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(Chicago Polar Bear Club, NFP / Facebook)

An icy dip in the lake, a massive gathering in the Loop, personal stories and Mexican pastries usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in Chicago.

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Noah Strycker birding in California in 2014. (Bkpix / Wikimedia Commons)

In 2015, Noah Strycker became a birding legend after a yearlong journey across seven continents to see more than half the world’s 10,000-plus bird species. He speaks this month in Chicago about the adventure and his new book “Birding Without Borders.”

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Noodle, an 18-year-old Hyacinth macaw, sits on the shoulder of Celeste Troon, director of living collections at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. (Alex Ruppenthal / Chicago Tonight)

A trio of tropical birds has landed in Chicago this winter to show off their vibrantly colored feathers and occasional dance moves – but they won’t be here for long.

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(Stage Photographic)

Belly dancing Wookiees, a magical scavenger hunt, New Year’s Day bike ride and a massive blanket fort party usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

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A paternity test revealed that Miyagi, one of three male Japanese macaques at Lincoln Park Zoo, is the sire of all four Japanese macaques born at the zoo since 2014. (Todd Rosenberg / Lincoln Park Zoo)

A paternity test to determine the sire of four Japanese macaques born since 2014 at Lincoln Park Zoo came back with a surprising result. 

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(Michael Mayer / Flickr)

Ring in the new year with live music, comedy, ice-skating, yoga and bubbly and brews. Here are 10 New Year’s Eve parties in and around Chicago. 

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(Courtesy of One of a Kind Show)

Holiday markets, late-night shopping, jousting bouts and classic Christmas flicks usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

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(Courtesy of Renegade Craft Fair)

Merry DIY markets, holiday music, furry friends, dream homes and festive trains usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago. 

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Holiday ornaments, right, and glühwein: a recipe for shopping success. (Glühwein photo by Kameron Sears)

Holiday markets, pop-up festivals, giant balloons, magic shows and indoor snow usher in the holiday weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

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Paintings by Matt Mitchell from “100 Face of War” include portraits of Alma Jennings, left, and Jaron Holliday. (Courtesy National Veterans Art Museum)

Veterans Day salutes, rock ‘n’ roll movies, “rebellious” artists, indigenous cuisine, top-notch dancers and wild animals usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in Chicago.

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(Julia Fuller / Lincoln Park Zoo)

You’ll need to look closely to spot Lincoln Park Zoo’s new baby monkey. The infant, born Oct. 15 to first-time parents, is barely visible as it clings to its mother’s neck.

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(National Museum of Mexican Art / Facebook)

Halloween fun, sugar skulls and chocolate treats, vintage treasures and cutting-edge technology usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

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(Jill Wagner / Lincoln Park Zoo)

Did you know it’s International Sloth Day? We check in with one of Lincoln Park Zoo’s experts to learn about these furry, slow-moving animals. 

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Lincoln Park Zoo's upcoming Sea Explorer 5-D lets visitors "dive" into the ocean in a virtual submarine. (Courtesy Attraktion!)

A new experience coming this fall to Lincoln Park Zoo will allow visitors “dive” into the ocean and explore landscapes and wildlife at the North and South Poles or in deep ocean waters. 

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Arts in the Dark (Photo: Kitano Dreamstime.com)

A Halloween parade, a craft beer crawl, horror movies, fancy footwork and spooky tours usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

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Black-crowned night herons average about 2 feet in length and weigh nearly 2 pounds. (Courtesy Lincoln Park Zoo)

The black-crowned night heron is one of the rarest birds in Illinois. Lincoln Park Zoo now hosts a colony of more than 600 herons, but things have getting a bit crowded. 

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