See ya later, snow! Hello, sunshine and warming temps! It’s no April fool’s gag when we say Chicago is bringing the fun this month. A visit from Sesame Street’s favorite residents, the start of a magical musical that will have you dreaming of a whole new world and an egg-cellent Easter event are just a few of the activities that make this month special. What else does the city have cookin’? Well, you’ll just have to read on to find out!

photo: Sesame Street Live

(1) Old Town School of Folk Music: Carnaval
Get ready for colorful costumes, the pandeiro, Brazilian guitar, fantastic footwork, a Brazilian percussion master, the “queen of the percussion” from Rio’s Carnaval, Brazilian folk music, and the popular circle dance, The Cirandland from Pernambuco! What a great way to spend an energetic Saturday.

When: April 1
Hours: 10 a.m.
Where: The Myron R. Szold Music & Dance Hall, 4545 N. Lincoln, Ravenswood
Cost: $7
Online: oldtownschool.org

(2) Jack and the Beanstalk: A Panto Adventure
Oh no! Princess Rose has been kidnapped by the Giant, Blunderbore. Oh my! Jack’s magical beans grew a gigantic beanstalk to the Giant’s castle in the sky. Can Jack climb the beanstalk and rescue the Princess? Or will she have to rescue him instead? Find out in this fun, interactive, gender-bending British Panto, suitable for all the family.

When: April 1, 8, 15 & 22
Hours: 1 p.m.
Where: Gorilla Tango Theatre, 1919 N. Milwaukee Ave., Bucktown
Cost: $15
Online: gorillatango.com

(3) Second Saturday Garden Tour
Join Lincoln Park Zoo’s Horticulture Department for a look at how they keep the grounds beautiful. Littles ones can take in budding blooms, and pick up a tip or two about helping Mom and Dad in the garden.

When: April 8
Hours: 10 a.m.-11 a.m.
Where: Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark St., Lincoln Park
Cost: Free
Online: lpzoo.org

(4) Sesame Street Live – Elmo Makes Music
When the new music teacher’s instruments go missing, Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Big Bird and more come to the rescue and discover instruments they never knew existed. Children learn that everyone can make and enjoy beautiful music together!

When: April 8 & 9
Hours: Sat., 10:30 a.m., 2 p.m. & 5:30 p.m.; Sun., 1 p.m. & 4:30 p.m.
Where: Sears Centre Arena, 5333 Prairie Stone Pkwy, Hoffman Estates
Cost: $21-$88
Online: searscentre.com

(5) Laura Doherty & the Heartbeats
Laura Doherty is a nationally touring children’s recording artist and award winning producer with an ear for a catchy melody. She’s been an award-winning children’s musician for over six years and she’s bringing her crowd-pleasing act to Wonder Works’ Lights! Camera! Action! stage.

When: April 9
Hours: 4 p.m.
Where: Wonder Works, 6445 W. North Ave., Oak Park
Cost:
$11/non-members; $8/members
Online: 
wonder-works.org

(6) Broadway in Chicago Presents Aladdin
Over 3 million people have seen the Aladdin worldwide, and now it’s Chicago’s turn to take that magic carpet ride! This thrilling production is filled with unforgettable beauty, magic, comedy and breathtaking spectacle. It’s an extraordinary theatrical event where one lamp + three wishes make the possibilities infinite!

When: Beginning April 11
Hours: Showtimes vary, check website
Where: Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St., Loop
Cost: $39+
Online: broadwayinchicago.com

(7) Easter Egg-Stravaganza at LPZ
Families with kids of all ages can hop over to the zoo for an Easter weekend celebration including a brunch buffet, photos with the Easter Bunny, multiple egg hunt waves for different age groups, musical entertainment, crafts, animal viewing, complimentary rides on the AT&T Endangered Species Carousel and more!

When: April 15
Hours: 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Where: Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark St. at South Lawn and Park Place Cafe, Lincoln Park
Cost: $19/adults; $39/ages 2-15; free for ages 1 & under
Online: lpzoo.org/events

(8) Earth Day Celebration
Celebrate Earth Day at this free community-wide event filled with family activities, nature walks, environmental exhibits and more.

When: April 15
Hours: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Where: Kent Fuller Air Station Prairie/Evelyn Pease Tyner Interpretive Center, 2400 Compass Rd., Glenview
Cost: Free
Online: glenviewparks.org

(9) Bunny Rock 5K & Egg Hunt
Lace up your kicks for the Seventh Annual Bunny Rock Chicago 5K and Kid’s Egg Hunt. This festive race is sure to bring lots of excitement and entertainment with 80’s rock music being played at the start and finish line, amazing amenities and an overall fun, spring-filled 5k! All 5K race participants will receive bunny ears, neon sunglasses, a Dri-Fit Unisex Bunny Rock t-shirt and a finisher medal!

When: April 15
Hours: 9 a.m.-11 a.m.
Where: Montrose Harbor, 601 W. Montrose Ave., Lakeview
Cost: $15-$35
Online: bunnyrock5k.com

(10) Last Chance! Celebrate China at Kohl’s Children’s Museum
Take an overseas adventure without ever leaving the Windy City! Kohl Children’s Museum’s temporary exhibit, Children’s China: Celebrating Culture, Character and Confucius, transports families to a country where a quickly changing modern lifestyle intersects with ancient values. It integrates the time-honored teachings of Confuscius with a focus on the importance of education and family values with six different immersive environments.

When: Thur Apr. 24
Hours: Mon., 9:30 a.m.-noon; Tues.-Sat., 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., noon-5 p.m.
Where: Kohl Children’s Museum, 2100 Patriot Blvd., Glenview
Cost: $12; free for children 12 months & under
Online: kohlchildrensmuseum.org

Big plans for April? Shout about it in the Comments below!

—Maria Chambers