Holiday breaks from school bring happiness to students, but they can mean headaches for working parents. As much as mom and dad might like to take a break from work and hang out with the kiddos, duty calls. So what to do to make sure their school-age children are active and entertained when they can't stay home alone?

The St. Charles Park District's "No School Day Field Trips" program has been a long-running, life-saving solution to many a working parent's holiday dilemma. And with the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday breaks quickly approaching, both parents and students will be delighted with the fun-filled line-up of both traditional favorite destinations and new activities to enjoy.

The three-day Thanksgiving break, from Monday, November 20 through Wednesday, November 22, features travels far and wide, from downtown St. Charles to the city of Chicago. The ever-popular Shedd Aquarium trip on Monday, November 20, lets students explore the aquarium and Wild Reef exhibits before seeing the dolphin show, while the trip to Brookfield Zoo on Wednesday, November 22, shows students just how active the lions, tigers, bears and other Brookfield critters can be at this time of year. In between, on Tuesday, November 21, kids can explore their creative side with a take-home canvas painting session at All Things Art Studio on West Main Street in St. Charles. For all three excursions, students are encouraged to bring their own sack lunch.

When Christmas rolls around, two new hot spots joins popular favorite attractions to make sure the holidays are indeed merry and bright. Kids can play Pac-man-themed arcade games or go bowling at Level 257 at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg on Wednesday, December 27 or strap on a pair of roller skates at Aurora Skate Center after a make-your-own pizza lunch at Luigi's Pizza Fun Center on Friday, December 29. A behind-the-scenes tour of historic Soldier Field and lunch at Rainforest Caf?s a great city holiday excursion scheduled for Thursday, December 28. And if the starry skies capture a child's attention, then the trip to the Adler Planetarium on Wednesday, January 3, will have them over the moon. The game is definitely afoot on the final two field trips of the Christmas break. Kids can try their hand at more than 200 arcade games at Gameworks in Schaumburg on Thursday, January 4 or go bowling or play laser tag at Brunswick Zone XL on Friday, January 5.

As always, transportation, chaperoned supervision and admission costs to all venues are included in the registration fee for each individual trip. Some even include lunch while others request that students bring a sack lunch to enjoy on their own. Trips depart from and return to Pottawatomie Community Center. Extended care before and after trip times is available beginning as early as 6:30 AM and running until 6 PM through the park district's Baker Station Before the Bell and After School programs. "No School Day" participants do not need to be an existing Baker Station registrant to take advantage of these care options.

For more information or to register for any or all of the No School Day field trips, contact Cheryl Riley, Recreation Supervisor, at 630-513-4331.