Summer festivals. Baseball games. Warm nights at the zoo. It doesn’t get much better than this. Get in on the fun this weekend at family events around town. Your first stop: Kid Fest at West Fest, the ultimate fest-within-a-fest. Have a blast, Chicago!

photo: courtesy of Donnie Ray Jones via flickr

IN THE CITY

Hyde Park

The Science Behind Pixar at MSI
We all have a favorite Pixar movie. Whether it be Toy Story, Inside Out or A Bug’s Life, Museum of Science and Industry is giving you an in-depth, immersive look at the Pixar process of creating these instantly classic films. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Mag Mile

Sunday Funday at 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck
Sure, sleeping ’til noon on a Sunday is swell, but what’s even better is 360 CHICAGO’s Sunday Funday. Infuse a little excitement into your life by taking the family to the 94th floor for a little magic, a little music and a whole lot of amazing Chicago views. Sun. Event details.

Millennium Park

Millennium Park Family Fun Fest
Millennium Park’s Family Fun Festival is back with a summer of interactive activities, sing-a-longs, delightful story times, and arts and crafts. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Navy Pier

Summer Fireworks at Navy Pier
Keep the kids up a tad later to experience the fireworks display synchronized to music at Navy Pier. Sat. Event details.

Near West Side

International Festival of Life
Celebrate 50 years of Reggae music and salute Chicago’s founding father, Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable Bicentennial at the 26th Annual  African/Caribbean International Festival of Life. Fri-Sun. Event details.

West Town

Kid Fest at West Fest
Kid Fest at West Fest, West Town’s signature summer festival, is the ultimate fest-within-a-fest, featuring train rides, bouncy houses, an inflatable obstacle course, live music, pony rides and carnival games. Sat. & Sun. Event details.

Wrigleyville

Cubs Kids Sunday
It’s always a beautiful day for a Cubs game, especially if it’s a Sunday afternoon home game against the Cincinnati Reds. The Cubs celebrate their youngest fans with giveaways and a chance to run the bases post-game. Sun. Event details.

IN THE ‘BURBS

Brookfield

Enjoy Your Day and Summer Nights at the 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. Fri & Sat. Event details.

Hoffman Estates

Northwest Fourth-Fest
Don’t miss out on the 5-day fest that also happens to be the largest Fourth of July celebration in the area, featuring over 40 carnival rides, food and drink tents, an arts and crafts fair, diaper derby, face painting, balloon animals, pony rides, a parade, live music and (of course!) fireworks. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Lisle

Troll Takeover at Morton Arboretum
Something special is emerging from the vast open spaces at the Arboretum . . . Trolls with an environmental message, each made of reclaimed wood and measuring 15- to 20-feet-tall. Take a stroll and see if you can seek them hiding in the trees. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Naperville

Savor the Food and Fun at Ribfest
There’s a reason why this annual, finger-licking extravaganza of BBQ is so popular: Grillers come from all over the country to dish their ‘cue and compete for the festival title. The Family Area is a fest unto itself with a petting zoo, magic shows, inflatables and more. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Rosemont

Chicago Dogs Home Games
There’s a new baseball team in town and they’re paying homage to Chicago’s favorite street food, HOT DOGS! Post-game fireworks and autographs, $3 bottomless popcorn and an opportunity to play catch on the field make the three game weekend a must-do. Fri.-SunEvent details.

— Maria Chambers

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. . . and check out our Events calendar for even more suggestions.