Sunday, January 8, 2017

10 Chicago Area January Events for Families

Bald eagle in winter.

January can be tough here in Illinois so I have gathered a few events to keep you busy! Here are some adventures for the next few weekends:


  • Vernon Hill's Winter Fest: January 14 Vernon Hills will host Winter Fest at Century Park from 11AM-2PM. Ice sculpting, sled dogs, ice skating, s'mores, carriage rides and more fun for the whole family. Admission is free.
  • Winter Carnival in Northbrook: Northbrook's Winter Carnival will be January 14 11:00AM-1:30PM at Meadowhill Park. Sled dogs, ice carving, ice skating and more fun will be available for families. Admission is free.
  • Spring Valley Winter Fest at Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg: January 14 & 15 get fresh air at the Spring Valley Winter Fest! Snowshoeing, horse drawn wagon rides, marshmallow roasting, visits from a live wolf and coyote and more fun will brighten your winter day. The event is 12PM-3PM each day and costs $3 pp.
  • Enchanted Railroad at The Morton Arboretum: January 13-February 19 The Morton Arboretum in Lisle will be hosting its annual Enchanted Railroad event. The display is quite intricate and families will enjoy picking out a variety of miniatures. Viewing the railroad is free with regular Arboretum admission.
  • Volo Bog's Winterfest: On January 15 visit the Volo Bog from 12PM-4PM for an afternoon of fun including live music, winter nature crafts, bog tours, xc skiing and more. Admission is free.
  • Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition in Rockford: January 18-21 head to Rockford to witness the snow sculpting talents of area snow sculptors. Admission is free. **Postponed to January 25-28.**
  • Norge Ski Jump in Fox River Grove: January 21 & 22 enjoy a thrilling ski jumping tournament in Fox River Grove. The event runs 12PM-4PM each day with gates opening at 11AM. Tickets are $15 at the door, $10 at select local merchants and $11 online. Kids 12 and under are free. Bring blankets and lawn chairs. **Postponed to February 11-12 due to warm weather.**
  • Husky Heroes: January 28-29 The Morton Arboretum will be hosting husky sled dogs that will demonstrate sled-pulling and skijoring. families will have the opportunity to check out equipment and meet sled dogs. Also, there will be opportunities to learn about adopting huskies. Free with regular Arboretum admission.
  • Winterfest in Lake Geneva: Lake Geneva will be holding its Winterfest January 28-February 12. The event's focus is the US Snow Sculpting Championship. Other events include the Human Dog Sled Race, chili cook off and more. The event starts on January 28 with The Abominable Snow Race on January 28. The race is a snow obstacle course. There is a smaller one for kids that costs $25 per participant. Spectator entry is free. Snow sculpting starts February 1 and snow blocks will be built Jan 30-31.
  • Bald Eagle Watch Weekend at Starved Rock in Utica: January 28-29 is the perfect time for an adventure to Starved Rock to look for bald eagles! There will be hikes, kids activities, talks and birds of prey shows. There are some advance ticket sales. Day off is free admission but first come first serve to shows without tickets. 
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