Friday, January 13, 2012

New Year, New Fun in Chicago

Welcome to 2012 and the Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel Chicago!!!!

So far we are waiting for the dreaded Chicago winter to kick in but so far we have been very, very lucky with almost spring-like weather as we enter the second week of January! We are bracing ourselves for the wintry weather to kick in, although we would not mind it bypassing us altogether…

Thinking warm thoughts, the Chicago Boat, Sports & RV show takes place Thursday, January 12 – Monday, January 16 at McCormick Place (2301 S. Lake Shore Drive).
Cost is $10 for adults and free for kids 15 and younger.

Whether you enjoy fishing or sailing, or being a road warrior, spend the day checking out hundreds of boats and RV’s as well as all of the gear that goes along with your hobby.

If you have always wanted to try to scuba dive, this is the place to be. Learn about the equipment, some basic diving skills and then hop into the heated pool to embark on a new adventure. No need to bring anything but yourself, this is free and the necessary equipment for the dive is provided.

Not a fan of swimming below the water? Make your way over to Paddlefest where you can try kayaking, canoeing and stand up paddleboards in the pool.

Feeling competitive? The Power Boat Docking Challenge has you steering your radio controlled boat while standing at the real helm of a full size boat. This is a race against time, as you drive your “boat” from the lake towards the marina and into a slip. Best times will win a prize!

There is also the Huck Finn Trout Pond for kids 12 years and younger. Random fish are tagged and if your child hooks one, they can win a prize.

The show is full of all types of activities so make sure to plan on spending the day at the show!

Once the snow starts to fly there are some family fun winter events happening in the city.
Come out for some fun at the 7th Annual Polar Adventure Days, which take place on both Saturday, January 21 and Saturday, February 18 from 12 - 4 p.m.

Activities will include ice sculptors, snowshoeing (free snowshoe rental available), discussions with participants of Iditarod dog sled races with Siberian Huskies on hand, storytelling, live music from the Old Town School of Folk Music and an area for arts and crafts.

Polar Adventure Days takes place at Northerly Island, 1400 S. Lynn White Dr. (on the Museum Campus). Call to confirm scheduled activities for Polar Adventure Days as activities are subject to change (312-742-7529).

Another family themed event that should not be missed is Snow Days Chicago at Navy Pier. Snow Days starts on Friday, January 27 and ends on Sunday, January 29 at (600 E. Grand Ave).

There will be a snow sculpting competition made up of teams to from around the country, the world, and even Chicago high school students. There is also a snowboarding rail and dog sled demonstrations.

If you are looking to take in some of Chicago’s Culture, head to Chicago’s famed Chinatown on January 29th to watch the Chinese New Year Parade. This celebrates the Lunar New Year ("Year of the Dragon 4710") and the parade marches right through the middle of Chinatown. The parade features marching bands, intricate floats, lion dance teams, and a 100 foot long paper dragon made out of silk, paper, and bamboo.

The parade steps off at 1:00 p.m. (check start times closer to parade date), and the route runs along Wentworth from 24th Street to Cermak Road.

Enjoy your visit to Chicago, we cannot guarantee the warm temperatures we have had are going to stick around, but there is plenty to do once winter arrives!