Did you rock September? Excellent. Welcome October with a bang at events full of fall fun, tickle a stingray or two, sneak in adult time while the kids get all science-y and more! Read on to find our Editor’s fail-proof picks for loving the family life this weekend.

Science Night Out: Glow-in-the-Dark Sciencephoto: The Laboratory



Science Night Out: Glow in the Dark
While parents sneak in a night out, kids spend their night with The Laboratory. The evening includes a pizza dinner, unique hands-on science activities and the movie Frankenweenie. Just in time for Halloween, experience the science of how things glow-in-the-dark through phosphorescence and chemiluminescence. Fri. Event details.

Grant Park

Watson Adventures’s Wizard School Scavenger Hunt for Potter Fans
Follow in the footsteps of young wizards on a field trip to the Art Institute of Chicago, in search of art that echoes characters, places and enchanted objects in the famed Harry Potter series. Be prepared to track down flying owls, Hagrid-like giants, dragons that seem straight out of the Triwizard Tournament and eerie figures as scary as any Death Eater or Dementor. Sat. Event details.

Irving Park

Come One, Come All! 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. Sat. & Sun. Event details.


Little Miss Ann After School Kids Concert
Veteran Old Town School of Folk Music instructors, Little Miss Ann and fiddler, Anna J, are kicking off your Friday the right way! With a bit of music and tons of fun. Little Miss Ann will inspire your kids with her upbeat, down-to-earth kids music. After you dance, sing, clap, and stomp together, your family can also enjoy food and beverage at the cafe. Fri. Event details.

Millennium Park

Red Bull Illume Chicago 2016
Kicking off the fourth edition of their exhibit tour in North America, Chicago’s Wrigley Square, located in Millennium Park, is the ideal place to showcase the finalist of the Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2016. The light boxes will stand side-by-side with the famous Millennium Monument and be a stone’s throw away from the famous Chicago Bean. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Museum Campus

Pet a Stingray at Shedd Aquarium’s Stingray Touch
Get up close and personal with stingrays at the Shedd Aquarium’s Stingray Touch exhibit. Dip your hand into a shallow tropical pool to find out what a stingray feels like. Feel their unique texture as they glide through the water in Shedd’s first outdoor environment. Fri.-Sun. Event details.



Woodland Survivor Campout
Camp in beautiful woodlands and experience the independence of wilder places. Hands on instruction constructing a natural shelter, fire-building, tracking and wild edible plants as in season. Sat. Event details.


Siegel’s Farm Pumpkin Fest
Siegel’s Farm welcomes families to harvest family memories at the annual Pumpkin Fest, Affordable Fun on the Farm®. General admission tickets include more than 30 attractions. New attractions feature Kaden’s Birdie Barracks (a 4th playland) and Kiddie Zip Line. Fri.-Sun. Event details.


Oktoberfest Invades the ‘Burbs
Enjoy traditional German music, beer and cuisine under a huge heated tent with family-friendly activities at Naper Settlement. Sat. Event details.


Hofbräuhaus Chicago Oktoberfest
The sister location to the legendary original in Munich is surprisingly family friendly on weekend afternoons. 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). There are also kids’ parades and games, and you might even see an aplhorn, a long horn used by Swiss mountain dwellers. Come hungry for traditional german fare. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

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

Tell us how you plan to spend your weekend in the Comments below!

— Maria Chambers