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Family-friendly doings in full swing at Chicago Auto Show

Four-year-old CamerCrawford sits driver's seMercedes automobile 2011 Chicago AuShow Friday February 11 2011. | Richard A. Chapman~Sun-Times

Four-year-old Cameron Crawford sits in the driver's seat of a Mercedes automobile at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show on Friday February 11, 2011. | Richard A. Chapman~Sun-Times

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Updated: February 7, 2013 4:08PM



Jam to the sound of your own DJ beats while surrounded by more than a thousand new cars, sporty utility and concept cars.

Or step into a Cadillac race simulator to experience a real track, including the feel of skidding and racing over road bumps while getting tips from racing instructors on navigating corners and shifting gears.

For the wee ones, how about hopping into a mini Jeep and taking a spin?

Those are among family-oriented activities that will take place at the Chicago Auto Show this year, which targets toddlers to teens to time-stressed parents (who’ll be able to renew or replace their driving licenses on site). The Department of Motor Vehicles will have an office located on the premises at McCormick Place, where the public show that opens to the public Saturday and continues through Feb. 18. So parents can take care of business, while the kids explore the new vehicles and concept cars on display.

Parents and kids alike are encouraged to get behind the wheel, feel the leather seats, adjust the rearview mirror and leave fingerprints on the windows to get an up close and personal experience at the show, planners say.

While family oriented activities will take place every day, the official Family Day is Presidents’ Day, Feb. 18, the last day of the show. Oaklee’s Family Guide will be hosting a series of events including appearances by the Radio Disney Road Crew and meet-and-greet sessions with Radio Disney’s Leo Howard and Ms. Illinois Teen USA, as well as a performance by the Rockabilly Band.

Here is some key information for families:

♦ Free admission is provided to children 6 years of age or younger when accompanied by a paying adult. For children ages 7 to 12 and seniors ages 62 and older, tickets are $6. For adults, the price is $12.

♦ Visit Fifth Third Bank locations or local car dealers for weekday ticket discount price coupons.

♦ Strollers are welcome and encouraged, given that there is more than one million square feet of exhibit space to navigate.

♦ Free, stroller-friendly shuttles are provided from parking garages.

♦ If you don’t want to take a shuttle, park in Lot A or C.

♦ Wheelchairs and motorized vehicles for older family members can be rented on-site.

♦ Lockers and coat checks are available on-site.

♦ Diaper changing stations are located inside most bathrooms at McCormick Place.

♦ In addition to getting a driver’s license at the on-site DMV office, visitors will also be able to order vehicle stickers and license plates, handicap placards and sign up to be an organ/tissue donor.



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