You’ve been waiting to spring into action. Here’s your chance. It’s the first weekend of the new season and there are tons of family activities to put you in a sunny state of mind, from a kindie folk-rock concert to a massive egg hunt. On your marks, get set … please don’t snow.
The Dreamtree Shakers
The local kindie rock band lets it rip in honor of its new CD, Big Top Tent. Jangly alt-folk songs are about the power of imagination and joys of the animal world (we love “Oregano the Ostrich” and “Pippa the Penguin”). Band members use puppetry to create colorful, engaging tableaux on stage, and dancing is a given. It’s just the ticket to get Mr. Antsypants tuckered out for naptime. At Old Town School of Folk Music. Mar. 23 at 11:00 am. Tickets are $12. Event details.
Food: The Nature of Eating
A museum exhibit about where our food comes from is just what your little snack monster ordered. This new addition to Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum takes you on a culinary journey, from land to market to plate. Start by hopping aboard a replica of a 19th-century John Deere hand plow and blaze through a re-creation of native Illinois prairieland. You’ll discover current and age-old family traditions that revolve around food cultivation, see a life-sized taxidermy bison, and walk through a model of the iconic Union Stockyard Gates. Opens Mar. 23. Hours are Mon.-Fri., 9:00 am-5:00 pm; Sat. & Sun., 10:00 am-5:00 pm. Museum admission $9 for adults; $6 for children 3-12; free for children under 3. Event details.
Monkeys, Apes & Me
Get ready to go bananas. You’ll join gibbons, gorillas and more at this interactive program, at which animal experts explain what makes humans similar and different from primates. Don’t be afraid to ape a monkey’s behavior; activities include fishing for termites. At Lincoln Park Zoo. Mar. 23 at 9:00 am & 1:00 p.m. Appropriate for first and second graders. Tickets are $24 or $20 for members. Event details.
The largest free candy grab in Chicago cuts kids loose on an egg hunt across Soldier Field. Before the event, enjoy breakfast and photos with the bunny at United Club. Through it all, a spring festival in the South Courtyard features huge inflatables, face painters, a balloon artist and more. Last one there is a rotten … you know. Held Mar. 23. Breakfast is from 8:30 am – 10:00 am and is $17.50 for adults, $12 for children under 10 and free for children under 3. Candy grab is at 10:00 am and is free. Event details.
Kids Origami Class
Get drawn into the fold of an ancient art at a charming Humboldt Park studio. Students learn basic techniques to transform brightly colored sheets of paper into finished sculptures. Expect paper cranes, cubes and other small wonders. At One Strange Bird. Mar. 23 at 4:00 pm. Appropriate for ages 4-11. Class fee is $25. Event details.
Maple Syrup Festival
You love it on pancakes. Now see how it’s made. The annual festival shows off how maple syrup is made, from tree tapping to sap collecting to boiling it all down to syrup. You’ll also take a walk through the sugar bush, hear storytellers and warm yourself by the fire. And let’s not forget the tastings. At North Park Village Nature Center. Mar. 23 & 24 from 10:00 am-3:00 pm. Free. Event details.
What are you doing with the kids this weekend?
— Kelly Aiglon
Photo: Courtesy of The Dreamtree Shakers