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
- 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!
- 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!
- Indoor and Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks
Grab your skates (and cocoa for afterwards) and head out for a family skate indoors or outdoors!
- Best Sledding Hills
If there’s snow on the ground, sledding is always the perfect activity to burn off some energy and make memories!
- Go Skiing/Snowboarding
Pack up the family and hit the slopes for a winter adventure at a cool ski spot!
- 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).
- Kid-Friendly Bowling
Many bowling alleys offer bumper rails and rolling ramps for the littles!
- Free Nature Centers
Kids can explore and learn about animals, plants, geography and more at an awesome indoor nature center.
- 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.
- Volunteer Together
Keep the spirit of the holidays alive and do good with your family by volunteering together!
- Indoor Rock Climbing
Climb to new heights with the family and get some exercise at an indoor rock climbing wall.
- Indoor Play Spaces
When it’s too cold for the park, take the kids to a super cool indoor play space to get moving.
- Indoor Family Swim
Swimming is a great way to forget the cold outside with your family!
- Escape Rooms
Put together your family’s brain power and see what fun an escape room can be.
- Trampoline Park
If the kids are bouncing off the walls, bring them to a trampoline park to bounce until they can’t bounce anymore.
- Indoor Skydiving
Try this cool activity for an experience that’s truly unforgettable.
- Destination Restaurants for Kids
Dine with your kiddos in a kid-friendly atmosphere.
- Local Libraries to Read Together
There’s nothing better than snuggling up together to read on a cold day over winter break.
- Pottery Time
Check out the open pottery time at a studio near you and create something beautiful together for your home.
- Arcade/Game Room Fun
Get in touch with your gamer side and bring your kids to a nearby arcade for some indoor gaming fun.
- Kid-Parent Dates
Start a new tradition over winter break and enjoy some one-on-one time with your kids.
- Children’s Museum Trip
Hours of fun await at one of the area’s incredible children’s museums!
- Admire Art Together – Art Institute
Get in touch with your cultural side and be inspired by amazing art at the Art Institute of Chicago.
- Winter WonderFest – Navy Pier
Rides, inflatables, carousel, ice rink and more, all inside from the cold at Navy Pier!
- ZooLights – Lincoln Park Zoo
Free, festive and family-oriented, the ZooLights features 2.5 million luminous lights, delicious wintry drinks/snacks and entertainment galore.
5 Ideas for Winter Break Fun at Home
- Get Crafty
Check out the Kidlist Pinterest page for extra cool and creative ideas!
- Family Game Day
Get out your family’s favorite games for an indoor game day marathon.
- Cozy up and Read
Pick a cozy spot around the house to snuggle up and read.
- Get in the Kitchen
Find a new recipe, bake some cookies, or meal plan for the week ahead together.
- 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!
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!