Your only job this Labor Day weekend is to have a blast. With a city as great as ours, that won’t be hard. Off beat circuses in the park, one of the last firework displays of the summer at Navy Pier and partying in the streets of Naperville. Read our picks for the best events in town—then get out there and get to work finding the adventure.
photo: Cirque du Soleil’s LUZIA
IN THE CITY
Run Off and Join the Circus . . . In the Parks!
Chicago’s offbeat and totally entertaining circus takes its act on the road, performing in parks in all corners of the city — this week’s venue is Hamilton Park. The troupe does high-wire acts, juggling, clowning and acrobatics. It’s all for a good cause: The tour raises money to improve public parks and playgrounds. Sat. & Sun. Event details.
Strap on Your Apron for a Family Cooking Class
Kids work side-by-side with their parents (or grandparents!) to make and then enjoy a delicious meal. It’s the perfect combo of a fun activity, hands-on cooking instruction, a delicious dinner and recipes so you can recreate the dishes at home. Fri. Event details.
Gone, gone . . . Not Quite Yet, but Almost Gone: Aladdin!
Over 3 million people have seen Broadway’s Aladdin worldwide, and now it’s your turn to take that magic carpet ride! For just two more weekends in Chicago, 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! Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Watch in Amazement as Fireworks Explode Overhead
Keep the kids up a tad later to experience the fireworks display synchronized to music at Navy Pier — the last fireworks of the season, so it’s a must-do! Sat. Event details.
Near West Side
Last Chance to Experience Cirque du Soleil’s LUZIA
Discover LUZIA, the latest show by Cirque du Soleil. LUZIA is a poetic and acrobatic ode to the rich and vibrant culture of Mexico. Like in a waking dream, LUZIA takes you to an imaginary Mexico, where light quenches the spirit and rain soothes the soul. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Spend a Family Sunday with the Sox
The White Sox ballpark experience for kids will feature special kid-focused activities throughout the concourse and the opportunity to run the bases after games. Play ball! Sun. Event details.
IN THE ‘BURBS
Last Chance to See 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. You’ll find species native to South America, Asia, North America and Africa, as well as those native to Illinois. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Get Creative at Nature Nights: Colors from Nature
Pack a picnic dinner and spend an evening in the garden. Along with enjoying a tram ride and s’mores around the campfire, learn how to make natural dyes from plant materials, just the way Native Americans and early settlers did. As a bonus, you’ll take home a plant that has traditionally been used to make dye. Sat. Event details.
Bring Your Kids Into the Fold at Origami in the Garden
A stunning tower of white cranes ascending skyward. A glorious winged horse. A life boat suspended by bronze oars. Sounds like a dreamlike fantasy, but we can assure you it’s quite real. The Morton Arboretum’s newest temporary exhibit, Origami in the Garden, is inspired by the Japanese art of paper folding and it’s reams of wholesome fun. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Say Goodbye to Summer at Last Fling
Naperville has proven they’ve mastered the art of throwing the epic end-of-summer party with their Last Fling. Head west for this affair featuring national headlining artists (like Bare Naked Ladies!), a massive carnival and family friendly events and entertainment. Miranda May “Lou” of Disney Channel’s Bunk’d will be out and about for a fun meet and greet. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
For more ideas on how to spend your weekend, check out our Family Events Calendar. Oh, and don’t think fun is just reserved for the weekends. Read our story Get-Me-to-the-Weekend Countdown: Weedkay Summer Fun for our recommendations on making your Monday-Thursday just as glorious.
Chat with us about how you’re going to spend your weekend in the Comments below!
— Maria Chambers