Most school districts in the area have a holiday on Monday for Columbus Day.
To make it a learning experience--and let the kids enjoy some fun too--here's information about celebrations organized by the Chicago area Italian-American community, as well as links to information about Columbus and his voyages.
The following information comes from Casa Italia, home of the Italian Cultural Center in Stone Park.
On Monday, Oct. 8, the activities begin with 9 a.m. Catholic Mass at The Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii, 1224 W. Lexington in Chicago's Little Italy neighborhood. It will be followed by a 10 a.m. wreath laying ceremony at the Christopher Columbus statue in Arrigo Park, Chicago (just outside the shrine). Activities are organized by the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans.
The parade will run from 12:30 - 2:30 p.m. on Columbus Drive between Balbo & Randolph, Chicago. A reception (reservations required) will be held at Casa Italia at 3:30 p.m. Reception $20 per adult; children under 12 free all day. Cash bar for beer & wine. Call 708-450-9050 for bus and reception reservations. (Bus transportation available between Casa Italia and downtown Chicago.) Click here to download a flyer.
For older children and adults:
For younger children:
Controversy and diverse views of Columbus Day: