Activities for All: December Family-Friendly Events

Sensitive Santa

Time: Sunday, December 8 from 9:00am-11:00am.

Location: Lincolnwood Town Center

Cost: Free

About: Visiting Santa is a winter tradition for many families. However, if your child has sensory sensitivities, it can be a difficult experience. Opening before regularly scheduled activities begin, Sensitive Santa allows for a sensory-friendly environment so that all can enjoy meeting Santa.

Play for All

Time: Saturday, December 14th from 9:00am to 10:00am

Location: Chicago Children’s Museum

Cost: Free to the first 100 visitors to register

About: On the second Saturday of every month, the Chicago Children’s Museum opens one hour early and invites children and families with disabilities to come explore the museum in a quieter, less stimulating environment.

Sensory Friendly Beatrix Potter Tea

Time: Sunday, December 15th at 11:30am and 2:30pm

Location: The Station, 100 S. Racine Ave. Chicago, IL. 60607

Cost: $45

About: This puppet show, staring Peter Rabbit and his animal friends, is performed in a sensory-friendly environment. Guests are encouraged to dress in their holiday best, or wear whatever is most comfortable for them. Cookies and hot cocoa will be served following the show.

Sensory Friendly Performance of A Christmas Carol

Time: Monday, December 23rd at 2:00pm

Location: Goodman Theatre

Cost: Tickets start at $15

About: The Goodman Theater is putting on a sensory-friendly performance of A Christmas Carol. The sensory-friendly accommodations include lower sound level, lower lighting level, small crowds, designated quiet areas, and a space for movement breaks.

Sarah Lydon, MA, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist

Photo Credit: Cooper Le on Unsplash

October Outings: Family-Friendly Fall Fun!

Lincoln Park Zoo Fall Fest

Time: Fridays-Sundays, September 27-October 27th and Monday, October 14th from 10:00AM-5:00PM

Location: Lincoln Park Zoo

Cost: Free general admission; Fall Fest attractions cost $3 for 1 ticket, $27 for 10 tickets, $51 for 20 tickets

About: This year’s festival features ticketed attractions throughout the zoo, including a Ferris wheel, corn maze, corn pool, fun slide, inflatable obstacle course, and more. Guests can also enjoy animal chats, musical entertainment, a pumpkin patch, professional pumpkin carvers, and fall-themed enrichment for the animals!

Family Fall Fest 2019

Time: Saturday, October 19th from 10:00AM-12:00PM

Location: Liberty Bank for Savings, 2392 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647

Cost: Free

About: Come experience some great fall fun including a free reptile exhibit featuring snakes, turtles, and lizards, as well as music performed by a band from the Old Town School of Folk Music. Also enjoy glitter tattoos, face painting, a balloon artist, pony rides, a petting zoo, and much more.

Wicker Park Kidical Mass- Halloween Ride — Chicago Family Biking

Time: Sunday, October 20th from 9:30-11:00AM

Location: 1425 N. Damen Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622

Cost: Free

About: A slow, easy-going group bike ride for families and kids of all ages to encourage family fun and fitness! This ride will tour the Wicker Park neighborhood and end in the new Walsh Park. Costumes and Halloween decorations are encouraged!

Roscoe Village 5K, Fun Run, and Halloween Parade

Time: Sunday, October 20th from 8:00AM-4:00PM

Location: Hamilton and Roscoe, Chicago, IL

Cost: $50/person for Roscoe Village 5K; $20/person for the Fun Run (There will be a family discount of 15% when you register for 3 or more people before October 10th.)

About: Costumes are encouraged for all in attendance. Whether you are a serious runner, or just love to celebrate Halloween, the event will bring together running enthusiasts, school supporters, neighbors, and party-goers of all ages. Bring the family for crafts, a photo booth, food trucks, music and dancing, costume-contests, activities, and much, much more!

Lincoln Park Zoo’s Spooky Zoo

Time: Saturday, October 26th

Location: Lincoln Park Zoo

Cost: Free

About: Wear your costumes and head to Lincoln Park Zoo for family Halloween fun with a wide variety of kid-friendly activities, trick-or-treating, and arts and crafts, in addition to a Haunted House and Fall Fest rides.

Therese Brown, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist
Student Education Coordinator

Photo Credit: Laura Humble via freeimages.com

Sensational September: Family-Friendly Events This Month!

Family Festival: Swedish American Museum

Time:September 7th, 11am-4pm

Location:5201 N Ashland Ave

Cost:Free

About:This year marks the 50thanniversary of Swedish-American Buzz Aldrin landing on the moon. The festival will honor him and his culture, and will include face painting, crafts, games, raffles, and Swedish food. Some items will have a fee, but most is free!

Low-Sensory Early Exploration: Museum of Science and Industry

Time:September 8th, 8:30am-12pm

Location: 5700 S Lake Shore Dr

Cost:Free, preregistration required

About:The museum will offer the featured exhibits with additional accommodations for sensory needs: having fewer crowds and designated quiet spaces. It includes access to Farm Tech, the Idea Factory, and Circus exhibits.

Minecraft Party

Time:September 14th, 5:30pm-8pm

Location:Power Up Tech Academy, 2867 N Clybourn Ave

Cost:$25

About:An opportunity for kids ages 7-12 to meet other players and play on either private or public servers. The event includes supervision during the playing time.

Fall Fest: Lincoln Park Zoo

Time:Beginning September 27th

Location:2001 N Clark St

Cost: Free entry, attractions require tickets

About:A festival for the whole family, with attractions including a corn maze, a pumpkin patch, professional pumpkin carvers, animal chats, a Ferris wheel, and bounce houses.

Kristen McManus, MOT, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

Photo Credit: Jugendweihebb via Pixabay

Awesome August: Events the Whole Family Will Love!

Make the most of summer in the city with these family-friendly events and activities!

Wiggleworms

Time: Friday, August 2ndfrom 10:00am-11:45am

Location: Lake Stage in Polk Bros Park, Navy Pier, 600 E Grand Ave, Chicago, 60611

Cost: Free and open to the public!

About: Come play along as Wiggleworms, the Old Town School of Folk Music’s celebrated early childhood music program, welcomes young children and their families to the world of music. Children sing, dance, learn finger plays and story songs, and explore rhythm instruments especially designed for little hands. Geared toward children ages newborn through four years.

Chicago Children’s Museum Free Day

Time: Sunday, August 4thfrom 10:00am-5:00pm

Location: Chicago Children’s Museum, 700 E Grand Ave, Chicago, 60611

Cost: Free admission for children under 15 years of age

About: Explore the exhibits at the Chicago Children’s Museum with free admission for all children under 15 years of age on the first Sunday of the month.

Family Yoga

Time: Saturday, August 10thfrom 10:00am-11:00am

Location: Unity Park, 2636 N Kimball Ave, Chicago, 60647

Cost: Free!

About: Join in for a fun flow that will focus on breath, movement, and family. Yoga is taught using dance, story-telling, partner poses, and having fun together! All ages and levels welcome.

Air and Water Show

Date and time: Saturday, August 17th – Sunday, August 18thfrom 10:00am-3:00pm both days

Location: Officially located at North Avenue Beach, 1600 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, 60613, but viewable along the lakefront from Fullerton Ave to Oak Street

Cost: Free!

About: Watch the talented pilots of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the Royal Air Force Red Arrows as they perform impressive stunts to wow the crowd.

Caitlin Chociej, MS, OTR/L
Occupational Therapist

Photo Credit: Yulianto Pointier via Pexels