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Winter Break in Chicago Southland

By published December 20, 2016

To parents, including yours truly, winter break doesn't feel much like a break. This is of course due to the fact that we need to entertain the children, preferably inside, without watching a lot of TV. This is why we've rounded up a few ideas to make this winter break memorable and enjoyable. While all of these locations are great anytime of the year, we think you'll especially appreciate the indoor (and warm) fun activities at the below Chicago Southland attractions.


There are a lot of great children's museums throughout the Chicago area. However, what I love about the Children's Museum in Oak Lawn is that it's not too big and overwhelming, but it's also not small and boring. Kids under the age of 12 will love all of the exhibits throughout the Children's Museum in Oak Lawn. Explore nanoscience, theater, art and other fun/educational activities.

On Saturday, December 31st, bring the kids to Noon Year's Eve Party, where hundreds of balloons will be dropped at the stroke of noon. It's a blast and something the kids will definitely be talking about at school after winter break!

Hours: Tu-Sa 9:30AM-5PM (Special Late Night Hours on Fridays until 8PM); Su 12-5PM
Where: 5100 Museum Drive, Oak Lawn
Cost: $9/child and adult; $7 per Senior (55+); $5 per teacher (with valid teacher ID); $5 Active Military Members (good for up to six family members); Children under one are always free
Online: CMOakLawn.org


2013_Haunted Trails_DSC0756

The only thing scary about this place is how much fun you'll have. I took my 11-year-old nephew here with my 2-year-old son and they both had memorable moments with the games and activities. Haunted Trails will also be hosting a New Year's Eve Family Party 8PM-Midnight with a special balloon drop, toast and a countdown celebration. This year they are offering a Winter Break Fun Deal during December 26th-January 6th,  which includes $14 in Game Play, mini 1-topping pizza & a 12 oz. soft drink for only $12/guest (plus tax). Also available are restaurant/party rooms featuring karaoke, birthday party and group packages.

Hours: Open Weekdays during Winter Break (Dec. 26th-Jan. 6th) at 10AM (Check website for normal business hours.)
Where: 7759 South Harlem Avenue, Burbank
Cost: There is no admission fee. Haunted Trails offers “pay as you play” fun. You may buy game tokens for the games at your leisure.
Online: HauntedTrailsBurbank.com



2014_Hollywood Park_IMG_0940

Hollywood Park has an exciting mixture of fun-filled indoor attractions for all ages. Team up with the kids at the Lazer Frenzy Lazer Maze. Or go crazy at Stunt's Krazy Cars - Bumper Cars for all ages. Grab a seat and prepare for a thrilling experience at Typhoon's Motion Ride for all ages. There is also a huge arcade with all sorts of video games on two floors. Grab a bite to eat at the cafe featuring homemade pizza and fiesta fries!

Hours:  M-Th 11:30AM-11PM; F 11:30AM-Midnight; Sa 10AM-Midnight; Su 10AM-10PM
Where: 5051 Cal Sag Road, Crestwood
Cost: There is no admission fee. Bumper cars = $3; Lazer Maze = $2; Motion Ride = $2/ride (holds 2 people). You may buy game tokens for the games at your leisure.
Online: HollywoodFunPark.com



Odyssey Fun World

Spend your Winter Break at Odyssey Fun World to enjoy the Winter Break Special and Extended Hours, that include 6 hours of Unlimited FUN for only $15.00. The indoor rides will make the kids feel like they're at a summer carnival as they ride on the Ferris Wheel, Demolition Derby Bumper Cars and more. On Saturday, December 31st, bring the kids to Odyssey Fun World from 9AM-1PM for the Kids Noon Year's Eve Breakfast with Noon Countdown. DJ Jimmy Jamz will add to the party including a balloon drop, confetti cannons and a sparkling toast at noon. Bonus for reading this all, use PROMO CODE: NICE when getting your tickets to save a few bucks! (Only if you have been NICE this year!)

Hours:  Winter Break Hours: Dec. 22-23, 26-30 and Jan. 2-6 open 11AM-9PM/ Dec. 24 10AM-5PM/ Dec. 31 9AM-1PM (Check website for normal business hours.)
Where: 19111 South Oak Park Avenue, Tinley Park
Cost: During Winter Break $15 gets you indoor rides, Gamers Lounge, Exploration Adventure (ball pit) and laser tag (price valid Dec. 29 - Jan 7th). Grab some deals with the Game Cards, that are explained here. Laser Tag by itself is $8 and participants must be at least 42" to play. The Ferris Wheel by itself is $4.
Online: OFWTinleyPark.com




One of my favorite Winter Break traditions growing up was going to the movies with my dad, siblings and cousins. Now I love taking my son and nephews to the movies to continue that tradition. Everyone will definitely enjoy grabbing the popcorn, candy, a soft drink (or maybe now a beer or cocktail for the adults) and escaping reality for a couple of hours as you're transported to another universe through the magic of cinema. There are so many great movies to watch this winter including "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" (PG-13), "Sing" (PG), "Hidden Figures" (PG), and so much more. The place to see these great flicks this winter if you're in Chicago Southland is the newly renovated Marcus Theatres Country Club Hills featuring DreamLounger recliner seating in all 16 auditoriums, one UltraScreen® DLX auditorium and two SuperScreen® DLX auditoriums. Relax before the film at the Take Five Lounge, serving beer, wine and specialty drinks, or at the 50s diner-inspired Reel Sizzle® concept, serving delicious smash burgers, fresh, never frozen chicken tenders and hand-dipped signature shakes. During Winter Break, go on $5 Tuesdays or $5 Student Thursdays (for students and faculty of all ages).

Hours:  Open daily at 9AM
Where: 4201 West 167th Street, Country Club Hills
Cost: Ticket pricing differs based on the time of day, adult, child and what movie theater you'll be in. More information on ticket pricing can be found by clicking here.
Online: MarcusTheatres.com



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