Round, round, round you go. Where you stop? Chinatown Gate, for starters, where you can watch a traditional parade and soak up the sun. Then it’s off to summer festivals, which are in full swing everywhere from Lincoln Park to St. Ben’s. There’s also camping in the suburbs, funny fairy tales and wild jungle rhythms. Go ahead — make the rounds.
Chinatown Summer Fair
The boutiques and eateries in Chicago’s portal to the Far East offer fun for all ages. Music and dancing enlivens the streets that snake between pagoda-style buildings. Dragon and lion dances (done by community members draped in elaborate, colorful costumes) electrify Wentworth Avenue amid a day of of cultural and musical entertainment, and kids’ activities. Sun., 10:00 am-8:00 pm. Wentworth Avenue, from Cermak Avenue to 24th Street. Free. All ages. Event details.
The three-day party expands beyond the grounds of the historic St. Benedict’s parish and school, spilling intoto the street. Although the bands and food are worthwhile, the kids’ area is really where it’s at. It features live music (including a gig from Ralph’s World on Sunday at 2:30 pm), games, a water slide, costumed characters, inflatables, face-painting, arts and crafts, train rides and more. Fri., 4:00 pm-11:00 pm; Sat., 1:00 pm-11:00 pm; Sun., 1:00 pm-7:00 pm. St. Benedict’s Church. $5 suggested donation; $10 for kids’ area unlimited day pass; $20 for the Ralph’s World concert. All ages. Event details.
Sheffield Garden Walk & Music Festival
This annual street fair’s claims to fame are garden and architectural tours. If your kiddo will let you sneak in a tour, wonderful. If not, bounce right over to the kids’ corner, where she can play in the moonwalk, be a conductor on the pig train, go for an adventure on the kiddie Ferris wheel, cozy up to animals at the petting zoo, and ride a pony. Fri. & Sat., 12:00 pm-10:00 pm (kids’ corner open until 5:30 pm). Held at Sheffield & Webster Aves. $7; $10 after 3:00 pm. All ages. Event details.
“The Jungle Book”
Tap dancing monkeys. Joke-cracking vultures. Marching elephants. If that sounds like your kind of fun, you’ll go wild for this world premiere musical. It’s an original show by Tony Award-winning director Mary Zimmerman and based on Rudyard Kipling’s 1894 collection of stories set in the Indian jungle. This version is a more lyrical, mature retelling than what you get from the Disney flick. It weaves poetry with traditional Indian dance and lures you in with creative costumes that let the animals be human, not caricatures. Held through Aug. 18. The Goodman Theatre. $30-$125. Ages 5 and up. Event details.
Family Movie and Campout Under the Stars
Pitch a tent in Flick Park and bring your flashlights. This overnighter has lots for the whole family, starting with an outdoor showing of Monsters Inc. and ending with a light breakfast on Saturday morning. BYO picnic dinner on Friday; they’ll provide a snack during the movie. Sat., 6:00 pm. $16.25; ages 2 and under are free. Glenview residents pay a discounted admission of $13. All ages. Event details.
Farcical Fairy Tales’ “Beauty and the Beast”
Follow the sweet French girl, Belle, as she tries to save her father from the mysterious Beast in this interactive, partially improvised show. With help from the audience, Belle has a chance to live happily ever after. When the adventure is over, families are invited to stay and take pictures with the cast. Held every Saturday at The Comedy Shrine. $10 for adults; $5 for children. Ages 3-10. Event details.
What are you up to this weekend? Let us know in the Comments section below.
— Kelly Aiglon
Photo: Courtesy of Chinatown Summer Fair