We’re already halfway through summer break (bummer!) — but fun is at its peak (yay!). Cruise the waterways on a fireboat, check in with the animals at the zoo and scope out a pop-up children’s museum. Read on and don’t waste a single second of this beautiful weather!

photo: Chicago Fireboat

Let the Universe Show you Some Out-of-this-World Coolness
Just after sundown you can see a Neowise, a rare comet visiting our solar system, and if you get up early you can see all seven planets in our solar system, a once-in-20-year occurrence. Fri.-Sun. More details

Celebrate Chicago White Sox Opening Day with Ballpark Favorites
You might not be able to fill the seats for Friday’s opening game, but you can fill your stomachs with iconic ballpark bites. Fri.-Sun. More details

Stretch your Legs at Chicago Botanic Garden
The Garden is officially open for colorful exploration and out-of-the-house entertainment that lends itself to continuing the social distancing. Be sure to pre-register! Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Snap Pics with Trolls at Morton Arboretum
The Arboretum’s Troll exhibit is pretty special, each is made of reclaimed wood and stands 15- to 20-feet tall. These guardians of the forest are trying to make sense of the human world. Good luck with that, Trolls! Fri.-Sun. Event details

Take a Woodland Family Hike at Morton Arboretum
Explore Trolls and Forest Creatures on a guided, family-paced hike through the Arboretum’s diverse tree collections. Sat. Event details

Last Chance to Dabble in Museum Play at Kohl Children’s Museum’s Pop-Up
Kohl Children’s Museum’s Pop-Up will include favorite elements from past appearances as well as two new exhibits making their debut. Fri. Event details.

Check Out Dinos Everywhere at Brookfield Zoo
Brookfield Zoo is officially open! Be one of the first to visit and you’ll be rewarded with the new Dinos Everywhere exhibit. Be sure to pre-register and show up masked and ready to explore! Fri.-Sun. Event details

Visit the Fishies at Shedd Aquarium
Shedd Aquarium is back! They look forward to welcoming guests with stringent measures in place to create a safe and enriching experience. You can also sign up for their virtual summer camp, Summer Splash Camp: Stay Home Edition! Fri.-Sun. Event details.

See a Tiny Chicago
Chicago Architecture Center has reopened its Chicago Model, which features more than 4,250 mini buildings that replicate our city. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Walk with the Animals at Lincoln Park Zoo
Yep, Lincoln Park Zoo is open and, as always, FREE for all! Pre-register for a time slot and check out the animals in the outdoor enclosures. Don’t forget your mask! Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Have Family Circle Time with Bubbles Academy
Sign your family up for singing, dancing and learning fun with Bubbles Academy’s virtual Circle Time. Fri. Event details

Set Up a Backyard Concert with Miss Jamie
Take your device outdoors for a picnic and concert in your own back yard! Join in on Zoom to dance and sing during this fun and interactive performance for all ages! Fri. Event details

For the Firefighter-Obsessed! Cruise the Waterways on a Fireboat
Once the largest diesel-powered Fireboat in the world, the Fred A. Busse is now set to share a bit of history with its passengers. Fri.-Sun. Event details

Take the Family to a Low-Key Baseball Game
Chicago’s newest baseball team, The Chicago Dogs, pays homage to Chicago’s favorite street food, HOT DOGS! Enjoy live School of Rock Music on Friday, Caddyshack-themed Saturday and Family Sunday. Fri.-Sun. Event details

Attend Virtual CAMP Field Day by Scotts
CAMP has teamed up with Scotts to host the world’s biggest virtual Field Day with head counselor, Jerry Harris! They’re inviting families from across the country to join from their homes or backyards for dodgeball, sack races, capture the flag and more. Everyone has an opportunity to win a prize box filled with $1,000 worth of toys and gifts! Fri. Event details

— Maria Chambers


Hot Diggity! A Kid’s Guide to Hot Dog Stands

The Ultimate Summer Bucket List for Chicago Parents

Keep These Favorite Spots Thriving with Must-Have Family Memberships

Cure That Covid Cabin Fever with These Wacky Roadside Stops in Chicago