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Talk about a warm-and-fuzzy family event: Norm Dinkel, Jr. is the third-generation owner of the much-beloved bakery, Dinkel's, and he will read his story of GrrGrr the Cow by the fire in the café. The yarn spinning is paired with festive live music and sweet holiday treats, including cookies, stollen and hot chocolate.
A slew of Chicago kids' boutiques and designers gather in one bright, cheerful place. It's the Holiday 2013 BCBazaar, Bump Club's annual shopping blitz -- and a must-go for any local parent. There will be exclusive discounts, holiday treats and other fun goodies.
Give back and get your gift shopping done at a festive bash thrown by Olive You Nanny service. A variety of unique items from local artisans and businesses, including Noonday and Brighter Day, are yours for the browsing and all proceeds go to the St. Martha's Ministry in Kenya, which supports low-income women entrepreneurs. Light apps will be served and you can BYOB. There will also be a silent auction.
Just like an elf, your kiddo can be Santa's little helper. Head to Little Beans Cafe, where little ones are invited to go holiday shopping in Santa's Secret Shop (aka: the play space) all on their own while you sip coffee in the cafe. The shop will have an array of small gifts (priced $2-$10). Gifts are cash only and will be wrapped and labeled. Access to the shop is free with admission.
Brick mania is taking over Cantigny Park. The show, which requires a full day of set up, transforms the entire Visitors Center into a wonderland for LEGO fans. Explore LEGO locomotives large and small -- all put together by the Northern Illinois LEGO Train Club. Experience the show in a more intimate way by attending a special LEGO® Train Show Party on Saturday, December 14, from 6 to 8 pm. You'll enjoy the show without lines and meet the builders. Snacks, desserts and hot chocolate will be served and a cash bar will be available. Ticket holders also receive a holiday keepsake and complimentary parking.
A graham cracker here. A candy cane there. Bring the family to Foodlife's annual Gingerbread House Decorating Class led by the restaurant's pastry chef, Yasmin Gutierrez. You'll have everything you need to create your masterpiece, including the house, frosting, holiday candies and sprinkles. This year a portion of proceeds will benefit the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Call Jill LeMasurier at 773-891-7072 to reserve your spot.
Fire up your ho-ho-ho engines and attend Smile With Santa at Old Navy. Mr. Claus will be in all Old Navy stores for a Christmas experience that will make both kids and adults grin from ear to ear. Meet and snap pics with Santa (BYO cameras!), do kids’ activities like coloring and ornament making, and enjoy giveaways such as stickers and sweet treats. To find a local Old Navy near you click here.
Giddy-up and go to Bump Club Chicago's annual Holiday Hoopla family party. Snow or not, you'll have a grand time playing, listening to live music, decorating cupcakes and getting festive. Bring a donation for Share or Spare and you'll get to pick a prize from a giant grab bag filled with holiday gifts (toys, strollers, gift cards, more). TK Photography will be on hand taking family pictures, and everyone goes home with a gift bag. The 4-6 p.m. party is for babies under 12 months; the 4:30-6:30 pm party is for toddlers over 12 months.
A sprinkle here ... a bit of frosting there. Decorate a treat at this family fete. You can purchase cookies ($5 for 6 cookies) and decorate them with toppings that are provided. Don't forget to dig into the free make-your-own candy apple bar. Seasonal beers and rotating weekly food specials will be available for purchase.