Summer fever has definitely struck! Not to fear: We have remedies. Check out our picks for the best family events around town. This weekend is especially hot, with fireworks, stage shows, a street party and much more. Enjoy that sunshine, everyone!
photo: Chicago Children’s Museum Zoom Room
A Pride Fest with a Swedish Twist
At Andersonville Midsommarfest, set in the heart of Chicago’s historically Swedish neighborhood, you’ll enjoy music, dancing, kids’ entertainment and food. Check out unique craft vendors and sample the local talent with ethnic dance troupes and bands on five stages. It’s one of the highlights of Pride Month. Fri., 5 p.m.-10 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Clark St. from Foster to Catalpa. $10 suggested donation. All ages. Event details.
Bringing New LYFE to the Gold Coast
Good news! LYFE Kitchen is adding their 5th location to the Chicago market! Check out their newest location on the ground level of Loyola University in the Gold Coast neighborhood. Be sure to bring the kids because they stellar options that will appease even your pickiest of eaters. Fri., 7 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 8 a.m.-9 p.m. LYFE Kitchen Gold Coast. All ages. Event details.
Discover Math in Nature with a Mirror Maze
Discover how naturally fun math can be in a maze filled with mirrors that help kiddos unlock the beautiful symmetry of the natural world. Numbers in Nature: A Mirror Maze kicks things off with a film that presents how fractals, spirals and “golden ratio” are woven into our lives. Fri.-Sun., 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Museum of Science and Industry. $18/adults; $11/children 3-11. All ages. Event details.
From superheroes to undersea adventures, princesses to dinosaurs, Storytown takes you on an interactive, fully improvised adventure. The actors use audience suggestions and ideas to create a different story every week. Sat., 10:30 a.m. Stage 773. $10. Ages 3-10. Event details.
A Detective Game with Cat-titude
This interactive spy story provides the purrr-fect opportunity to show your little ones the mystery and excitement of live theatre. With the promise of pie and the smell of a rat close by, gather clues to help Three Little Kittens find their missing mittens. Fri., 10 a.m.; Sat.,10:30 a.m.; Sun., 10 a.m. Emerald City’s Little Theatre. $15; $8/children 1 & under. Ages 0-5. Event details.
Try the New Kids Menu at Blackwood BBQ
A staple for fast-casual barbecue and smoked meats, Blackwood BBQ just became a easy choice for hungry families on the go with the introduction of their new kids menu. Hit up this Lakeview favorite and you’ll find Mac n’ Cheese, Hot Diggity Dogs, ‘Cuetie Sliders and BeansNFrank. Fri. & Sat., 10:30 a.m.-midnight; Sun. & Mon., 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Blackwood BBQ. All ages. Event details.
Engage in Improvised Fun at ComedySportz
This hilarious 90-minute improv show has two competing teams creating comedy scenes, songs and games right on the spot based on audience suggestions. The audience chooses the winner and the show never repeats. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 6 p.m. & 8 p.m. ComedySportz – CSz Theater. $23-$25. All ages. Event details.
Release the Butterflies!
Who doesn’t love butterflies? Experience their beauty as new butterflies are released daily at the Peggy Notebaert Museum’s Butterfly Haven exhibit. Daily, 2 p.m. Peggy Notebaert Museum. $9/adults; $6/ages 3-12; free for ages 2 & under. All ages. Event details.
Milk a Cow at Lincoln Park Zoo
Visit Farm-in-the-Zoo at Lincoln Park Zoo to see how a typical family farm combines rural life with modern technology to milk its Holstein dairy cows. Fri.-Sun., 10 a.m. & 3 p.m. Farm-in-the-Zoo at Lincoln Park Zoo. Free. All ages. Event details.
Race Cars in the Zoom Room
It’s a race to the finish at Zoom Room, Chicago Children’s Museum’s newest exhibit. Check out the twisting racecourse that fills an entire room with hundreds of toy cars that race on crazy tracks. Fri.-Mon., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Chicago Children’s Museum. Included in general museum admission of $14/person. All ages. Event details.
Hogwash: An Improvised Tall Tale
Fitting of its name, which means “nonsense”, the lack of structure of this improvised show makes it an absolute riot. Kids assist with costume selection and choose a location for the fully improvised story. Sat., 10:30 a.m.-noon. Bug House Theatre. $10/kids; free for adults. Ages 3-12. Event details.
Model Railroad Garden: Landmarks of America
Experience the delightful sights and sounds of miniature trains traversing high and low tunnels, across bridges and around buildings at the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Model Railroad Garden. The exhibit features 18 garden-scale trains on 1,600 feet of track with vignettes of tiny people and animals that give it a storybook feel. Fri.-Mon., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Chicago Botanic Garden. $6/adults; $4/ages 3-12; free for 2 & under. All ages. Event details.
Play with Butterflies at Chicago Botanic Garden
Come play with hundreds of colorful butterflies at the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Butterflies & Blooms. Enter the serene tropical habitat made up of beautiful flowers and hundreds of butterflies fluttering about. Sit still and they may just land on you. Fri.-Mon., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Chicago Botanic Garden. $6/adults; $4/children 3 – 12; Children 2 & under free. All ages. Event details.
Toys: The Inside Story at Kohl Children’s Museum
Learn what makes toys tick at Kohl Children’s Museum’s newest exhibit, Toys: The Inside Story. This temporary exhibit lets visitors take a peek inside some of the most recognizable toys to examine the linkages, pulleys, cams and circuits that make them irresistibly fun. Fri. & Sat., 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., noon-5 p.m. Kohl Children’s Museum. $12; free for ages 11 months & under. All ages. Event details.
Ribbit! The Exhibit Hops into Morton Arboretum
This spring and summer, hop over to The Morton Arboretum for Ribbit! The Exhibit, a whimsical collection of larger-than-life copper frog sculptures. The exhibit features 19 displays of five- to seven-foot-tall frogs taking part in a variety of activities. Daily, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Morton Arboretum. $14/adults; $9/ages 2-17. All ages. Event details.
GlowJump at Pump It Up
The only thing better than jumping at Pump it Up is glowing at Pump It Up. Kids will have the time of their lives playing in the massive inflatables with special FX lighting that makes white clothing glow in the dark. Fri., 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Pump It Up. $8/child (includes either a glow necklace or bracelet). Event details.
Tell us how you plan to spend your weekend in the Comments below!
— Maria Chambers