Even though the season hasn’t technically arrived yet, winter is certainly here. If you’re itching to get into the seasonal spirit and you need a little help, you will find it right here. The whole region is getting into fine form with holiday activities, winter sports, plus great opportunities to hang out with family and friends. Check out these events to help you chill out or warm up this winter.
Looking for something local that showcases the best of the area? POLAR-Palooza is an ideal place to start. This annual event, held in February, is sure to be a hit with kids of all ages. For just a few hours, families can enjoy activities such as:
- cross-country skiing
- winter crafts
- winter sports
- games and competitions
It lasts only for a short time, so you’ll need to fit it into your schedule. If you do, you’ll be rewarded with a delight that’s close to home.
Take a short hike to Rockford, and you’ll be rewarded with a stunning, icy sight. Since the 1980s, Sinnissippi Park has hosted the Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition. For a few days in January (or February if there’s a big storm), visitors can take a peek at the teams who have spent months preparing their designs. Teams come from all over the state to show off their skills. If you’re ready for a visit, you can take a free walk or drive through the park to see the snow sculptures. It’s been going for 34 years and the competition keeps getting hotter, so you can expect to see some truly exquisite creations.
Already tired of winter weather? Looking for something you can do indoors that is great for kids and adults? The Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier in Chicago has you covered. For most of December and half of January, you can head inside to enjoy 170,000 square feet of winter fun. Give the kids a chance to try out the indoor ice skating rink without the winter chill. Take a break and let them play on the inflatable rides. Don’t forget about the carousel, which is decorated in all the colors of the season.
If you’re hoping to find something that helps you run down the clock before the holidays arrive, Christkindlmarket starts in mid-November and has a little something for everyone. This market, located at Daley Plaza in Chicago, aims to recreate a market with the same name in Germany. You can enjoy the highlights of German culture with great food, good music, dancing and visits from characters important to the season. Bring your appetite and warm clothing, for this open-air market is sure to delight.
Sure, you have seen Christmas lights. You have never seen them like this. Head to Morton Arboretum just outside of Lisle, for a light celebration like no other. From November until early January, the mile-long path inside the arboretum is lit up to showcase the best of the winter woods and the holiday season. This is an evening event, so make sure the little ones get a good nap first. Enjoy light shows set to music as you saunter through the trees. Bonfires and hot beverages help you stave off the chill during your walk. Be sure to buy your tickets in advance, as they can sell out quickly.
Keeping your DeKalb home feeling festive and cheery during the winter takes planning. By attending one or more of these events during the season, you’ll fill up your time and create a few great family memories.