I don’t know about you, but my kids are already asking if it’s winter break yet. This year, many local school districts have off until the second week of January, which may prove challenging for many families. These can be great days for staying in pajamas, testing out new toys, and recharging your batteries, but they also tend to be days that blend together. In our winter break guide, you’ll find great ways to build some structure into your winter break, whether through camps, family outings, or activities at home.
2022–23 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
Breakaway Basketball has four different clinics this winter break with two locations to choose from: Oak Brook Park District and Connect 44 Center in Lombard.
All of the camps are divided by grade, ranging from 1st through 8th grade.
Breakaway Basketball is the leader in basketball skill development for players. They are the largest skill development program in Illinois, servicing over 12,000 players a year and partnering with over 500 teams to provide in-season skill development training.
Gemini Gymnastics Academy
Gemini Gymnastics Academy
330 Washington Avenue
La Grange, IL 60525
Gemini is offering winter break camps for ages 4+, including gymnastics for girls ages 6+ years old, ninjas for boys and girls ages 6+, mini gymnastics for boys and girls ages 4-5 years old, and tumbling workshops for cheer! Please see the details for each camp above and click here to register.
More winter break camps to consider:
- Addison Park District Winter Break Day Camp
- Bartlett Park District Day of Fun Camps
- Carol Stream Park District’s ActivKids Days Off Club and Winter Break Camps
- Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum Winter Camps (Chicago)
- Double J Riding Club Winter Camps (Countryside)
- Winter Break Camp at Flying High (Countryside)
- Elmhurst Art Museum Winter Break Art Camps
- Windy City Ninjas (Elmhurst)
- Park District of Forest Park Winter Break Camp
- Glen Ellyn Park District Winter Break Camps
- The Community House Winter Break Day Camps and Sports Camps (Hinsdale)
- Hinsdale Humane Society Winter Camp
- Lemont Park District Winter Day Camp
- Naperville Park District’s Winter Break Camps
- Naperville Yard’s Holiday Camps
- North Berwyn Park District Camp Igloo
- North Riverside Recreation Holly Jolly Camp
- 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 Things to Do for Winter Break 2022-23
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
Many light displays continue through the new year. Nicole’s guide has details about walking, drive-through and household displays. Navy Pier is hosting its winter event, Light up the Lake. Lincoln Park Zoo offers free admission to their ZooLights on Mondays and Tuesdays and Morton Arboretum Illuminations is always a popular spot. Also, check Annie’s insider’s guide for Holiday Magic at Brookfield Zoo, or my review of the Sparkle Light Festival in Rosemont.
- 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.
- Explore a New Exhibit or Immersive Experience
Love slime? Head to Sloomoo Institute. Harry Potter? You’ll love Harry Potter: Magic at Play. Color Factory is another favorite. We have tons of options in our guide to immersive experiences.
- Indoor and Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks
Grab your skates (and cocoa for afterwards) and head out for a family skate indoors or outdoors, like at the The Chicago Wolves Ice Rink in Rosemont or the new Gallagher Way rink by Wrigley Field.
- 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 at the beginning of January. 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. Call ahead to confirm any special holiday hours.
- 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 indoor tech-infused mini-golf course, 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. Many organizations appreciate the help after the holiday rush!
- 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.
- Pottery Time
Get creative during open pottery time at a studio near you and make something beautiful together for your home.
- Visit Your Local Children’s Museum
Some of our favorite days are spent tinkering at one of our local children’s museums.
- Swim at an Indoor Water Park
Forget about the temperatures outside, it’s warm at these indoor water parks. Pelican Harbor in Bolingbrook, for instance, has an indoor pool with two water slides, tumble buckets, a lap pool, and a zero-depth entry pool.
- Take in a Live Theater Performance
What a special treat to see a live show! Check out our full list of shows going on this winter, or read Nicole’s review of The Sound of Music at The Paramount in Aurora, which runs through January 14, 2023.
- 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.
- Puzzle Things Out Together
Family-friendly Escape Rooms are a fun way to bond as you problem-solve together and try to make your way out in time! Check out our list for recommendations with kid-friendly features.
- Get Physical
Break a sweat as you jump, bounce, and climb at one of the many Indoor Rock Climbing Walls and Trampoline Parks.
- Grab a Meal Together
Enjoy a delicious meal out at Destination Restaurants for Kids or find a great deal at a restaurant offering Kids Eat Free meals. Our igloo and outdoor winter dining list updates on December 13, and you’ll find some fun new options to enjoy this winter!
Don’t forget to tag us on social media with your winter break fun using the hashtag #sharekidlist!