Celebrating the Fourth of July is a blast. Once you’ve gotten your red, white and blue fix, keep your spirits high by heading to an array of family events around town. Hot air balloons get liftoff in Lisle, Justin Roberts plays Ravinia, and the Cubs give kids the run of Wrigley Field. We think Uncle Sam would approve.
Eyes to the Skies Festival
Hot air balloons are the stars of this wingding. They’ll rise up at 6:00 am and 6:00 pm daily (except Sunday). The fest also has a carnival and a children’s area with Lego building, martial arts and dance performances, storytelling, music, games and animal shows. Fireworks blast each night (except Sunday). Held Wed., 5:00 pm-11:00 pm; Thurs.-Sun., 12:00 pm-11:00 pm. Lisle Community Park. $5 admission; free for kids 5 and under. All ages. Event details.
Chicago Children’s Museum Summer Dance Party
Part of the Chicago Children’s Museum morphs into a dance club for the juice box set. Even if the only move you know is the Sprinkler, you’ll have fun dancing to kid-friendly music and doing the electric slide. Fri. & Sat., 5:30 pm. Free with museum admission ($14). All ages. Event details.
Millennium Park Family Fun Festival
Entertainment and amusements animate the big tent in Chicago’s art-spangled park every day all summer. You can always count on seeing The Old Town School of Folk Music’s Wiggleworms perform at 10:00 am and listening to storytelling at 11:00 am. Other performers and musical acts rotate, and this weekend’s lineup includes Deep Fried Pickle and Gypsy Rhythm Project. Held daily through Aug. 18, 10:00 am-3:00 pm. Chase Promenade North. Free. All ages. Event details.
Cirque Shanghai: Dragon’s Thunder
Tumbling, balancing and juggling feats will have you on the edge of your seat at this glam version of a circus. With the largest cast ever to visit from China, the show features acrobatics and contortion stunts on “The Chinese Flex Bar,” traditional Chinese “Dragon Drums,” daredevil motorcycle troupe “Imperial Thunder” and more. Runs through Sept. 2. Navy Pier. $20-$45. All ages. Event details.
Chicago Cubs Kids Sunday
Sunday is fun day for young ones at Wrigley Field. Kids 13 and younger score a free gift and get to run the bases when the game is over. This weekend’s game is against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Bring your camera, root for the home team, and don’t forget those peanuts and Crackerjacks. Sun., 1:20 pm. Tickets start at $25. All ages. Event details.
Justin Roberts & The Not Ready for Naptime Players
Spread a blanket on the lawn or reserve a stage-side seat. Either way, there’s much to enjoy in this show of cheerful kindie rock jams from one of Chicago’s most loved musicians. Stick around after the show for the instrument petting zoo. Sun., 1:00 pm. Ravinia Festival. $10 for reserved seats; $5 for lawn seats. All ages. Event details.
What are you up to this weekend? Let us know in the Comments section below.
— Kelly Aiglon
Photo: Courtesy of Lisle Eyes to the Skies Festival