You swore off battery-operated toys the day a Zhu Zhu Pet scurried into your hair.
Make peace with motorized playthings at RobotCity Workshop. The Lakeview store/party space is packed with droids to touch, buy, and tinker around with. Its blinking, beeping fleet includes everything from remote-controlled toys to figurines to school supplies — most priced less than $25. Also inside: Chicago’s unofficial robot museum, a wall displaying the owner’s retro collectibles such as Omnibot 2000 (circa 1983).
In the back room, humanoids ages 3 and up celebrate birthdays by having cake served by a robot and building their own whirring sidekick. At ongoing workshops, kids ages 6 and up learn about basic circuitry, electronics, and more.
The store also runs extracurricular programs at area schools, proving robot science is more than just a blip on the radar.
RobotCity Workshop, 3226 North Sheffield Avenue, between School Street and Belmont Avenue (773-281-1008 or robotcityworkshop.com). Birthday parties, $30-$40 per child for two hours; workshops, $30-$60.
What: Emerald City Theatre Co. puts on a peppy musical following a girl who eats so many cupcakes she turns pink. Broccoli-eating brother saves the day.
Why: It’s more fun than a barrel of tutus.
When: Sat.-Dec. 31.
Where: Apollo Theater, 2540 N. Lincoln Ave., at Wrightwood Ave. Tickets at 773-935-6100 or online at ticketmaster.com. Adults, $16; kids, $13.
What: Third-generation artist Karl Johnson creates cut-paper lovelies in the likeness of your child.
Why: Starting at just $25, they’re perfect Grandma gifts.
When: Fri. & Sat., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Nat & Helens (Fri. only), 3125 N. Broadway St., at Briar Pl.; reservations to 773-525-4030; Bullfrogs & Butterflies (Sat. only), 2124 W. Division St., b/t Hoyne Ave. & Leavitt St.; reservations to 773-661-1632.
Mexico: Festival of Toys
What: Fiddle with handmade dolls, puppets and marionettes, papier-mâché animals, and traditional puzzles and games — all on loan from Papalote Children’s Museum in Mexico City.
Why: Widen your niño’s horizons.
When: Fri.-Wed., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thurs., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Where: Chicago Children’s Museum, Navy Pier, 700 E. Grand Ave., at Lake Shore Dr. Admission, $10 (free Thurs., 5-8 p.m.).