Cloud Gate at Millennium Park

There is nothing quite like waking up to a city blanketed with snow. Snow days are one of the big reasons why my two kids love living in Chicago. Bundle up and head outdoors to celebrate snow at these six fun programs, performances and events. 

[more]

On January 24 and February 21, Northerly Island and the Chicago Park District host the annual Polar Adventure Days. This is your chance to pet Siberian huskies, wolves and other winter-loving animals. Snowshoes will be available for rental, or you can stay inside the visitor's center to make a nature-inspired winter craft. Hot cocoa will be on hand to keep everyone warm and cozy.

Don your "skates" (aka your socks!) and jump into the Snow Much Fun!  exhibit at the Chicago Children's Museum at Navy Pier (above). You'll enjoy all the best of snow with zero chill factor. Build a snow fort, throw snowballs, dress up a snowman and skate on the rink in your socks.

There are plenty of great sledding hills in Chicago and beyond. The Forest Preserve District of Cook County has a great guide for sledding in the city. Our family's favorite sledding hill is at Caldwell Woods, near the corner of Devon and Milwaukee. Afterward, head over to Superdawg, home of Chicago's best hot dogs, located just around the corner. Since it offers old-fashioned window service, you can keep your winter gear on and enjoy a delicious dog from the comfort of your car.

MB Financial Park in Rosemont is a 200,000-square-foot entertainment and dining complex, and this holiday season ushers in the brand-new FROZEMONT ice skating rink and a four-story tubing adventure "Polar Peak," (above) opening to the public December 12. For a complete schedule of skating and tubing hours, click here. Admission to the ice rink is free; skates can be rented onsite for $8. Tubing tickets can be purchased online or onsite for $20 per hour.

Spend some time with the princess of all things icy and snowy: Elsa is coming to the United Center on January 28 - February 8 when Disney on Ice presents Frozen. Audiences will get to sing along with such musical masterpieces as "Let it Go," "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" and "Fixer Upper." For tickets, visit unitedcenter.com/events/2015/01/disney-on-ice-frozen/

Snow Days Chicago

Navy Pier is celebrating all things snow at its annual Snow Days Chicago (above) event the weekend of February 7-8, at Gateway Park, located just in front of the pier entrance. This fun celebration is your chance to play in the snow - and offers everything from snow sculpting to snowboarding to snow painting!

The snow sculpting competition brings together teams of talented professional snow sculptors from around the world, with each team creating an imaginative sculpture out of a 10-foot blocks of man-made snow. The Interactive Snowboard Experience gives kids the chance to experience snowboarding for the first time on a special interactive course with obstacles. Kids can also paint a masterpiece on snow, enjoy live entertainment at Navy Pier's Family Pavilion, and warm up indoors while browsing Navy Pier's many shops and attractions. For more information on Navy Pier's Snow Days, visit Navy Pier's website.