A Dickens Christmas

Lake County Discovery Museum | Wauconda, Ill.

A special extra exhibit which encompasses the classic Dickens tale A Christmas Carol. Stroll through a mid-1800s street to learn how Dickens influenced the look and feel of the holiday season, and view a private collection of vintage cards and calendars.

Cost: Free with admission

Welcome to the Universe

Adler Planetarium | Chicago, Ill.

Visitors become space adventurers and set off on a journey to discover the Universe in a way never done before. Travel a billion light-years and back, fly through space, orbit the Moon, zoom into a canyon on Mars, and soar through the cosmic web where a million galaxies shower down. The experience was created utilizing real telescopic data and the best scientific imagery.

Cost: $28 pass (includes admission); $22 kids 3-11

Extreme Mammals

Field Museum | Chicago, Ill.

Exhibit examines the ancestry and evolution of numerous species, ranging from huge to tiny, from speedy to sloth-like, and displays animals with oversized claws, fangs, snouts, and horns. Highlights include taxidermy specimens, an entire skeleton of a giant hoofed plant-eater, a life-size model of the largest land mammal that ever lived, one of the oldest fossilized bats ever found, and an impressive diorama featuring the swamps and forests of an island in the Arctic. Runs May 26, 2012-Jan. 6, 2013.

Cost: $22-$29 adults, $18-24 seniors and students, $15-$20 kids 4-11; included in Discovery and All-Access passes

Charlie Brown and the Great Exhibit

Museum of Science and Industry | Chicago, Ill.

Exhibit explores Schulz's personal history and his role as the sole inspiration and artistic talent behind Peanuts and its unique cast of characters. Through original cartoons, reproductions and related Peanuts ephemera, guests see how characters were developed and evolved. Schulz's Santa Rosa, Calif. studio, recreated for the first time, allows for a deeper look into his work and life. Kids and families have a chance to exercise their own Schultz-like creativity with activities like making a zoetrope.

Cost: $5, $3 kids 3-11, plus admission

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

The Spirit of the Marathon: From Pheidippides to Today

National Hellenic Museum | Chicago , Ill.

Learn and connect to the history of the Marathon race, inspired by the Battle of Marathon (490 BC), from the first Marathon race in the 1896 Athens Olympics to today. Includes section on The Chicago Marathon. Children are invited to participate in a Race for Pheidippides scavenger hunt to redeem a prize. Exhibit coloring pages also available.

Cost: Free with admission

Snowflake's Learn to Skate Clinic

Rink Side Ice Arena & Family Entertainment Center | Gurnee, Ill.

Snowflake "Learn to Skate" Clinics are an introduction to Rink Side's learn to skate classes. They are open to any child ages 2-11, there will be 30 minutes of instruction and 15 minutes of free time. There is a public session following the clinic and everyone can stay to skate! (Regular admission fees apply.) Sessions are held Dec. 26-29, 31, Jan. 2-5.

When: 10:30-11:15 a.m.
Cost: $12 per clinic; skate rental $3

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

Enchanted Railroad

Morton Arboretum | Lisle, Ill.

See model trains loop around a holiday-themed track. Santa has his own car. Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas.

When: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 26-Jan. 6
Cost: Free with admission
 





 
 
 
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