The holidays are over, the temperatures above zero. Is your family ready to get back to its regular routine? Well, if you have some free time this weekend, here are a few of the highlights from a light few days on the Go West Calendar. Don't forget the Indoor Play Guide for venues that might better fit your family's interests, schedule or budget.
ELGIN: The Elgin Public Museum hosts monthly "Science Nights" on Fridays that are great for families. This Friday, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., the topic is "Winter Science." Different stations will be set up around the museum for kids and their parents to conduct experiments, check out demonstrations and partake in discussions about winter animals and the tracks they leave behind in the snow, snowflake science and germs of the winter cold season. (See how germs spread under black light in a disgustingly fun experiment!) No registration required for this drop-in program. The fee is $2 per person.
AURORA: The Fox Valley Park District is presenting "Shrek: The Musical" this weekend at the Prisco Community Center in Aurora. Tickets are $8 and available up to show time, although if you order in advance, you can reserve your seats where you want them. Showtimes are Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m., Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at the Prisco Community Center (150 W. Illinois Avenue) or online by using seatyourself.
ST. CHARLES: Steel Beam Theatre in downtown St. Charles is presenting "The Frog Princess" for the next five weekends as part of its Children's Stage. The show is described as a "charming Russian folktale" that "teaches it pays to be kind to everyone, even frogs!" Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students, and the show is suitable for ages 3 and up. Performances in general are at 1 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays and 10:30 a.m. on Saturdays, but check the schedule this weekend the show will be produced on Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m.
NORTH AURORA: Red Oak Nature Center in North Aurora hosts its "Animal Encounters" once a month. This Sunday, the focus is on eagles, which is appropriate since so many bald eagles have been sighted lately along the Fox River. The program is free and runs from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
WHEATON: Cantigny Park is officially closed in January, but of course the birds don't care about schedules! So Cantigny is hosting a "Bird Walk" on Saturday starting at 8:30 a.m. Volunteers found 28 species of birds during its count last January. The walk will begin from the Visitors Center and will last about 90 minutes to two hours, with some of that time potentially indoors observing Cantigny bird feeders. The walk is free and so is parking; enter through the Winfield Road gate. Note this isn't specifically aimed at families, but if your kids are up early and active Saturday ...
WARRENVILLE: Here is a new option for nature-loving families. The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County has a new rental operation that allows trail trekkers to use snowshoes to explore Blackwell Forest Preserve. The rental operation is at 29E400 Mack Road in Warrenville and the tubing hill at Mount Hoy. Snowshoes will be available when there are at least 3 inches of snow on the ground. Rentals cost $5 for two hours or $10 for the whole day. Here's more information on hours and directions.