Bid a sweet farewell to July and show August how we do fun in Chicago. Hit up Kidzapalooza at Lollapalooza, dance with the faeries in Elgin or whisk the kids away to Asia — but be back by bedtime. Read on for your guide to our favorite activities to explore with the fam.

photo: Kidzapalooza 


Grant Park

Rock Out at Kidzapalooza
Create a new family tradition of rocking out at Kidzapalooza, the music festival for kids within Lollapalooza. Fri.-Sun. Event details

Jefferson Park

Jeff Fest Arts & Musical Festival Kid Zone
Jefferson Memorial Park plays host to a three-day art and music fest known for cutting edge local and national acts across all genres. Fri.-Sun. Event details

Lincoln Park

Strike a Pose at the Bixbee Imagination Station
The Bixbee Imagination Station is an experiential popup and retail shop featuring an immersive, interactive experience for kids and the kid in you. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Museum Campus

Have a Bug Encounter at The Field Museum
Fantastic Bug Encounters is giving a peek into the hidden world of insects and spiders through interactives, larger-than-life models and a bug zoo where visitors can see (and even hold) live bugs. Fri.-Sun. Event details

Navy Pier

Watch Fireworks from the Pier
Keep the kids up a tad later to experience this fireworks display synchronized to music. Sat. Event details

Near North Side

Have a Picnic with Travelle at The Langham
Travelle knows Chicagoans want to soak up as much sun as possible, so they’re offering a chance to enjoy their food on the go. Grab a picnic basket and work on ticking sites and activities off your summer bucket list. Fri.-Sun. Event details



Enjoy Summer Nights at Brookfield Zoo
See the zoo in a new light with cooler evening temps at Summer Nights. Families are treated to roaming entertainers, live music, close-up animal encounters and a laser light show. Fri. & Sat. Event details.

Traverse a Brick Safari at Brookfield Zoo
Brookfield Zoo’s temporary exhibit, Brick Safari, features more than 40 life-size animal sculptures created from millions of LEGO bricks located along a winding, wooded path. Fri.-Sun. Event details.


Choo Choo! Get Your Train Fix at Model Railroad Garden
Experience the delightful sights and sounds of miniature trains traversing high and low tunnels, across bridges and around buildings at Chicago Botanic Garden. Fri.-Sun. Event details.


New! Nature Cat: Backyard and Beyond
Nature Cat: Backyard and Beyond features 4 distinct interactive learning areas modeled after episodes that encourage kids to learn about their natural environment and incorporate each TV character. Fri.-Sun. Event details


See How Nature Connects at Morton Arboretum
Enjoy a day built on fun at Nature Connects Art with LEGO Bricks. LEGO enthusiasts of all ages will be dazzled as they search for 15 larger-than-life, nature-inspired sculptures. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Attend the Destination Asia Festival
Spend a beautiful Chicago summer day exploring the diverse cultures of Asia through music, dance, food and more! Be sure to check out the tree collections from China, Japan and Korea — it’s an Arboretum, after all! Fri.-Sun. Event details

South Elgin

Daydream Your Way Through The World of Faeries Festival
Slip into your favorite fairy or fantasy outfit for Vasa Park’s 15th annual fairy festival. The weekend will include music, family activities and entertainment. Sat. & Sun. Event details.

— Maria Chambers


Pick a Flick! Outdoor Movies for Summer Nights

The Ultimate Summer Bucket List for Chicago Parents

A Family Guide to the Best Summer Festivals

. . . and check out our Events calendar for even more suggestions.