Midwest travel: Kohl Children's Museum drops the ball twice Dec. 31
Kohl Children's Museum will ring in the New Year (twice) with Times Square-inspired celebrations, including giant confetti drops at "midnight." An entire wing of the museum is turned into a New Year's Eve celebration with activities designed specifically for young attention spans throughout the day. Chicago-based children's performer Joel Frankel entertains during the morning session and the afternoon session will feature DJs leading an interactive dance party with kid-friendly tunes. Plus, kids can make party hats and noisemakers, take free family photos, get hair styling provided by KidSnips and explore the museum. The museum will be closed to the public Dec. 31 except for those holding tickets to this event.
8:30 to 11 a.m. and 12:30 to 3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 31, at Kohl Children's Museum, 2100 Patriot Blvd., Glenview. Tickets, required for adults and children older than 1, purchased before Dec. 24 cost $17 for members and $27 for nonmembers. Tickets purchased after Dec. 24 cost $22 for members and $32 for nonmembers. kcmgc.org/nye or (847) 832-6907.
Choose to cruise into 2016
Entertainment Cruises, including the Odyssey, Spirit of Chicago and Mystic Blue, shove off all month for holiday and New Year's Eve cruises on Lake Michigan. Holiday cruises include lunch or dinner, DJ beats and the best views of Chicago. New Year's Eve cruises offer dinner, drinks and a view of the fireworks as we roll into 2016.
Now through Dec. 31. Holiday cruises begin at $44.90 per adult and $26.95 per child 3-12 (lunch), and from $74.90 for dinner. New Year's Eve cruises start at $149.90 (21 and older). entertainmentcruises.com/our-cities/chicago or (800) 700-0735.
Let me help you with that
The Gold Coast's Talbott Hotel offers a special Holiday Valet Shopping Package to help you with your shopping. It includes: a stay in a Standard King room; a personal "shopping valet" from the hotel to pick up packages and bags throughout the day on Michigan Avenue, Oak Street and Rush Street; a 30-minute foot massage from The Talbott Hotel's in-house massage therapist; and a travel-sized bag of Molton Brown luxury bath essentials. When you return to The Talbott from shopping, relax in the festively decorated hotel lobby with a crackling fire.
Through Dec. 23 at The Talbott Hotel, 20 E. Delaware Place, Chicago. The holiday shopping valet package starts at $270. (877) 582-3854 or talbotthotel.com
Not the same Old Lang Syne
Nearby Grand Geneva Resort & Spa is offering a couple of New Year's Eve offerings for all ages. For ages 21 and older, the Grand Style NYE Celebration package includes a two-night stay in a deluxe guest room; dinner for two at Ristorante Brissago or Geneva ChopHouse; admission to Déjà Vu Party/Dance with a DJ in the Grand Ballroom from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.; two drink tickets per person and a champagne toast; party favors and a midnight balloon drop; and an outdoor fireworks display. Kids can join a NYE Junior Celebration, which includes a $10 token credit for arcade-style video games; air hockey and Ping-Pong tournaments; crafts and games; a kid's buffet; and beverages to ring in the New Year.
Wednesday, Dec. 30-Friday, Jan. 1, at Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, 7036 Grand Geneva Way, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Grand Style packages start at $799 for a two-night stay (including dinner, drinks, dancing, a fireworks show and more). Kids' NYE is $35 for ages 5-12 (can be added to any package or a la carte). (800) 558- 3417 or grandgeneva.com.
Coo-coo for choo-choos?
Members of the Wisconsin Garden Railway Society congregate in Madison to show off their large-scale model trains during the Holiday Express at Olbrich Botanical Gardens & Bolz Conservatory. Different trains and setups are featured during the course of the exhibit, so you may witness bullet trains, steam trains, a Santa or circus train or freight trains. Trains wind through holiday scenes adorned with hundreds of poinsettias, fresh evergreens and elaborate Lego displays.
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily though Dec. 31 (closes at 2 p.m. Dec. 24; closed Dec. 25) at Olbrich Botanical Gardens & Bolz Conservatory, 3330 Atwood Ave., Madison, Wisconsin. Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for kids 3 to 12; free for kids 2 and younger. Admission to the tropical Bolz Conservatory is included. (608) 246-4550 or olbrich.org/events/holidayexpress.cfm.