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As the countdown continues to the frenzied-Holiday season beginning in less than two weeks with Thanksgiving, this weekend offers some great family-friendly events in preparation for the Holidays!

For my early Holiday shoppers, here are two of many arts and crafts events taking place this weekend for those one of a kind gifts:

The Vintage Garage Holiday Market takes place Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at 1134 W. Granville Avenue in the Edgewater neighborhood at a storefront at Broadway and Granville Avenues.  This market features appliances, glassware, furniture, electronics, clothing, jewelry and much more along with the return of their (ugly) holiday sweater contest.  Attendees are encouraged to don their favorite holiday sweater for a chance to win in such categories as Best Snowman Sweater, Most Unusual and others!!

The Holly Jolly Market takes place Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at St. Pascal School (6143 W. Irving Park Road) in the Portage Park neighborhood.  New to the Holiday shopping scene, this market features an array of handmade goods, from more than 50 crafters and vendors, such as bakery items, crocheted items, handmade doll dresses, quilted bags and aprons and more as well as kids' activities, food, free hot cocoa, raffles, prizes and an appearance by Santa!  And, it's FREE admission!!

For some quality time with the kids this weekend, here are a few events which you might even enjoy as an adult:

Snow Much Fun is held at the Chicago Children's Museum, Navy Pier (700 E. Grand Avenue) in the Streeterville neighborhood from now through January 5, 2014 during normal business hours (10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.).  Love winter activities but not the cold?  Well, Snow Much Fun brings it indoors where you can partake in friendly snowball fights, or build a snow fort, or ice skate, or ... so much more active winter fun!  There's even an area to skate in your socks for those of us who have no sense of balance on ice skates - how cool is that!!

Mother Goose and More is a family matinee series held at the Symphony Center (220 S. Michigan Avenue) in The Loop this Saturday at 11:00 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. where conductor Alastair Willis leads members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in bringing classic children's stories and songs to life from the Mother Goose Suite along with lullabies and folk songs!  Also, if you arrive one hour before each performance, you'll be able to partake in visual arts and composition activities as well as hear performances from local community music school students!!

Ancient Game Night is being held this Saturday from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Oriental Institute Museum (1155 E. 58th Street) in the Hyde Park neighborhood in celebration of International Games Day.  Here's your chance to learn and play the games that were played thousands of years ago alongside objects used during those ancient times!  And for the younger kids, small craft and coloring activities will be available for them!!

And, just in time for the Holidays, is the first-ever America's Baking and Sweets Show being held Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center (1551 Thoreau Drive) in Schaumburg (about 30 miles northeast of downtown Chicago).  With its Alice in Wonderland theme, this baking and sweets event features a family zone where kids discover their baking skills, a demo kitchen stage where live demonstrations will be held, a main stage where celebrity appearances, live demonstrations and competitions will take place, a cake design gallery, a wedding quarter and so much more!  There's even a Grand Prize Drawing, compliments of Kenmore, where one lucky winner will be able to choose a stove/oven of their choice up to $3,500!!

How's Your Holiday Countdown Coming Along?

Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013 2:49 PM by Dean's Team


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