30 Wonderful Winter Break Activities in Chicago’s Western Suburbs

After the excitement of the holidays, we find ourselves faced with many long winter break days ahead! Luckily, we have a whole bunch of fabulous ideas to keep everyone entertained — whether you prefer to venture out around town, travel into the city, or just stay home. Get inspired with our lists for the very best activities to keep the family fun going all winter break long!

Winter Break Fun in Chicago’s West Suburbs

Winter Break 2019-20: Top 25 Out-of-the House Activities

  1. Holiday Magic – Brookfield Zoo
    Come see the animals in a magical setting with over a million twinkling lights, ice carvers and more! Fun activities/entertainment scheduled every night, and an ice rink, too!
  2. Illumination – Morton Arboretum
    Be mesmerized by the most colorful and interactive display of lights adorned on the trees of a one-mile paved path. Seasonal music, cozy drinks and s’mores, too!
  3. Indoor and Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks
    Grab your skates (and cocoa for afterwards) and head out for a family skate indoors or outdoors!
  4. Best Sledding Hills
    If there’s snow on the ground, sledding is always the perfect activity to burn off some energy and make memories!
  5. Go Skiing/Snowboarding
    Pack up the family and hit the slopes for a winter adventure at a cool ski spot!
  6. Winter Theatre Guide
    The experience of a live show with the family is like no other — and there are several incredible performances coming up over winter break (and beyond).
  7. Kid-Friendly Bowling
    Many bowling alleys offer bumper rails and rolling ramps for the littles!
  8. Free Nature Centers
    Kids can explore and learn about animals, plants, geography and more at an awesome indoor nature center.
  9. Afternoon Tea
    Sitting down to a cup of tea and dainty snacks amidst a festive backdrop is such a lovely experience to take in with your loved ones.
  10. Volunteer Together
    Keep the spirit of the holidays alive and do good with your family by volunteering together!
  11. Indoor Rock Climbing
    Climb to new heights with the family and get some exercise at an indoor rock climbing wall.
  12. Indoor Play Spaces
    When it’s too cold for the park, take the kids to a super cool indoor play space to get moving.
  13. Indoor Family Swim
    Swimming is a great way to forget the cold outside with your family!
  14. Escape Rooms
    Put together your family’s brain power and see what fun an escape room can be.
  15. Trampoline Park
    If the kids are bouncing off the walls, bring them to a trampoline park to bounce until they can’t bounce anymore.
  16. Indoor Skydiving
    Try this cool activity for an experience that’s truly unforgettable.
  17. Destination Restaurants for Kids
    Dine with your kiddos in a kid-friendly atmosphere.
  18. Local Libraries to Read Together
    There’s nothing better than snuggling up together to read on a cold day over winter break.
  19. Pottery Time
    Check out the open pottery time at a studio near you and create something beautiful together for your home.
  20. Arcade/Game Room Fun
    Get in touch with your gamer side and bring your kids to a nearby arcade for some indoor gaming fun.
  21. Kid-Parent Dates
    Start a new tradition over winter break and enjoy some one-on-one time with your kids.
  22. Children’s Museum Trip
    Hours of fun await at one of the area’s incredible children’s museums!
  23. Admire Art Together – Art Institute
    Get in touch with your cultural side and be inspired by amazing art at the Art Institute of Chicago.
  24. Winter WonderFest – Navy Pier
    Rides, inflatables, carousel, ice rink and more, all inside from the cold at Navy Pier!
  25. ZooLights – Lincoln Park Zoo
    Free, festive and family-oriented, the ZooLights features 2.5 million luminous lights, delicious wintry drinks/snacks and entertainment galore.
2020 Trick-or-Treat Hours for Halloween in Chicago's West Suburbs

5 Ideas for Winter Break Fun at Home

  1. Get Crafty
    Check out the Kidlist Pinterest page for extra cool and creative ideas!
  2. Family Game Day
    Get out your family’s favorite games for an indoor game day marathon.
  3. Cozy up and Read
    Pick a cozy spot around the house to snuggle up and read.
  4. Get in the Kitchen
    Find a new recipe, bake some cookies, or meal plan for the week ahead together.
  5. Snow Day Fun Ideas
    Pretend like it’s a snow day and come up with creative ideas for fun all over the house — from fort building and scavenger hunts to indoor picnics and dance parties, there’s always something fun to do right at home with the kids.

And finally, our sponsors at the Oak Brook Park District still have openings for their winter break camps. Check below for more camps, too!

Oak Brook Winter Break Camps
December 20, 23, 26, 27, 30, 2019 and January 2, 3, 2020| 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Oak Brook Park District
1450 Forest Gate Road
Oak Brook, IL 60523

Keep your child happy and active this holiday season. Have some days off school or just need to get some last-minute holiday shopping done? Oak Brook Park District Winter Pee Wee Camp provides a well-rounded recreational experience for children 3-5 years old. Activities include social play, arts and crafts, storytelling, music and indoor gym time. Their Winter Playground Camp includes arts and crafts, games, and pool time for ages K-5th grade. Your soccer enthusiast will want to try our Soccer Made in America Holiday Training Camp for age 4-15. The camp is designed to teach players proper technical skills while enjoying the game of soccer. The last day of camp will feature fun contests and an awards presentation.

For more camp options, check out all of the 2019–2020 winter break camps near you. We hope your break is full of relaxation and fun!

About the Author

Jill Borkowicz
Jill is thrilled to be sharing her insight and knowledge of local fun on Kidlist! As an Oak Park native, Jill and her husband settled in La Grange Park in 2007 and couldn’t be happier with the community they call home. Raising two lovely daughters, ages 8 and 10, Jill is always on the lookout for cool things to do as a family. She is passionate about yummy food, an organized abode, creative entertaining, frugal finds, travel adventures, a healthy spirit, and overall family fun. Jill’s favorite wintertime activity with the fam? Ice skating followed by hot chocolate! Summertime family favorite? Long pool days with friends that end with a BBQ!

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