Top (Santa-Free!) Things to Do With Kids in December 2019


Although December gets swallowed up by the holiday season, there are plenty of things to do in Chicagoland that don’t involve Christmas or Santa. December is a great time to get out with the family and close up 2019 strong! There are plenty of things on this list to keep your kiddies happy (and busy) all month long, even if you’re tired of the holiday hubbub.

This article is sponsored by DuPage Children’s Museum, which is an awesome place to explore this December!

DuPage Children’s Museum
301 N. Washington Street
Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 637-8000

We realize that not everyone wants to see the big guy in the red suit everywhere they go. For that reason, DuPage Children’s Museum is a Santa-Free zone. Kids and adults together have a blast exploring the Museum’s hands-on exhibits, making new discoveries, and creating lasting memories… sans Santa. Splash around in AWEsome Water, make some noise in Art Is Instrumental, build with real tools in the Construction House, “fly” through the Wind Tunnel, refuel in Bean Sprouts Café, and so much more. The Museum is the perfect place to exercise both body and mind this winter. A day of play is a day well spent. Life gets busy; take time to connect and pause for play today.

Santa-Free December Events for Kids in the Suburbs

This list focuses on the non-holiday events going on in December; check out the Holiday Fun Guide for all the holiday goings-on!

Outdoor Fun and Indoor Nature Activities

Cross Country Skiing and Snowshoeing at Morton Arboretum (Lisle)
Begins November 29, 2019 | Weekdays 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, Weekends 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Grab the kids and try these outdoor activities while enjoying nature’s winter wonderland. There must be 4 inches of snow, and rentals of both types of equipment is available.

Stories at the Lake (Palos Heights)
December 5, 2019 | 4:00 pm – 4:45 pm
No need to register for this event featuring a nature story and other fun activities. Free!

Snow Tubing at Blackwell Forest Preserve (Warrenville)
Starting December 7, weekends and school holidays through February 17
Rent a Park District tube ($10/day) for slippery 800-foot rides down the Mount Hoy. The hill is open from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm when there is 3+ inches of snow.

Restoration Work Day at Ackerman Park (Glen Ellyn)
December 14, 2019 | 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Come volunteer outdoors and help with clearing, planting, maintaining trails, and more. Register ahead of time.

Stairs, Stories, and S’mores (Palos Hills)
December 14, 2019 | 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Stair climbing, stories, snowshoeing, sledding, and of course….s’mores!

22nd Annual Holiday Ice Skating Party (Orland Park)
December 27, 2019 | 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Come enjoy an afternoon of free ice skating together! Skate rental is $1.

Sports Events

Adult/Tot Open Climb at Ackerman Sports & Fitness Center (Glen Ellyn)
December 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30 2019 | 9:30 am – 11:00 am
Indoor rock climbing for tots, as well as other activities around the wall. Parents can climb, too! $5.

Inflatapalooza at the Darien Sportsplex (Darien)
December 27, 2019 | 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Play on the inflatables and soccer field at this benefit for the Day Camp’s Feed My Starving Children trip. $5 (cash only).

Dive in Movie (Oak Brook)
December 27, 2019 | 7:00 pm
Take the plunge into the Aquatic Center pool and float on a raft or noodle to watch a movie!

Stories, Music, and Movies

Arbor Reading Adventures (Lisle)
December Wednesdays and Fridays, except December 25 and January 1 | 11:00 am – 11:45 am
Join the Arboretum staff in the library as they read a story, create a craft, and visit the grounds on a nature walk. $4/member child; $5 nonmember child

Storytime at Anderson’s (Naperville, Downer’s Grove, LaGrange)
Wednesdays, December 4, 11, and 18, 2019 | 11:00 am
Free storytime for children – discover new tales and delight in old classics together.

READ to the Dogs (Clarendon Hills)
December 5, 2019 | 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Make a new friend by reading aloud to a therapy dog! Readers K-5th grade can sign up for one 15 minute time slot in person or by calling the library.

Kiddo Concerts with Sarah Jayne Lane (Wheaton)
December 6, 13, 20, and 27, 2019 | 9:30 am
Bring your littles to a morning of dancing and shaking!

Meet the Dragon from Dragon Loves Tacos (Downers Grove)
December 7, 2019 | 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Meet the Dragon in the Downers Grove Library’s Kids Room for a story, photo op, and fun.

SciTech Storytime at the SciTech Museum (Aurora)
December 26, 2019 | 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Young kids can come enjoy a story and a hands-on activity at this free event, with paid adult admission.

Hands-On Fun

Sphero Artist (Orland Park)
December 3, 2019 | 4:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Come into the library for this demonstration where technology meets art: a robot creating a masterpiece!

Second Saturday at Cantigny (Wheaton)
December 14, 2019 | 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Drop-in engineering-themed family activity with LEGOs at The McCormick Museum. Free, but parking fee still applies.

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

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