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posted: 1/6/2013 6:00 AM

On the road: Families can Discover Chicago

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  • The Chicago History Museum hosts a variety of activities for families during Discover Chicago.

      The Chicago History Museum hosts a variety of activities for families during Discover Chicago.

  • The 18th annual Winter Trails Day offers opportunities to learn how to ski and snowshoe.

      The 18th annual Winter Trails Day offers opportunities to learn how to ski and snowshoe.

  • Try outdoor recreation, such as dog sledding, at Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park in Henry, Ill.

      Try outdoor recreation, such as dog sledding, at Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park in Henry, Ill.

 
 

Chicago

Family history
Discover Chicago by exploring the Great Chicago Fire, city landmarks and blues music through creative activities that engage the whole family at the Chicago History Museum. The educational fun includes Dance Like a Real Chicagoan -- Chicago-style moves, such as shooting hoops like Derrick Rose or tossing a pizza; testing your skills with a Chicago word scramble; guessing a landmark; and joining the Chicago Fire Relay Race. While you're at the museum, tour the exhibits using a special kids' activity guide and make-and-take a craft.
9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, at 1601 N. Clark S., Chicago. Performances are at noon and 2 p.m. Activities are free with museum admission. Adults $14, seniors (65+) $12, students (13-22 with ID) $12, children 12 and younger admitted free. (312) 642-4600 or chicagohs.org.

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Land at Air Jordan's
Take the staycation to new heights with the InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile's Michael Jordan Steakcation Package. Fit for any sports buff or foodie, the package includes a one-night stay and a $100 credit for Michael Jordan's Steak House at the hotel. You'll also receive a wine, cheese and chocolate amenity from the in-house wine bar and breakfast for two the next morning at the hotel's restaurant and a bottle of Michael Jordan's barbecue sauce.
Package good through April 1 at 505 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago. Package starts at $259. (312) 944-4100 or icchicagohotel.com.

Midwest

Brrrring it on
Get to Michigan to celebrate the annual Heikki Lunta Winterfest, held on and around Negaunee's Teal Lake. The festival of winter fun includes a fishing derby, dance, feast, bonfires on the lake, "blooper" ball and fireworks.
8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20, in downtown Negaunee. negauneeirontown.com.

Oh, Henry!
Outdoor winter recreation is just two hours west of Chicago in Illinois' Henry County. The Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park offers the state's longest snowmobile and cross-country ski trail on more than 80 miles of tow path. The path is also great for hiking and snowshoeing. Enjoy ice skating on the canal or ice fishing and keep your eyes peeled for all kinds of wildlife.
(877) 436-7926 or visithenrycounty.com.

Happy trails to you
If you really want to start the new year losing some heft, consider cross-country skiing, which can smoke nearly 800 calories in an hour, or snowshoeing, which can burn around 500 calories. The 18th annual Winter Trails Day on Saturday, Jan. 12, will offer adults and children a chance to try both activities for free at around 80 resorts and Nordic centers nationwide. There will be experts on hand and equipment available at a number of participating locations in Wisconsin and Michigan.
Times vary per location. See wintertrails.org.

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