Like many families, our winter break is spent recharging after the holidays. We spend more time in our pajamas than I care to admit, play with our new gifts, and relax as a family. While these are some of my favorite days, we start to feel a bit stir-crazy! Our winter break guide provides families with exciting camp options, as well as a round-up of all of our favorite boredom busters. Bundle up for some outdoor fun or check out a new indoor spot. Winter break will be full of countless fun memories on top of all the holiday excitement.
Our winter break guide is sponsored by Breakaway Basketball and the featured listings who have a variety of fun camps to choose from over break!
2021–22 Winter Break Camps
Whether you’re looking to meet your childcare needs, or simply want a chance for your child to socialize, there are quite a few organizations offering winter break camps this year. Kids can get out of the house, engage in countless fun activities with friends, and enjoy their time off of school. Stretch their legs, learn a new game, and make new friends. Read on to find your little camper’s calling for winter break fun!
Breakaway Basketball Winter Break Camps
December 20-23 and 27-30, 2021
Held at Oak Brook Park District and Connect 44 Center in Lombard
Week 1: Winter Experience (December 20,21,22,23)
Week 2: Winter Experience (December 27,28,29,30)
- Day 1: Ball handling, Passing, Finishing, 1 on 1
- Day 2: Shooting, 3 on 3 concepts and game play
- Day 3: Team Skill Development Challenges and Competitions
- Day 4: 3 on 3 Tournament Breakaway Style
Breakaway Basketball is the largest skill development program in the Midwest working over 10K players a year and partnering with over 500 teams to provide skill development training for coaches and players. Teaching players how to work hard and understand that being successful at anything is a process that takes focus, hard work, perseverance, and patience. We use the game of basketball to teach lessons that will translate to their everyday lives.
Give the gift of new experiences with KidzToPros Holiday Camps!
The Holiday season is at our doorstep and so are KidzToPros’ Holiday Camps! Among the many things to be thankful for, the gift of providing new experiences to children across the US is the greatest!
KidzToPros Holiday Camps offer the most popular STEM, arts & sports activities to check off items from child’s Christmas bucket list. Kids ages 4-12 can experience activities like soccer, robotics, creative arts and so many more, in a 3-day camp happening twice – before and after Christmas!
Let’s jingle all the way to KidzToPros Winter Break Camps!
Chicago Edge Skating Academy
Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays December 20-29, 2021 | 9:30am – 2:00pm
451 Plainfield Road
Darien, IL 60561
9:30-10:00am: Check In
10:00-10:45am: Dry landing conditioning, games, dance acrobatics
11:00am-12:00pm: Ice Skating
Register for individual days or purchase an entire week!
Skate rentals available at the front desk for $3. Bring your own lunch, gym shoes, water bottle, gloves, and dress in comfortable layers.
More winter break camps to consider:
- Addison Park District Winter Break Day Camp
- My Gym Winter Camp (Aurora)
- Carol Stream Park District’s ActivKids Days Off Club and Winter Break Camps
- Double J Riding Club Winter Camps (Countryside)
- Winter Break Camp at Flying High (Countryside)
- YMCA of Metro Chicago (Downers Grove, Elmhurst, La Grange Park, Naperville)
- Windy City Ninjas (Elmhurst)
- Ivy League Kids Day Off Programs (Flossmor, Mokena, Shorewood, La Grange)
- Park District of Forest Park Winter Break Camp
- Glen Ellyn Park District Winter Break Camps
- The Community House Winter Break Camp (Hinsdale)
- Lemont Park District Winter Day Camp
- Naperville Park District’s Winter Break Camps
- Naperville Yard’s Holiday Camps
- Oak Brook Park District Winter Break Camps
- River Forest Community Center
- Warrenville Park District’s Kris Kringle Camp
- Blue Moose Sports Camp (Western Springs)
- Westmont Yard’s Holiday Camps
- Kids Science Labs (Wheaton)
- My Gym Winter Camp (Wheaton)
- Woodridge Park District Winter Wonder Camp
Top 25 Places to Go Over Winter Break 2021-22
We’re so excited to be able to get out more this winter break, so we’ve added a few more than we usually do. Indoors or outdoors, quiet or active, there’s something that every family can enjoy.
- Enjoy a Holiday Light Show
The light shows this year are incredible, and many continue through the new year. Nicole’s guide has details about walking, drive-through and household displays. Navy Pier is hosting its newest winter event, Lightup the Lake. Lincoln Park Zoo offers free admission on Mondays and Tuesdays and Morton Arboretum returned to their walk-through format this year. Also, check Annie’s insider’s guide of 2021 updates for Holiday Magic at Brookfield Zoo.
- Stroll Through Holiday and Winter Walks
Spot gingerbread men, snap a selfie with reindeer, or grab a warm cup of cocoa at these winter walks happening this month. Happy hunting!
- Indoor and Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks
Grab your skates (and cocoa for afterwards) and head out for a family skate indoors or outdoors! The Ribbon at Maggie Daley Park is open daily through mid-March!
- Have Fun in the Snow
We have lists for the best sledding hills, places for skiing/snowboarding, or snowshoe rentals, and cross-country skiing. If there’s snow on the ground, getting outside is always the perfect activity to burn off some energy and make memories!
- Go to the Zoo
While the zoos are great places to go for holiday lights, don’t forget to see the animals too. Avoid the crowds of the holiday shows and enjoy an afternoon with your favorite animals. Lincoln Park Zoo is always free, and Brookfield Zoo is hosting quite a few free days this month. Don’t forget some of the smaller zoos in our area, too!
- Free Nature Centers
Kids can explore and learn about animals, plants, geography and more at an awesome indoor nature center. While many have opened their doors to visitors, call ahead to confirm your plans before you go.
- Go for a Hike
If the temperature gets above freezing, we are outside! Get some fresh air and enjoy the sights at a new (to you) forest preserve.
- Take a Swing at Golf
Check out the newest indoor tech-infused mini-golf course in town, Puttshack in Oakbrook. Prefer to brave the elements? Top Golf in Naperville and Schaumburg are the perfect spot to test out your swing outdoors.
- Volunteer Together
Keep the spirit of the holidays alive and do good with your family by volunteering together!
- Kid-Parent Dates
Start a new tradition over winter break and enjoy some one-on-one time with your kids.
- Indoor Play Spaces
Indoor play spaces are a great place to explore new toys and burn off extra energy.
- Local Libraries to Read Together
Grab some new titles and enjoy a quiet afternoon at home. Here’s a list of some of our favorites. Many libraries are offering winter reading programs to incentivize reading fun.
- Shop Local
While the holiday rush may be over, get lost in the aisles of locally owned toy and book stores. Get ideas from staff, or find inspiration for your next family activity.
- Have Fun at Days Off or Winter Break Camp
Find childcare with these daily or weekly camp options. Your children will have a blast at the many options offered throughout the suburbs.
- Pottery Time
Get creative during open pottery time at a studio near you and make something beautiful together for your home.
- Get Out of Town
Last fall, Rachel did a roundup of family-friendly Airbnbs in Illinois. Even a night or two away from home can be a nice reset.
- Visit Your Local Children’s Museum
Some of our favorite days are spent tinkering at our local children’s museum. Check out Kaitlyn’s insider guide after her family recently visited DuPage Children’s Museum’s newest exhibit, The Questioneers: Read. Question. Think. Play!
- Swim at an Indoor Water Park
Forget about the temperatures outside, it’s warm at these indoor water parks. Check individual websites to confirm safety protocols, as some still require advance registration.
- Take in a Live Theater Performance
We are so happy to see live theater performance returning this year! If you’re looking for holiday-specific shows, we have a list for that, too!
- New Exhibits and Immersive Experiences
Looking for something new and exciting? Find all the details about the brand-new special exhibits and immersive experiences happening throughout the Chicago area.
- Enjoy Retro Fun
Spend a day having old-school fun at Arcades and Game Rooms or Kid-Friendly Bowling Alleys. The sights and sounds will certainly leave you feeling nostalgic.
- Unique Experiences
Think outside the box and try a new experience the whole family will love. Escape Rooms and Indoor Skydiving are one-of-a-kind adventures. The Forge: Lemont Quarries is another great spot for plenty of outdoor exploring.
- Get Physical
Break a sweat as you jump, bounce, and climb at one of the many Indoor Rock Climbing Walls and Trampoline Parks.
- Family-Friendly Dining
Enjoy a delicious meal out at Destination Restaurants for Kids or find a great deal at a restaurant offering Kids Eat Free meals.
Not sure where to start? Check out our Kidlist Events Calendar for inspiration.
5 Ideas for Fun at Home
- Be Creative
The opportunities are endless for creativity over winter break. Get Crafty or Get in the Kitchen and test out new recipes.
We have you covered for both an in-person Family Game Day or ways to Reconnect with Family at at Virtual Game Night.
- Build Something
A fort? A LEGO town? An obstacle course? Grab your supplies and get to work!
- Snow Day Fun Ideas
Pretend like it’s a snow day and come up with creative ideas for fun all over the house — from scavenger hunts to indoor picnics and dance parties, there’s always something fun to do right at home with the kids.
- Plan Out Your 2022
While 2021 certainly felt more normal than 2020, I think we can all agree we’re feeling even more optimistic towards the new year. Make a list of things to look forward to in 2022.
Don’t forget to tag us on social media with your winter break fun using the hashtag #mykidlist!