The holidays were full of great laughs, family and fun. Now that these festivities are over, we tend to feel like “what’s there to look forward to?” Post holidays blues are no myth! Most Americans find that going back to their normal daily routines after all the holiday cheer can leave them feeling sluggish and in an emotional slump. Can you relate?
So what do we do when all the new year confetti has fallen and the dreidel has come to halt? We go on a local adventure! Checkexpress wants to help you discover all that Chicago’s suburbs have to offer in January and February….
All of the lights, large displays, loud/music and sounds of the holidays can be EXTREMELY overwhelming to any small child, especially children with Autism. Did you know there are special events and days for Sensory-Sensitive family members? Here are a couple events we think the little ones might enjoy:
- Sensory-Sensitive Sundays at Chuck-E-Cheese: Chuck E. Cheese is proud to support families who have children with Autism and other special needs. They offer a sensory-friendly experience on the first Sunday of every month at participating locations, opening their doors two hours before their normal opening time. Their Sensory Sensitive events include a trained and caring staff that work to ensure each guest has a fun-filled visit. They realize that the Chuck E. experience can be very stimulating for any child, so their mission is to create an event that allows ALL kids to be a kid.
- Sensory-Friendly Matches at ComedySportz: Two teams have an of improv face off! Comedians will go against each other in a battle for points and laughs, based entirely on audience suggestions. And now, it’s custom designed to be more accessible for individuals and families who will benefit from a relaxed and supportive environment. The sensory-friendly performance is specially designed for children and adults with sensory-input disorders, autism, or other developmental or cognitive disabilities, as well as families and caretakers. ComedySportz promise a judgment-free, fun experience for the entire family. Performances will take place on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, May 24, 2020, Sept. 6, 2020 and Dec. 20, 2020 at 2pm.
Find your creativity! Why not paint away the post-holiday blues and step into 2020 feeling as vibrant as the paint colors you use? Check out these local art studios available to all ages:
- MAKE Art Studios: This art studio opened in 2017, offering kids, teens, and adults alike a variety of opportunities to engage in meaningful and engaging art experiences. Classes and workshops meet in this home studio, located in downtown Downers Grove!
- Paint and Sip at Pinot’s Palette: In-studio bar features wine, craft beer, hand-crafted cocktails, coffee, and other refreshments. While their location does not offer BYOB, feel free to bring your own snacks! Find a Paint and Sip event in Glenview, great for a date night!
- Fluid Art Kids Canvas Workshop at Color Me Mine: Your child will have so much fun joining this acrylic pouring fluid art class! This technique is super easy and super fun…and also super messy, so leave the mess here and take home their beautiful art project! Next event is on Thurs January 30th 6pm-8pm in Crystal Lake.
FREE EVENTS FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY! Are your wallets feeling a little light after the holiday shopping? Want to give the kids great family memories, but on a budget? Brighten their spirits and yours for FREE:
- Polar Adventure Days at Explore Northerly Island: Come face-to-face with live animals, engage in winter activities, and create nature-inspired crafts. Events take place both outdoors and inside of the Visitor Center. Tour the Northerly Island Natural Area to see Siberian huskies, wolves and other live animals; encounter birds of prey from Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation; explore the island on snowshoes (if there’s snow); enjoy a treat and sip hot cocoa! This fun exhibit takes place from Jan 25 – Feb 29, 2020 at Northerly Island.
- Fiddleheads at the Garfield Conservatory: Join the conservatory each weekend for activities and projects that get kids and families wondering about the plants and the natural world. In the colder months, enjoy a dose of the tropics and keep your kids connected to nature throughout winter; in the summer, explore the beautiful outdoors in the nature play space, Play & Grow! Each week will be a different science-based activity, like tinkering with plants and blocks, playing games, participating in collaborative art projects, and exploring plants around the world. This fun exhibit takes place all year round!
Spread Kindness! A great way to shift the focus from ourselves is by helping others. Teach your children how to give back to the less fortunate, especially after receiving so many gifts during the holidays. These heartfelt volunteer events are sure to inspire joy within you and your family:
- Kidlist Family Event: Decorate and fill Birthday Boxes and Sweet Cases for local foster kids with Kidlist and Together We Rise! This event is perfect for kids of all ages and does not have age restrictions. This takes place at the Grand Avenue Community Center on Feb.16th 2pm-4pm in Western Springs!
- Grow, Eat, Give: At this event, kids will learn how food starts at the farm and arrives on your table, as well as ways they can support local food pantries through gardening. Kids will get to explore how food is grown and how good “real food” tastes by preparing healthy snacks. Each child will take home a potted vegetable to care for at home that is then donated to a local food pantry. This event focuses on self-awareness, curiosity, and helping people meet their basic need of food for strong, healthy bodies and brains. This event takes place on Feb 8, 2020 in Naperville!
- Snuggles at The Buddy Foundation: Come snuggle adorable dogs and cats! The Buddy foundation is unique in the fact that everyone is a volunteer, not a single person is paid! All the time, energy, and funds go directly to the care of our animals. Complete the volunteer form and their Volunteer Coordinator will be in contact with you within 2-3 weeks. Indicate whether you want to help with cats/dogs, or any other specific task you can do. All volunteers must be at least 18 years old and have a current Tetanus Immunization. Opportunities are available now in Arlington Heights!
Feel the beat! Did you make a new year’s resolution to be more active? Already finding yourself bored at the gym? Shake off all those low vibes by getting into the groove! Take a look at these fun dance themed events:
- American Folk/Square Dancing: Who’s up for a two step? Couples, Singles, Teens, and Kids Welcome! Exercise for your body and your brain! Learn Square Dancing! This event is FREE on February 5, 2020 at the Forest View Educational Center!
- Salsa & Bachata Classes: This Meetup group is designed to bring people together who want to learn bachata and salsa. The classes will develop the beginner/intermediate dancer. All levels are welcome. We will cover a range of topics including but not limited to; styling patterns, arm styling, connection, musicality, and much more. No partner, no problem! Singles are welcome to join too. On February 1, 2020 in Villa Park!