This is our first official Christmas break with Grey. The last school he went to in New York was only closed for the actual holidays; and his new school here in Chicago is closed for a total of two weeks starting this Friday. This time of year is so magical, we want to pack it all in. Also read: we don’t want to go crazy. I almost titled this post the Christmas Break Survival Guide, but we’re phrasing it as a Bucket List of adventures instead so we start it off on the right boot. Want to join in? Here’s the game plan:
Donut crawl. I’m doing research for a Best Donuts in Chicago post so this is kind of a need. ;). But certainly not a crawl we’ll do all in one day with a tiny human. Can you imagine the sugar high?! But I am excited to try some new donuts, taste old favorites, and even more so to explore new neighborhoods along the way!
City scavenger hunt. We found these awesome sheets on amazon that we used over the summer when Grey had friends visiting. For Christmas break, we’re thinking of upping the ante a bit and adding a fun treat for checking off all the boxes.
Museum hop. You’d be surprised how many museums have free days for residents over Christmas vacation! With freezing temps, it is the perfect time to explore indoors. Thursdays are always free at the Nature Museum (butterfly releases & hot chocolate stations) so we’ll be hitting up that one, along with the train exhibit here, and the Field Museum too!
Beach-bound. No, sadly we’re not going on vacation this break. But we do have the most gorgeous beach on Lake Michigan just a short walk from our home. I think her winter beauty comes close to rivaling her summer blues. The icicles are just dreamy. So we’re going to bundle up and walk the Lakeshore trail to take it all in while we have it all to ourselves!
Donation day. If you’ve been following for a while, you might have noticed we like to put a larger emphasis on experiences rather than gifts. But despite our best efforts, Grey has amassed more than he needs (us included). So we’re dedicating a day to piling up all of the clothes and items we no longer use, and donating them to a neighbor in need. Instead of it being “let’s get rid of all your toys”, I’m thinking we throw our favorite tunes up on the sonos speakers, express gratitude for the time we spent enjoying it all, and drop it off as a family. Maybe we follow it up with the next bullet point as a reward.
Try a new activity. We are so lucky that this city is filled with so many new-to-us experiences. This break we’re thinking about sprinkling in a gymnastics lesson at My Gym, a ceramics painting class, and this Friday we’re excited to carol at the Bean!
Zoo lights. We have been meaning to do this all season and haven’t yet had the chance! We can’t wait to see the zoo all lit up for Christmas (2.5 million lights!). One of my favorite free activities to do in Chicago!
Visit the local library. This is probably the item on the list I am especially excited about. I have always *loved* libraries and feel so grateful Grey shares our love of reading. He hasn’t been to the public library in our neighborhood yet, so we are planning a special trip to get his very own library card. I’m also thinking this might save us some money long-term. I spend (almost) as much on books as I do on groceries at Costco!
Involve him in work projects. Our little guy might have two weeks off; but mom and dad sure don’t. The plan is to go screen-free and be as present as possible for the most part; but when we do need to work, get him involved. Grey especially loves to be a part of the #NixonPack so we’ll have him put on his gear and play assistant for the day; help style projects, “take photos”, and hold the tools for the DIY’s.
Pedal to the parks. We scooped up a big boy bike for a steal over the summer, but he had far more interest in his scooter at the time. Now that Grey is turning four next month, he is adamant he needs to learn to ride a bike. We have a few playgrounds in a one mile jaunt from our house in each direction, so we’re thinking each day we can pedal to a new park to encourage him to ride!
I can’t wait to collect all the memories with these two. What’s on your Christmas Break Bucket List?!