We are entering that part of winter in the Chicago area when the snow has lost its novelty, the cold has gotten into our bones and spending time at home is too much of a good thing.
If you’re looking for inexpensive, family-friendly activities to enjoy this weekend, you’re in luck. Below is a list of five fun things to do in and near Des Plaines. They may be just the things to get you and your family out of the winter doldrums.
Des Plaines Park District Leisure Center, 2222 Birch St.
Kids ages five to 12 are welcome to have a blast at Fantastic Friday Jan. 21. They can play sports in the gym, make crafts and play video games at this monthly program night from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Park District staff monitors the children as they shoot hoops, bang on the drums in Rock Band and enjoy delivered pizza for $1 per slice. The cost is $10 per child and pre-registration is suggested, but not required.
Strike The Box Enterprises, 1100 National Parkway, Schaumburg
Your children can learn fire safety and have lots of fun in the process at the FireZone’s drop-in Jan. 22 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. More than a dozen activities are available in this one-of-a-kind facility including a rescue mission, sliding down a fire pole and exploring a real fire truck. A firefighter will be on-hand to make presentations and speak with the kids.
The cost is $9 per child and there is no charge for parents and children under two years old.
Brunswick Zone, 824 E. Rand Rd., Mount Prospect
Black lights, rock music and a smoke machine will energize bowlers at Brunswick Zone on Jan. 22 from noon to 5 p.m. It’s a family-friendly environment and a family package is available for six players to bowl two hours for $50, including shoe rental and a pitcher of pop. The regular price is about $4 for each game or shoe rental. Sign up for the Bonus Zone online to receive other discounts via email.
Another Cosmic Bowling period geared more for adults takes place on Jan. 22 from 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.
737 N Main St., Rockford
A trip to the Burpee Museum of Natural History offers four floors of exhibits and activities for all to enjoy. Preparators may be observed as they work on fossils and visitors can learn about Jane, the 21-foot Tyrannosaurus rex that took more than four years to restore.
There is a Carboniferous Coal Forest exhibit with amphibians and insects that lived in the area more than 300 million years ago, including a giant dragon fly more than two feet long. The museum also has some live animals and fish, and admission is $7 per person.
Des Plaines Public Library, 1501 Ellinwood St.
Learn about Hawaiian culture at this fun program Jan. 23 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., sponsored by the Friends of the Library. There will be storytelling, hula dancing and balloons. Kids will have a chance to play Hawaiian instruments too. There is no cost and registration is suggested, but not required.