We’re midway through summer. But fun doesn’t have to take an intermission. The curtain is just beginning to rise on great family happenings, starting with the debut of Shrek the Musical at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Once the big green ogre has won you over, cool off at an ice cream social, cozy up to storytelling and head to Burger Fest.



Shrek the Musical
He’s green and making a scene at Navy Pier. Swamp-dwelling ogre Shrek goes on a life-changing adventure to reclaim his home in this musical based on the movie. Accompanied by a wise-cracking donkey, he fights a dragon and rescues the cursed Princess Fiona, while learning about friendship and love. Opens Sat. and runs thru September 1. Chicago Shakespeare Theater. $25 for adults; $18 for kids. Ages 5 and up. Event details.

Lincoln Park

Hotel Lincoln Ice Cream Social
No need to scream for ice cream: Hotel Lincoln is giving it away for free. Make your own Oberweiss ice cream sundae or choose from a selection of sweet treats. There’s also live music, a sidewalk chalk art contest, four-square games, potato sack races and face painting. Sat., 1:00 pm-3:00 pm. Hotel Lincoln. Free. All ages. Event details.

Roscoe Village

Roscoe Village Burger Fest
Some of the city’s best burger joints converge with rock acts in one of the most family-friendly parts of town. Go beyond the Happy Meal with nearly a dozen vendors that dole out thick cuts of meat, both traditional and grass-fed. The Kids Zone includes pony rides, inflatables, and an arts and crafts area. Sat. & Sun., 11:00 am-10:00 pm. Held at Belmont & Damen Aves. $7 suggested donation for admission. All ages. Event details.

Bucktown & Andersonville

Halloween in July
Put on a costume and go trick-or-treating at The Red Balloon Co. The loved kids’ boutique is celebrating its 15th anniversary with this fun summer twist on everyone’s favorite dress-up holiday. Free candy? Can’t say “boo” to that. Sat., 12:00 pm-4:00 pm. Free. All ages. Event details.

Logan Square

City Lit Books Musical Story Time
Sit back and enjoy the lively ride with Irica Baurer, a classically trained musician with early childhood education training. For story time, she brings her guitar and often instruments for the kiddies, too. Through original songs and books chosen by City Lit, Baurer takes you on an exuberant, partly improvised journey. Sat., 10:30 am. Free. All ages. Event details.


Dinosaurs Alive!
Follow the roar of a Tyrannosaurus rex to an exciting exhibit of more than 24 life-sized dinosaurs. The models of prehistoric beasts are animatronic, which means they move, growl and look about as lifelike as those hair-raisers from Jurassic Park. On view thru October 27. Brookfield Zoo. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children and seniors over 65, in addition to the regular zoo general admission. Children 2 and under are free. All ages. Event details.

Which one of these events will you hit? Let us know in the Comments section below.

— Kelly Aiglon

Photo: Courtesy of Chicago Shakespeare Theater