Oooops, we did it again — we packed your calendar to the max. Better rest up for a weekend jammed with fun. The Arbor Day celebrations continue through the weekend, there’s more stage shows than you’ll know what to do with and your truck lovers can get their hands on the coolest things on wheels. Read on for our Editor’s picks for showing May how quality family time is done.
photo: Morton Arboretum Arbor Day Celebration
Discover Math in Nature with a Mirror Maze
Discover how naturally fun math can be in a maze filled with mirrors that help kiddos 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. 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.
Kid Classic Cooking Series: Pasta Palooza
Kids love noodles and The Kids’ Table is giving them what they want – in all different shapes and sizes! Check the website for the weekly menu of yummy! Sat., 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. The Kids’ Table Lakeview. $22.50/members; $25/non-members. Ages 4-10. 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. 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. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 6 p.m. & 8 p.m. ComedySportz – CSz Theater. $23-$25. All ages. 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. Fri., 10:15 a.m.; 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. Daily, 11:15 a.m. & 2:15 p.m. Navy Pier. $14; free for children under 1. 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.
Foodie Adventure Series: Green City Market Chefs
Join The Kids’ Table for a scrumptious sampling of local and seasonal dishes featured in The Green City Market Cookbook, a collection of recipes gathered from their community of Chicago chefs, farmers, volunteers & customers. Fri. & Sat., check website for times. The Kids’ Table Lakeview & Wicker Park. $22.50/members; $25/non-members. Ages 4-10. Event details.
Play Minecraft in a Movie Theatre
Now your family can play Minecraft in select movie theatres across Chicago with Super League Gaming. In this four-week series, Super League brings together gamers of all ages for a fun, social, face-to-face gameplay experience on the big screen with superhero themed maps and mods in a custom Minecraft adventure called, Rise of Heroes. Sat.; check website for times. Various Chicagoland movie theaters. All ages. Event details.
Welcome Smack Shack to Chi-Town
Started as a food truck in Minneapolis in 2010, Smack Shack has chosen Chicago to drop anchor for their second location. Lucky us! Check out their new location in the Fulton Market area, where they’ll be serving up their famous lobster rolls, lobster mac & cheese, corn on the cob, shrimp, oysters! Open daily. Smack Shack. All ages. Event details.
11th Annual Touch-a-Truck Event
Join Kohl Children’s Museum at their 11th annual Touch-a-Truck event! Kids and adults alike will be able to touch and even climb aboard many super-sized vehicles in a safe environment. There will be food, kiddie train rides, music, raffles and other fun activities for the whole family. Sun., 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Ravinia. $40/family (up to 6 people). 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. Daily, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Morton Arboretum. $14/adults; $9/ages 2-17. All ages. Event details.
Dress Like a Tree for Arbor Day
What better way to celebrate Arbor Day than to dress like a tree. And when you do, you get in free at Morton Arboretum. While there, enter the Tree-riffic Kids’ Costume Contest happening in the Arbor Court at 10:30 a.m. At 11 a.m., enjoy a group reading of Curious George Plants a Tree and participate in the planting of a tree. Fri., 7 a.m.-sunset. Morton Arboretum. $14/adult; $9/children 2 – 17; Free if dressed as tree or a child 1 & under. All ages. Event details.
Weekend Long Arbor Day Celebration at Morton Arboretum
Celebrate Arbor Day in the Children’s Garden all weekend long! Plant tree seeds, munch on tree cookies and go on a hunt for five unique trees. Fri.-Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Morton Arboretum. $14/adults; $9/ages 2-17; free for ages 1 & under. All ages. Event details.
Fitness for Charity Bootcamp with Justin Reich
This one’s for the parents! Join former Bachelorette contestant, Justin Reich, and Acceleration Sports Performance in an intense, high energy fitness bootcamp! Sun., 9 a.m.-10:15 a.m. Justin Reich at Acceleration Sports Performance. $20. Event details.
Monica + Andy Pop-Up
Monica + Andy is bringing city cool to Oakbrook Center for one month. Expect to see their signature high quality, durable and beautifully designed clothing, accessories and bedding in the new short-term space, adjacent to Crate & Barrel. Fri. & Sat., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monica + Andy Oakbrook. Prices vary. All ages. Event details.
Family Spring Fling!
Dress up for a night of dancing, music, crafts, open play and welcoming Spring at Odyssey Play Place’s Spring Fling. Remember to wear socks and feel free to bring your own peanut free food. Fri., 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Odyssey Play Place. $5; free for non-crawlers. Ages 0-6. 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.
Tell us how you plan to spend your weekend in the Comments below!
— Maria Chambers