How are you keeping your kids busy this Winter Break?

| December 17, 2017 | Comments (0)

Breakfast with SantaOur girls are speeding towards Winter Break, which means they will be home for two weeks. We’re looking forward to some downtime when they spend the day in pajamas. The other days, we’re looking for some activities that give them stories to tell when they go back to school and create fun holiday memories. A lot of interesting press releases have come through my inbox recently. Here are some highlights to help you plan a fun, memorable Winter Break.

All Chocolate Kitchen’s PRIMO
All Chocolate Kitchen’s PRIMO, 29 S. Third Street in Geneva, has an Afternoon Holiday Tea throughout the month of December. Friends and family are invited to indulge with three-time Guinness World Record-holder Chef Alain Roby’s award-winning sweets, as well as savories and gourmet teas.  Items include chocolate dipped banana bread, orange marmalade scones, cocoa truffles, as well as smaller items such as macaroons, Christmas cookies, fruit tartlets and petit fours. Also on the menu will be traditional tea sandwiches such as cucumber & mint, smoked salmon & dill, ham, egg & cheese, and a cheddar thyme biscuit.Afternoon tea will be held daily between 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. and reservations are highly recommended.

Brookfield Zoo
The final days of Holiday Magic are December 16-17 and 26-31. The zoo is open from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. each day of the event. Come early to enjoy the entire zoo and stay later for the festivities, which begin at 4:00 p.m. Guests will have one last chance to stroll throughout the zoo lit with more than one million LED lights as well as new light displays.  Holiday Magic also features a full schedule of music and live entertainment, professional ice carving demonstrations, magic shows, costumed characters who will greet zoogoers of all ages, a model train display, and an animated video accompanied to holiday tunes that will illuminate the front of The Swamp, a 41-foot Talk Tree, singing to the animals.

On Sunday, December 21, New Year’s Eve festivities will start at 6:00 p.m. with a DJ in the Holly Jolly Theater. Guests will enjoy music, fun, games, party favors, and prizes. The early countdown celebration at 8:00 p.m. means children will have their celebration and be tucked into bed at a reasonable hour.

DuPage Forest Preserves

Camp Danada: Winter Break (Dec. 26 – 29, 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.) includes chores and hands-on horse time and enjoy games, crafts and supervised lead-line rides at this four-day camp. Ages 10 – 14. $125 per DuPage resident; $150 nonresident. Register online or at 630-668-6012.

Nature Scavenger Hunt (Dec. 27, 10 – 11 a.m.) Young kids can learn about the critters that call the forest preserves home during a guided scavenger hunt at Churchill Woods in Glen Ellyn. Ages 5 – 8 with an adult. Free. Register online or at 630-933-7248.


Ranger Adventure Day (Dec. 28, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.) Kids can find out what it takes to be a ranger as you try archery, go on a guided hike and enjoy other outdoor fun while learning about plants and animals at Peabody Mayslake Estate in Oak Brook. Ages 9 – 12. $60 per person. Register online or at 630-933-7248.

New Year’s Day Hike (Jan. 1, 9 – 10:30 a.m) Ring in 2018 and learn about wildlife, plants, history and forest preserve features on a ranger-led hike t Waterfall Glen, Darien. Ages 8 and up; under 18 with an adult. Free. Register online or at 630-933-7248.

Joffrey Ballet

Following a wildly successful world premiere in December 2016, The Joffrey Ballet will present its newly reimagined holiday classic The Nutcracker by Tony Award®-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon. Set during Chicago’s 1893 World’s Fair, Wheeldons turn-of-the-century tale opens as young Marie and her mother, a sculptress creating the Fair’s iconic Statue of the Republic, host a festive Christmas Eve celebration. After a surprise visit from the mysterious Great Impresario, creator of the Chicago Columbian Exposition, Marie embarks on a whirlwind adventure with the Nutcracker Prince through a dreamlike World’s Fair. The Nutcracker features Tchaikovsky’s classic score performed live by The Chicago Philharmonic.

Paramount Theatre
Everybody’s favorite overgrown elf, Buddy, will be making mischief and Christmas cheer at the Paramont Theatre in Aurora through January 7, 2018. Based on the hilarious 2003 Will Ferrell movie, Elf is one of those rare holiday shows that will have both kids and adults laughing, humming tunes like “A Christmas Song” and “Sparklejollytwinklejingley” for days and rediscovering what it means to be a family. This is a great family show in a lovely, old theater. Be sure to pre-order hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies for your intermission treat.

Shedd Aquarium
We attended Breakfast with Santa at the Shedd Aquarium a few years ago. (We paid for our tickets. It wasn’t a media comp.) It was a wonderful experience. Our girls still talk about it.  Guests receive breakfast and hot chocolate, a screening of THE POLAR EXPRESS™ 4-D Experience and a meet-and-greet with Santa. Afterward, you can explore Shedd’s children’s exhibit, Polar Play Zone and finish your special day with reserved seats to an aquatic presentation. Ticket price includes aquarium admission.

There is a new, magical 4-D Experience® starring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. When young Rudolph is teased for his red nose and runs away, he sets off on a series of adventures, meets new friends Hermey the Elf and Yukon Cornelius along the way and escapes the clutches of the Abominable Snow Monster. When an epic snowstorm threatens the holiday, can he rescue his family and friends and help Santa save the day? This runs through January 7, 2018. There is a $4.95 per person ticket fee.


Shari writes about life with twins at Two Times the Fun. Image courtesy of the Shedd Aquarium.

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Category: Shari's Corner

About Shari: Shari is a mom, wife, marketing communications professional, gardener, Chicago Blackhawks fan, college sports fan, traveler, quilter, community volunteer, sister, daughter, aunt, friend, Siberian Husky owner, Girl Scout troop leader and book lover. You can find Shari blogging about life with twins at Two Times the Fun and tweeting @slcs48n1. View author profile.

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