Families can enjoy many fun Chicago kid activities and toy deals during the week of Friday, November 19 to Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 25, 2010. The top toy news for this weekend and Thanksgiving week includes a huge annual toy and game fair at Navy Pier with hands-on toy demonstrations, several big children’s movies opening that are accompanied by lines of fun children’s toys, and toy guides to Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas.
Fun Chicago kid activities
The biggest toy event this weekend is the Chicago Toy & Game Fair (ChiTAG), taking place in Festival Hall B at Navy Pier on Saturday, November 20 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and on Sunday, November 21 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Visitors can play with toys at the various booths (for example, Geppetto’s Toy Box will provide space and materials for kids to create with the new color version of Citiblocs) and interact with huge toys such as the World’s Largest Etch-a-Sketch and a Gigantic Interactive Wobble Board Game. Check out our coverage of the 2009 Chicago Toy and Game Fair for a slideshow of pictures from last year’s event to get a taste for what to expect this year, and visit the official ChiTAG website for more details.
Disney Stores are holding a Tangled craft event this Saturday at 10:00 a.m. and again at 11:30 a.m. Children ages 7 and up can enjoy a Tangled storytime and then make a personalized paper lantern. (Check out our store reviews of the new Chicago Loop Disney Store and the original Michigan Avenue Disney Store.)
Parents can see if any spaces are left open at the LEGO Duplo workshops to be held at Pottery Barn Kids stores on this Saturday and Sunday. PBK will also hold a special Thanksgiving storytime event on Tuesday, November 23.
LEGO Store events and deals this week include the chance to win ten sets from your personal LEGO Wish List and the ongoing LEGO Harry Potter Building Challenge. (Families may also enjoy shopping now for the exclusive 2010 LEGO holiday toys or a LEGO Advent Calendar for 2010.)
The free craft event at Lakeshore Learning Stores this Saturday is to make a Thanksgiving placemat.
On Saturday from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Cat and Mouse Game Store at 2212 W. Armitage is holding their first monthly yo-yo meet. Future yo-yo events will take place on the third Saturday of every month.
Families can start planning for and RSVPing for December American Girl Place Chicago events now, including a Holiday Wishes event and the Make a Gingerbread House! event.
This week is National Game and Puzzle Week from November 21 to November 27, so check out some of our past reviews of games for ideas for fun board games, card games, and other family games to play during this holiday week.
Chicago toy deals and shopping
Little Green Baby, the eco friendly and social friendly baby and child boutique located at 4654 N. Rockwell Ave. in Chicago is hosting a Coat & Accessories Drive (and a store discount for participating) through Sunday, December 19, 2010 to benefit Cornerstone Community Outreach. Visit and fan their Facebook page for complete details.
With the opening of the first part of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows this weekend, families may want to shop for the new LEGO Harry Potter sets, the LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4 video game, or the LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts LEGO Game.
The newest Disney animated movie, Tangled (featuring Rapunzel), opens this Wednesday, November 24, 2010, and families may want to shop for Tangled Rapunzel dolls, other Tangled Rapunzel toys (like costumes and props), or the Rapunzel Braiding Friends Hair Braider (one of Disney’s Most Wanted Holiday Toys).
From November 1 to December 31, 2010, children that spend at least $50 on American Girl Place Chicago merchandise can buy a special doll sweater set for only $16 more while supplies last.
Through December 31, shoppers can use a deal at mamaloot to receive 50% off a single Building Blocks Toy Store purchase.
Through December 25, families can stop by any Build-A-Bear Workshop to pick up a free Passport to the North Pole! (no purchase necessary). This fun, free pamphlet comes with games, free Buildabearville codes, and a chart to decode a person’s reindeer name.
Psychobaby is holding a funny Santa with Your PO’ed Psychobaby Facebook contest through December 24, 2010 with winners receiving Psychobaby gift cards for posting the best “kid with Santa” photo as voted on by the public.
2010 Holiday Season
Read through the 2010 Guide to Thanksgiving for ideas for Thanksgiving toys, treats, and activities.
Finish up Chanukah shopping before December 1 kicks off the Jewish Festival of Lights by checking out a gift guide to the best Chanukah gifts for kids, a run-down of some of the best places to find Hanukkah toys and gifts, and a guide to the best handmade Chanukah toys on etsy.
Prepare for Christmas by checking out some Cookies for Santa plates and placemats or fun advent calendars like the Playmobil advent calendars or the best 2010 Christmas Advent Calendar Garlands.
Stay tuned for this year’s Chicago Children’s Toys Examiner 2010 Christmas Guide, publishing this weekend with a round-up of toy gift guides, best toy lists for local Chicago toy stores, holiday toy reviews, recommendations for stocking stuffers, information about local pop-up toy stores, and other holiday content that will be updated constantly throughout December.
Click Subscribe to receive free emails about new articles or follow this column on Facebook or Twitter.