Fun winter activities for kids

It may be cold outside, but there are still lots of fun winter activities for kids, including sledding, ice skating and plenty of winter events

Sledding in the Cook County Forest Preserves is one of our favorite winter activities for kids.

If this winter is anything like last year's polar vortex insanity, hours-long trips to the playground may not be in the forecast. But there are plenty of other fun activities for kids going on across the city that are worth bundling up for. We've rounded up everything from drop-in classes to exhibits at the city's best museums, and from ice skating to snowshoeing to help you (and your kids) make it through the dreaded winter months.

RECOMMENDED: Find more things to do in Chicago this winter

Winter activities for kids

LEGO architects at Robie House

Critics' pick

Kids ages 6 and up can take their building ideas from floor plan to LEGO model, and have fun learning about scale, proportion and construction. Kids get to take home their plan design and a photo of their creation.

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Robie House Saturday December 20 2014

Morton Arboretum Holiday Lights

Critics' pick

Stoners and children of all ages alike will become kindred spirits as 50 acres of vibrant LED lights are hung on the Morton Arboretum’s vast treescape, creating a kaleidoscopic winter wonderland. The second year of Tree Lights includes lots of new activities and live music.

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Morton Arboretum Until Saturday January 3 2015

"Christmas Around the World"

View more than 50 trees and displays at the Museum of Science and Industry's 73rd annual Christmas Around the World exhibit. Each tree is decorated by volunteers from Chicago’s ethnic communities, representing their diverse culture and holiday customs. The museum's 45-foot Grand Tree will be decorated with Disney-inspired ornaments, highlighting the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit.

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Museum of Science and Industry

Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Goose

Raven Theatre adapts a classic Sir Arthur Conan Doyle story for the stage in this family friendly production. Follow Holmes and Watson as they search for the Countess of Morcar's blue carbuncle for the fourth year running.

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Raven Theatre Until Sunday January 4 2015

Snow Much Fun

Critics' pick

The Chicago Children's Museum hosts a multitude of classic kids activities—building a snow fort, ice skating—with an indoor twist. Because who in Chicago hasn't wished for winter fun without the actual winter? Skate in your socks, throw a snowball or dress up a snowman as the polar vortex rages outside.

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Chicago Children's Museum Until Sunday January 4 2015

Wonderland Express at Chicago Botanic Gardens

Critics' pick

All aboard for the Botanic Garden's 10,000-square-foot indoor model train exhibit, which runs through some 80 itty-bitty, amazingly detailed city monuments. Head outside, too, to check out the roughly 750,000 twinkling lights that illuminate the gardens. Kids can participate in hands-on activities, including making paper snowflakes and examining snow under a microscope.

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Chicago Botanic Garden Until Sunday January 4 2015

ZooLights

Critics' pick

Head to the Lincoln Park Zoo to see the lights (and maybe a few animals) at this annual winter tradition. The first 1000 people through the gates each night receive special glasses to view the lights with, but everyone can enjoy nightly ice carving demonstrations, hot beverages and ice skating on the zoo's rink.

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Lincoln Park Zoo Until Sunday January 4 2015 Free

Winter WonderFest

Critics' pick

Navy Pier's annual indoor winter carnival returns with a selection of new activities, including a toboggan tunnel, winter mini golf and a 15-foot "snow tubing" hill. Returning attractions include the Blackhawks ice skating rink, a Ferris wheel and various carnival rides. Kids can also snap a picture with Santa or decorate a cookie.

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Navy Pier Until Sunday January 11 2015

Disney on Ice Presents: Frozen

Critics' pick

The mega-hit Frozen is coming to the ice rink. Join Elsa, Anna and Olaf as they skate around in this Disney on Ice Performance. All of the favorite sing-along hits will be performed, from "Let It Go" to "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?"

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United Center Wednesday January 28 2015 - Sunday February 8 2015

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