Cure the Post-Holiday Blues with Winter Break Activities in the West Suburbs

Winter break is always a challenge, because the weather is cold, the parents are tired, and boredom sets in fast after the holidays… but if you can push through, there’s fun to be had inside and outside of the house! Check out our ideas below to keep the fun going all through winter break. This article is sponsored by DuPage Children’s Museum.

At the Intersection of Fun and Learning

DuPage Children’s Museum is the time, the space, and the opportunity for children and their adults to take fun and learning to new heights! Build, wonder, discover, think, play, and more – dive into AWEsome Water, create a work of art in The Studio, make some noise in Art is Instrumental, roll through Ramps and Rollers – the possibilities are endless.

Come visit one of Chicagoland and the Western Suburbs’ favorite places, where play allows kids to make new discoveries, explore new spaces, share experiences, and see themselves and their world in new and exciting ways. Laugh, learn, and love spending time together on a Museum adventure!

2018-19 Winter Break Fun in Chicago’s West Suburbs

Winter Break Out of the House Activities

  1. Keep the holiday spirit alive and check out the Brookfield Zoo Lights (if you haven’t already). The lights run through the entire last week of 2018, starting after Christmas.
  2. Can’t get enough Christmas? Most people keep the their outdoor light displays going through the New Year, and some a few weeks later. Check out our guide to the best Christmas lights in the western suburbs for more information.
  3. Lace up those skates and head out to an ice skating rink in the western suburbs. There are tons of outdoor and indoor rinks!
  4. Conquer your fear of heights and get the family moving on an indoor rock climbing wall.
  5. Indoor play areas are plentiful around here. Check out a new one, or visit a favorite!
  6. Are you up to the challenge of an escape room? See what all the fuss is about and keep your kids’ minds engaged.
  7. Just because it’s cold, it doesn’t mean that you can’t swim. Find an indoor pool near you and pretend to be on a beach somewhere.
  8. Go bowling! A game of bowling with the family is always a good time.
  9. Tired of making dinner? Check out one of the restaurants near you that offer a kids eat free night. The list has restaurant options broken down by day.
  10. Bundle up and take a hike at one of the best forest preserve trails for kids around the suburbs. Too cold? Move indoors to a nature center. (Some even rent snowshoes!)
  11. Explore something new at a Chicago-area children’s museum. We’re a big fan of DuPage Children’s Museum, featured above.
  12. Let your kids (literally!) bounce off the walls at one of the many trampoline parks and bounce house facilities near you.
  13. On the very likely chance that we have some snow, hit the sledding hills!
  14. Take some time for the two of you and go on kid-parent ‘dates’ with your children.
Family-Friendly Weekend Events: October 18–20

Winter Break In-Home Activities

  1. Have an indoor picnic. Find a spot around the house to lay down the blankets and snack on whatever your kids love.
  2. Build a fort, pop some popcorn, and have a movie day!
  3. Get your kids involved with cooking. Let them help you plan a meal or dessert from start to finish. Grocery delivery makes this easier on a chilly day!
  4. There is nothing like a little family competition. Get everyone playing a board game.
  5. Spark the creativity in your child, and make some arts and crafts.
  6. Curl up with your kids, and read a good book! Go to the library and check out some of the classic kid books.
  7. Put together an indoor scavenger hunt and have the kids hunting for objects all over the house!
  8. Find items in your home that can be used as musical instruments, then lead the kids around the house in a parade.
  9. Challenge your kids to put on a show for the family. Include costumes, music, and more.

Winter Break City Activities

  1. Check out the Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier. 
  2. You can never see enough Christmas twinkle lights. Visit the Zoo Lights at Lincoln Park Zoo!
  3. Explore one of the big museums in the city. Be prepared by ordering tickets online for the best value.
Climb to the Top of These Indoor Rock Climbing Walls in Chicagoland

Winter Break Camps

Didn’t sign your kids up for a winter break camp? Don’t worry, there are still some spots left! A camp gives some structure to the day and a break for you as well. Click here for our list of Winter Break Camps in the Western Suburbs.

We’ve got tons more activities for kids on our site, so explore and check back all throughout winter break for more fun.

About the Author

Jill Kowalski
Jill is the mom of two energetic little girls, ages two and four, who keep her seriously busy. She and her husband grew up in Orland Park and are now raising their family there as well. When Jill and her family have free time, they love to check out local parks or drop-in at fests where their girls can take over a dance floor. She is always looking for cheap, yet entertaining and worthwhile things to do. When she is not wrangling her kids, Jill has a passion for starting, and sometimes finishing, do-it-yourself home improvement projects, trying out random recipes she finds on Pinterest, and organizing every nook and cranny of her life.

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