See ya later, snow! Hello, sunshine and warming temps! It’s no April fool’s joke when we say Chicago is bringing the fun this month. A Greek-themed overnight, the start of a whimsical frog exhibit and a touch-a-truck event for the vehicular obsessed are just a few of the events that take this month special. What else does the city have cookin’? Well, you’ll just have to read on to find out!
photo: Chicago Children’s Museum
(1) Mathemania at Chicago Children’s Museum
The Chicago Children’s Museum is doing math BIG — and small. Join them everyday during the month of April for different math activities calculated to inspire a love of math in every child. Highlights include tangrams and making your own play dough.
When: Everyday in April
Hours: 11:15 a.m. & 2:15 p.m.
Where: Chicago Children’s Museum, 700 E. Grand Ave., Navy Pier
Cost: $14, free for children under 1
(2) Last Chance to See Three Little Kittens
This interactive spy story provides the purrr-fect opportunity to show your little ones the mystery and excitement of live theatre. With the promise of pie and the smell of a rat close by, gather clues to help Three Little Kittens find their missing mittens and make new discoveries before Mother Cat comes slinking home.
When: Fri.-Sun. through May 1
Hours: Various show times, check calendar
Where: Emerald City’s Little Theatre, 2933 N. Southport Ave., Lakeview
Cost: $15, $8/children 1 & under
photo: Brookfield Zoo
(3) Go Blue for Autism Awareness with Brookfield Zoo
To bring awareness of one of the fastest-growing developmental disorders in the country, Brookfield Zoo is partnering with Autism Speaks for the annual Zoos Go Blue Campaign. To commemorate the day, the water in the zoo’s Roosevelt Fountain will be dyed blue and there will be blue flags decorating the park’s grounds. Throughout the day, there will be special activities for families who have children on the autism spectrum.
When: Apr. 2
Hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Brookfield Zoo, 3300 Golf Rd., Brookfield
Cost: $17.85/adults; $12.50/ages 3-11
photo: Morton Arboretum’s Ribbit! The Exhibit
(4) Be the First to See Ribbit! The Exhibit
This spring and summer, hop over to The Morton Arboretum for Ribbit! The Exhibit, a whimsical collection of larger-than-life copper frog sculptures. The exhibit features 19 displays of five- to seven-foot-tall frogs taking part in a variety of activities, including playing instruments, catching butterflies and meditating on a lily pad.
When: Beginning Apr. 8
Hours: Daily, 9 a.m-6 p.m.
Where: Morton Arboretum, 4100 IL Rte 53, Lisle
Cost: exhibit free with admission; $14/adults; $9/ages 2-17
photo: National Hellenic Museum
(5) Night at the Museum: Overnight on Olympus
National Hellenic Museum is inviting families for a Night (or late over) at the Museum. Activities for the evening include crafts, a greek dance class, mythology movie watching and creating, a flashlight tour of the museum, a Greek cookie demonstration and Greek snacks and light breakfast.
When: Apr. 15-Apr. 16
Hours: Fri., 7 p.m.-Sat., 10 a.m.
Where: National Hellenic Museum, 333 S. Halsted St., Greektown
Cost: $30/person (non-members), $25/person (members)
photo: SuperHero Smash
(6) Superhero Smash
Bring out your superhero for this super afternoon of games, crafts, snacks and fighting off evil-doers!
When: Apr. 16
Hours: 2 p.m.
Where: Eola Community Center, 555 S. Eola Rd., Aurora
Cost: $9 early registration; $12 regular registration
Get your truck fix at Glen Ellyn Park District’s annual Touch-a-Truck event. Truck-loving tots are invited to sit in, touch, discover and safely explore police cruisers, fire trucks and more! Mini truck aficionados will love the experience of pressing buttons, honking horns, climbing into different vehicles and meeting the men and women who drive them! Be sure to bring an empty aluminum can so you can watch it get crushed at a steamroller demonstration.
When: Apr. 16
Hours: 10 a.m.-noon
Where: Maryknoll Park, 845 Pershing Ave., Glen Ellyn
(8) Visit Heidi on Stage at Provision Theater for Young Audiences
Provision Theater Company’s Theater for Young Audiences will present a world-premiere adaptation of the literary classic Heidi. The sixty minute, family-friendly adaptation tells the story of a lively orphan girl who goes to live with her bitter grandfather in a little hut high in the Alps. This worthwhile performance reveals the transformative power of a little girl’s ability to shine light into the lives of everyone around her–even those with a crippled spirit
When: Saturdays and Sundays through Apr. 17
Hours: Sat., noon & 3 pm.; Sun., 3 p.m.
Where: Provision Theater Company, 1001 W. Roosevelt Rd., South Loop
Cost: $15/adults; $10/ages 0-12
photo: Lincoln Park Zoo
(9) Spring Break Camp at Lincoln Park Zoo
Join Lincoln Park Zoo on a spring break safari to Africa! Explore the ins and outs of habitats across Africa and get to know more about the amazing variety of animals that call these places home.
When: Apr. 18-Apr. 22
Hours: PreK-K: 9-11:30 a.m. or 12:30-3 p.m.; 1st-4th graders: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Where: Lincoln Park Zoo, 2100 N. Clark St., Lincoln Park
Cost: Half-day $168/week; Full-day $335/week
(10) The Dream of America Guided Exhibit Tour
Dive into the history of Swedish immigration to Chicago with this guided tour of the Swedish American Museum’s permanent exhibit, The Dream of America. Uncover the stories of real immigrants like Karl Karlsson, who left Sweden with his family in 1893, or Elin and Birgitta Hedman, who made the journey in 1924. Learn about what awaited the millions who came to America via Ellis Island and what life was like in Swedish neighborhoods then and now.
When: Apr. 23
Hours: 1 p.m.-2 p.m.
Where: Swedish American Museum, 5211 N. Clark St., Andersonville
Cost: $4/adults, $3/seniors & students, free for members
What’s on your family agenda for April. We’d love to hear all about it in the Comments below!
— Maria Chambers