Forward, march! Make red, white and blue memories by watching fireworks reflected on Lake Michigan. Check out new warm-weather-inspired tempory exhibits. Have fun with Cirque du Soleil under the Big Top. Read on for our Editor’s picks for the best ways to fill your three-day weekend.

Photo: Chicago Botanic Garden’s Butterflies & Blooms 



Honor Soldiers at the Parade and Wreath Laying Ceremony
Share with your kids the importance of honoring and remembering the men and women who gave their lives while serving in the armed forces. Join friends and neighbors for the Wreath Laying Ceremony before heading south to State Street for the parade. Sat. Event details.

Navy Pier

New! Sound Playground at Chicago Children’s Museum
Experience and experiment with the physical and imaginary auditory world while exploring the interactive nature of sound, and all the surprising ways it can be created. Museum-goers can play with musical sound makers and one-of-a-kind sonic sculptures. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Celebrate Pride with Chicago Children’s Museum
Help transform the central staircase into a giant rainbow by adding colorful ribbons and share your thoughts on family on a huge chalkboard. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Kick Off Firework Season at Navy Pier
Keep the kids up a tad later to experience the first fireworks display of the season, all synchronized to music. Sat. Event details.

Soldier Field

Get Excited for Cirque du Soleil’s VOLTA
Cirque du Soleil is back, this time presenting VOLTA, a captivating voyage of discovery that showcases never-before-seen under the Big Top acrobatics in a visually striking world. Driven by a stirring melodic score and inspired in part by the adventurous spirit that fuels the culture of street sports, VOLTA is a story of transformation. Sat. & Sun. Event details.



New! Go On a Brick Safari at Brookfield Zoo
Brookfield Zoo’s temporary exhibit, Brick Safari, features more than 40 life-size animal sculptures created from millions of LEGO bricks. You’ll recognize zoo favorites as you walk amongst the menagerie of animals located along a winding, wooded path. Sat. & Sun. Event details.


Choo Choo! Get Your Train Fix at Model Railroad Garden
Experience the delightful sights and sounds of miniature trains traversing high and low tunnels, across bridges and around buildings at Chicago Botanic 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.-Sun. Event details.

New! Butterflies and Blooms at Chicago Botanic Garden
Fill your summer days with butterflies and blooms at Chicago Botanic Garden’s temporary exhibit where visitors can immerse themselves in a habitat filled with hundreds of winged beauties and pretty petals. Sat. & Sun. Event details.


Go Troll Hunting at Morton Arboretum
Something special emerged from the woods, meadows and vast open spaces at The Morton Arboretum. . . unusual creatures, each made of reclaimed wood and measuring 15- to 20-feet-tall. Enjoy these guardians of the forest, who are trying to make sense of the human world and make us think about our impacts on the planet. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

New! Nature Connects at Morton Arboretum
Enjoy a day built on fun at Nature Connects Art with LEGO Bricks by Sean Kenney, who’s a “professional kid” and the first-ever LEGO Certified Professional. LEGO enthusiasts of all ages will be dazzled as they search for 15 larger-than-life, nature-inspired sculptures throughout The Morton Arboretum. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

— Maria Chambers


Top Things to Do in Chicago on Memorial Day Weekend

Go Troll Hunting (& More) at the Morton Arboretum

Family Campsites for Starry Overnights

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