from Oct. 29-June 14. Summer performances are June 24-Aug. 2.

 

Cost: $6

It Shoudda Been Me

eta Creative Arts Foundation | Chicago, Ill.

Teenage DeShawn goes from making exceptional to poor grades in a matter of months due to the violent death of his best friend and the break-up of his family. Presented in collaboration with the University of Chicago Urban Health Initiative, this performance examines the need to recognize signs of depression in youth due to family disintegration and violence. Performances run Oct. 29-June 14.

When: 10 a.m. and noon Monday-Friday
Cost: $6
 





 
 
 
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