November 22: Focus on Family - Free Winter Fun in Chicago With Kids

Free Winter Fun in Chicago with Kids

Symphony in Lights - The Promenade Bolingbrook
Symphony In Lights is a dazzling holiday light and music experience where hundreds of thousands of holiday lights dance to the music of Trans-Siberian Orchestra. The show is a delightful way to enjoy the holiday season with your children, and can be enjoyed through the end of the year. Before or after the show you can shop or dine at the Promenade, which has many popular stores and eateries. Kidwinks tip: If you go on a Sunday, remember that kids eat FREE on Sunday at Go Roma's, which is one of the restaurants in the mall.

Where: The Promenade Shopping Center, 631 East Boughton Road, Bolingbrook, IL
When: Every evening through December 31, at 5pm, 6pm, 7pm, 8pm and 9pm.
Cost: Free
Ages: All Ages

Gingerbread Festival Downtown Downers Grove
The winter and holiday season brings with it many festivals, and this weekend, Downtown Downers Grove will hold "The Gingerbread Festival". The Main Street Train Station will sparkle with 100,000 lights and come to life with the holiday light show "Painting with Lights Spectacular" to kick-off the Gingerbread Festival. Downers Grove will be the first Municipality in the country to host this particular state-of-the-art show.
Santa arrives by fire truck on Friday evening, and will be led by the Downers Grove North Marching Band and the children of Downers Grove (who will be wearing gingerbread necklaces) through the streets and to the Tree Lighting Ceremony.
The festival offers something for all ages to enjoy: Gingerbread Story-time, Tree Lighting Ceremony, "Painting with Lights Spectacular," Gingerbread Man Search, Gingerbread House Contest, visits with Santa in his Gingerbread House, Gingerbread Boy and Girl perusing town, and Complimentary Carriage Rides.
You can find more Chicago area winter festivals on

Where: Downtown Downers Grove, IL
When: Festival is November 25 - November 27, 2011;
"Painting With Lights Spectacular" runs through Jan. 1, 2012, every hour on the hour from 5-9pm.
Cost: Free
Ages: All Ages

Winter Solstice Festival at North Park Village Nature Center
Families are invited to welcome winter by celebrating the upcoming winter solstice at the nature center. Planned activities include making edible ornaments for preserve animals, listening to seasonal music, walking luminary-lit trails, and visiting with animals from Big Run Wolf Ranch. We have a few of the Ranch's animals here on the set today: a skunk, woodchuck and porcupine.

Where: North Park Village Nature Center, 5801 N Pulaski Rd, Chicago, IL
When: Saturday, December 17, 6:00 – 9:00pm
Cost: Free
Ages: All Ages

Big Run Wolf Ranch Family Day / Open House
Big Run Wolf Ranch is a federally licensed non-profit educational facility in Lockport specializing in North American wildlife. The Ranch offers seasonal open house events, scheduled on-site and off-site presentations, school field trips, birthday parties, corporate events, reunions, and overnight camping.
During the Ranch's Open Houses, you can bring your family to meet the animals and enjoy music, a bonfire, hot dogs and hot chocolate.

Where: Big Run Wolf Ranch, 14857 Farrell Road, Lockport, IL
When: The next two open houses are scheduled for November 26, 2011 and January 28, 2012.
Cost: $4 admission for Open House Days
Ages: All Ages

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