Say it isn’t so! The last weekend of August is upon us. Time to kick enjoying your Chicago summer into high gear. This won’t be hard with a family circus that’s popping up all over town, an old school drive in movie and a Family Fun Fest at Millennium Park. Read on to hear our Editor’s picks for family fun heading into September.

photo: Midnight Circus in the Parks


Lincoln Park

Matt Lampson Teams up with Glazed & Infused
Chicago Fire keeper, Matt Lampson, will take over the counter at Glazed and Infused for a good cause! Matt and his teammates will be serving up doughnuts and 50% of the event’s total sales will be donated to LampStrong Foundation, a non-profit founded by Matt with a goal to positively influence the lives of those battling cancer and encourage survivors and their families to make the most of their second chance. Sat. Event details.


Get Creative with Photography
Visitors are invited to the Museum of Contemporary Photography for Family Day, a day designed for all ages. Guests can participate in hourly tours designed for young learners and are invited to dive more into photography through interactive creative activities like photo collage, a photo scavenger hunt and more. Sat. Event details.

Millennium Park

The Best Fest is a Family Fun Fest
Millennium Park’s Family Fun Festival is back with a full lineup of interactive activities, sing-a-longs, delightful story times and arts and crafts for kids of all ages. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Navy Pier

Watch in Amazement as Fireworks Explode Overhead
Keep the kids up a tad later to experience the fireworks display synchronized to music at Navy Pier — one of the last fireworks of the season! Sat. Event details.

Near West Side

Reimagine Mexico with Cirque du Soleil’s LUZIA
Discover LUZIA, the latest Big Top show by Cirque du Soleil. LUZIA is a poetic and acrobatic ode to the rich and vibrant culture of Mexico. Like in a waking dream, LUZIA takes you to an imaginary Mexico, where light quenches the spirit and rain soothes the soul. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Portage Park

Spend a Night with Smalls in The Sandlot
Who can’t quote at least one line from The Sandlot? No? You’re killing me, Smalls! Take a night to introduce your kids to a classic in a very old school way – at Six Corners Association’s Drive-In Movies. Drive up or throw down a blanket and tune in for a movie that’ll soon be a family favorite. Sat. Event details.


Run Off and Join the Circus . . . In the Parks!
Chicago’s offbeat and totally entertaining circus takes its act on the road, performing in parks in all corners of the city  — this week’s venue is Gately Park. The troupe does high-wire acts, juggling, clowning and acrobatics. It’s all for a good cause: The tour raises money to improve public parks and playgrounds. Sat. & Sun. Event details.

West Loop

Dig for Treasure at Randolph Street Market
While you search for vintage and unique finds, kids can bury themselves in the excitement of the Kids FunFair and Pirate Arcade.  Young shoppers can enjoy a day of pirate-themed carnival games, a petting zoo and work their way through a treasure map and activity sheet they’ll find at the front gate. Sat. & Sun. Event details.

Wicker Park

Strap on Your Aprons for a Family Cooking Class
Kids work side-by-side with their parents (or grandparents!) to make and then enjoy a delicious meal. It’s the perfect combo of a fun activity, hands-on cooking instruction, a delicious dinner and recipes so you can recreate the dishes at home. Fri. Event details.


Spend a Family Sunday with the Sox
The White Sox ballpark experience for kids will feature special kid-focused activities throughout the concourse and the opportunity to run the bases after games. Play ball! Sun. Event details.



Gather the Train Lovers for Model Railroad Garden: Landmarks of America
Experience the delightful sights and sounds of miniature trains traversing high and low tunnels, across bridges and around buildings at the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Model Railroad Garden. The exhibit features 18 garden-scale trains on 1,600 feet of track with vignettes of tiny people and animals that give it a storybook feel. Fri.-Sun. Event details.


Bring Your Kids Into the Fold at Origami in the Garden
A stunning tower of white cranes ascending skyward. A glorious winged horse. A life boat suspended by bronze oars. Sounds like a dreamlike fantasy, but we can assure you it’s quite real. The Morton Arboretum’s newest temporary exhibit, Origami in the Garden, is inspired by the Japanese art of paper folding and reams of wholesome fun. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

For more ideas on how to spend your weekend, check out our Family Events Calendar. Oh, and don’t think fun is just reserved for the weekends. Read our story Get-Me-to-the-Weekend Countdown: Weedkay Summer Fun for our recommendations on making your Monday-Thursday just as glorious.

Chat with us about how you’re going to spend your weekend in the Comments below!

— Maria Chambers