Rest up for the weekend because we’re packing it full of fantastical fun. Thomas the Tank is rolling in with his pal Percy, Ninjago’s Wu-Cru is looking for allies at LEGOLAND and Morton Arboretum is celebrating all things herpetology. Read on and make your three-day bucket list.
photo: The World of Faeries Festival
IN THE CITY
Get the Scoop on Sweet Home Chicago
Discover why Chicago is known as “America’s candy capital” as the traveling exhibit, Sweet Home Chicago, makes a stop at the National Hellenic Museum. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Discover Math in Nature with a Mirror Maze
Discover how naturally fun math can be in a maze filled with mirrors that help kiddos unlock the beautiful symmetry of the natural world. Numbers in Nature: A Mirror Maze kicks things off with a film that presents how fractals, spirals and “golden ratio” are woven into our lives. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
From superheroes to undersea adventures, princesses to dinosaurs, Storytown takes you on an interactive, fully improvised adventure. The actors use audience suggestions and ideas to create a different story every week. Sat. Event details.
Kids Classic Cooking Series: It’s Summer!
It’s time for summer lovin’ and The Kids’ Table is here to show you how to make all those recipes from their Summer Camp series your kids will dig. Check their website for the weekly menu. Sat. Event details.
A Detective Game with Cat-titude
This interactive spy story provides the purrr-fect opportunity to show your little ones the mystery and excitement of live theatre. With the promise of pie and the smell of a rat close by, gather clues to help Three Little Kittens find their missing mittens. Sat. Event details.
Engage in Improvised Fun at ComedySportz
This hilarious 90-minute improv show has two competing teams creating comedy scenes, songs and games right on the spot based on audience suggestions. The audience chooses the winner and the show never repeats. Fri. & Sat. Event details.
Milk a Cow at Lincoln Park Zoo
Visit Farm-in-the-Zoo at Lincoln Park Zoo to see how a typical family farm combines rural life with modern technology to milk its Holstein dairy cows. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
See the Navy Pier Fireworks at 360 CHICAGO
Climb 94 floors above The Mag Mile to 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck to get a unique and unforgettable view of Navy Pier’s fireworks, happening every Wednesday and Saturday this summer. Sat. Event details.
Groove to Schoolhouse Rock Live!
Through unforgettable songs a nervous schoolteacher must discover how to charm his students through imagination and music on the first day of class. Based on the entertaining and educational Emmy Award-winning animated series, Schoolhouse Rock Live! brings the treasured Saturday-morning melodies of the ‘70s back in a hip new way. Sat. Event details.
Fitness at The Field
Grab a water bottle and a workout buddy for a series of free outdoor fitness classes at The Field Museum this summer! Fitness at The Field offers a variety of group fitness classes hosted by local gyms and studios, including kickboxing, yoga and zumba. Sun. Event details.
Race Cars in the Zoom Room
It’s a race to the finish at Zoom Room, Chicago Children’s Museum’s newest exhibit. Check out the twisting racecourse that fills an entire room with hundreds of toy cars that race on crazy tracks. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Hogwash: An Improvised Tall Tale
Fitting of its name, which means “nonsense”, the lack of structure of this improvised show makes it an absolute riot. Kids assist with costume selection and choose a location for the fully improvised story. Sat. Event details.
Foodie Adventure Series
The best childhood memories come from Summer Camp, right? No need to pack your sleeping bags for this one – The Kid’s Table has you covered. Join them for their summer camp’s favorite recipes. See their website for the weekly menu. Sat. Event details.
Challenger Sports’ British Soccer Camps
Spring soccer season is long gone and fall has yet to kick off, but don’t let those cleats get dusty this summer. Take some time this weekend to sign your kids up for Challenger Sports’ British Soccer Camp, where they’ll benefit from the efforts of hundreds of Challenger’s coaches who have developed one of the most innovative approaches to coaching youth soccer in the US. Week-long camps through Aug. 26. Event details.
IN THE ‘BURBS
Model Railroad Garden: Landmarks of America
Experience the delightful sights and sounds of miniature trains traversing high and low tunnels, across bridges and around buildings at the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Model Railroad Garden. The exhibit features 18 garden-scale trains on 1,600 feet of track with vignettes of tiny people and animals that give it a storybook feel. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Play with Butterflies at Chicago Botanic Garden
Come play with hundreds of colorful butterflies at the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Butterflies & Blooms. Enter the serene tropical habitat made up of beautiful flowers and hundreds of butterflies fluttering about. Sit still and they may just land on you. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Toys: The Inside Story at Kohl Children’s Museum
Learn what makes toys tick at Kohl Children’s Museum’s newest exhibit, Toys: The Inside Story. This temporary exhibit lets visitors take a peek inside some of the most recognizable toys to examine the linkages, pulleys, cams and circuits that make them irresistibly fun. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Get Up Close with Pollinators at Kohl Children’s Museum
Stretch your legs and enjoy the sights and sounds of summer at Kohl Children’s Museum’s newest addition, Pollinator Garden. Throughout the garden, placards will teach children and parents alike about the different plants and pollinators. Bonus: It’s located right outside the main entrance and will not require a ticket. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Fiesta Friday Pool Party
Make a splash and be treated to some cool entertainment during the Fiesta Friday Pool Party. Swimmers will be treated to fun water games every hour starting at 5:30 p.m., a DJ playing family-friendly hits and special concession deals like fiesta chicken and beef nachos. Fri. Event details.
Ribbit! The Exhibit Hops into Morton Arboretum
This spring and summer, hop over to The Morton Arboretum for Ribbit! The Exhibit, a whimsical collection of larger-than-life copper frog sculptures. The exhibit features 19 displays of five- to seven-foot-tall frogs taking part in a variety of activities. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Hooray for Herpetology
As part of Ribbit! The Exhibit, Lake View Nature Center is bringing live amphibians and reptiles for a visit. The exhibit features 19 displays of five- to seven-foot-tall frogs taking part in a variety of activities, including playing instruments, catching butterflies and meditating on a lily pad. Sat. Event details.
GlowJump at Pump It Up
The only thing better than jumping at Pump it Up is glowing at Pump It Up. Kids will have the time of their lives playing in the massive inflatables with special FX lighting that makes white clothing glow in the dark. Fri. Event details.
Capannari’s Concert in the Park
Join Capannari Ice Cream for a Concert in the Park. Bring a picnic dinner, lawn chair and your dancing shoes for a great night of music with friends! Sat. Event details.
Naperville Plays presents Make it Cool: Innovation and Play. As weather heats up and summer winds down, triple your fun with Naper Settlement, DuPage Children’s Museum and the Naperville Public Library. Discover the wonder of play and innovation with exhibits and hands-on activities centered on the cool activities of summer. Sat. Event details.
The Ninjago Wu-Cru is Coming to Chicago
The Wu-Cru needs allies! Become a Spinjitzu ninja master at the LEGO® Ninjago Wu-Cru Weekend at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center. The weekend’s activities will help Wu-Cru fans be just like Ninja Kai, Zane, Cole, and Jay! Special weekend activities include a ninja seeker scavenger hunt, meet-n-greet, master builder training, Ninjago factory tour, photo opps and giveaways. Sat. & Sun. Event details.
Day Out with Thomas
All aboard for the biggest Thomas & Friends® celebration to date, which commemorates the engine’s 70th birthday! Little engineers are invited to celebrate with Thomas and his bestie Percy when they roll into Illinois Railway Museum for A Day Out With Thomas. Take a ride with Thomas and Percy, meet Sir Topham Hatt and enjoy a day of themed activities including arts and crafts, storytelling and more. Sat. & Sun. Event details.
Tell us how you plan to spend your weekend in the Comments below!
— Maria Chambers