April is in full swing and it’s showering us with fun! Gather the kids and get lost in a maze, stand amongst the butterflies at Peggy Notebaert or hop on over to Morton Arboretum for a new whimsical exhibit. Read on for our Editor’s picks on weekend fun with the fam. Grab your galoshes and ready, set, GO!
That’s Weird, Grandma: The Musical
Barrel of Monkeys is pleased to bring back That’s Weird, Grandma: The Musical, an all-musical revue featuring stories conceived and written by Chicago Public School students, adapted into songs and performed by Barrel of Monkeys Company Members. Sun., 2 p.m. Neo-Futurist Theater. $6/kids; $12/adults. 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. & noon; 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.
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.
Have a Sleepover with a T-Rex
The lights will dim as you explore the rituals of ancient Egyptian culture, guided by the light of your flashlight. Next, you prowl an African savannah with giraffes, hippos and man-eating lions. Take a break by playing games from around the world or looking at giant bugs from right in your backyard. Cap your night of exploration and adventure with cozy bedtime stories, before drifting off to dreamland in one of their amazing exhibits. Sat., 5:45 p.m.-Sun., 9 a.m. Field Museum. $65/person. Ages 6-12. 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.
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.
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. Sat., noon & 3 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m. Provision Theater Company. $15/adults; $10/ages 0-12. All ages. Event details.
Magic Tree House: A Night in New Orleans
Take your kids to a musical and watch beloved Magic Tree House characters, Jack and Annie, venture through the tuneful streets of 1915 New Orleans, where they discover 14-year-old Louis Armstrong and must set him on the trumpeting path to become the “King of Jazz.” This triumphant tale explores a world where possibilities are endless and stirs the soul of the Jazz Age. Sat. & Sun., 10 a.m. Broadway Playhouse. $15+/person. Ages 5+. 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.
Cinderella . . . After the Ball
Marriott Theatre presents Cinderella . . . After the Ball, which follows the story of Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty as they join Cinderella on her quest for a real happily ever after. Girl power abounds as the friends work to save the kingdom from the wicked Pinocchio. Fri.-Sun., 10 a.m. Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences. $17.23. All ages. Event details.
Washington Street Spring Market
What began as an experiment pop-up holiday market in downtown Naperville 4 years ago with 10 vendors is now a full-fledged upscale indoor flea with over 50 artisans. You’ll find booths packed full of vintage, handmade and repurposed furniture, jewelry, home accessories, clothing, soaps and much more. Kids will get a kick out of the Monkey Farts scented soap you can find at the Arrow Mattick booth. While you’re in the area, be sure to check out the shopping and dining Downtown Naperville has to offer. Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Naperville Central High School. $5. All ages. 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.
Welcome to the Hood: Giordano’s Schaumburg
Giordano’s is now bringing their famous deep-dish to Schaumburg with the opening of their newest location. The restaurant offers dine-in, carry-out and delivery services, as well as an expansive bar and a menu full of Giordano’s favorites Chicagoans can’t get enough of. Stop in and give them a warm welcome! Daily. Giordano’s Schaumburg. All ages. Event details.
Tell us how you plan to kick off Spring in the Comments below!
— Maria Chambers