You don't have to go to the crowded, muzak-filled mall to have your kids pay a visit to jolly old St. Nick. We honestly can't imagine anything more claustrophobic and stifling, to be honest with you. Instead, visit Santa at the Shedd Aquarium starting this Friday, Nov. 28. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 21, the big guy will be on hand between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., ready to take the annual holiday photos, except these will have snow-capped mountains and penguins in the background. You're not going to find THAT at the mall.
The 4-D Special FX Theater in Phelps Auditorium will feature the 15-minute Polar Express daily through Jan. 4, and if you register for one of two special Saturday-morning screenings at 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 13 or Dec. 20, you'll get cocoa, cookies, a visit and photo with Santa, craft activities and a gift. Call 312-692-2707 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.