We’re on the last leg of summer break, but we’re not going down without a fight. Pack August full of soccer balls, faeries, amphibians, WWE superstars, thrill-seeking and so much more! Check out our Editor’s picks for kicking off Summer in the Windy City.

photo: courtesy of MLS

(1) Chicago Fire Hosts MLS All Star Week
So many activities will lead up to the colossal all-star game between MLS All Stars and Real Madrid on Wednesday, August 2, you won’t even believe it. From soccer on the beach to a free concert with X Ambassadors, it’s going to be incredible. See website for a complete schedule of events and read our story on more ways to get enjoy our hometown team.

When: July 29-August 2
Hours: Times vary by event, check schedule
Where: Activities at Soldier Field, North Avenue Beach, Northerly Island, The Private Bank Fire Pitch and Gage Park
Cost: Most events are free; game day tickets $80+
Online: mlssoccer.com

(2) Enjoy Your Day & Summer Nights at Brookfield Zoo
See Brookfield Zoo in a new light with cooler evening weather at Summer Nights.  Families are treated to roaming entertainers, live music on the kid’s stage, close-up animal encounters and a laser light show, all surrounded by the intrigues of the zoo.

When: Fridays & Saturdays thru August 12
Hours: 4 p.m.-9 p.m.
Where: Brookfield Zoo, 8400 W. 31st St., Brookfield
Cost: $19.85/adults; $14.50/ages 3-11; free for 2 & under
Online: czs.org

 

photo: courtesy of Kidzapalooza via Lindsey Moringy (C3Presents Marketing)

(3) Rock Out at Kidzapalooza
Create a new family tradition of rocking out at Kidzapalooza, the music festival for kids within Lollapalooza. Get inspiration for your own songs as you dance and sing to some of your favorite kindie musicians, and craft your own “masterpieces” at the arts and crafts tables. You’ll also find skateboarding demos, hip hop workshops and a music video tent.

When: August 3-6
Hours: Daily, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Where: Grant Park, 337 E. Randolph St., The Loop
Cost: Kids 10 & under free
Online: lollapalooza.com/kidzapalooza

(4) Hands-On Fun at Chicago Botanic Garden
Wander the gardens and natural areas that make up the Chicago Botanic Garden and get your hands dirty at the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden for engaging, hands-on activities. Kids will learn how plants grow and what animals you might find in the garden. Activities vary from each week, from pollinating flowers to building a bird nest.

When: Thru August 27
Hours: Daily, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe
Cost: Admission is free; $25/car on weekdays, $30/car weekends
Online: chicagobotanic.org

 

photo: courtesy of Morton Arboretum

(5) Destination Asia Festival at Morton Arboretum
Spend a beautiful Chicago summer day exploring the diverse cultures of Asia through music, dance, food and more! Be sure to check out the tree collections from China, Japan and Korea — it’s an Arboretum, after all!

When: August 4-6
Hours: Fri., 6 p.m.-9 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Morton Arboretum, 4100 IL. Rte. 53, Lisle
Cost: Free with admission
Online: mortonarb.org

(6) The World of Faeries Festival 
Come dressed in your favorite fairy or fantasy outfit for Vasa Park’s 13th annual fairy festival. The weekend will include music, family activities and entertainment.

When: Aug. 5 & Aug. 6
Hours: Sat., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Vasa Park, 35W217 Route 31, South Elgin
Cost: $11; Free for ages 12 & under
Online: theworldoffaeries.com

(7) Naperville Plays! and Sheep Sunday
Naperville Plays presents Sheep Sundays. As weather heats up and summer winds down, triple your fun with Naper Settlement, DuPage Children’s Museum and the Naperville Public Library. Families will enjoy a fun afternoon of sheepherding demonstrations, animal tales and hands-on activities with animals in mind.

When: August 6
Hours: 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville
Cost: $12/adult; $10/senior; $8/ages 4-12; Free for Naperville residents(with ID) & members
Online: napersettlement.org

 

 

(8) Retro on Roscoe
Trip back in time at the 21st annual Retro on Roscoe street festival. Have fun at this family favorite as your kiddos rock out to bands on the family stage, bounce in inflatables or create artistic masterpieces. Car and motorcycle fanatics love the classic cars at every turn, and the ‘80s music from six stages is the perfect beat for taking in it all.

When: August 11-13
Hours: Fri., 5 p.m.-10 p.m., Sat. & Sun., noon-10 p.m.
Where: Roscoe St. & Damen Ave., 2000 W. Roscoe St., Roscoe Village
Cost: Suggested donation of $10/person
Online: starevents.com

photo: courtesy of Chicago Air & Water Show

(9) Thrills Abound at Chicago’s Air & Water Show
Get ready for another spectacular show as the much anticipated 59th Annual Chicago Air and Water Show is here! Watch as daredevils rev up their engines and take to the sky with a howlin’ roar. See them twist and turn at lightning speed as they zoom across the sky. And see the amazing feats on the water. Bring a blanket or towel and head to the beach, anywhere from Fullerton Avenue to Oak Street Beach with North Avenue Beach being the focal point. Grab your spot as they go fast!

When: August 19 & 20
Hours: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Where: Lincoln Park/Gold Coast, Fullerton/North Avenue Beach/Oak Street Beach
Cost: Free
Online: cityofchicago.org

(10) Millennium Park’s Family Fun Fest
Millennium Park’s Family Fun Festival returns for a summer of interactive activities, sing-a-longs, delightful story times, and arts and crafts for kids of all ages. Check the schedule for a full list of exciting activities.

When: Thru August 24
Hours: Daily, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Where: Millennium Park, Chase Promenade North, 201 E. Randolph Ave., Grant Park
Cost: Free
Online: cityofchicago.org

What’s on your family agenda for August. We’d love to hear all about it in the Comments below!

— Maria Chambers