School’s out for the summer. The next three months will feel like one big recess (even for you grownups) when you fill your schedule with playful family events. We’ve got a lot to get you started. This weekend, go bananas at outdoor festivals, starting with Do-Division Family Fun Fest and Lincoln Avenue LIVE. You can also race at Lincoln Park Zoo and get in touch with nature on Northerly Island. We promise the kids won’t miss that homework one bit.


Wicker Park

Do-Division Family Fun Fest
The tot-friendly part of the Do-Division Street Fest is a fun, educational world unto itself. In addition to live music, the Museum of Science and Industry and Shedd Aquarium are on hand with science- and aquatic-themed activities. You can also cut loose with Easel Art Studio crafts, punk-rock hairstyling by Psycho Baby, cooking lessons with The Kids’ Table and more. Sat. & Sun., 12:00 pm-6:00 pm. On Division Street, from Ashland Avenue to Leavitt Street. $5 suggested donation for admission. All ages. Event details.

Lincoln Park

Lincoln Avenue LIVE
The inaugural street fest gets the heart of Lincoln Park beating with live music and food from local restaurants. A special kids’ area called “Munchkinland” is hosted by Emerald City Theatre Company and features crafts, storytelling, dance parties and more. Sat., 12:00 pm-9:30 pm; Sun., 12:00 pm-9:00 pm. At Lincoln and Belden avenues. $5 suggested donation for admission. All ages. Event details.

United Run for the Zoo
Get a little extra mileage out of summer with a 10K run, 5K run or 5K fun walk; strollers are allowed. If your sidekick doesn’t want to go the distance, she can try the new obstacle course challenge for those ages 8 and younger. Called Safari Stampede, it spurs kids to balance like a flamingo, hop like a toad, crawl like a grizzly and jump like a lion. Sun., 8:00 am. Lincoln Park Zoo. $13-$20 for the Safari Stampede, $25-$35 for the 5K fun walk (free for those 6 and younger), $30-$40 for the 5K and 10K runs. All ages. Event details.

Museum Campus

Family Adventure Day
Escape to Northerly Island, Chicago’s 91-acre peninsula, for a day of playing in nature. Activities include fort building, archery, hiking, kite flying, bird watching, fishing, creating nature-inspired crafts and other outdoor pursuits. Sat., 10:00 am-2:00 pm. Free. All ages. Event details.


Rotate fun into your day at this exhibit that teaches kids why and how objects spin. Push a fixed wheel in the Human Centrifuge, an innovative tub that shows how inertia works; race objects of varying sizes and weights along a track to clock their speed; or create your own laser show against a spinning backdrop. It’s all worth giving a whirl. Open May 28-September 1. Kohl Children’s Museum. Included in museum admission of $9.50 for adults and children; free for those under 12 months. All ages. Event details.


Viva la Fiesta!
The celebration of Hispanic culture whisks you south of the border with bands and dancers, traditional artwork, and Zoo Chats highlighting critters from Mexico and Central and South America. Special menus include Peruvian salchi tacos, Argentinean beef empanadas, Cuban ropa vieja and more. Pineapple and mango juice keep kiddies happy and ready to party. Held on weekends through June 16, from 10:00 am-6:00 pm. Brookfield Zoo. Free with general zoo admission of $15 for adults, and $10.50 for children three to 11 and seniors 65 and over. Children 2 and under are free. All ages. Event details.

Which of these events will you head to first? Let us know in the Comments section below.

— Kelly Aiglon

Photo: Courtesy of Do-Division Family Fun Fest