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December with Baby on Board

By Elizabeth Shapiro in Miscellaneous on Dec 6, 2007 5:47PM

The sidewalks are covered in ice and the temps are sneaking down to the single digits. That's perfect weather for toting a toddler around, right? Here are three (free!) reasons to spend that extra hour bundling your kid up this weekend.

Christkindlmarket is a candy-cane striped Bavarian winter village deposited into Daley Plaza. Come to gawk at the expensive, often hand-made gifts, and snack on traditional German fare. The children's lantern parade is today at 4 p.m.; check out their performance schedule to see when some of the city's best choirs will perform.2007_12_IceArt.jpg

Christkindlmarket is open daily until December 24th at 11 a.m.

Lincoln Park Zoo strings up their annual Zoo Lights and invites visitors onto their grounds after hours. Bring the family for dinner and hot cocoa (“spiced wine” for the adults), then decorate gingerbread people and watch ice carvers give you a new appreciation for the cold stuff. Our favorite part of Zoo lights happens indoors: the Big Cat House is open, giving you a rare look at what these nocturnal animals are like at night.

Zoo Lights festivities are on weekends from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., and from December 14 to January 1, they'll open every day except Christmas Eve and Day.

We think people singing Christmas carols with choirs at Cloud Gate is a scene meant for a snow globe; join in at 6 p.m. on Friday nights. Bring along your skates (or fork over $9 for rentals) and take your kids ice skating on the free rink before the show. Starbucks gets into the spirit by giving away free peppermint hot cocoas to warm little hands refusing to wear mittens.

Ice sculptures captured by Seg Fault.