10 events + activities for Presidents' Day 2012
Did you know George Washington is about to celebrate his 280th birthday? No kidding! But don’t let that be an excuse to let the kids stay home and chow down on cake. In honor of Presidents’ Day, schools and libraries close their doors, but we’ve found plenty of family-friendly places that stay open so you can ring this special birthday with a bang. (Pssst! George’s b’day is actually February 22, but if you want to celebrate twice, we won’t tell.)
Presidents’ Day: Kids in the White House!
Old and young, we’ve all imagined living somewhere else. Sometimes it’s an Irish castle, sometimes a space station—and sometimes it’s even a giant white house on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC. Performances, crafts and music at the Chicago History Museum will give kids an inside view into the life of a president’s child. (Rumor has it that Teddy Roosevelt’s little hellions spitballed portraits and smuggled snakes into the famous residence. We bet Sasha and Malia Obama are better behaved.)
Chicago History Museum, 1601 N Clark St (312-642-4600, chicagohistory.org). 10am–3pm. Free, including complimentary Museum admission.
Presidents’ Day program
A lunch-included program where you learn how to build your own log cabin? Sign us up! Kids will also tour museum exhibits, help with a Presidents’ Day mural, and explore the grounds during a scavenger hunt with a commander-in-chief theme.
DuPage County Historical Museum, 102 E Wesley St, Wheaton (630-510-4941, dupagemuseum.org). 9am–3pm. $30.
Kids Can Sew
Kids can channel the ghost of Betsy Ross during this nifty class. They won’t be making a flag, though—instead, they’ll make their very own pillowcase. Fabric kits are included in the price, so no need to bring your own.
Harlem Avenue Sewing Center, 3906 N Harlem Ave (773-625-1515, harlemsewing.com). 11am–2pm. $30.
Presidents' Day Drop-In
Kids can spend Presidents' Day making art projects, swimming, playing in the gym, or all the above.
Kosciuszko Park Fieldhouse, 2732 N Avers Avenue (312-742-7546, chicagoparkdistrict.com). 9am-5pm. $7. Ages 6-12.
Presidents’ Day workshop: All About Adaptations
Led by Chicago educator/actor Mechelle Moe, young writers explore the ins and outs of getting an old favorite ready for the stage in Lifeline Theatre’s adaptation workshop.
Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N Glenwood Ave (773-761-4477, lifelinetheatre.com). 9am to noon. $30. Ages 7–11.
School’s Out Camps
Why not send the kids back to school with skills worth bragging about? The Lillistreet Art Center will be celebrating Presidents' Day with two camps, Clay & Multimedia Camp (ages 5-12) and Wheelthrowing Camp (ages 9-12).
Lillstreet Art Center, 4401 N Ravenswood Ave (773-769-4226, lillstreet.com). 9am–3:30pm. $85. Ages 5–12.
Kids’ Chocolate-crepe Workshop
If the kids haven’t had Valentine-chocolate overload, then this crepe-cooking and chocolate-tasting class is the perfect place to celebrate Presidents' Day. Did we mention fresh berries and homemade whipped cream?
Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Rte 53, Lisle (630-968-0074, mortonarb.org). 11am, 12:30pm and 2pm. $30. Ages 8–15.
Pow! Playdates: Athletic Play Camp
An obstacle course, charades, boxing class, yoga, and Tao Kwon Do are all on the agenda at Pow! Kids' Presidents' Day camp. After this camp, your child's arms might rival Michelle Obama's.
Pow! Kids, 950 W Washington (312-829-7699, powkidschicago.com). 8:15am-1pm or 8:15am-5:30pm. $60 half day, $90 full day. Ages 3.5-12.
Presidents’ Day Sports Camp
Kids can spend their day off enjoying some healthy bouts of basketball, baseball or soccer at this co-ed sports camp.
Windy City Fieldhouse, 2367 W Logan Blvd (773-486-7300, windycityfieldhouse.com). Registration closes Feb 13. Ages 3-14.
Presidents’ Day road trip
Three-day weekends provide a great excuse for a midwinter road trip. Springfield—the capital of “The Land of Lincoln,” 204 miles southwest of Chicago (about a three-hour drive)—is the perfect spot if the family needs a break from the Windy City. If you'd like to get acquainted with Honest Abe a little better, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is the place to do it. They boast 52,000 items in their Lincoln collection, making them the grandaddy of Lincoln museums. "Mrs. Lincoln's Attic" is a special kids-friendly area, where visitors can have a hands-on history lesson. On Saturday, Feb 18 from 10am-2pm, kids can dress-up in period costume, play with the dollhouse-sized Lincoln home, and play with period toys.
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, 212 N Sixth St, Springfield (217-558-8844, alplm.org). $12, seniors $9, students $9, children (5–15) $6, 5 and under free. Open 9am–5pm daily.