Find your way through the dark at the zoo. Hit up the Windy City Pet Expo with your favorite furry friend. Dig around in the dirt at a garden . . . or go for a walk in one. Read on to hear about all this fun and so much more!

photo: Chicago Botanic Garden photos




Baby Food Taste Test (and a Little Bubbly, Too!)
Ready-to-eat baby and toddler meal delivery service? Sign us up! Bring baby (4 mos.-2yrs) along for a taste test, and some bubbly for you, and receive 40% off your first box. Sat. Event details


Family Shabbat Around Town
This street fair features Shabbat themed musical entertainment, crafts, face painting and so much more. Pack a picnic dinner and enjoy complimentary kosher dessert from the neighborhood ice cream truck. Fri. Event details.

Mother Goose’s Garden
One, two, buckle your shoe, and take a gander at Mother Goose’s magical community garden! Join Jack and Jill as they search for Mother Goose and help out a gaggle of your favorite characters along the way. Sing along to live music with Little Boy Blue, Miss Muffett, and others as you experience the fun in teamwork through hand-puppetry and interactive play. Sat. & Sun. Event details.

Lincoln Park

Sheffield Music Festival & Garden Walk
Formerly known as the Sheffield Garden Walk, this fest expanded its focus from garden tours to music stages. The Kids’ Corner combines garden-inspired crafts with kid favorites like a petting zoo and rides. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Millennium Park

Family Fun Festival
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

Have an Explosive Night at Navy Pier’s Summer Fireworks 
This one is kind of a must-do . . . keep the kids up a tad later to experience the fireworks display synchronized to music at Navy Pier. Sat. Event details.

Wicker Park

StoryTime! at Volumes
Pop into the recently opened book café in Wicker Park for storytime with the owner, a former pre-K teacher, Miss Kimberly. While you’re there, pick her brain for recommendations on books for your young readers based on their age and interests. Sat. Event details.



Enjoy Your Day and Summer Nights at the Zoo
See Brookfield Zoo in a new light with cooler evening weather at Summer Nights.  Families are treated to roaming entertainers, live music on the kid’s stage, close-up animal encounters and a laser light show, all surrounded by the intrigues of the zoo. Fri. & Sat. Event details.


Nothing Says Summer Like 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. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Hands-On Fun in the Garden 
Wander the gardens and natural areas that make up the Chicago Botanic Garden and get your hands dirty at the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden with engaging activities. Kids will learn how plants grow and what animals you might find in the garden. Activities vary from pollinating flowers to building a bird nest. Fri.-Sun. Event details.


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 is reams of wholesome fun. Fri.-Sun. Event details.


Windy City Pet Expo
If you have a pet or are thinking about getting one, this is the place to be. You’ll find pet-friendly exhibitors and rescue groups, see live demos in training, pet care and activism, receive discounts on your favorite products, participate in costume contests and more! P.S. Bring your pet for free nail trims and discounted vaccinations! Sat. & Sun. Event details.

For more ideas on how to spend your weekend, check out our Family Events Calendar.

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


— Maria Chambers