You may look ahead at summer break with a mix of joy and fear (yay for together time! but . . . how to spend it?). We’re here to help. Start filling your calendar with fun family events. This weekend, that includes fireworks at Navy Pier, a troll takeover, new exhibits at Shedd and MSI and more! See? Nothing to be a-scared of.

photo: Morton Arboretum via Maria Chambers



Family Sundays with the Sox
Spend a family Sunday at a Sox home game. The ballpark experience will feature special kid-focused activities throughout the concourse and the opportunity to run the bases after the game. Play ball! Sun. Event details.

Hyde Park

The Science Behind Pixar at MSI
We all have a favorite Pixar movie. Whether it be Toy Story, Inside Out or A Bug’s Life, Museum of Science and Industry is giving you a unique look at the Pixar process of creating these instantly classic films. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Lincoln Park

Run for the Zoo at Lincoln Park Zoo
Help keep the zoo free and open to the public 365 days a year by participating in their 40th annual Run for the Zoo with both 10K and 5K courses. If your sidekick doesn’t want to go the distance, she might be swayed to try the obstacle course challenge for those ages 8 and younger. Sun. Event details.

Mag Mile

Sunday Funday at 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck
Sure, sleeping ’til noon on a Sunday is swell, but what’s even better is 360 CHICAGO’s Sunday Funday. Infuse a little excitement into your life by taking the family to the 94th floor for a little magic, a little music and a whole lot of amazing Chicago views. Sun. Event details.

Museum Campus

Underwater Beauty at Shedd Aquarium
Shedd’s newest exhibit, Underwater Beauty, celebrates the unbelievable beauty living in our oceans, lakes and rivers. You’ll catch a glimpse of the grandeur beneath the waves as 100 species from around the world come together in an evocative new space. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Navy Pier

Celebrate Equality at Chicago Children’s Museum
Chicago Children’s Museum is getting in on the Pride celebration by inviting families to help transform the central staircase into a giant rainbow with colorful ribbons and to write your ideas about family on a huge chalkboard. Fri.-Sun. Event details


Summer Fireworks at Navy Pier
Keep the kids up a tad later to experience the fireworks display synchronized to music at Navy Pier. Sat. Event details.

Wicker Park

Parents Night Out: The Science of Ice Cream Workshop
Get a head start on summer with the Science of Ice Cream Workshop! While parents get a night out, kids will transform into ice cream scientists as they conduct fun experiments learning the unique chemistry of ice cream and making their own. Sat. Event details.



Nature Nights: Ready, Set, Garden!
Pack a picnic dinner and spend an evening in the garden. Along with enjoying a tram ride, planting project and s’mores around the campfire, kids will have a chance to learn what plants need to grow and gardening basics. Sat. Event details.


Troll Takeover at Morton Arboretum
Something special is emerging from the vast open spaces at the Arboretum . . . Trolls with an environmental message, each made of reclaimed wood and measuring 15- to 20-feet-tall. Take a stroll and watch them take shape. Fri.-Sun. Event details.


Catch a Chicago Dogs Home Game
There’s a new baseball team in town and they’re paying homage to Chicago’s favorite street food, HOT DOGS! Welcome The Chicago Dogs for the inaugural season at the new and beautiful Impact Field. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

West Chicago

Kick it Old School at Cascade Drive-In
Blow your kid’s mind. Park the car, sit in front of one of the nation’s largest outdoor movie screens and offer them a dose of yesteryear. Bring your own food and charcoal to cook on one of the grills in the picnic area. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Share your weekend plans in the Comments below!

— Maria Chambers

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. . . and check out our Events calendar for even more suggestions.