It’s the 4th of July weekend! Things might look a bit different this year, but there is still fun to be had! Virtual 4th events. Freshly opened zoos. New exhibits with dinos everywhere. Walks as a family with trolls. It doesn’t get much better than this. Get in on the fun this weekend with events that keep you outside and able to keep safe distances. Have a blast, Chicago!

photo: Brookfield Zoo

Become a Member of Brookfield Zoo & Pay a Visit
Brookfield Zoo is open to members only! Snag a membership to help them out 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

Take a Drive Through Glen Ellyn for 4th of July
Glen Ellyn canceled their traditional celebration and opted for a Patriotic Decorating Contest. Print the map and take a drive through Glen Ellyn for a good dose of 4th of July cheer. Fri.-Sun. Event details

Breath the Fresh Air & Explore 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.

Celebrate the 4th Virtually with Evanston
Instead of cancelling their annual 4th celebration, Evanston decided to go virtual with a “Community United Cannot Be Divided” day of fun that ends with a virtual fireworks display. Sat. Event details.

Hunt the Biggest Trolls You’ll Ever See
Something special emerged from the vast spaces at Morton Arboretum. . . unusual creatures, each made of reclaimed wood and 15- to 20-feet-tall. Guardians of the forest, who are trying to make sense of the human world. Fri.-Sun. Event details

Hit Up a Hot Dog Stand
Love ’em or leave ’em, hot dogs are big in Chicago, and if your kids haven’t begged for one yet, they will soon. Grab one at a legendary local spot and turn eating into an adventure. Fri.-Sun. More details.

Search Chicago for the Best Chocolate Chip Cookie
Chicago does the indulgence justice because we have kid-friendly bakeries and restaurants that make delicious, from-scratch versions of the treats. You’re never far from your next fix. Fri.-Sun. More details

Say Hi to 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.

Make a Few Wacky Roadside Stops
There are quite a few interesting sites around Chicago you can view without stepping out of your car. Set out on an adventure to find them with the family. Fri.-Sun. Details.

Tour the Baha’i Temple Gardens 
Take in the beauty of Baha’i Temple with a walk around their gardens. Fri.-Sun. More details.

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

— Maria Chambers

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