Your only job this Labor Day weekend is to have a blast. With a city as great as ours, that won’t be hard. Off beat circuses in the park, one of the last firework displays of the summer at Navy Pier and partying in the streets of Naperville. Read our picks for the best events in town—then get out there and get to work finding the adventure.

photo: Midnight Circus in the Parks


Mag Mile

Have a Sunday Funday at 360 CHICAGO
Sure, sleeping ’til noon on a Sunday is swell, but what’s even better is 360 CHICAGO’s Sunday Funday. Infuse a little excitement into your life by taking the family to the observation deck on the 94th floor for a little magic, a little music and a whole lot of amazing Chicago views. Sun. Event details.

McKinley Park

Come One, Come All! Midnight 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. 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.

Museum Campus

Free Admission Day at Adler Planetarium
Visit Adler where you’ll see stars even on the sunniest day, aspiring astronauts can discover a new planet in the Planet Explorers exhibit and kids take the helm in a modern-day space adventure and climb, crawl, play and learn what it takes to be a part of a space mission. Fri. Event details.

Navy Pier

Last Chance! Lose Yourself in Thought as Fireworks Explode Overhead
Keep the kids up a tad later to experience the fireworks display synchronized to music at Navy Pier. Sat. Event details.


Family Sundays are Best 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 game. Play ball! Sun. Event details.

Various Locations

Start the Day with a ‘Go Run!
The Chicago Park District and Chicago Area Runners Association have paired up to provide weekly timed runs in 3 Chicago Parks, Humboldt Park, Warren Park and Washington Park.  Make the runs a weekly event to explore new areas of Chicago while getting fit with your family. Sat. Event details.

Washington Park

African Festival of the Arts
This annual fest gives kids the chance to taste, hear and dance to the African beat. A lively bazaar pops up, bringing the best of Africa to Chicago: You’ll find colorful, handcrafted artwork, vibrant musical performances and authentic, mouthwatering bites from countries across the continent. Fri.-Sun. Event details.



Last Chance to See Butterflies & Blooms
Fill your summer days with butterflies and blooms at Chicago Botanic Garden’s temporary exhibit where visitors can immerse themselves in a habitat filled with hundreds of winged beauties and pretty petals. You’ll find species native to South America, Asia, North America and Africa, as well as those native to Illinois. Fri.-Sun. Event details.


Say Goodbye to Summer at Last Fling
Naperville has proven they’ve mastered the art of throwing the epic end-of-summer party with their Last Fling. Head west for this four-day affair featuring national headlining artists, a massive carnival and family friendly events and entertainment. Fri.-Sun. Event details.


The Chicago Dogs Home Games
There’s a new baseball team in town and they’re paying homage to Chicago’s favorite street food, HOT DOGS! Post-game fireworks and autographs, $3 bottomless popcorn and an opportunity to play catch on the field make the three-game weekend a must-do. Fri.-SunEvent details.

— Maria Chambers

A Bunch of Cool Things to Do for $25 or Less
Sip, Sip, Hurray! The Best Local Juice Bars for Kids
Max Out the Fun Labor Day Weekend

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