When was the last time you saw the coal mine, baby chicks hatching or walked through the U-505 submarine? It's all there and more at the Museum of Science and Industry, and this week, Illinois residents get in for free. Check out 80 at 80, a new exhibit featuring 80 rarely displayed artifacts from the Museum's extensive collection to commemorate its 80th anniversary; the Art of the Bicycle; The Great Train Story; and much more.
9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, Jan. 27-31, at the Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive. (773) 947-6003 or msi chicago.org.
Art tour with strollers
Do you think trips to the art museum are just a sweet memory once junior arrived? Take the Stroller Tour at the Museum of Contemporary Art when adults can still experience art albeit with little Picassos in tow. Designed for new moms, dads and caregivers, the event allows you to look at and talk about art with other adults and take a guided tour to get up to date with contemporary art while mindful of your young ones.
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 20 E. Chicago Ave. Free with museum admission, which is $12 suggested general admission, $7 students and seniors, free for MCA members, kids younger than 12, and members of the military. (312) 280-2660 or mcachicago.org
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Hot night in the cold city
This February, Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago offers romantic overnight packages and side-by-side spa treatments. The "Be Mine" and "Unforgettable Romance" packages include luxe accommodations and various amenities like champagne, chocolates, room service breakfast, dinner for two at the property's Michelin Two-Star fine-dining restaurant, Sixteen, and more. The Spa at Trump is offering multiple experiences for Valentine's month including a Sweetheart Retreat, Couples Romancing Two-gether, and My Perfect Valentine package. Check trumpchicagohotel.com for all the particulars.
Overnight packages available for stays Feb. 1-28 (Unforgettable Romance package is not available Feb. 14-16) at Trump Chicago, 401 N. Wabash Ave. Rates range from $380-$775 a night. (312) 588-8000, (877) 479-TRUMP or trumpchicagohotel.com.
Lake Geneva Winterfest
The Midwest hosts a myriad snow-sculpting events every winter, but nearby Lake Geneva, Wis., hosts the U.S. National Snow Sculpting Championship, the top snow-sculpting competition in the country. The contest is the centerpiece of Lake Geneva's annual Winterfest, a family-friendly festival featuring helicopter rides, music and magic entertainment in the celebrated Riviera Ballroom, a "meltdown" sale in the downtown business district, refreshments and dining. Teams toil for three freezing days and nights to create elaborate sculptures from three-ton cylinders of snow using only hand tools, snow, ice and water. Free shuttle Saturday and Sunday, too.
Sculpting teams at work from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, Jan. 29-31, at Riviera Park in Lake Geneva. Peoples' Choice Award voting from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and awards ceremony at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1. Activities in the Riviera Ballroom and on the lakefront from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 1-2. lakegenevawi.com or (800) 345-1020.
Fishing for some fun?
If you can't stop it, top it (winter, that is) at the 27th Annual Fish Creek Winter Festival in Door County, Wis. Expect wacky, winter-themed carnival games for all ages under the big tent; wine tasting; trolley rides; ice sculptures; winter parade; and candlelight cross-country skiing. Watch the parade then play and eat all day under the heated tent with music, raffles, games, a chili cook-off, food and beverages -- including beer, wine and glog. Strap on some snow shoes or dance until the fireworks begin.
Event times vary Friday through Sunday, Jan. 31-Feb. 2, at Clark Park, Fish Creek, Wis. For details or info about lodging, go to visitfishcreek.com/what-to-do/winterfestival or call (800) 577-1880.
Visit the historic town square of Woodstock for Groundhog Days, an annual event that includes the Awakening of the Groundhog ceremony at the historic 1889 Woodstock Opera House; a bachelor auction; "Groundhog Day" movie trivia; Groundhog Day breakfast; movie showings and walking tours of filming sites. Bring your little fur balls for a host of family activities including storytelling and a chili cook-off, browse dozens of specialty shops on Woodstock Square, dine in charming restaurants and stay overnight. No need to drive -- Metra offers rail service to the station in Woodstock.
Thursday through Sunday, Jan. 30-Feb. 2. The Annual Prognostication takes place at 7:07 a.m. on Groundhog Day, Sunday, Feb. 2nd when Woodstock Willie looks for his shadow. woodstockgroundhog.org