Summer festivals. Japanese 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: Kid Fest at West Fest 



Ice Cream Social at The Red Balloon
Nothing shouts summer like an ice cream social and nothing’s better than filling the tummies with a cool treat to beat the heat. Grab your ticket for a FREE treat from the ice cream truck at The Red Balloon Co. in Lakeview. One ticket per person. Enjoy! Sat. Event details.

Lincoln Square

Family Fun @ Square Roots Fest
This fest gives you lots of reasons to twist and shout. From singing along with Little Miss Ann to a drum circle, this fest is perfect for families that love tunes. The “instrument petting zoo” is always a hit with curious kids and parents love checking out some of the best craft beers in the area. Sat. & Sun. Event details.

Navy Pier

Have an Explosive Night at Navy Pier’s Summer Fireworks 
Hold on to the 4th just a little by longer by taking the kids to experience the fireworks display synchronized to music at Navy Pier. Sat. 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! Kid Fest 2017 will feature train rides, bouncy houses, an inflatable obstacle course, pony rides, carnival games. The Kid Fest Stage will feature a fun family friendly lineup from a who’s who of Chicago’s children entertainers. Bonus: 100% of the proceeds raised by Kid Fest benefit Talcott Fine Arts and Museum Academy. Fri.-Sun. Event details.



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.


Nothing Says Summer Like Butterflies & Blooms
Fill your summer days with butterflies and blooms at Chicago Botanic Garden’s temporary exhibit where visitors can immerse themselves in a habitat filled with hundreds of winged beauties and pretty petals. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Hoffman Estates

Badass Dash
The Sears Centre Arena will host this world class obstacle course challenge and competitors will compete on a 7K course using the entire arena space, inside and out! The Kids Dash will include 2 different courses (400 yards & 1 1/2 miles) in order to accommodate two age brackets. Sat. Event details.


Japanese Game Day
What a great day to play at Morton Arboretum! Introduce your kids to games and make crafts inspired by Japanese culture. Afterwards, visit the temporary Origami in the Garden exhibit with a stunning tower of white cranes, a glorious winged horse a. Sat. & Sun. Event details.


All Aboard for a Day Out With Thomas
All aboard for a ride with Thomas & Friends®!. Little engineers are invited to spend a day with Thomas and his bestie Percy when they roll into Illinois Railway Museum. Besides a ride with their train pals, kids get to meet Sir Topham Hatt and enjoy a day of themed activities including arts and crafts, storytelling and more. Sat. & Sun. Event details.


3rd Annual Folk Fest
It’s always a good day to hang at Cantigny, and now it’s extra special! Join in for a family summer picnic with live music, artisans, food, games, children’s activities, American folk songs, jazz & blues, as well as Irish tunes. You’ll be so happy you took part in this good old-fashioned hootenanny. Sat. Event details.

For more ideas on how to spend your weekend, check out our Family Events Calendar.

Chat with us about how you’re going to spend your weekend in the Comments below!

— Maria Chambers