What to do for free on Martin Luther King Day in Chicago

Hey, parents, don't you just love those Mondays in February when the kids are off from school but the adults still have to work? It's like the schools said, "Everything's going a little too smoothly here -- let's kick it up a notch!" Here are some free activities to help you through the day.

Talk to the animals: As soon as I upload this post, we're headed to Brookfield Zoo, where they're having a free day in honor of MLK. They're having a lecture in the Discovery Center at noon, and after that you can write your dream on a Tibetan prayer flag which will be hung in the Hamill Family Play Zoo. The Play Zoo and Children' Zoo are both free in the winter, and one of those is indoors. Finally, the neighbors may not like me to say so, but there is plenty of street parking on the residential streets around the zoo -- just read the signs to make sure you don't overstay the time limits.

Go to other free museums: Science and Industry is free every weekday in January, and so is the Art Institute.

Go ice skating: Chicago's public ice rinks are free, including the one at Millennium Park. However, skate rental at Millennium Park is a whopping $10, so bring 'em if you got 'em.

Watch ice skating: OK, you can't go to this today, but Disney on Ice is selling tickets to Toy Story III at United Center for 25 percent off with the coupon code MAMA. I saw this on daily deal site FamilyFinds, but you can just buy the tickets here.

Go to Walgreens: Vicks Sinex moneymaker after coupons and Register Rewards! Money Saving Mom has all the deets.

Read a free book: Are you one of the lucky one who doesn't have to work today? Download the Kindle book Apples Are Square: Thinking Differently About Leadership for free from Amazon. If you don't have a Kindle, may be able to put a free Kindle app on your phone. Also free for Kindle right now: Teachable Moments: Seizing the Instants When Children Learn. (I saw that one on Wise Bread's Best Deals Today feature, and by way of disclosure, I sometimes write for Wise Bread.)

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