We’re already halfway through summer break (bummer!) — but fun is at its peak (yay!). Rock out at Kidzapalooza, Slide the City on a gigantic slip-n-slide or stay on dry land at one of the many stage shows geared toward kids. There’s so much more where that came on. Read on and don’t waste a single second of this beautiful weather!
IN THE CITY
Get the Scoop on Sweet Home Chicago
Discover why Chicago is known as “America’s candy capital” as the traveling exhibit, Sweet Home Chicago, makes a stop at the National Hellenic Museum. Fri.-Sun. National Hellenic Museum. $10/adults; $7/kids; free for ages 2 & under. All ages. Event details.
Discover Math in Nature with a Mirror Maze
Discover how naturally fun math can be in a maze filled with mirrors that help kiddos unlock the beautiful symmetry of the natural world. Numbers in Nature: A Mirror Maze kicks things off with a film that presents how fractals, spirals and “golden ratio” are woven into our lives. Fri.-Sun. Museum of Science and Industry. $18/adults; $11/children 3-11. All ages. Event details.
Jeff Fest Arts & Music Festival
Jefferson Park plays host to a three-day art and music fest known for cutting edge local and national acts across all genres. The festival takes place on the grounds of Jefferson Memorial Park with two stages and a designated Kid’s Zone where they can listen to family-friendly performances and get their faces painted. Fri.-Sun. Jefferson Memorial Park. $5/person; free for ages 12 & under & people named Jeff. All ages. Event details.
From superheroes to undersea adventures, princesses to dinosaurs, Storytown takes you on an interactive, fully improvised adventure. The actors use audience suggestions and ideas to create a different story every week. Sat. Stage 773. $10. Ages 3-10. Event details.
Kids Classic Cooking Series: It’s Summer!
It’s time for summer lovin’ and The Kids’ Table is here to show you how to make all those recipes from their Summer Camp series your kids will dig. Check their website for the weekly menu. Sat. The Kids’ Table. $22.50/members), $25/non-members. Ages 4-10. Event details.
A Detective Game with Cat-titude
This interactive spy story provides the purrr-fect opportunity to show your little ones the mystery and excitement of live theatre. With the promise of pie and the smell of a rat close by, gather clues to help Three Little Kittens find their missing mittens. Sat. Emerald City’s Little Theatre. $15; $8/children 1 & under. Ages 0-5. Event details.
Engage in Improvised Fun at ComedySportz
This hilarious 90-minute improv show has two competing teams creating comedy scenes, songs and games right on the spot based on audience suggestions. The audience chooses the winner and the show never repeats. Fri. & Sat. ComedySportz – CSz Theater. $23-$25. All ages. Event details.
Release the Butterflies!
Who doesn’t love butterflies? Experience their beauty as new butterflies are released daily at the Peggy Notebaert Museum’s Butterfly Haven exhibit. Fri.-Sun. Peggy Notebaert Museum. $9/adults; $6/ages 3-12; free for ages 2 & under. All ages. Event details.
Milk a Cow at Lincoln Park Zoo
Visit Farm-in-the-Zoo at Lincoln Park Zoo to see how a typical family farm combines rural life with modern technology to milk its Holstein dairy cows. Fri.-Sun. Farm-in-the-Zoo at Lincoln Park Zoo. Free. All ages. Event details.
Weekend Parent & Little One Yoga Workshop
After a busy week, yoga is a great way to reconnect with your little one and take care of yourself at the same time. Bring your child along as you meet other new parents and enjoy a yoga practice with your child nearby. Sat. Bloom Yoga Studio. $20/one adult and up to 2 children; $8 for each additional person. Ages 6 weeks-2 years. Event details.
Fruity & Cocoa Pebbles Shows Their Love for Art in Chicago
Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles is partnering with local artist, Epifanio Monarrez, and Little Village Boys & Girls Club to paint a colorful mural for the community in 24 hours or less in exchange for a $10,000 donation. Pebbles inspired games and activities will also be present at the event and Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles treats will be served. Check presentation will take place on site upon completion of the mural. Fri. La Villita Park. Free. All ages. Event details.
Rock Out at Kidzapalooza
Create a new family tradition of rocking out at Kidzapalooza, the music festival for kids within Lollapalooza. Get inspiration for your own songs as you dance and sing to some of your favorite kindie musicians, and craft your own “masterpieces” at the arts and crafts tables. Fri.-Sun. Grant Park. Free for ages 10 & under. All ages. Event details.
See the Navy Pier Fireworks at 360 CHICAGO
Climb 94 floors above The Mag Mile to 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck to get a unique and unforgettable view of Navy Pier’s fireworks, happening every Wednesday and Saturday this summer. Sat. 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck. $12/ages 12 & up; $13/ages 3-11; free for ages 2 & under. All ages. Event details.
Groove to Schoolhouse Rock Live!
Through unforgettable songs a nervous schoolteacher must discover how to charm his students through imagination and music on the first day of class. Based on the entertaining and educational Emmy Award-winning animated series, Schoolhouse Rock Live! brings the treasured Saturday-morning melodies of the ‘70s back in a hip new way. Sat. Broadway Playhouse. $15-$23. Ages 3-13. Event details.
Fitness at The Field
Grab a water bottle and a workout buddy for a series of free outdoor fitness classes at The Field Museum this summer! Fitness at The Field offers a variety of group fitness classes hosted by local gyms and studios, including kickboxing, yoga and zumba. Sun. The Field Museum. Free. All ages. Event details.
Field Market Days at The Field
Enjoy fresh food, live music, and lakefront views at a monthly farmers market in The Field Museum’s own backyard! Shop local produce, prepared foods, craft beer, and other goods offered by local businesses and vendors. Sat. The Field Museum. Free. All ages. Event details.
Race Cars in the Zoom Room
It’s a race to the finish at Zoom Room, Chicago Children’s Museum’s newest exhibit. Check out the twisting racecourse that fills an entire room with hundreds of toy cars that race on crazy tracks. Fri.-Sun. Chicago Children’s Museum. Included in general museum admission. All ages. Event details.
Hogwash: An Improvised Tall Tale
Fitting of its name, which means “nonsense”, the lack of structure of this improvised show makes it an absolute riot. Kids assist with costume selection and choose a location for the fully improvised story. Sat. Bug House Theatre. $10/kids; free for adults. Ages 3-12. Event details.
Snow White and the Missing Dwarfs
Help the missing dwarfs and Snow White outwit the Evil Queen in this immersive theatre experience for kids (and their most favorite grownups). Sat. Stomp and Shout Chicago. $12. Ages 2-10. Event details.
Slide the City
Slide the City is a family friendly slip-and-slide water party event, complete with music, food, drinks, water, and—of course—the biggest slip and slide ever to hit the grass. Don’t worry, it’s padded. Make sure to bring water buckets, floaties, and water guns (non-realistic of course), to squirt, spray, splash and get all attending soaked. Sat. Cricket Hill at Montrose Beach. $25 two slides; $40 unlimited during a time frame; $75 all-day unlimited. 5 years and at least 46″ tall. Event details.
Brush Up on Your Creative Side at Pinot’s Palette
Pinot’s Palette West Loop is hosting a series of Little Brushes family events and you’re invited! Take the kids for fun-filled, party-like classes where kids and adults can explore their inner artist. Each event is led by professional local artists who will guide participants in creating their own canvas paintings to take home. Sat. Pinot’s Palette West Loop. $35. Ages 6 & older. Event details.
Foodie Adventure Series
The best childhood memories come from Summer Camp, right? No need to pack your sleeping bags for this one – The Kid’s Table has you covered. Join them for their summer camp’s favorite recipes. See their website for the weekly menu. Sat. The Kids’ Table Wicker Park & Lakeview. $22.50/members, $25/non-members. Ages 4-10. Event details.
Challenger Sports’ British Soccer Camps
Spring soccer season is long gone and fall has yet to kick off, but don’t let those cleats get dusty this summer. Take some time this weekend to sign your kids up for Challenger Sports’ British Soccer Camp, where they’ll benefit from the efforts of hundreds of Challenger’s coaches who have developed one of the most innovative approaches to coaching youth soccer in the US. Week-long camps through Aug. 26. Various field locations throughout Chicagoland. Ages. 3-18. Event details.
IN THE ‘BURBS
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. Chicago Botanic Garden. $6/adults; $4/ages 3-12; free for 2 & under. All ages. Event details.
Play with Butterflies at Chicago Botanic Garden
Come play with hundreds of colorful butterflies at the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Butterflies & Blooms. Enter the serene tropical habitat made up of beautiful flowers and hundreds of butterflies fluttering about. Sit still and they may just land on you. Fri.-Sun. Chicago Botanic Garden. $6/adults; $4/children 3 – 12; Children 2 & under free. All ages. Event details.
Toys: The Inside Story at Kohl Children’s Museum
Learn what makes toys tick at Kohl Children’s Museum’s newest exhibit, Toys: The Inside Story. This temporary exhibit lets visitors take a peek inside some of the most recognizable toys to examine the linkages, pulleys, cams and circuits that make them irresistibly fun. Fri.-Sun. Kohl Children’s Museum. $12; free for ages 11 months & under. All ages. Event details.
Get Up Close with Pollinators at Kohl Children’s Museum
Stretch your legs and enjoy the sights and sounds of summer at Kohl Children’s Museum’s newest addition, Pollinator Garden. Throughout the garden, placards will teach children and parents alike about the different plants and pollinators. Bonus: It’s located right outside the main entrance and will not require a ticket. Fri.-Sun. Kohl Children’s Museum. Free. All ages. Event details.
Ribbit! The Exhibit Hops into Morton Arboretum
This spring and summer, hop over to The Morton Arboretum for Ribbit! The Exhibit, a whimsical collection of larger-than-life copper frog sculptures. The exhibit features 19 displays of five- to seven-foot-tall frogs taking part in a variety of activities. Fri.-Sun. Morton Arboretum. $14/adults; $9/ages 2-17. All ages. Event details.
Creature Feature at Morton Arboretum
As part of The Morton Arboretum’s temporary exhibit: Ribbit! The Exhibit, Deb the Frog Lady will showcase live reptiles and amphibians. Sat.-Sun. Morton Arboretum. Exhibit free with admission; $14/adults; $9/ages 2-17. All ages. Event details.
GlowJump at Pump It Up
The only thing better than jumping at Pump it Up is glowing at Pump It Up. Kids will have the time of their lives playing in the massive inflatables with special FX lighting that makes white clothing glow in the dark. Fri. Pump It Up. $8/child (includes either a glow necklace or bracelet). Event details.
“Fight for Roman” Charity Event
Enjoy a fun night watching Acceleration Sports Performance trainers battle it out in a friendly competition to raise money to support 4-year-old Roman, who was diagnosed with leukemia in June. Along with the Battle of the Trainers, families will enjoy a bounce house, bean bags, dodge ball, a DJ and silent auction. Fri. Players Indoor Sports. Donations appreciated; $5 Kid Zone. All ages. Event details.
Tell us how you plan to spend your weekend in the Comments below!
— Maria Chambers