Chicago Kids Weekend Events: Dec. 10-12

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Places to go; people to see. You’re buzzing around town like a regular holiday busy bee. In between visits with Santa and keeping things magical, don’t forget to pencil in time for family entertainment. We’ve made it easy by rounding up ideas that range from holiday lights displays and ice skating to a holiday show written by kids, performed by pros.

photo: Playmakers Laboratory

That’s Weird Grandma Holiday Show
Playmakers Laboratory invites families to That’s Weird, Grandma: Comes Home for the Holidays, which features actors, comedians and musicians bringing life to stories written by Chicago elementary school students. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

New! Magic Immersive
From the innovators behind Immersive Van Gogh, Magic Immersive transports visitors to different eras, revealing the evolution of magic acts and the secrets of the world’s greatest magic performers. Fri.-Sun. Event details

Santa Sundays at Museum of Illusions
Experience the magic of the holidays with Museum of Illusions’ Santa Sundays. With over 80 Instagramable mind-bending exhibits. the museum is the ultimate place to snag a photo with the man in red. Sun. Event details

For other  Santa rendezvous ideas, read our story Magical Places to Meet Up with Santa (& Mrs. Claus, Too!).

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride
Ready your golden tickets for this magical recreation of the classic children’s story. Passengers are treated to snacks served by dancing chefs, caroling and holiday activities, and a reading of The Polar Express. Fri.-Sun. Event details

Drive-Thru Magic at Santa’s Village
Santa’s helpers transformed Santa’s Village into a festive winter wonderland. This new drive-thru experience features over 2 million lights and dazzling displays synchronized to holiday music. Fri.-Sun. Event details

For other incredible light displays, read our story Lights, Camera Phone, Selfie! Best Holiday Light Displays.

Winter WNDRland at WNDR Museum
Immerse yourself in holiday magic at the inaugural Winter WNDRland. The event features a brand new interactive light-up Santa’s Sleigh installation, photos with Santa and holiday-themed elements throughout. Fri.-Sun. Event details

Zoolights at Lincoln Park Zoo
ZooLights features hundreds of luminous displays and incredible seasonal activities, all under the glow of 2.5 million lights. Fri.-Sun. Event details

For another fun zoo event, check out Holiday Magic at Brookfield Zoo.

Winterland Programming at Gallagher Way
Gallagher Way at Wrigley Field has transformed into a wonderland, a virtual North Pole right here in Chicago. Strap on some ice skates and shop Christkindlmarket while you’re there. Fri.-Sun. More details.

Black Ensemble Holiday Spectacular
Music-loving families will enjoy the holiday classics performed by members of the acclaimed Black Ensemble Theater in this cabaret-style spectacular.  Sat. & Sun. Event details

For other holiday theatre ideas, read our story Celebrate the 2021 Holiday Season with a Festive, IRL Show.

Holiday Highlights Performance by Tempel Lipizzans
Bundle up and join Tempel Lipizzans for festive holiday spirit in their sprawling indoor arena. Enjoy four segments all set to classical music. Sat. Event details

The Amaze Light Festival in Rosemont
Impact Field has transformed into the ultimate holiday destination. You’ll be treated to more than 1 million lights and outdoor holiday activities, including tubing on Polar Peak. Fri.-Sun. Event details

Skating at Parkway Bank Park
Parkway Bank Park offers skating in the park, where The Chicago Wolves ice rink takes center stage with the perfect ticket price: free. Easy parking and plenty of dining options round out the seasonal fun. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

For other ideas on where to skate, read our story Ice, Ice Baby: Chill Places to Ice Skate in Chicago.

Christmas Around the World & Holidays of Light at MSI
Be enchanted by the trees and displays that are decorated to represent the rich multicultural heritage of Chicago. Fri.-Sun. Event details

Didn’t find what you’re looking for? Luck is on your side because we have loads more to-dos on our calendar—even lots of virtual activities to connect with people, museums and businesses all over the country. Check it out!

— Maria Chambers

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On the Top of Your Holiday Must-Dos: Christkindlmarket

Celebrate the 2021 Holiday Season with a Festive, IRL Show.

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Chicago Kids Weekend Events: Dec. 3-5

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It’s holiday time in the city! Ring-a-ling, everyone! Take a break from architecting Christmas lists and constructing Christmas trees to make the most of wintry fun in Chicago. Take a ride on the Polar Express, see a magical light display, race Santa in a family fun run and much more. December will be gone before you know it, so read on and get moving!

photo: Museum of Illusions

Santa Sundays at Museum of Illusions
Experience the magic of the holidays with Museum of Illusions’ Santa Sundays. With over 80 Instagramable mind-bending exhibits. the museum is the ultimate place to snag a photo with the man in red. Sun. Event details

For other  Santa rendezvous ideas, read our story Magical Places to Meet Up with Santa (& Mrs. Claus, Too!).

New! Magic Immersive
From the innovators behind Immersive Van Gogh, Magic Immersive transports visitors to different eras, revealing the evolution of magic acts and the secrets of the world’s greatest magic performers. Fri.-Sun. Event details

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride
Ready your golden tickets for this magical recreation of the classic children’s story. Passengers are treated to snacks served by dancing chefs, caroling and holiday activities, and a reading of The Polar Express. Fri.-Sun. Event details

Drive-Thru Magic at Santa’s Village
Santa’s helpers transformed Santa’s Village into a festive winter wonderland. This new drive-thru experience features over 2 million lights and dazzling displays synchronized to holiday music. Fri.-Sun. Event details

For other incredible light displays, read our story Lights, Camera Phone, Selfie! Best Holiday Light Displays.

Center Sunday at Hyde Park Art Center
Center Sunday features open studios, family artmaking, a holiday art sale, musical performances by resident artists and a film screening by a former resident artist. Sun. Event details.

Winter WNDRland at WNDR Museum
Immerse yourself in holiday magic at the inaugural Winter WNDRland. The event features a brand new interactive light-up Santa’s Sleigh installation, photos with Santa and holiday-themed elements throughout. Fri.-Sun. Event details

Zoolights at Lincoln Park Zoo
ZooLights features hundreds of luminous displays and incredible seasonal activities, all under the glow of 2.5 million lights. Fri.-Sun. Event details

For another fun zoo event, check out Holiday Magic at Brookfield Zoo.

Winterland Programming at Gallagher Way
Gallagher Way at Wrigley Field has transformed into a wonderland, a virtual North Pole right here in Chicago. Strap on some ice skates, shop Christkindlmarket and enjoy a Hanukkah celebration! Fri.-Sun. More details.

Santa Hustle 5K and Kids Run
Join the man in red for Santa Hustle magic at Soldier Field. Sat. Event details

Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Twas the Night Before
An exhilarating new spin on the beloved Christmas classic as only Cirque du Soleil can imagine. This vibrant acrobatic spectacle about the joy of sharing and friendship promises to spark lasting memories. Fri.-Sun. Event details

For other holiday theatre ideas, read our story Celebrate the 2021 Holiday Season with a Festive, IRL Show.

Holiday Highlights Performance by Tempel Lipizzans
Bundle up and join Tempel Lipizzans for festive holiday spirit in their sprawling indoor arena. Enjoy four segments all set to classical music. Sat. Event details

The Amaze Light Festival in Rosemont
Impact Field has transformed into the ultimate holiday destination. You’ll be treated to more than 1 million lights and outdoor holiday activities, including tubing on Polar Peak. Fri.-Sun. Event details

Skating at Parkway Bank Park
Parkway Bank Park offers skating in the park, where The Chicago Wolves ice rink takes center stage with the perfect ticket price: free. Easy parking and plenty of dining options round out the seasonal fun. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

For other ideas on where to skate, read our story Ice, Ice Baby: Chill Places to Ice Skate in Chicago.

Didn’t find what you’re looking for? Luck is on your side because we have loads more to-dos on our calendar—even lots of virtual activities to connect with people, museums and businesses all over the country. Check it out!

— Maria Chambers

RELATED STORIES:

On the Top of Your Holiday Must-Dos: Christkindlmarket

Celebrate the 2021 Holiday Season with a Festive, IRL Show.

Pinkies to the Sky! Holiday Teas to Plan Now

11 Grocery Stores That Will Deliver to Your Door

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There’s no doubt that any little trick we can use to simplify the juggling act of parenting is a game-changer—and that’s why we are totally on board with any and all grocery stores that deliver. Who doesn’t want to take back precious time and avoid the crowds at the supermarket? We do! We’ve rounded up several of the biggest grocery stores that deliver (and info on how to get Trader Joe’s delivery) across the United States, so say goodbye to long lines and hello to door-to-door grocery deliveries.

Walmart

For an annual fee of $98 or $`12.95 a month, the Walmart+ program gives you unlimited free delivery ($35 minimum). Try the 15-day trial to see if you like it, or if you aren't ready to commit, simply pay the normal fees that the regular delivery and Express Delivery (two hours or less) services charge. How do you order? Simply use the app or website to choose from over 180,000 items, and you're on your way! 

photo: Anthony Rathbun/AP Images for Target

Target

For a lot of people, strolling the aisles of Target is like a religious experience. But for those of us with kids and no time to spare, Target's partnership with Shipt is the perfect way to get groceries, essentials and more delivered right to your door.

You can choose from thousands of items, including food, baby, bath, kitchen, pet supplies, school supplies and more. You can start with a free four-week trial, and when those four weeks are up, you have the option of an annual Shipt plan for $99 for unlimited orders of $35 or more. Or, you can pay per as you order for same-day delivery. Shipt also works with CVS, Petco, and more.

Costco

Buying bulk is a must for big families, or really for any families. Now you can forget having to schlep giant jars of peanut butter and cases of apple juice, Costco now offers delivery through Instacart, which also delivers from local stores like ShopRite, Safeway, Giant, and more based on your location. For those that use Instacart more regularly, they offer Instacart Express, which includes reduced service fees, free delivery on orders over $35, and more.

photo: ALDI

ALDI

ALDI's deal with Instacart has been wildly successful, and most stores now have the option of having your groceries brought to you. In addition to delivery, Aldi has been testing curbside pickup. Customers can buy groceries online, then come to the store to pick them up where an Aldi employee will bring your grocery haul right to your car.

photo: Courtesy of Whole Foods

Whole Foods

Since its acquisition by Amazon, Whole Foods has continued to expand its grocery delivery service. As of press time, shoppers in over 2,000 cities can buy online and receive orders in as little as two hours, or for pick up at a Whole Foods, an hour. If you have Prime, deliveries over $35 are free. 

AmazonFresh

What can't Amazon do? Amazon Prime members have long known that AmazonFresh offers the convenience of grocery delivery, even without a physical grocery store. Why leave home, when you can add produce, meat, seafood, dairy, frozen items and even paper products to your digital shopping cart ... and then have it delivered to your doorstep?

Amazon did away with the $14.99 Amazon Fresh fee; in most cities, the minimum order amount is $35, but in New York City it rises to $50. Amazon Fresh is currently available in over 5,000 cities across the US, and the program expanded its in-garage delivery services for as many Prime members. 

Trader Joe's

While Trader Joe's itself does not offer delivery (and it's a big point of contention of Trader Joe's Facebook groups), you can still get your TJ's fix by using delivery service options to bring your groceries to you: Use Postmates for door-to-door service. Delivery is free for all orders over $25 when you order from a Postmates Plus business (otherwise it's an added $3.99), and there's also a $9.99 monthly subscription fee.

Kroger & Ralphs

Kroger and Ralphs also use Instacart for curbside and grocery delivery for over 1,200 of its locations. They also offer Kroger Ship, a website that offers more than 50,000 groceries, household, beauty and pet food products. Ship is available in the continental US. 

H-E-B

For those lucky to live near this popular Texas-based supermarket, you can get home delivery for as little as $5! The delivery fee varies based on location, service times or special promotions. You can get almost everything offered in-store delivered too, with the exception of large items like grills, and alcohol delivery also depends on where you live. 

photo: iStock

Publix

Publix uses Instacart to manage its grocery delivery service. When you use the Instacart app, you can get same-day delivery and many times, your order can arrive within an hour! Customers have the option for grocery and liquor delivery, in addition to curbside pickup.

––Felissa Allard with Karly Wood

Feature photo: courtesy of Target

 

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The Best Airbnbs for Winter Adventuring in Chicago

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Chilly snow-globe temps are nearly here and there’s plenty to do in the city to celebrate. Whether you’re interested in checking out one of Chicago’s world-class museums, seeing the ice form on Lake Michigan, or eating your weight in hot deep-dish pizza, you’ll need a cozy base camp to rest your head. Opportunely, a wide variety of Airbnb rentals exist, verified for quality and design, perfect for wintery experiences in the Windy City. Whether you’re a family of two or twelve, dress warm, bring your sense of adventure, and stay in one of these unique and fun urban rentals.

Host Dinner at a Radiant Home with a Spacious Roof Patio

Neutral colors, gorgeous dark wood floors, diverse art, and interesting design features are what you can expect with a stay in this two-bedroom Forest Park home. Gather for cocktails on the roof patio and enjoy the neighborhood views. Curl up by the fireplace with a glass of wine or hot chocolate. There’s a special event space on the first floor for larger gatherings, perfect for inviting the grandparents over. This is the idyllic locale for hunkering down during a Chicago winter, with your extended family in tow.

Sleeps: 5
Costs: $540/night
Online: Airbnb.com

The Roscoe House near Wrigley Field

If you’ve ever wanted to stay in an updated Victorian, full of style and panache, then now’s your chance with this family-friendly Chicago rental, located within walking distance to many of Chicago’s fabulous restaurants and boutique shops. Colorful art, exposed ductwork, a library, a record player, interesting doorways, a fully stocked kitchen, and a cozy outdoor patio are what you can expect to enjoy during your stay at this light and bright well-located home. Gather around the table for a board game or dress up in layers to explore all that the city has to offer during the winter season. Whatever you do, snap pics under the Wrigley Field marquee and wander over to Gallagher Way for the Christkindlmarket Wrigleyville, ice skating, and street food.

Sleeps: 8
Costs: $540/night
Online: Airbnb.com

Cool & Modern Chicago Apartment near Transit

Well priced, this charming Windy City apartment is a little green oasis tucked into a brick building, located near public transportation, and just three blocks from Horner Park, in the Irving Park neighborhood. The black and white interior gives the space a modern and fresh appeal. You’ll want to snap photos of your kids enjoying hot cider at the kitchen table, with a floor-to-ceiling green wall as a backdrop.

Sleeps: 5
Costs: $149/night
Online: Airbnb.com

Whole Flat in Private Club with Pool. Walk to L, Dining & Shows

Located between Broadway and Lawrence, near public transportation and Lake Michigan, this flat, inside the newly restored Lawrence House, is an ideal location for concert lovers, dining enthusiasts, and shoppers. Enjoy the rooftop deck, with sparkling skyline views, the fitness center, with an old-school boxing gym, and a coveted indoor swimming pool. It’s the public spaces that really shine at this well-reviewed Chicago rental.

Sleeps: 4
Costs: $101/night
Online: Airbnb.com

Unwind in the Bath at a Hip, Historic Coach House

The pops of color bring this Humboldt Park rental to life. Your kiddo will love visiting Humboldt Park, the wintry beach, and the National Museum of Puerto Rican Art and Culture. Hop on nearby public transportation and visit Wicker Park or Bucktown, an easy bus or train ride away. This snug studio has everything you need, and nothing that you don’t. What was once a machine shop is now a well-designed and well-reviewed airy rental.

Sleeps: 2
Costs: $125/night
Online: Airbnb.com

Sunny, Modern Lincoln Park Apartment with Deck

If you’re looking for a rental that just screams “Chicago”, then this two-bedroom, one-bathroom condo is for you. Ideal for a family of four, this Lincoln Park home has interesting design features like wooden-paneled accent walls, Chicago-themed art, and modern furniture situated on a large outdoor deck. The Michelin-rated restaurant, Alina, is nearby as is DePaul University, Chicago History Museum, Lincoln Park Conservatory, Lincoln Park Zoo, Oz Park and the Old Town Triangle. You’ll find that there’s plenty to do in the area to entertain your whole family during the winter season.

Sleeps: 5
Costs: $217/night
Online: Airbnb.com

Charming, Sunny Apartment with Backyard Garden

This private, first-floor rental in Evanston, full of art and unique design features, is ideal for extended stays, for larger families, due to its comfort and style—you’ll feel like you’re in a real home throughout your stay. With three bedrooms and three full bathrooms, your family can stretch out while inside this winter. And, when you’re ready to venture outdoors, in the snow and sleet, you’ll be within walking distance to downtown Evanston’s shops, dining, and green spaces.

Sleeps: 6
Costs: $120/night
Online: Airbnb.com

Eclectic ArtistDesigned Sanctuary Heart of Pilsen

Pilsen is one of Chicago’s most dynamic and vibrant neighborhoods and this condo, located right in the heart of the community, is a true treasure. Inimitable art, colorful accents, brightly colored walls and window treatments, and a great location makes this Airbnb one for the books. The Superhosts are both adventurers and artists, which influences the design choices of the rental.

Sleeps: 4
Costs: $109/night
Online: Airbnb.com

Soak Up Mid-Century Style in Wrigleyville & Boystown

Location, location, location. This Mid-century townhome is located right in the middle of all the action, which means you can enjoy visiting the home of the Cubs at Wrigley, make a dinner reservation at an award-winning restaurant in Boystown, or leave the kids with a sitter and dance the night away in one of the many bars or clubs. With a full kitchen, three bedrooms, three full bathrooms (as well as a half bath), and plenty of outdoor space, however, you might not want to leave your cozy digs at all. 

Sleeps: 12
Costs: $579/night
Online: Airbnb.com

Feel at Home in Chicago, with Parking, Steps from Evanston

A bright gem, located in West Ridge, this city condo has a large kitchen, comfortable living space, and a carport for your vehicle. Or hop on the Red Line and you’ll easily be able to reach downtown Chicago and many of the city’s popular neighborhoods. This family-friendly neighborhood, full of condos and self-contained homes, is ideal for those looking for a classic Chicago neighborhood experience this winter.

Sleeps: 6
Costs: $164/night
Online: Airbnb.com

 — Wendy Altschuler

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Editor’s Note: Please be sure to check with each theater prior to booking to familiarize yourself with their COVID-related policies. Some require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test prior to entry and all require masks regardless of vaccination status.

Here’s an idea for the holidays in Chicago . . . yes, it really is time to plan for them. Start loading up the calendar with shows that fill your heart with holiday spirit. Catching a play, ballet or musical performance is an unforgettable experience for kids—and this season’s Christmas shows in Chicago are real memory creators. Start a new family tradition and check out our picks for the top kid-friendly holiday shows and plays in and around Chicago.

This article is sponsored by Polar Express—the magic of THE POLAR EXPRESS Train Ride returns to Chicago Union Station this holiday season. Tickets are on sale now!

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride is a magical re-creation of the classic children’s story led by a cast of talented actors on board a real train. Have your golden tickets ready for the Conductor! Passengers are served hot chocolate and Walkers Shortbread by dancing chefs, enjoy a reading of the classic book by Chris Van Allsburg, and receive the First Gift of Christmas after Santa boards the train to greet families. Performers engage passengers in caroling and fun holiday activities on the heartwarming trip back to the station.

Dec. 3-Jan. 1; Chicago Union Station, 225 S. Canal St., Loop; More details

Magic Immersive

From the innovators behind Immersive Van Gogh, comes an exhilarating magic experience just in time to ignite the holiday season. Lighthouse Immersive and the famed British illusionist Jamie Allan invite audiences into a world of intrigue, mystery and wonder with Magic Immersive. Consisting of a series of rooms, stages and interactive displays, Magic Immersive transports visitors to different eras in time, revealing the evolution of magic acts throughout history and the secrets of the world's greatest magic performers. 

Dec. 3-Jan. 2; Museum of Broadcast Communications, 360 N State St, Loop; More details

The Elf On the Shelf: A Christmas Musical 

The ‘Elf on the Shelf’ pops into homes and sets the scene for mischief every holiday season. This year, catch him on stage in The Elf on the Shelf: The Musical, a show that transports audiences to the North Pole to learn the story behind the magically mischievous elf.

Dec. 19; Rosemont Theatre, 5400 N. River Road, Rosemont; More details.

photo: Joffrey Ballet

Joffrey Ballet's The Nutcracker

The Joffrey Ballet's performance of The Nutcracker is a beloved holiday tradition for many families, and thankfully, Christopher Wheeldon's reimagined classic returns to the IRL stage for the 2021 holidays. Follow young Marie and the Nutcracker Prince on a Christmas Eve journey through the 1893 World's Fair, a dazzling spectacle of sights, sounds and enchantment. This annual holiday tradition celebrates both the magic of the season and the rich cultural heritage of Chicago.

Dec. 4-26; Lyric Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Dr., Loop; More details

Songs of the Season with Chicago Children's Choir

This decades-old annual tradition returns to celebrate the many ways people commemorate the holidays through a mix of timeless seasonal favorites from cultures around the world. In celebration of the Choir’s 65th anniversary, there will be a special alumni reunion with performances by CCC’s world-renowned Voice of Chicago ensemble, the Hyde Park Neighborhood Choir, and a consortium of Choir alums. 

Dec. 18; Epiphany Center for the Arts, 201 S. Ashland Ave., Hyde Park; More details

This article is sponsored by Polar Express—the magic of THE POLAR EXPRESS Train Ride returns to Chicago Union Station this holiday season. Tickets are on sale now!

photo: Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil's 'Twas the Night Before...

Cirque du Soleil invites families to the Chicago Theatre, where a world of delight and whimsy awaits families looking for a bit of over-the-top holiday fun. ‘Twas the Night Before… is Cirque du Soleil's first-ever Christmas show, offering a new take on the classic children's poem. The show highlights the wonders of sharing and friendship with an international cast of characters that thrill with every daring move.

Nov. 26-Dec. 5; Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., Loop; More details

Hershel And The Hanukkah Goblins

Strawdog Theatre Company at Rivendell Theatre presents a Hanukkah show for all ages. When a traveling troupe of actors comes to town only to find no one celebrating Hanukkah, they try to figure out a way to save the Hanukkah spirit STAT. In this adaptation of the Caldecott Honor-winning book, Strawdog Theater Company, one of Chicago's oldest ensemble theater companies, brings the cherished story to life with music, puppets, and a heavy dose of theater magic. 

Nov. 20-Dec. 12.; Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge Rd., Edgewater; More details.

photo: Studebaker Theatre

Art Deco Nutcracker

Set in 1920s America, Alexei Kremnev's The Art Deco Nutcracker is an upbeat yet traditional take on the much-loved holiday favorite and guaranteed entertainment for all. This year's production features award-winning rhythmic dangers, stunning set designs and added scenes and characters. Familiar favorites The Sugar Plum Fairy, Mother Ginger and the Nutcracker Prince will all be on stage to tell the tale.

Dec. 4, The Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, Lakeview; Event details.

The Snow Queen

Chicago's acclaimed House Theatre kicks off its 2021-22 season with a brand-new adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson's winter tale, The Snow Queen. Written by Artistic Director Lanise Antoine Shelley, the show also features magic by Dennis Watkins and puppets by Jesse Mooney-Bullock. At the center of the show is a strong-willed heroine who seeks to heal the Earth and make amends for the pain she has woven into her icy kingdom. 

Nov. 12-Jan. 2; 1543 W. Division St., West Town; More details

photo: Goodman Theatre

A Christmas Carol

The Goodman Theatre's production of the holiday classic serves up a heavy dose of cheer to enliven even the grouchiest of Scrooges. There is something about this timeless story, combined with the world-class actors of The Goodman, that keeps the "bah-humbugs" away. 2021 marks the Goodman's 44th annual production of this timeless tale of kindness and compassion.

Nov. 20-Dec. 31; Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn, Loop; More details

This article is sponsored by Polar Express—the magic of THE POLAR EXPRESS Train Ride returns to Chicago Union Station this holiday season. Tickets are on sale now!

Holiday Highlights Performance by Tempel Lipizzans

Bundle up and join Tempel Lipizzans for festive holiday spirit in their sprawling indoor arena. Enjoy four segments all set to classical music including The Solo, The Airs Above the Ground, The Long Rein, and The Quadrille. Whether you're looking for something festive to do with the family or unique gift ideas, an afternoon with Tempel Lipizzans is the perfect option.

Dec. 4 & Dec. 11; The Tempel Lipizzans, 17000 W Wadsworth Rd, Old Mill Creek; More details

photo: American Blues Theater

It's a Wonderful Life

George Bailey can't see the light at the end of the tunnel: Only a miracle—or an angel from above —can save him from despair. Featuring original music and classic holiday carols, this critically acclaimed holiday favorite showcases the Frank Capra classic in a 1940s radio broadcast tradition. Tweens and teens will enjoy the interactive nature of the show.

Nov. 26-Dec. 31; Victory Gardens Theater; 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., Lincoln Park, More details.

photo: Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Home Alone in Concert

Home Alone quickly earned its place as an iconic holiday movie that's a go-to favorite for families across the globe. We all fell in love with 8-year-old Kevin McCallister as he worked to defend his suburban Chicago home against two bungling thieves. Now, members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra will perform John William's charming and delightful score from this comedy classic. Hilarious and heart-warming, Home Alone is holiday fun for the entire family!

Nov. 26-28; Chicago Symphony Orchestra; 220 S. Michigan Ave., Loop; More details

Cinderella

Calling all Princesses and Princes, Kings and Queens from across Chicagoland: You’re invited to a grand ball at Aurora's Art Deco Paramount Theatre. Cinderella, the classic musical from the genius minds of Rodgers and Hammerstein, is an enchanting story that makes for a fairy-tale of a family holiday theater date. The theatre's historic Grand Gallery will be decked out for the season with a giant two-story, fully-decorated Christmas tree and all the regal trimmings, too. 

Nov. 10-Jan. 9; Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora; More details

photo: PlayMakers Laboratory

That's Weird, Grandma: Comes Home for the Holidays

PlayMakers Laboratory is welcoming back live audiences with That's Weird, Grandma: Comes Home for the Holidays. That's Weird Grandma features adaptations written during PlayMakers Laboratory's creative writing residencies in Chicago elementary schools. PML's talented actors, comedians and musicians bring the stories to life as raucous sketches, songs and movement pieces.

Dec. 10-Dec. 19; Neo-Futurist Theater, 5153 N. Ashland Ave, Andersonville; More details

A Recipe for Disaster by Rick Bayless

Not necessarily a holiday show, but still a fun way to squeeze in a fun date night during the shopping season.

Conceived by Rick Bayless and Windy City Playhouse's artistic team, A Recipe for Disaster is a live experience that combines immersive theater, food and farce. Guests are invited inside the restaurant to join in for "influencer night." The actors will not touch or talk to the audience directly, allowing you to feel like a fly on the wall as the hilarity unfolds around you. Admission includes 6 bite-sized tastings by Chef Rick Bayless, one cocktail sampling from Lanie Bayless and two wine pairings. 

Shows through Dec. 31; Petterino's, 150 N. Dearborn St., Loop; More details.

photo: Chicago Children's Theatre

The Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party

Settle in for tea with woodland friends Jeremy Fisher, Simpkin the Cat, Peter Rabbit, and Tom Kitten! This interactive trunk and puppet show, complete with original music and delightful storytellers, is made for little ones ages 2-6 and their families. Post-show, kids are invited onstage to play with the puppets and take pictures before indulging in a festive spread of chocolate milk and cookies in the theater's lobby.  

Nov. 20-Dec. 24; The Station, 100 S. Racine St., West Loop; More details.

A Black Ensemble Holiday Spectacular

Music-loving families will enjoy the holiday classics performed by members of the acclaimed Black Ensemble Theater in this cabaret-style spectacular. Soak in all your favorite holiday tunes in a potpourri of musical genres, including jazz, gospel, pop, rock, soul, and blues, in a show that guarantees 'to lift your spirits and soothe your soul.'

Dec. 11-19; Black Ensemble Theatre, 4450 N. Clark St., Uptown; More details

photo: Art on theMART

The Nutcracker on Art on theMART

An animated digital display of The Joffrey Ballet’s The Nutcracker will be shown as part of Art on theMART, the largest digital art projection in the world. The presentation is set to the music of Tchaikovsky’s beloved score and runs nightly on theMART’s 2.5-acre river-façade.

Nov. 25-Dec. 30; Merchandise Mart, 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, River North; More details

Dickens' Hat 

When a pair of thieves steal Charles Dickens' hat from a tiny Victorian boutique, a young shop clerk and her friend set off to reclaim it, reminding everyone along the way that "Beneath our hats, we are all the same." Filled with original music and 'a host of colorful characters, constables and carolers' is an upbeat holiday show for the whole fam. 

Nov. 26-Jan. 2. North Shore Center for Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie; More details

This article is sponsored by Polar Express—the magic of THE POLAR EXPRESS Train Ride returns to Chicago Union Station this holiday season. Tickets are on sale now!

photo: Marc Monaghan

The Nutcracker at Hyde Park School of Dance

Hyde Park School of Dance brings together fans of ballet, modern and hip hop with the return of live performances in its annual presentation of Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker

Dec. 10-12; Mandel Hall on the University of Chicago, 1131 E. 57th St., Hyde Park; More details

Becoming Santa Clause

Chicago Opera Theater, producer of contemporary and re-imagined opera, is premiering family friendly Becoming Santa Claus. During the 90-minute performance, a bratty elf Prince learns the meaning of family, love and the true spirit of gift-giving. 

Dec. 11, 17 & 19; Studebaker Theatre, 410 S. Michigan Ave., Loop; More details

photo: The Young People's Theatre of Chicago

Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical

The Young People's Theatre of Chicago is hosting their inaugural production of Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical. Knuffle Bunny tells the tale of a beleaguered dad who accidentally leaves his toddler's favorite stuffed bunny at the laundromat. In his best-selling book, Mo Willems explores the loving and complex bond between parent and child while celebrating the complexity of family life in the big city. 

Dec. 2-19; The Greenhouse Theater Center, 2557 N. Lincoln Ave., Lincoln Park; More details

Merry, Merry Chicago

Listen to the celebrated songs of the season performed by the best musicians in the city: the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Arrangements both new and cherished will have you humming and singing along. Be ready for a visit from the man in red, too! 

Dec. 17-Dec. 23; Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave., Loop; More details
 

— Amy Bizzarri

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When it comes to holiday gifts, moms are pretty easy. While we love the classics (pasta necklaces, salt dough ornaments and DIY photo frames), we also love anything that lets us splurge on ourselves a little. From stacked necklaces to coffee and delightful goodie boxes, we’ve carefully curated a list of gifts perfect for every kind of mom. Keep scrolling to find out what we would love to unwrap this year.


Amber Lewis for Anthropologie Ribbed Ceramic Candle

$32 & up   BUY NOW

This stunning candle is decor in itself with the ceramic base. Choose from three different scents.


Birth Month Flower Kit

$35   BUY NOW

They’ll love this simple flower kit that includes everything necessary to watch flowers grow from seed to bloom.


The Merino Slipper from Rothy's

$155   BUY NOW

Released just in time for holiday shopping, these slippers from her favorite brand will make any mom feel relaxed and appreciated this holiday season. They go from home to school pickup line in a flash.


Reclaimed Bread Board

$60   BUY NOW

Keep it simple with a stunning reclaimed wood board. Use it for cheese, bread, pizza and more.


Too Cool for School Egg Cream Mask

$20   BUY NOW

It might sound like a drink rather than facial care, but this cult-favorite mask is super hydrating and offers a boost of Vitamin C as well.


Rifle Paper Co.'s Floral Serving Tray

$48   BUY NOW

Handmade in Sweden, these charming 15” serving trays come in three bright designs.


Valerie Madison XO Earrings

$95   BUY NOW

These stud earrings come in different metals and offer tons of style while being safe from little grabbing hands.


In Good Taste's CA Mixer

$65   BUY NOW

One should never have to choose just one type of wine. With this mixer, they’ll get a whole range of California styles.


Surf Shack's Sunset Groove Puzzle

$30   BUY NOW

From a Hawaii-based small business comes an uber-cool collection of puzzles by artists.


Caputo’s Online Cooking Classes

$99   BUY NOW

The foodie in your life will be thrilled with a cooking class in themes that vary from cheese boards to chocolate, a Tour of Italy and more.


Franklin 12

$29   BUY NOW

This planter comes in four different colors and will make a green thumb out of just about anyone.


Welly Traveler

$33   BUY NOW

The popular line of water bottles just dropped a limited-edition line in collaboration with BIPOC artist Walker Noble!


I Want It All Bangle Set

$45   BUY NOW

Imagine having (almost) everything you need right where you need it. We love this key bangle that also includes a place for hand sanitizer, a USB charger and a reusable tote bag.


Presentation Box Wellbeing

$37   BUY NOW

This box of infusions has over 20 selections that purify, invigorate and invite serenity.


Xyron Creative Station

$80   BUY NOW

Perfect for the crafty mom, this machine will produce creative invitations, laminate baubles and more.


Classic Cowgirl Creamery Cheese Collection

$70   BUY NOW

A perfect trio of cheese from one of the country's best cheesemakers.

—Amber Guetebier & Gabby Cullen

Featured image: iStock 

Editor’s Note: Prices and availability reflect the time of publication. Images courtesy of retailers.

If you purchase something from the links in this article, we may earn affiliate commission or compensation.

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Some Chicagoans live by the rule that there are only two seasons: winter and baseball. Baseball season has dawned on the city (there’s always next year, Cubbies!), but spending time at Wrigley Field this winter is still a fabulous way to score a home run with your kids. Once the famous chill hits, Gallagher Way at Wrigley Field becomes a wonderland, a virtual north pole right here in Chicago!  In fact, it’s actually called Winterland. This season, Winterland will take place, Nov. 19-Feb. 22. Read on and mark your calendars. . . we can promise you, the memory-making moments will not be dull. 

What is Gallagher Way?

Gallagher Way is the park right outside Wrigley Field on the west side. On game days, it acts as an entryway into Wrigley Field, as well as an area in which ticket holders can spread their legs, and watch the game on the 40-foot video screen. On non-game days and outside of baseball season, it acts as a town center with activities and events for all ages throughout the year; including free movie nights, fitness classes, musical performances, and so much more. The park is also bordered by the beautiful Hotel Zachary and several great restaurants.

Stuff Those Stockings at Christkindmarket

It opens with the return of Christkindlmarket Wrigleyville, Nov. 19-Dec. 31. Christkindlmarkets are known for their German traditions, including wooden hut structures occupied by vendors selling diverse hand-crafted gifts, scrumptious food and seasonal drink options. Make a bee-line to the raclette stand for the best melted cheese sandwiches of your life!  Also, grab a 25th-anniversary commemorative mug filled with Glühwein (hot spiced wine), or hot cocoa.

Christkindlmarket Wrigleyville hours: Mon.-Thurs., 3 p.m.-9 p.m.; Fri. & Sat., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Special days and hours: Closed Dec. 25; Nov. 25, Dec. 24 & Dec. 31, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Once you’ve filled your belly and your shopping bags, head over to The Rink at Gallagher Way.  

Figure 8 Until You're Dizzy

The Rink at Gallagher Way, an 8,000-square-foot outdoor ice rink, is the focal point of Winterland, and will be open for skating, curling, and, new this year, even ice bumper car riding, for the duration of the Winterland season (weather permitting.)  

Need a skating lesson?  Starting in January 2022, The Rink at Gallagher Way will offer a six-week series of small private group lessons for ages 3 & above. Classes will be Saturdays and Sundays, 9-10 a.m. or 10-11 a.m., and are divided between beginners and more advanced skaters. The six-week session costs $100. 

Admission to the rink is free for ages 12 & under; $6 for ages 13 & over. Guests may bring their own skates or rent skates on-site for $12. Skate aids are available for $10/hour. Bags can be checked for $2.

The Rink at Gallagher Way will be open: Mon.-Thurs., 3 p.m.-9 p.m.; Fri. & Sat., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Special days & hours: Closed Dec. 25 & Feb. 7; Nov. 25 & Dec. 24, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Dec. 1, 3 p.m.-5 p.m.; Jan. 17, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Beyond the Skates

Always wanted to try curling?  Lessons will be offered on select days in February, 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Lessons will be taught by curling professionals, and participants will learn the rules and etiquette of the sport. The cost is $50 per participant.

Space is limited for all lessons and registration begins on Nov. 1.

Looking for something a little less skillful, but equally fun? Try the new ice bumper cars, which will begin in January, and will be available Mon.-Thurs., 5 p.m.-9 p.m., Sat., 5 p.m.-9 p.m. & Sun., 3 p.m.-7 p.m. The cost is $15 for a 10-minute ride.

The Rink at Gallagher Way has also been known to host skating exhibitions throughout the winter, so stay on the lookout for those.

Settle In for Family Movie Night

If you happen to find yourself at The Rink on a Thursday evening in December, you can watch one of the free holiday movie presentations whilst you skate (or snuggle under a blanket).

Music Box Theatre will host holiday movies at Gallagher Way every Thursday in December, starting at 6 p.m. 

  • Dec. 2: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
  • Dec. 9: Home Alone
  • Dec. 16: Elf
  • Dec. 23: A Christmas Story

Bundle up, grab a cocktail and get cozy while you stroll around the market, or take a little break in the warming tent, and enjoy one of these classic films!

The Fun Just Keeps Coming

Here are some other holiday highlights at Gallagher Way’s Winterland, that you won’t want to miss:

Mon., Nov. 29 — The official Tree Lighting Ceremony, accompanied by special guests, a musical performance, festive decor and the opportunity to shop, skate and enjoy concessions.

Sat., Dec. 4 & Sun., Dec. 5 (11 a.m. & 1 p.m.) — Wreath Making Workshops with local non-profit organization, Get Growing Foundation. Each instructor-led workshop is $65, benefitting the foundation.

Sun., Dec. 5 (3 p.m.-6 p.m.) — 8th Night, 8th Light, a community-wide celebration of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, in partnership with JCC Chicago. At sundown, the seven candles on the menorah will be lit and guests are encouraged to skate and enjoy DJ entertainment with music, dancing and trivia. Lightsticks will be passed out in the final hour of the event.

Every Fri. (3 p.m.-8 p.m.), Sat. & Sun. (11 a.m.-5 p.m.) from Nov. 26-Dec. 19 — Santa’s Workshop, (located at the base of the Cubs office building) is open to all family members, including pets on Sundays, for pictures with Santa. Professional photos will be available for purchase. 

photo: Hotel Zachary

Hop Next Door to Hotel Zachary

Still not enough to quench your thirst for holiday festivities?  Don’t worry there is even more programming available in conjunction with Hotel Zachary! 

Note, reservations are required in advance for all of the below, and will be available beginning Monday, November 1, on Resy.com.  They will sell out quickly!

Saturdays & Sundays (8 a.m.-11 a.m.), Nov. 27-Dec. 19 — Breakfast With Santa returns for its third year at Hotel Zachary. Enjoy a special holiday-inspired breakfast buffet, as you take pictures and have a chat with Santa by the fireplace.  This intimate setting makes for a very relaxing visit with “The Big Guy”, and great photos.  

(The holiday buffet is $35/adults & $15/ ages 4-12; pricing also includes choice of hot chocolate, coffee, tea or juice and a visit with Santa)

Sundays (1 p.m.), Nov. 28-Dec. 19 — Teddy Bear Tea invites families to enjoy a festive tea service including choice of tea or hot chocolate, with tea sandwiches and light bites, scones, cupcakes and more sweet treats. Bring your favorite teddy bear or stuffy to cuddle up with too!

(Adult tea service is available for $45/person & $25/ ages 12 & up)

Select Saturdays & Sundays (1 p.m.-1:30 p.m. & 2 p.m.-2:30 p.m.), Nov. 28-Dec. 11 — Storytime with nationally known story-performer, Chris Fascione, will charm you. Chris will be performing “Juggling Funny Stories.” Hot chocolate, cookies, snacks and hot toddies for adults, will be available for purchase a la carte.  

Those interested in attending Gallagher Way’s Winterland should follow Gallagher Way on social at @GallagherWayChi on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

— Debra Flanagan

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Here Comes the Pun: 300+ Best Jokes for Kids

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Need the best jokes for kids, in a pinch? We’ve got you covered on hours worth of funny jokes. Oh, and most of the jokes on this list are original. You’re welcome.

These hilarious jokes for kids require little to no explanation from parents, but you’ll want to get in on the fun, anyway. Don’t be surprised when the comedy sketch goes beyond today! Keep on scrolling down for corny jokes, silly jokes, knock knock jokes, and beyond… many of which have been sent to us by kid-readers (like you!) or written by some funny old people. Cue the dad jokes!

Read on to see the funniest jokes for kids of 2022!

photo: Pexels

1. What do you call an ant who fights crime? 
A vigilante! 

—Joe L., age 10 

2. Knock knock.
Who’s there?
Olive.
Olive who?
Olive YOU!

3. Why did the teddy bear say no to dessert?
Because she was stuffed.

4. What do you call a little legume?
A Tinybean.

5. What did the left eye say to the right eye?
Between us, something smells!

6. Why did the police play baseball?
He wanted to get a catch!

—Yuna, age 8

7. What did the microwave say to the other microwave?
Is it just me? Or is it really hot in here?

—Yuna, age 8

8. Why did the student eat his homework?
Because the teacher told him it was a piece of cake!

9. Knock knock.
Who’s there?
Interrupting pirate.
Interrupting pir—yarrrrrr!

10. What is brown, hairy, and wears sunglasses?
A cool coconut.

11. Two pickles fell out of a jar onto the floor. What did one say to the other?
Dill with it.

12. What do you call a fake noodle?
An impasta!

13. Why did the kid cross the playground?
To get to the other slide.

14. Knock knock.
Who’s there?
Icy.
Icy who?
Icy you trying not to laugh at my knock-knock joke!

15. What kind of lion doesn't roar?
A dandelion.

16. How do you stop an astronaut’s baby from crying?
You rocket!

17. Why was 6 afraid of 7?
Because 7, 8, 9

18. What does a cloud wear under a raincoat?
Thunderwear.

19. When does a joke become a “dad” joke?
When the punchline is a parent.

20. What do you call a dinosaur fart?
A blast from the past.

21. What did the limestone say to the geologist?
Don’t take me for granite!

22. What do you call a duck that gets all A’s?
A wise quacker.

23. Why does a seagull fly over the sea?
Because if it flew over the bay, it would be a baygull.

24. Which is faster? Hot or cold?
Hot. You can easily catch a cold. 

25. What kind of tree fits in your hand?
A palm tree!

26. Why can't you trust an atom?
They make up everything.

27. Why was the baby strawberry crying?
Because her parents were in a jam.

28. What did the little corn say to the mama corn?
Where is pop corn?

29. What is worse than raining cats and dogs?
Hailing taxis!

30. How much does it cost a pirate to get his ears pierced?
About a buck an ear.

31. Where would you find an elephant?
The same place you lost her!

32. How do you talk to a giant?
Use big words!

33. What animal is always at a baseball game?
A bat.

34. What falls in winter but never gets hurt?
Snow!

35. What do you call a ghost’s true love?
His ghoul-friend.

36. What building in New York has the most stories?
The public library!

37. What did one volcano say to the other?
I lava you!

38. How do we know that the ocean is friendly?
It waves!

39. What is a tornado’s favorite game to play?
Twister!

40. How do baby cats learn how to swim?
The kitty pool.

41. How do you get a squirrel to like you?
Act like a nut!

42. What do you call two birds in love?
Tweethearts!

43. How does a scientist freshen her breath?
With experi-mints!

44. How are false teeth like stars?
They come out at night!

45. How can you tell a vampire has a cold?
She starts coffin.

46. What’s worse than finding a worm in your apple?
Finding half a worm.

47. What is a computer's favorite snack?
Computer chips!!
—reader Rebecca K.

48. Why don’t elephants chew gum?
They do, just not in public.

49. What was the first animal in space?
The cow that jumped over the moon

50. What did the banana say to the dog?
Nothing. Bananas can’t talk.

51. What time is it when the clock strikes 13?
Time to get a new clock.

52. How does a cucumber become a pickle?
It goes through a jarring experience.

53. Which city does Paw Patrol like the most? 
New Yorkie.

54. What do you think of that new diner on the moon?
Food was good, but there really wasn’t much atmosphere.

55. Why did the dinosaur cross the road?
Because the chicken wasn’t born yet.

56. Why can’t Elsa have a balloon?
Because she will let it go.

57. How do you make an octopus laugh?
With ten-tickles!

58. How do you make a tissue dance?
You put a little boogie in it.

59. What's green and can fly?
Super Pickle!

60. When you look for something, why is it always in the last place you look?
Because when you find it, you stop looking.

photo: Pexels

61. Why do shrimp never share?
They're so shellfish.

62. What musical instrument is found in the bathroom?
A tuba toothpaste.

63. Why did the kid bring a ladder to school?
Because she wanted to go to high school.

64. Where do vampires keep their money?
A blood bank.

65. What do elves learn in school?
The elf-abet.

66. What do you call a dog magician?
A labracadabrador.

67. Where do pencils go on vacation?
Pencil-vania.

68. Why couldn't the pony sing a lullaby?
She was a little horse.

69. What do you cakes and baseball have in common?
They both need a batter! 

70. What gets wetter the more it dries?
A towel.

71. What do you call two bananas?
Slippers.

And speaking of bananas...

72. Why did the banana go to the doctor?
Because it wasn’t peeling well.

73. Why was the mushroom the life of the party?
It was a fungi.

74. What stays in the corner yet can travel all over the world?  
A stamp.

75. How do you fix a cracked pumpkin?
With a pumpkin patch.

76. What kind of award did the dentist receive?
A little plaque.

77. What do you call a funny mountain?
Hill-arious.

78. What should you drink while singing nursery rhymes?
Hot Cocomelon.

79. Why do bees have sticky hair?
Because they use a honeycomb.

80. What did the big flower say to the little flower?
Hi, bud!

81. There are two robots sitting on a wall. They are named Pete and Re-Pete. Pete falls off. Who is left?
(Re-Pete...so you repeat the whole thing again and again and again.)

—Henrik P., 10 

82. What is a pony’s favorite juice?
She really likes lemon-neigh’d.

—5-year-old Kerrigan

83. Where do fish keep their money?
In the River-Bank!

—Jaxon G., 7 y.o.

84. What do you call an alligator with a vest?
An investigator!

—Milo H-R, age 8

85. Why was the computer cold?
It left its window open!

—Milo H-R, age 8

86. Knock knock!
Who’s there?
Boo.
Boo who?
Don’t cry!

—Milo H-R, age 8

87. In baseball, would it take longer to run from 1st to 2nd base or 2nd to 3rd base?
2nd to 3rd base because there’s a shortstop in between.

—Milo H-R, age 8

88. What has lots of leaves but never actually grew?
A book!

—Milo H-R, age 8

89. Why was the computer cold?
It had a virus. 

—Henrik, age 10 

90. Why did the invisible man turn down the job offer?
Because he couldn’t see himself doing it.

—Jan L. 

91. Who keeps the ocean clean?
The mer-maid.

—Jan L. 

92. What did the astronaut say when he crashed into the moon?
"I Apollo-gize."

93. Why didn’t the orange win the race?
It ran out of juice.

94. What dinosaur had the best vocabulary?  
The thesaurus.

95. What did one DNA strand say to the other DNA strand?
Do these genes make my butt look big?

96. Why aren’t dogs good dancers?
They have two left feet.

97. What did the wolf say when it stubbed its toe?
Owwwww-ch! (by Henrik, age 5)

98. Kid: What are you doing under there?
Mom: Under where?
Kid: Ha ha! You said underwear!!

99. Why did Johnny throw the clock out of the window?
Because he wanted to see time fly.

100. What did one toilet say to the other?
You look flushed.

photo: Pexels

101. Why did the man put his money in the freezer?
He wanted cold hard cash!

102. Why couldn't the astronaut book a hotel on the moon?
Because it was full.

103. How do pickles enjoy a day out?
They relish it.

104. What do you call an old snowman?
Water. 

105. What's a pirate's favorite letter?
Arrrrrrrrrr

106. What do you get when you cross an elephant with a fish?
Swimming trunks. 

107. How do you throw a party in space?
You planet. 

108. What do you call an attractive fruit? 
A fine apple! 

109. What happened when the skunk was on trial?
The judge declared, "Odor in the court, odor in the court!" 

110. What do you call a sleeping bull?
A bulldozer! 

111. Why did the tomato blush? 
It saw the salad dressing. 

112. What do you call a fish without an eye? 
A fsh. 

113. What's the difference between roast beef and pea soup?
Anyone can roast beef. 

114. What do you get when you cross a centipede with a parrot?
A walkie talkie. 

115. Why are robots never afraid?
They have nerves of steel.

116. Why did the cabbage win the race? 
Because it was a-head. 

117. What does an evil hen lay?
Deviled eggs. 

118. What does a book do in the winter?
Puts on a jacket. 

119. Knock knock! 
Who's there?
Needle. 
Needle who?
Needle little help right now.

120. What sound do you hear when a cow breaks the sound barrier?
Cowboom! 

121. What kind of haircuts to bees get?
Buzzzzzcuts. 

122. Knock knock!
Who's there?
Donut.
Donut who?
Donut ask me, I just got here.

124. What do you get if you cross a pie and a snake? 
A pie-thon. 

125. What do you do if you get peanut butter on your doorknob?
Use a door jam.

126. Why was 6 so mad at 7?
Because 7 8 9.

127. Why didn't the robot finish his breakfast?
Because the orange juice told him to concentrate. 

128. Why can't you play hockey with pigs?
They always hog the puck.

129. Why do porcupines always win the game?
They have the most points.

130. Where do elephants pack their clothes?
In their trunks! 

131. What does bread do on vacation?
Loaf around. 

132. Why was the broom running late?
It over-swept.

133. What part of the fish weighs the most? 
The scales. 

134. What do ghosts like to eat in the summer?
I Scream.

135. Why did the teacher wear sunglasses to school?
Because her students were so bright. 

136. What do you call a deer with pink eye?
A colorful eye-deer. (credit to Capt. John of the Appledore!) 

137, Where do sheep go on vacation?
The Baaa-hamas. 

138. What does every birthday end with?
The letter Y. 

139. What did the paper say to the pencil?
Write on! 

140. Why do birds fly?
It's faster than walking. 

141. Why did Superman flush the toilet?
Because it was his doody. 

142. Why did the pillow cross the road?
It was picking up the chicken's feathers. 

143. Can February March?
No, but April May. 

144. What time do ducks wake up?
At the quack of dawn. 

145. Why did the giraffes get bad grades?
She had her head in the clouds. 

146. What did the flower say after it told a joke?
I was just pollen your leg. 

147. What did the traffic light say to the truck?
Don't look, I'm changing. 

148. What do kids play when they don't have a phone?
Bored games. 

149. Why didn't the koala bear get the job?
They said she was over-koala-fied.

150. Who was that owl who did all the tricks?
Who-dini.

151. What kind of vegetable is angry?
A steamed carrot! 

152. How does the moon stay up in the sky?
Moonbeams! 

153. Why isn't there a clock in the library?
Because it tocks too much. 

154. Why do you never see elephants hiding in trees?
Because they're so good at it! 

155. What day of the week are most twins born on?
Twos-day! 

(submitted by reader Scooter T.!) 

156. Would February March?
No, but April May. 

157. What do you call bears with no ears?
B. 

158. What kind of tree fits in your hand?
A palm tree!

168. What do you call a fly with no wings?
A walk. 

—Jasper L., young reader submitted!

169. What’s yellow and looks like pineapple?
A lemon with a new haircut. 

—submitted (and created) by Rafael L. 

170. What do you call a deer with no eyes?
"No eye-deer." 

—also sent in by young Raffy 

171. What did the lunchbox say to the banana?
You really have appeal. 

172. What did the mouse say to the keyboard?

You're my type! 

173. What did the science book say to the math book?
Wow, you've got problems. 

174. How do squids get to school?

They take an octobus. 

175. Where do mermaids look for jobs?
The kelp-wanted section. 

176. What word starts with the letter t, ends with the letter t, and has t in it?
A teapot!

—young reader Collin S.

177. What has four wheels and flies?
A garbage truck!

—Lewis G.

178.  Two goats were munching on a movie script. 
Goat 1: This is good!
Goat 2: The book was better.

—reader submitted by Mr. Jeffry

179. What do you call a monkey at the North Pole?
Lost.

—submitted by Stella D.

180. Why did Humpty Dumpty have a great fall?
To make up for his miserable summer.

—reader submitted by Kaci Y.  

181. Why did the woman become an archeologist?
Because her career was in ruins.

182. Knock knock! 
Who's there?
Manatee. 
Manatee who?
Manatee would be better than a sweater today, it's hot! 

183. What do you call two monkeys that share an Amazon account?
Primemates!

—Merci P., aged 10

184. What snack should you make for the Snowman Holiday Party?
Ice Krispy Treats

—Emmerson H., age 13

185. What do you call a nun who sleepwalks?
A roamin' Catholic. 

—Janice B., a reader like you! 

186. Why do birds fly south?
It's too far to walk.

—Pearl, age 10

187. What did the traffic light say to the cars?
Don't look, I'm changing!

—reader, age 6 

188. Why is there a gate around cemeteries?
Because people are dying to get in!

189. What is a scarecrow's favorite fruit?
A strawberry. 

190. How does a hurricane see?
With one eye. 

191. How do they answer the phone at the paint store?
Yellow!

—Lily, age 6

192. Why do scissors always win a race?
Because they take a shortcut!

—Foster, age 5 

193. How do you stop a bull from charging? 
You unplug it! 

—Jadyn, Age 12 

194. What did the dad say to his daughter at the cook out? 
This grill is on fire! 
 

—Jadyn, 12 (This kid is on fire! 🤣) 

195. Why did the king go to the bathroom?
He wanted to sit on the throne.

—Eric, age 10

196. What is a pirate's favorite body part?
The booty!

—C.J., age 9

197. If it takes two men to dig a hole in one day how long would it take for one man to dig a half a hole?           
There is no such thing as a half a hole.

—Eric, age 10

198. How do cats bake cake?
From scratch. 

—reader Jacey

199. What is a zombie's favorite thing to eat?
Brain food. 

200. How do you fix a broken tomato?
With a can of tomato paste. 

201. What do you call a rabbit with lice?
Bugs Bunny. 

photo: Pexels

202. It took 10 workers 10 days to build a bridge.  How long would it take 5 workers to build the same bridge?
None—it’s already built!

—Liam, age 7 

203. How do you make the word Tiger longer?
Ti-grrrh

—Kabir, Age 9

204. How do you clean chicken?  -
Put it in dishwasher.

—Kabir, Age 9

205. What do frogs order at McDonalds?
French flies and a Croak-a-Cola.

206. There's a girl on a boat in a pretty pink coat. What's her name?
What. 

—Ray, age 9

207. Where does a rat go when it has a toothache?
To the rodentist. 

—Ray, age 9!

208. What does an alien do when it is bored in school?
Spaces out. 

—Ray! (they are on a roll!), age 9

209. What does a broken plate say when she gets her cupcake?
Is this GLUE-ten free?

—Guess who? Ray! age 9 

210. Why didn't the hyena cross the road?
He was too busy laughing. 

—reader submitted by Gillian P. 

211. Have you heard the one about the student who was afraid of negative numbers?
He'll stop at nothing to avoid them.

212. What do you call it when a hammock teases another hammock?
Hammockery!

—Joe L., age 8 

213. What did they say when Marie Curie and Albert Einstein said the same thing at the same time?
Greatest minds think alike! 

—Henrik, age 9

214. What did the kid learn about knowledge?
It was all knowing.

—Reader submitted by Deziree

215. Why did the chicken go the hospital?
Because it needed some tweatment!

—Joshua Y., age 9 
216. Why did the skeletons cross the road?

To get to the body shop!

—Also Mr. Joshua Y., age 9

217. What is more impressive than a talking parrot?
A spelling bee.

—submitted by...drumroll...Joshua Y., age 9!! 

218. What do you call babies in the army?
Infantry! 

—Joe L., age 9

219. What is a cat's favorite color?
Purrr-ple! 

—Olivia W., age 7 

220. Why did the dragon cross the road?
Because he was too chicken to fly!       

—Joshua Y. 

221. Who won the race of princesses?
Rapunzel, By a hair!

—Josh Y! 

222. What did the egg say when it was late for breakfast?
I have to scramble!

—our buddy, Joshua Y. 

223. How do you stop a bull from charging?
You take away it's credit card!

—Joshua Y. 

224. Where does the T-rex go shopping?
The dino store!

—Joshua Y., age 9 

225. Why was the rabbit happy?
Because somebunny loved him!

—Guess who? Joshua Y.! 

226. What did the pear say to the shoeless?
You need a pair of shoes. 

—reader submitted by Rose A. 

227. What do you call a bear with no ear?
A "B"

—Alexis R. 

228. What would happen if the dean lost his job?
He would lose his "ideanity." 

—Joshua Y. 

229. Why did the baby cross the road? 

To get to the whine shop!

—Matilda C., age 7

230. Why shouldn’t you trust stairs?
Because they are always up to something.

—Ryder, Age 3!!! 

231. Why did the scarecrow win an award?
Because he was out standing in his field.

—Suzanna R. 

232. What do you call a cat burrito?
A purrito

—Rosewyn age 8 and 3 quarters 

233. What kind of key opens a banana?
A monkey!

—Rosewyn age 8 and 3 quarters 

234. What do you call a pounding headache? 
A temple tantrum!

—hilarious reader, MJ Sims

235. How do you get a cat to code?

You Scratch it!

—Musegirl, 8

236. Why was the man mad at the clock?

He was ticked off!

—Nolan A. age 8

237. What is the strongest kind of shoe?

Under Armor!

—Liam A. age 9

238. Why did Rudolph have a bad report card?

Because he went down in History!

—Sreeja K., age 8 

239. Why don't scientists trust atoms?
Because they make up everything!

—Sreeja K., age 8 

240. Why can't you spell dark with a "c", so it says "darc"?
Because you can't c in dark!

—Shivani age 8

241. How do you clean a chicken?
An egg wash!

—MB, age 12 

242. Why did the cookie have to go to the doctor?
It was feeling crummy. 

243. What's Joanna Gaines' favorite snack food?
Chips

—H.P., aged 9

244. Why didn’t the skeleton cross the road?
Because there was noBody on the other side. 

—Grandpa Jo, 54

245. Why didn’t the skeleton cross the road?
He didn't have the guts. 

—Londynn, 9

246. What do you do when an astronaut’s wife is upset?
Give her some space.

—Jaden, 11

247. Why did the young astronaut cry on the moon?
Because he missed his mother earth. 

—A mother on earth

248. Two monkeys were fighting over a banana. What happened?
Banana split! 

—Saori K. 

249. What is a vampire's favorite fruit?
A blood orange!

—Rianna G., age 10

250. Why don't eggs like to gamble?
They always get a raw deal. 

251. When is a door not a door?
When it's ajar. 

252. Why did the scientist take out the bell?
He wanted to win the no-bell prize. 

—DT 

253. Why are strawberries natural musicians?
They love to jam. 

254. What is orange and sounds like a parrot?
A carrot! 

photo: Pexels

255. Did you hear about the kid who drank eight sodas?
He burped 7-Up. 

256. What be the pirate's favorite letter of the alphabet?
Arrrr! 
No, it be the C! (Sea).

—A hilarious 6-year-old reader. 

257. What is a tree's favorite beverage?
Root beer! 

258. Why do fish live in saltwater?
Pepper makes them sneeze! ACHOOOOOO!!!!!!

—Hasset A. 

259. Why are fish so smart?
Because they live in a school!

—Ronit P. 

The following four jokes were written by Kaleb, age 4, as told to his grandpa:

260. Why did the cow lie down in the grass? 
He was ground beef.

261. What did Mama cow say to Baby cow? 
It’s pasture bedtime.

262. Why did the phone walk in the water? 
He was wading for a phone call.

263. What is blue, but not heavy?
Light blue.

264. How do you find Will Smith in the snow?
You look for fresh prints. 

—Joshua N. 

265. Why don't you ever date a tennis player?
Because love means nothing to them.

—Joshua N. 

266. "Doctor, doctor I am afraid of squirrels!"
Doctor: You must be nuts.

—reader Jerry C. 

267. What happened to the frog whose car broke down?
He had to be toad! 

—Martin F. 

268. What is the best day to visit McDonalds?
Fry-Day!

—Gianni, age 6

269. What's a cow's favorite drink?
A s-moooo-thie.

—Young readers Jax (7) and Kora (5)

270. Knock knock!
Who’s there?
Cow
Cow who? 
Cows don’t say who, they say moooo!

—Adalyn, age 5

271. Why did the tomato stop?
Because he was out of juice. 

—Karma E. 

272. What are cats best at?
Cat-apulting!

—Macy (10)

273. Where do cats roam?
In the catacombs!

—Katie (34)

274. What kind of stick does a cat chase?
A cat-stick!

—Macy (10)

275. What kind of fruit does a dog eat?
A dog-berry!

—Macy (10) & Katie (34)

276. Why do hockey players make great bankers?
Because they are good at checking.

—Henrik, age 9 3/4

277. How do chickens dance?
Chick to chick. 

278. Mr. Red and Ms. Red live in the red house; Mr. Purple and Ms. Purple live in the purple house. Who lives in the white house?
The president!

—submitted by young reader Gwen I. 

279. Why did the chicken cross the road?
It was trying to get away from the KFC.

—Ben, age 8

280. Who sits at the bottom of the sea and twitches?
A nervous wreck. 

—Alesha, age 11 

281. Why was the snowman in the box?
Because he was picking his nose.

—Peter, age 8

photo: Pexels

These next five were sent in from Jax (7) and Kora (5):

282. What’s a dog's favorite toy?
A funny bone!

283. What’s a cow's favorite rock?
A mooo-n rock

284. What’s the scariest plant?
Bam-booo!

285. What’s a cow's favorite place to go?
The mooo-vies!

286. What’s the scariest injury?
A booo-booo!

(Jax & Kora!) 

287. Why was the snow yellow?
Because Elsa let it go! 

—Kaylee

289. Why did the girl smear peanut butter on the road?
To go with the traffic jam!

—Scarlett 

290. What do you call a dinosaur that is sleeping?
A dino-snore!

291. What do you get when you cross a vampire and a snowman?
Frost bite!

292. What did one plate say to the other plate?
Dinner is on me!

293. What do you call Chewbacca with cookies in its fur?
A chocolate-chip Wookie. 

—Jake

294. What is black and white and looks like a penguin?
A penguin. 

—Zhan, age 5 

295. What does a cow like to drink?
A smoothie. 

—Carolina, age 8

296. Why did the parent hit the cake with a hammer?
It was a pound cake. 

photo: iStock

297.  When is the best time to go to the dentist?
At tooth-hurty!!!

—Tyler R.

298. Why is "dark" spelled with a k and not a c? 
Because you can’t c in the dark!

—Garrett

299. A new pig came to the farm, he was a great painter. What do you think his name was?
Pigasso!

—Amara

A spin-off:

300. What is the name of the Dutch pig who was famous for painting sunflowers and cutting off his ear?
Vincent van Hog

—Gloria, age 8

301. What is a bat’s favorite game to play?
A com-bat

—Bianca, age 7

302. What did the salad say to the carrot after it lost the fight?
You've lettuce down.

—Joe, age 10

303. What did the salad say to the carrot when it asked for directions to a restaurant?
Beets me!

—Joe, age 10

304. Why don't eggs tell each other jokes?
They'd crack each other up!

—Raina, age 10

305. Which milkshake always comes with a straw?
A strawberry milkshake

—Gloria, age 8

306. What stories do crustaceans like best?
Lobster Tales

—Gloria, age 8

307. What did the basketball say to the hoop when it missed?
Oh shoot!

—Layla, age 9

308. Why did the lion cross the road?
To get to the other pride!

309. What is the best gift you could ever ask for?
Broken drum sticks. You just can't beat it. 

—Nate

310. Why did the nurse have a red crayon?
To draw blood.

—Charlotte

311. What mood best describes a sad librarian?
Under the books.

—Elliana

312. What do you call a Buffalo that likes beef?
A Beef-alo

313. What does a camel say to a hunter?
Do you need some camel-flage

314. Why does the dinosaur like the bathroom?
Because it’s ex-stink-t

315. Why does the dentist use a computer?
Because it has Bluetooth.

—Jokes 312-315 by Gunner, age 8

316. What's grey?
A melted penguin.

317. What goes black, white, black, white, black white?
A penguin rolling down a hill.
 
318. Can a match box?
No, but a tin can!
 
319. Why was the baby in Egypt?
It was looking for its mummy.
 
320. Why did the chewing gum cross the road?
It was stuck on the chicken's foot.
 
321. What does a cow eat for breakfast?
Mooo-esli.
 
322. Doctor, doctor, I feel like a dog.
Then go and see a vet!

323. What do girl snakes write at the bottom of their letters?
With love and hisses.

324. Why did the bacteria cross the microscope?
To get to the other slide.
 
—Jokes 316-324 by Elijah, age 11
 
325. Knock, knock
Who's there?
Lettuce.
Lettuce who?
Let us in, it's cold out here!

326. What do you get when you cross a bridge with a car?
To the other side of the river.

327. What do you get when you cross an elephant with a cake?
Crumbs.

328. Doctor, doctor, I keep thinking I'm a dog.
Then sit on the couch and we'll talk about it,
But I'm not allowed on the furniture!

329. Doctor, doctor I feel like a sheep.
That's baa-aaa-aad.

330. What do you call a bee that buzzes quietly?
A mumble bee.

—Jokes 325-330 by Malachi, age 7 and a half

331. Where do you find a polar bear? 
The same place you left her. 

—Thomas, age 7

332. What is fast, loud and crunchy?
A rocket chip!

333. How does a vampire start a letter?
Tomb it may concern...

334. What has ears but cannot hear?
A field of corn...

Got a joke you’d like to add? Send it to kate.loweth@tinybeans.com and we’ll put it in the story! 

—Kate Loweth, Amber Guetebier with Wendy Guetebier, Dina Petterson, Henrik Pelto, Alix Benedict, Kevin Cabral, Erin Lem, Laura Green, Dana Baardsen, and readers like you!

 

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Ice, Ice Baby: Chill Places to Ice Skate in Chicago

Read next

Sock skating on a wooden floor might be fun, but there’s nothing like feeling the cool breeze on your face as you glide across a real ice rink. It’s time to lace up your skates for an essential winter activity (and then maybe warm your bellies with a cup of hot cocoa). Keep reading to find great places to ice skate in Chicago. Some are free, some are new — and many offer loads of other activities in the same location.

This article is sponsored by Visit Rosemont. Learn more about Skating in the Park at the Chicago Wolves Ice Rink!

photo: Parkway Bank Park

Parkway Bank Park

In the wintertime, Parkway Bank Park in Rosemont offers skating in the park, where The Chicago Wolves ice rink takes center stage with the perfect ticket price: free. Easy parking and plenty of dining options round out the seasonal fun. After untying your skates, head over to the Sugar Factory and warm up with over-the-top hot cocoas.

Between now and Jan. 2, make it a full day of wintry fun by visiting The Amaze Light Festival at Impact Field. You'll be treated to tubing, a holiday market, festive food and beverages, Santa's workshop, a train ride and holiday crafts, all amongst an immersive display of more than one million holiday lights. 

Nov. 26-Feb. 27; Parkway Bank Park, 5501 Park Pl., Rosemont; More details.  

Millennium Park

Spectacular views will be your backdrop when you take a spin at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park. Reservations are required for 90-minute skate sessions. Once again this year, the rink will offer free ice skating lessons Sat. & Sun., 8 a.m.-9 a.m. 

Nov. 19-Mar. 6; Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph, Loop; More details

Maggie Daley Park

The Maggie Daley Park ice skating ribbon is one of the best spots in the city to skate a figure eight. The railing that lines the loop is the perfect pick-me-up for wobbly skaters (young & old). This year, they're partnering with Immersive Van Gogh to project Van Gogh-inspired visuals on the ice. 

A skate assist sled is available for use by skaters with physical disabilities and their companion skater. 

Nov. 19-Mar. 13; Skate rental is $16+, Free to skate with your own skates; 337 E. Randolph St., Loop; More details

photo: Christkindlmarket

The Rink at Gallagher Way

The Rink at Gallagher Way is an 8,000-square-foot outdoor rink and the focal point of the Winterland programming. It's open for skating, curling and, new this year, bumper car riding. Visit prior to Dec. 31 and shop Christkindlmarket, Chicago's take on a traditional German Christmas market. Shop, eat, enjoy free entertainment, shop some more and even say "guten tag" to Santa Claus. 

To learn more about Christkindlmarket's two locations, read our story On the Top of Your Holiday Must-Dos: Christkindlmarket.

Nov. 19-Feb. 22; Gallagher Way, 3650 N. Clark St., Wrigleyville; More details

photo: Brookfield Zoo

Brookfield Zoo

Brookfield Zoo's Holiday Magic is Chicagoland's largest and longest-running lights festival featuring over a million twinkling LED lights. Take the family to circle the ice skating rink on the East Mall. 

Nov. 13-Dec. 31, select days; Brookfield Zoo, 3300 Golf Rd., Brookfield; More details

Navy Pier

Check out Chicago's newest holiday adventure, Navy Pier's Light Up the Lake. This indoor, temperature-controlled experience features a sprawling light garden of large-scale sculptures comprising more than 600,000 twinkling lights, a massive Alpine ice rink, authentic beer garden, kiddie train rides, Santa's Merry Main Street and gift market, and other family friendly and date-night activities.

Nov. 26-Jan. 2; Navy Pier, 500 E. Grand, Streeterville; More details

photo: iStock

Watts Center at Watts Park

Double the fun! Watts Center boasts not one but two outdoor ice rinks. Tucked away in north suburban Glencoe, this gem offers figure skating lessons, ice hockey and recreational skating. When the conditions allow, you can also play on the sled hill. Check their calendar for themed skate nights, like Glow Skate, Skate with the Grinch, Tik Tok Night and more. 

Nov. 27-Feb. 28; 305 Randolph St., Glencoe; More details.

Midway Plaisance

Feel the history in the air at Midway Plaisance ice skating rink, the original site of the world-famous Chicago's 1893 World's Fair. Skating is free and skates are available to rent for $7. You can request sled-assisted skating, which allows people of all abilities to skate together, by calling 312-442-2194. Skate trainers are also available at the rink, first-come, first-served, for children new to skating. 

While you're in Hyde Park, visit the Museum of Science & Industry's Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light and be enchanted by the trees and displays decorated to represent the rich multicultural heritage of Chicago. 

Nov. 26-Feb. 21; Midway Plaisance, 1130 Midway Plaisance North, Hyde Park; More details.

Peninsula Chicago

Located above Michigan Avenue, the Peninsula Sky Rink is the only hotel skating rink in the city, now in its 9th year. Surrounded by skyscrapers and the glow of twinkling lights, the rink is tucked into a winter wonderland with festive music and dazzling snowflake lighting. Warm your bellies on a selection of hotel beverages and snacks at the Chalet. 

Skates are available to rent with proceeds donated to Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago and Hephzibah Children's Association. 

Opens Nov. 20; Peninsula Chicago, 108 E. Superior St., Near North Side; More details

For up-to-date information on ice rinks operated by the Chicago Park District, check out their dedicated Skate in the Parks page. 

— Maria Chambers & Amy Bizzarri

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