LIST: Popular destinations closing, child care help available during extreme cold in Chicago

Extreme cold to greet Polar Plunge participants

CHICAGO — With Chicago Public Schools and other school districts closing Wednesday due to double-digit subzero temperatures, many parents are scrambling for ways to keep their kids cared for, or to find things to do to keep them entertained.

For those without alternate child care options, the Chicago Park District is one of the few places that will be open Wednesday to help parents out.

“In this crisis we have an opportunity to have parents come in and enjoy a sample of what the park district has to offer,” said Alonzo Williams,  Chicago Park District.

The park district will be offering free organized and supervised activities for school-aged children at 142 locations throughout the city. The drop-in programs will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at park locations citywide. Parents can register kids for activities online.

The YMCA of Metro Chicago is closed Wednesday, but it could be another option for parents if schools are still out on Thursday. The YMCA’s city and suburban locations are offering child care for members and non-members who sign up on their website.

If you’re looking for someplace to go to keep the kids entertained, not many of the classic options are available. Here’s the latest from some of Chicago’s most popular destinations:

Adler Planetarium: Closed Wednesday and Thursday

Art Institute of Chicago: Closed Wednesday

Brookfield Zoo: Closed Wednesday and Thursday

Chicago Botanic Garden: Closed Wednesday and Thursday

Chicago Children’s Museum: Closed Wednesday

Chicago Cultural Center: Open, special events canceled

Chicago Park District: Open Wednesday, childcare services available

Chicago Public Libraries: Most Open, except: Archer Heights, Jeffery Manor, King, Merlo, South Shore, Popular Lirbary at Water Works, Wrightwood-Ashburn (check your local library first)

DuSable Museum of African-American History: Closed Wednesday and Thursday

Field Museum: Closed Wednesday

Garfield Park Conservatory: Open, Closing early at 5 p.m.

John Hancock’s 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck: Closed Wednesday

Kohl Children’s Museum: Closed Wednesday

Lincoln Park Zoo: Closed Wednesday

Museum of Science and Industry: Closed Wednesday

National Museum of Mexican Art: Closed Wednesday

Navy Pier: All restaurants, shops and attractions closed Wednesday

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum: Closed Wednesday

Shedd Aquarium: Closed Wednesday

YMCA of Metro Chicago: Closed Wednesday

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