Wisconsin winter safari
It's a winter safari on Wisconsin's frozen savanna for Cedarburg's annual WinterFest. Hop aboard the Safari Tram to get to the various attractions and activities: the chili contest, ice-carving contest, safari-themed bed racing, Monkey See-Monkey Do Barrel Races on Ice, and open family skating on the Mill Pond with free hot chocolate and doughnut holes. There's also the new Snow Battle, Cool Brew and Tunes for adults, and the Let's Go Wild Ostrich Egg Hunt for children. The Shops of Cedar Creek Settlement will have live music and free goodie bag treats.
8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, and 8 a.m. to noon Sunday, Feb. 17, in downtown Cedarburg, Wis. (888) 894-4001 or www.cedarburgfestivals.org.
Now in its 39th year, the Snow Train is the Mid-Continent Railway Museum's oldest event, taking riders through the winter wonderland of Baraboo Hills in Wisconsin. You'll stay toasty warm via the 100-year-old tradition of steam- or coal-fired stoves during the 7-mile, 50-minute round-trip ride on a former branch line of the Chicago & North Western Railroad. You can even take advantage of first-class dining services, but be sure to reserve a spot. Riders have a choice of coach, first class, dinner or a caboose ride.
Various times Friday through Sunday, Feb. 15-17, at Mid-Continent Railway Museum, E8948 Diamond Hill Road, North Freedom, Wis. Tickets cost $21 for adults, $20 for seniors, $17 for students 13-18, $12 for kids 3 to 12, and free for children 2 and younger. (800) 930-1385 or www.midcontinent.org.
There are a few more months left to see a unique exhibit that tells the story of Cheap Trick guitarist/songwriter Rick Nielsen. “Rick's Picks,” a fundraiser for the Burpee Museum of Natural History, features Nielsen's guitars, clothing, amplifiers, travel documents and personal memorabilia. You can also see the guitars of some of his famous musician friends (such as Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters and Slash of Guns N' Roses) and learn about the stories that connect them.
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through April 10 at 737 N. Main St., Rockford. Museum admission is $15 and includes admission to the exhibit; free for kids 6 and younger. (815) 965-3433 or www.burpee.org.
Sippy cup cruisers
Take your little divas down to the Chicago Cultural Center every other Friday for Juicebox, music, dance and theater in a kid-friendly setting. The free series of performances is geared to toddlers who will sit on the floor, walk around, meet the artists, and sometimes play with the instruments and puppets. BYO snacks are welcome, too. Friday, Feb 15, features the Chicago Q Ensemble.
10 a.m. every other Friday beginning Feb. 15 through April at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, Chicago. Free. (312) 744-3316 or www.cityofchicago.org.
After 5 p.m. Fridays in February, Navy Pier offers special discounts for many of its restaurants, shops and attractions. Parking in the Navy Pier garage will be $5 and all Ferris wheel rides are $1 (instead of $6). Stop by Harry Caray's Tavern, Bubba Gump, Margaritaville, McDonald's, Connie's Pizza and others for discounts on food and drinks. Chicago Shakespeare Theater is offering a $15 discount on tickets to “Julius Caesar” and enjoy $5 off all movies at the IMAX Theater.
After 5 p.m. Fridays, Feb. 15 and 22, at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. navypier.com.