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 Pride events, a troll takeover, new exhibits, a kid-centric Spartan Race and more! See? Nothing to be a-scared of.

Photo: Gallagher Way at Wrigley Field 


Mag Mile

Dig the Fun of a Family Gardening Class
Casey Finn of DIY Playbook will demonstrate how to create a succulent planter with household containers to add green into your space. Take a reusable vessel from home, such as a plastic water bottle, empty yogurt container, small mason jar, or empty tin can, to plant and decorate with the family. Sun. Event details.


Get Cultured with Emerald City Theatre
Gallagher Way at Wrigley Field invites you to use songs from all your favorite animated classics along with contemporary hits, to explore creating characters using Emerald City Theatre’s actor tools! Join in for a fun-filled event that will have everyone humming new and old favorites. Sun. Event details.

Navy Pier

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.

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.

Walk Now for Autism Speaks
Take a no-pressure, three-mile walk leisurely past the Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium and along the lakefront. The event will also feature an after-party featuring kid lures like inflatable bouncers, sensory sensitive activities and a petting zoo. Sat. 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.


Partake in the North Shore Pride Fest
Downtown Highwood is showing support for Pride Month with their 7th annual North Shore Pride Fest. The day’s festivities include a Pride Family Picnic with music, an ice cream truck, crafts and a bounce house. Later in the day, an all-ages Drag Show kicks off an adults-only Taste of the Rainbow Pub Crawl. Sat. 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.


Challenge Your Kids to a Spartan Race
Spartan Kids is on a mission to inspire children to develop a love for fitness. They provide safe, age-appropriate, world-class obstacle racing at various distances and difficulties. Children of all abilities are welcome to climb, crawl, run, get muddy, and become a Spartan! Sat. Event details.

— Maria Chambers


Pick a Flick! Outdoor Movies for Summer Nights

Pride Month Activities for Chicago Families

A Gym for Kids on the Spectrum, and Other Inclusive Activities

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