Oh boy, do you have a busy weekend ahead. We really packed your calendar full this time with Earth Day celebrations, new whimsical exhibits at Morton Arboretum, train play at Lambs Farm and so much more. Read on for our Editor’s picks for the best ways to explore with the fam.
photo: Hogwash: An Impoverished Tale
The Dream of America Guided 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. Sat., 1 p.m.-2 p.m. Swedish American Museum. $4/adults, $3/students, free for members. All ages. Event details.
Discover Math in Nature with a Mirror Maze
Discover how naturally fun math can be in a maze filled with mirrors that will help kiddies unlock the beautiful symmetry of the natural world. Numbers in Nature: A Mirror Maze kicks things off with a film that presents how fractals, spirals and “golden ratio” are woven into our lives. Then take a whirlwind trip through the mirrored maze of triangles, and race to find a secret room with even more math-tacular secrets inside. Fri.-Sun., 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Museum of Science and Industry. $18/adults; $11/children 3-11. All ages. Event details.
From superheroes to undersea adventures, princesses to dinosaurs, Storytown takes you on an interactive, fully improvised adventure. The actors use audience suggestions and ideas to create a different story every week. Sat., 10:30 a.m. Stage 773. $10. Ages 3-10. Event details.
A Detective Game with Cat-titude
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. Fri., 10 a.m.; Sat., 9 a.m. & 10:30 a.m. Sun., 10 a.m. Emerald City’s Little Theatre. $15; $8/children 1 & under. Ages 0-5. Event details.
Groove to Schoolhouse Rock Live!
Through unforgettable songs such as Just a Bill and Conjunction Junction, a nervous schoolteacher must discover how to charm his students through imagination and music on the first day of class. Based on the entertaining animated series, Schoolhouse Rock Live! brings the treasured melodies of the ‘70s back in a hip new way. Sat. & Sun., 1 p.m. Apollo Theater. $10-$20. Ages 3-13. Event details.
Engage in Improvised Fun at ComedySportz
This hilarious 90-minute improv show has two competing teams creating comedy scenes, songs and games right on the spot based on audience suggestions. The audience chooses the winner and the show never repeats. It’s clean, smart comedy – something hard to come by sometimes! Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 6 p.m. & 8 p.m. ComedySportz – CSz Theater. $23-$25. All ages. Event details.
The Kids’ Table: Spring Camp
Spring is springing – celebrate the season by exploring the wonderful world of herbs! Kids will cook up different herbilicious dishes each day, and plant seeds in newspaper pots to get the herb garden going at home. See their website for the daily menu. Fri., 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. The Kids’ Table Lakeview. Ages 4-10. $40/non-members; $36/members. Event details.
Kids Classic Cooking Series: Milk & Cookies
Join The Kid’s Table for a quintessential childhood treat – Milk & Cookies. (Dairy-free & gluten-free options available with advance notice.) Just when you think it couldn’t get any sweeter, each week they’ll be raffling off a Milk & Cookie Date with their neighbors, A Little Photo Studio! Sat., 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. The Kids’ Table Lakeview. Ages 4-10. $25/non-members; $22.50/members. Event details.
Foodie Adventure Series: Celebrity Chef Jill Houk
Master the art of soda-making with Chef Jill Houk, author of The Complete Soda-Making Book. Each week features a different delectable soda paired with a winning snack from Healthy Schools Campaign’s annual Cooking Up Change competition. Sat., 9 a.m.-10 a.m. (ages 4-6); noon-1 p.m. (ages 7-10). The Kids’ Table Lakeview. $25/non-members; $22.50/members. Event details.
Release the Butterflies!
Who doesn’t love butterflies? Experience their beauty as new butterflies are released daily at the Peggy Notebaert Museum’s Butterfly Haven exhibit. Daily, 2 p.m. Peggy Notebaert Museum. $9/adults; $6/ages 3-12; free for ages 2 & under. All ages. Event details.
Skippyjon Jones in the Cirque de Ole
Based on the best-selling book series, this tale of the imaginative feline and his Chihuahua pals will capture your child’s attention and take them on an adventure complete with daring circus tricks and endearing storylines. Sat., 10:30 a.m. The Apollo Theater. $15 & up. Ages 3 & up. Event details.
Mathemania at Chicago Children’s Museum
The Chicago Children’s Museum is doing math BIG — and small. Join them everyday during the months of March and April for different math activities calculated to inspire a love of math in every child. Highlights include tangrams and making your own play dough. Daily, 11:15 a.m. & 2:15 p.m. Navy Pier. $14; free for children under 1. All ages. Event details.
Earthfest at Adler Planetarium
Sometimes you don’t need to look beyond your backyard to realize space is freaking awesome. Join Adler Planetarium for Earthfest, a weekend-long party celebrating the planet we call home. From an Astronomy Slam, where astronomers go head-to-head to show their intelligence, to calming story times under the stars, the event has more than a little for everyone. Fri., 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Adler Planetarium. $12/adults; $8/ages 3-11. All ages. Event details.
Near North Side
Great Eats at the NEW Imperial Lamian
Imperial Lamian’s first U.S. location is now open! Schedule a sitter and check out their authentic, yet modern, Chinese cuisine with dishes prepared by three Master Chefs expertly trained in their individual crafts. Fri. & Sat., 5 p.m.-1 a.m.; Sun., 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Imperial Lamian. Adults. Event details.
Hogwash: An Improvised Tall Tale
Fitting of it’s name, which means “nonsense”, the lack of structure of this improvised show makes it an absolute riot. Kids assist with costume selection and choose a location for the fully improvised story. Sat., 10:30 a.m.-noon. Bug House Theatre. $10/kids; free for adults. Ages 3-12. Event details.
Love the Earth! Let’s Playdate at Sod Room
Love the Earth. Let’s playdate! Join Sod Playroom for an evening of live music by Sarah Jayne Lane, pizza and a book swap sponsored by Babies Tots n’ More Children’s Consignment Sale to keep things green! Fri., 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Sod Room. $25/One Adult & one child, $20/Extra Child, $7/Extra Adult. Ages 0-6. Event details.
The Kids’ Table: Spring Camp
Spring is springing – celebrate the season by exploring the wonderful world of herbs! Kids will cook up different herbilicious dishes each day, and plant seeds in newspaper pots to get the herb garden going at home. See their website for the daily menu. Fri., 1 p.m.-3 p.m. The Kids’ Table Wicker Park. Ages 4-10. $40/non-members; $36/members. Event details.
Foodie Adventure Series: Celebrity Chef Jill Houk
Master the art of soda-making with Chef Jill Houk, author of The Complete Soda-Making Book. Each week features a different delectable soda paired with a winning snack from Healthy Schools Campaign’s annual Cooking Up Change competition. Sat., 11 a.m.-noon. (ages 4-6); 12:30-1:30 p.m. (ages 7-10). The Kids’ Table Wicker Park. $25/non-members; $22.50/members. Event details.
All Aboard! For Train Day at Lambs Farm
Train lovers young and old, don your conductor’s hat and head to Lambs Farm for Train Day. Navigate a train engine and view model trains. Then take part in various train related activities. Choo, choo! Sat., 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Lambs Farm. Free-$4. All ages. Event details.
Ribbit! The Exhibit Hops into Morton Arboretum
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. Daily, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Morton Arboretum. $14/adults; $9/ages 2-17. All ages. Event details.
Earth Day at Golf Mill Shopping Center
Golf Mill Shopping Center is hosting “Kids Club: Earth Day” in Center Court. Participating children will learn about recycling and composting while creating Earth Day crafts and planting a keepsake herb garden with local landscaper, Rosborough Partners. Attendees go home with complimentary balloon art, music, goodie bags and more. Sat., 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Golf Mill Shopping Center. Free. Ages 10 & under. Event details.
The Awesome Just Got Awesome-r
LEGOLAND® Discovery Center has tapped into that great Second City pride with their famous MINILAND Chicago and lucky us, they’ve added more marvel-worthy Windy City landmarks to their LEGO Kingdom. Pencil in a date to check out the all-new Soldier Field, O’Hare airport, City Builder attraction and 4D movie experience. Fri., noon-7 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 10 a.m.-7 p.m. LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Chicago. $13.50+/person. All ages. Event details.
Dine by Candlelight at LYFE Kitchen
To celebrate Earth Day, LYFE Kitchen is turning off the lights at their Chicagoland locations from open to close. Enjoy eats from their delicious and nutritious menu and dine by the warm glow of candlelight. Support this initiative to do good for the environment by dining in or take advantage of their grab-and-go options. Fri., hour vary by location. LYFE Kitchen. Free. All ages. Event details.
Make it Epic at Toys “R” Us
Join participating Toys”R”Us locations to build and race Hot Wheels cars on an epic Hot Wheels track set. Rearrange the track and race again and again! Participants will take home a free Hot Wheels car. Sat., 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Chicagoland Toys “R” Us locations. Free. All ages. Event details.
Earth Day Kite Fly
Grab the kids and your kite and join us at Heritage Park for an Earth Day Celebration! This FREE event will include kite crafts, bubbles and lots of Springtime fun for the family!! Sat., 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Heritage Center – Oakbrook Terrace Park District. Free. All ages. Event details.
Tell us how you plan to spend your weekend in the Comments below!
— Maria Chambers