It’s Mother’s Day Weekend. Celebrate! Start by catching a live show — take your pick, there’s plenty to choose from — check out a new whimsical exhibit at Morton Arboretum or head to Lincoln Park for kite flying. There’s more where that came from, so read on and enjoy every single minute, mom!

fairy-fest-5photo: Pilcher Park Nature Center’s Fairy Fest

Hyde Park

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.


Storytown Improv
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., 9 a.m. & 10:30 a.m. Sun., 10 a.m. Emerald City’s Little Theatre. $15; $8/children 1 & under. Ages 0-5. Event details.

Groove to Schoolhouse Rock Live!
Through unforgettable songs such as Just a Bill and Conjunction Junction, a nervous schoolteacher must discover how to charm his students through imagination and music on the first day of class. Based on the entertaining animated series, Schoolhouse Rock Live! brings the treasured melodies of the ‘70s back in a hip new way. Sat. 1 p.m. Apollo Theater. $10-$20. Ages 3-13. 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.

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. Ages 4-10. $22.50/members, $25/non-members. Event details.

Lincoln Park

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.

Skippyjon Jones in the Cirque de Ole
Based on the best-selling book series, this tale of the imaginative feline and his Chihuahua pals will capture your child’s attention and take them on an adventure complete with daring circus tricks and endearing storylines. Fri., 10:15 a.m.; Sat., 10:30 a.m. The Apollo Theater. $15 & up. Ages 3 & up. Event details.

Send Your Kites Flying at Kids & Kites Festival
It’s that time again for a family favorite — Chicago’s 18th Annual Chicago Kids and Kites Festival! The City of Chicago will provide kite kits for children to build, decorate and fly (while supplies last). Other activities include face painting, balloon artists and crafts. But, the most popular highlight has to be the Big Kite Candy Drop, which is a piñata-like kite filled with candies that drop from the sky. Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Cricket Hill in Lincoln Park. Free. All ages. Event details.

Moms Bowl Free at Kings Bowl NEWCITY Lincoln Park
Make an ‘Eat Then Bowl’ reservation on Mother’s Day and mom gets two free games of bowling. Kings Bowl NEWCITY Lincoln Park will be featuring food & drink specials and a special gift for the queen of the day: Mom. Sun., 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Kings Bowl NEWCITY Lincoln Park. Before 6 p.m.: $7; After 6 p.m.: $10; moms free with reservation. All ages. Event details.

Museum Campus

Spend the Night Counting Stars
Look to the sky and be mesmerized by the stars during Adler’s Astro-Overnight. Kiddos can explore hands-on activities, like a space-themed scavenger hunt, or do damage control on a planet covered in slime. There is also telescope observing and two sky shows to watch during the evening. Fri., 5:30 a.m.-Sat., 8 a.m. Adler Planetarium. $60/non-members; $55/members. Ages 6-12. Event details.

Have a Sleepover with a T-Rex
The lights will dim as you explore the rituals of ancient Egyptian culture, guided by the light of your flashlight. Next, you prowl an African savannah with giraffes, hippos and man-eating lions. Take a break by playing games from around the world or looking at giant bugs from right in your backyard. Fri., 5:45 a.m.-Sat. 9 a.m. The Field Museum. $65+/person. Ages 6-12. Event details.

Shifting Sands: On the Path to Sustainability
Don’t miss a special screening of the much anticipated documentary film Shifting Sands: On the Path to Sustainability, followed by a panel discussion at The Field Museum. Sat., 10 a.m.-noon. The Field Museum. Free, with admission. All ages. Event details.

Navy Pier

Mathemania at Chicago Children’s Museum
The Chicago Children’s Museum is doing math BIG — and small. Join them everyday during the months of March and April for different math activities calculated to inspire a love of math in every child. Daily, 11:15 a.m. & 2:15 p.m. Navy Pier. $14; free for children under 1. All ages. Event details.

Near North Side

Great Eats at the NEW Imperial Lamian
Imperial Lamian’s first U.S. location is now open! Schedule a sitter and check out their authentic, yet modern, Chinese cuisine with dishes prepared by three Master Chefs expertly trained in their individual crafts. Fri. & Sat., 5 p.m.-1 a.m.; Sun., 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Imperial Lamian. Adults. Event details.

North Center

Hogwash: An Improvised Tall Tale
Fitting of it’s 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.

Old Town

Mother’s Day at Doodles Donuts
Breakfast in bed just got a little sweeter for Mom with a dozen Doodle’s Doughnuts! The Old Town doughnut shop is constantly rotating in special doughnuts to compliment their classic options, and even has two new gluten free doughnuts—Lemon Blueberry and Chocolate Iced! Ditch the Mother’s Day card and instead, show Mom your creative side with Doodle’s signature item, The Doodle Doughnut—a cream filled bismarck doughnut topped with white icing for decorating. Sun., 7 a.m.-9 a.m. Doodles Donuts. All ages. Event details.

Various Locations

Play Minecraft in a Movie Theatre
Now your family can play Minecraft in select movie theatres across Chicago with Super League Gaming. In this four-week series, Super League brings together gamers of all ages for a fun, social, face-to-face gameplay experience on the big screen with superhero themed maps and mods in a custom Minecraft adventure called, Rise of Heroes. Sat.; check website for times. Various Chicagoland movie theaters. All ages. Event details.

Let Giordano’s Do the Cooking for You!
This Mother’s Day let Giordano’s take care of the cooking! Tell the kids to skip the cards, flowers and brunches in favor of digging into a heart-shaped Giordano’s Famous Stuffed Pizza. May 8; dining hours vary, check with your local Giordano’s. 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. See the website for the weekly menu. Fri. & Sat., check website for hours. The Kids’ Table Lakeview & Wicker Park. Ages 4-10. $22.50/members, $25/non-members. Event details.

West Loop

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, oysters! Open daily. Smack Shack. All ages. Event details.

Wicker Park

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. They’ll make their own dinner of Cheesy Broccoli Calzones and they’ll watch Minions. Fri., 6 p.m.-9 p.m. The Kids Table Wicker Park. Members: $36/child; Non-members: $40/child. Ages 4-10. Event details.


Step Into the Fairy World at Fairy Fest
Fly away to Pilcher Park for a gathering of fairies young and old. Float along for fairy flower walks, create enchanted crafts (including a fairy wand), learn important fairy words and savor fairy food. It’s sure to be a day filled with magic. Don’t forget to wear your wings! For an additional fee, join the fairies for a breakfast of pancakes, sausage and a beverage. Sat., 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Pitcher Park Nature Center. $10/festival; $15/breakfast + festival. 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.

Frog and Toad Visit Morton Arboretum
As part of The Morton Arboretum’s temporary exhibit: Ribbit! The Exhibit, a whimsical collection of larger-than-life copper frog sculptures, the classic Arnold Lobel storybook characters, Frog and Toad, will be visiting with fun crafts and story time. Sat. & Sun., 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Morton Arboretum. Exhibit free with admission; $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.

Oak Park

Mother’s Day Brunch at Marion Street Market
The recently re-opened Marion Street Market will welcome guests on Mother’s Day, adding to its already adored Sunday brunch. Executive Chef Bret Bohning has crafted a select holiday menu fit for the whole family while Beverage Manager Adrian Marquis shakes up spring ingredients in his latest batch of cocktails just for the extraordinary day. Call 708-725-7200 for reservations. Sun., 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Marion Street Market. Prices vary. All ages. Event details.

Oak Brook

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

Celebrate Mom at Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills
The Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort is showing its gratitude to Moms by hosting an extravagant community event in their honor. The newly renovated Grand Ballroom is being transformed into an opulent homage to the Lady of the Day, with flowers draped from the ceiling, stunning ice carvings, local fashion and themed table displays setting the scene. Sun., seatings at 10:30 a.m. & 1 p.m. Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills. $44/adult; $18/ages 5-12; free for ages 4 & under. All ages. Event details.


The Awesome Just Got Awesome-r
LEGOLAND® Discovery Center has tapped into that great Second City pride with their famous MINILAND Chicago and lucky us, they’ve added more marvel-worthy Windy City landmarks to their LEGO Kingdom. Pencil in a date to check out the all-new Soldier Field, O’Hare airport, City Builder attraction and 4D movie experience. Fri., noon-7 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 10 a.m.-7 p.m. LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Chicago. $13.50+/person. All ages. Event details

Tell us how you plan to spend your weekend in the Comments below!

— Maria Chambers