Lace up your comfy shoes because we’re going to keep you on the move! Be dazzled by a traveling circus show, kick off Oktoberfest season, roast marshmallows under the stars and so much more. Read on for ideas to pack fun into your weekend.

photo: courtesy of US Dept. of Agriculture via flickr



Have Big-Top Fun at Midnight 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. 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. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Garfield Park

An Educational Harvest Day to Remember
The autumn harvest is celebrated with a focus on the simple and sustainable steps that urban famers are taking as they keep bees, care for goats, make compost and harvest organic fruits and vegetables to feed their families — in the heart of the city. Sat. Event details.

Irving Park

Get the Scoop on Schools at NPN’s Preschool and Elementary School Fair
NPN’s annual Preschool & Elementary School Fair brings together 100 schools from all over the city under one roof. Browse the expo-style hall at your own pace, chat face-to-face with school reps from all over the city or take a breather in the Parents Lounge. Sat. Event details.


Make it a Cubs Kid Sundays at Wrigley
It’s always a beautiful day for a Cubs game, especially if it’s a Sunday afternoon home game. The Cubs celebrate their youngest fans with giveaways distributed at the gates and a chance to run the bases. Sun. Event details.

Lincoln Park

Celebrate a Cult Classic at Lebowski Fest
It began as a small fan gathering in Louisville, Kentucky, and became a wildly entertaining pop-culture phenomenon known worldwide. Celebrate 20 years of the cult-classic movie The Big Lebowski at Lebowski Fest Chicago: Movie Party. Fri. Event details.

West Loop

Make Story Time Special with Drag Queens
Make storytime lots of fun with Muffy Fishbasket and her Good Time Gals, reading some of their favorite children’s stories. Proceeds from the event support promoting education in schools for LGBTQIA+ youth. Sun. Event details.

Museum Campus

Get Free Admission at Shedd Aquarium
Illinois residents have free access to the original galleries at Shedd as well as discounted rates on other packages to experience sharks in the Wild Reef, and beluga whales, dolphins and sea lions in the Abbott Oceanarium. Fri.-Sun. Event details.



Create Memories at Shades of Autumn Festival
Take a little drive for more than 25 family friendly attractions at the Shades of Autumn Festival. You’ll find the traditional hayrides, pumpkin picking and petting zoo. But, the little ones will be wowed by the pumpkin cannon, hamster track, semi-truck slide, trikes for tikes, scrumptious apple cider donuts and so much more. Sat. & Sun. Event details.

Oak Park

Have Family Fun at Oaktoberfest
Take the traditional Oktoberfest to the next level with Oaktoberfest. This two-day event offers live music, a Kids’ Root Beer Garden, ninja obstacle course, zucchini car races, kid games and activities, and adult beverage and food offerings. Fri. & Sat. Event details.

Park Ridge

Soak up a Back to School Bash at Goldfish Swim School
Back to school doesn’t mean you have to put away your fins. Goldfish Swim School Park Ridge is throwing a back-to-school bash to celebrate another year of swimming, learning and fun. Swim on by for a good time! Fri. Event details.


Get the Kids in on the Oktoberfest Fun at Hofbräuhaus Chicago
In a grand dining hall packed with communal tables, you can get excited about a rotating array of European musicians that play oompah music on stage (brace yourself for the chicken dance) and kids’ parades and games. Come hungry for traditional german fare. Fri.-Sun. Event details.


Snooze Under the Stars at a Family Campout
Pitch a tent, roast marshmallows and sing songs around a campfire, while also participating in fun nighttime activities and a breakfast outdoors before heading home. Fri. Event details.

— Maria Chambers

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