Non-Holiday and Santa-Free Activities in December


Whether or not your family celebrates Christmas, it can be difficult to escape it in December . . . and let’s face it: sometimes, parents just need a breather from the festivities. We’ve put together a list of fun things happening in the Western suburbs that don’t have anything to do with Santa, elves, or reindeer. There is so much fun waiting for you this December!

December 2022 Non-Holiday Activities for Kids in the Western Suburbs

Storytimes and Library Fun

IKEA Storytime
December 1 and 15, 2022 | 10:00 am – 11:00 am
The Fountaindale Public Library is partnering with IKEA to put on this free storytime (complete with puppets and songs) for kids 2 to 6, with cookies and milk afterward. You can register in advance or onsite; a free IKEA family membership is required.

Arbor Reading Adventures at the Morton Arboretum
December 1, 14, and 15, 2022 | 11:00 am – 11:45 am
A 45-minute program with nature-based stories and a craft in the Arboretum’s library, followed by a nature walk. $5 day-of tickets can be purchased at the visitor center information desk. (Must also have membership or purchase admission to Arboretum.)

Disney Trivia at the Fountaindale Library (Bolingbrook)
December 5, 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Trivia for kids of all ages (preschoolers should have adult attend). Register in advance.

Family Game Night at the 95th Street Library (Naperville)
December 5, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Drop-in event for families to come play games. Adult participation required.

Storytime at the Bolingbrook Historical Museum
December 8, 2022 | 9:30 am – 10:30 am
Stories, songs, and activities. Ages 2-6 with adult.

Story Time at Creek Bend Nature Center
December 14, 2022 | 10:30 am – 11:30 am
A librarian from the St. Charles Library does stories, songs, and finger plays. For infants through age 5 with caregiver.

Outdoor and Indoor Fun

Nature Walking Tours
December 3, 2022 | 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
A guided stroll through Lyman Woods. Sign up in advance.

Brookfield Zoo Free Admission Days
December 5, 6, 12, 13, 2022 | 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Admission to the zoo is free on these days (though you’ll still need to pay for parking).

Little Saplings at Creek Bend Nature Center (St. Charles)
December 15, 2022 | 9:30 am – 10:30 am
Register in advance for this program for 3-5 year olds.

Sports Events

Preschool Gymnastics Drop-In Sessions
Tuesdays and Fridays in December | 11:00am – 12:00pm
Calling all energetic littles! Bring your preschooler (ages 5 and under) to Naperville Gymnastics to burn off some energy at this open gym event.

Sports Camp for Kids in Glen Ellyn
December 26 – 28, 2022, session times vary
Participants will learn more about sports and partake in individual activities while still being part of a group setting including skill drills, arts and crafts, relay races, exercising, and socializing. Participants must be at least 5 years old and not older than 13.

ARC Laser Tag
December 21, 2022 | 4:30 pm – 9:15 pm
Laser tag at the Woodridge Park District activity center. Register in advance.

Hands-On Fun

Parents Night Out
December 2 and 16, 2022 | 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Kids will play games, do crafts, and more at Geneva’s Stephen D. Persinger Recreation Center. $15-20; register in advance.

Blankets for Teens
December 3, 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Create cozy blankets to help teens in the hospital feel more at home.

Rockin’ Jewelry for Kids at the Lizzadro Museum
December 10, 2022 | See details below
Budding artists can work with a new medium at one of the December sessions at the Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art. All participants must be 8 years or older. The class is $15 and held onsite at the museum in Oak Brook.

DuPage Children’s Museum Adaptive Play
December 18, 2022 | 5:30 – 7:00pm
Families with kids who might required a modified Children’s Museum experience (catered towards our friends on the Autism spectrum, with sensory needs, and/or disabilities) are welcome to DCM’s monthly Adaptive Play session.

Joe Naper’s Discovery Play at Naper Settlement
December 8, 2022 | 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Hands-on experience for preschoolers aged 3-5 and their caregivers. Must purchase program tickets by 4pm the day before.

Family BINGO at the Alfred Rubin Riverwalk Community Center
December 21, 2022 | 1:30 pm – 2:15 pm
Register in advance for this family game session.

Museums and Exhibits

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum Illinois Resident Donation Day
December 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29, 2022 | 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
This nature museum in Chicago (home to a famous indoor butterfly haven) suggests a donation of $10/family for a visit on these special days.

Elmhurst Art Museum Free Day
December 2, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Free the first Friday of every month.

Sensory-Friendly Morning at the MCA
December 4, 2022 | 10:00 am – 11:30 am
The Museum of Contemporary Art hosts a free program that’s friendly for neurodiverse visitors and families. Register in advance.

Museum of Contemporary Art Free Day
December 6, 13, 20, and 27, 2022 | 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
Free admission for Illinois residents on Tuesdays.

Free Parking Wednesday at Cantigny (Wheaton)
December 7, 2022 | 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Cantigny always has free admission, so free parking make this a free trip.

DuSable Museum of African American History Free Days
December 7, 14, 21, and 28, 2022
Free on Wednesdays for Illinois residents.

Adler Planetarium Illinois Resident Free Days
December 7, 2022 | 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Free in the evenings on Wednesdays.

Train Saturdays at the DuPage County Historical Museum
December 17, 2022 | 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
This intricate HO Model Gauge model train display is up and running.

Pro tip: Bookmark the Kidlist events calendar now so you’ll always know about family-friendly events going on nearby!

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