Forward, march! Make red, white and blue memories at the city’s official holiday parade and wreath-laying ceremony. Stick around the hood to take a peek at Navy Pier’s Zoom Room exhibit and save some energy for the late night fireworks display — the first of the season! Read on for our Eidtor’s picks for the best ways to fill your three-day weekend.
photo: Navy Pier’s Aon Fireworks
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.
Celebrate Ella Jenkins with Marsha’s Music
Belt out a merry tune and honor the first woman in children’s music – Ella Jenkins. Marsha’s Music is celebrating the 50th anniversary of You’ll Sing a Song and I’ll Sing a Song, an album that set the stage for interactive music education. She may be 91, but Ella Jenkins can still bring smiles to generations of audience members through her music. Sun., 11 a.m. The Promontory. $10/adults; $5/kids; free for ages 2 & under. 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.
Kids Classic Cooking Series: Pasta Palooza
Kids love noodles and The Kids’ Table is giving them what they want – in all different shapes and sizes! Check the website for the weekly menu of yummy! Sat., 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. The Kids’ Table Lakeview. $22.50/members, $25/non-members. Ages 4-10. Event details.
Kids Nite Out: Dinner & a Show
Everyone deserves a fun night out every once in a while – even the kiddos! Drop the kids off for dinner and a movie at The Kids’ Table. Kids get to make their own dinner of Scrambled Eggs, Strawberry Rhubarb French Toast and Oatmeal Shakes and watch Hotel Transylvania 2. Sat., 6 p.m.-9 p.m. The Kids’ Table. Members: $36/child; Non-members: $40/child. Ages 4-10. 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., 9 a.m. & 10:30 a.m., noon; 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.
360 CHICAGO Observation Deck Salutes Our Soldiers
May is National Military Appreciation Month and 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck offers two ways to salute the men and women serving our country. All month long, a portion of the sales proceeds from The Yellow Ribbon cocktail at The Architect’s Corner Cafe & Bar benefit Chicago Veterans organization, a community of military veterans committed to helping their brothers and sisters in arms. All active military personnel and veterans receive free admission throughout Memorial Day weekend. Fri.-Sun., 9 a.m.-11 p.m. 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck. $20/ages 12 & up; $13/ages 3-11; free for ages 2 & under. All ages. Event details.
WEAR: A Babywearing Conference
You’re invited! To the inaugural WEAR: A Babywearing Conference, taking place in Chicago. WEAR is a first-of-its kind event for families who embrace the social and psychological benefits of babywearing. Attendees can expect to find loads of fun activities, like yoga, belly dance classes, a dance party and a host of workshops and seminars exploring the benefits of babywearing. Fri.-Sun., hours vary, check website. The Westin Hotel. $40-$100. 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.
Celebrate Asian-American Heritage Month at Sunda
Celebrate Asian American-Pacific Islander Heritage Month throughout the month of May! Spreading out the celebration all month long, Sunda’s weekly specials allow guests to dive into delectable Asian-Pacific cuisines. Inspired by flavors of China, The Philippines, Korea and Thailand, diners find a new, exciting plate each week. Fri., 11:30 a.m.-midnight; Sat., 10:30 a.m.-midnight; Sun., 10:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunda. All ages. Event details.
Brunch at GreenRiver
GreenRiver is now serving brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Open for the first time on Sundays, GreenRiver will feature an a la carte brunch menu of modern American dishes and new brunch cocktails, perfect for enjoying al fresco on GreenRiver’s stunning rooftop terrace. Sat., 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-3 p.m. GreenRiver. Menu is a la carte. All ages. Event details.
Chicago’s Memorial Day 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 at 11 a.m. on Daley Plaza (Dearborn and Washington Streets). Then head south to State Street for the parade. Sat., 11 a.m. Daley Plaza. Free. All ages. Event details.
Foodie Adventure Series: Green City Market Chefs
Join The Kids’ Table for a scrumptious sampling of local and seasonal dishes featured in The Green City Market Cookbook, a collection of recipes gathered from their community of Chicago chefs, farmers, volunteers & customers. Sat., various times. The Kids’ Table Lakeview and Lincoln Park. $22.50/members, $25/non-members. Ages 4-10. Event details.
Welcome Smack Shack to Chi-Town
Started as a food truck in Minneapolis in 2010, Smack Shack has chosen Chicago to drop anchor for their second location. Lucky us! Check out their new location in the Fulton Market area, where they’ll be serving up their famous lobster rolls, lobster mac & cheese, corn on the cob, shrimp and oysters! Open daily. Smack Shack. All ages. Event details.
The Kids’ Table at Randolph Street Market
As if you needed more reasons to treasure hunt at Randolph Street Market! Now The Kids’ Table is making it something the kids can get excited about. They’ll be hosting a complimentary recipe making activity for kids in the East lot by the Shade Shack/kids activity area. Sun., noon-3 p.m. Randolph Street Market. Free, with market admission. All ages. 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.
Parents Night Out at Pump It Up
Pump it Up is helping parents capture some alone time with their Parents Night Out. Drop the kids for jumping, dinner, crafts and games. Each jumper will get a glitter tattoo to experience the new GLOW experience. Fri., 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Pump It Up. $25 first child; $20 each additional. 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.
Monica + Andy Pop-Up
Monica + Andy is bringing city cool to Oakbrook Center for one month. Expect to see their signature high quality, durable and beautifully designed clothing, accessories and bedding in the new short-term space, adjacent to Crate & Barrel. Fri. & Sat., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monica + Andy Oak Brook. Prices vary. All ages. Event details.
Pig Out at the Red, White and BBQ Fest
Nothing screams Memorial Day more than a BBQ, so why not go all out and head to this barbeque fest and competition in Westmont? You can chow down on the food, kids can have a blast at the carnival and everyone can jam along with the live music. Fri., 4 p.m.-10:30 p.m.; Sat., 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m.; Sun., 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Ty Warner. Free. All ages. Event details.
Tell us how you plan to spend your weekend in the Comments below!
— Maria Chambers