Gear up for Oak Brook’s Winterfest

Introduce your family to outdoor winter fun at Oak Brook's Winterfest on Jan. 31. Snow shoes and ice skates will be available to rent for free. Sleigh rides and sledding also available, then warm up with crafts, live music and a sweets table.
Oak Brook’s Annual Winterfest is the perfect opportunity for families to enjoy all the indoor and outdoor activities the winter season has to offer. Kids will be able to warm up inside with a variety of free crafts and a coloring contest during this year’s Winterfest.
Sean Hayden of Hinsdale indulges his daughters at the sweets table during last year’s Winterfest in Oak Brook. This years Jan. 31 event will include outdoor activites such as sleigh rides, ice skating and snow shoeing.

There will be exciting activities for families indoors and outdoors—for free—at Oak Brook Park District’s Winterfest, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31 at Central Park West, 1500 Forest Gate Road.

“It’s going to be wonderful,” declared Marketing Manager Jessica Cannaday of this 51st annual event. “We’re doing it a little bit differently this year from last year.” Instead of hosting Winterfest during the day on Saturday, the Park District moved it to Friday night with the hope that it will be more convenient for families.

“Plus, it gives it a really cool evening atmosphere,” Cannaday noted. “We have some really neat lighting effects on our ice rink.” Sleigh rides through Central Park should also be more exciting after dark. Skate rental is free. You can also snowshoe along Ginger Creek.

Indoor activities include craft projects for kids and live musical entertainment from 6-8 p.m.

Refreshments will be sold, including hot spiced wine for adults, doughnuts and hot chocolate.

For details, call (630) 990-4233 or go to


Kids will be wide-eyed during The Owls Have It! Storytime, 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan.25 at the Oak Brook Barnes and Noble, 297 Oakbrook Center. They will hear “Owl at Home” by Arnold Lobel and “I’m Not Reading” by Jonathan Allen, then do a themed activity.

For details, call (630) 684-0586 or go to


Discover the Wonders of Winter, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1 at Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 W. 31st St., Oak Brook. There will be horse-drawn hayrides, ice fishing, geocaching, nature hikes and more at this free, drop-in event.

For details, call (630) 933-7248 or go to


You and your kids can conquer Mount Hoy at Blackwell Forest Preserve, Batavia Road and Butterfield Road, Warrenville when there are 3 or more inches of snow. Rent a Forest Preserve District of DuPage County inner tube for $5 per day and head down the 800-foot hill, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Feb. 23.

For details, call (630) 871-6422 or go to


Turns out you can learn to communicate with them at the Tree House Tales Exhibition, 7 a.m.-sunset daily at the Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Rte. 53, Lisle. Children will enjoy wagging imaginary tails at the Dogwood Doghouse, pretending to be a pioneer at the White Oak Cabin and exploring four other tree houses.

For details, call (630) 968-0074 or go to

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