Have you finally wrapped your mind around the fact that it’s October? Good, because we’re halfway through! Take a break from stocking the closets with cold-weather gear to enjoy all the fun happenings around the city. From staying cozy indoors at storytime with Storybook Mom to enjoying s’mores around the campfire, read on to find the best of the best for weekend fun.
Midnight Circus in the Parks
Chicago’s offbeat and totally entertaining circus takes its act on the road, performing in parks in all corners of the city. The troupe does high-wire acts, juggling, clowning and acrobatics. It’s all for a good cause: The tour raises money to improve public parks and playgrounds. Fri., 7 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 2 p.m. & 5 p.m. Welles Park. $20/adults, $15/kids, free for ages 2 & under on laps. All ages. Event details.
Paschke Pages: Family Storytime with Storybook Mom
Artful story time and light refreshments with wildly popular Storybook Mom, Nili Yelin. Listen as Storybook Mom reads from a hand-picked selection of books about artistic talent, inspiration and the creative process that reflect the growth, friendship and collaboration between Ed Paschke and the Zhou Brothers on view in the exhibit, Journey to Art. Sat., 11 a.m.-11:45 a.m. Ed Paschke Art Center. Free. All ages. 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 and make new discoveries before Mother Cat comes slinking home. Daily, varied showtimes. Emerald City’s Little Theatre. $15, $8/children 1 & under. Ages 0-5. Event details.
Lyric Opera’s Kid-Friendly Second Nature
Lyric Opera is bringing their newly commissioned, kid-friendly opera, Second Nature, to Francis W. Parker School. Set in a fictional future, it tells the story of two courageous youths who decide to leave the safety of their artificial habitat and work to heal the planet. Sat., 2 p.m. Francis W. Parker School. Free. Ages 7-12. Event details.
Lakeshore Rooftop Maze
Lakeshore Sport & Fitness has unveiled the largest rooftop maze in Chicago! Located on the 18,000-square-foot astro turf, each Saturday will feature different themes, games and challenges such as Pac Man, Harry Potter, Zombies and more. Crafts, cider making and face painting will be part of the day. Come for the activities and stay for the BOOfet and Halloween-themed movie at Lakeshore’s Harvest rooftop restaurant. Sat., 3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. (activities), 5:30 p.m. (movie). Lakeshore Sport & Fitness. Free for members; $5/non-member child; $9/child buffet; $19/adult buffet. Ages 2 & up. Event details.
Magic Tree House: A Night in New Orleans
Take your kids to a musical and watch beloved Magic Tree House characters, Jack and Annie, venture through the tuneful streets of 1915 New Orleans, where they discover 14-year-old Louis Armstrong and must set him on the trumpeting path to become the “King of Jazz.” This triumphant tale explores a world where possibilities are endless and stirs the soul of the Jazz Age. Sun., 1 p.m. Apollo Theater. tickets start at $15. Ages 5 & up. Event details.
First-Ever Fall Fest at Lincoln Park Zoo
Usher in the harvest season with your animal friends at Lincoln Park Zoo’s first-ever Fall Fest, a family celebration complete with rides, activities and entertainment. An a-maize-ing corn maze, Ferris wheel, hay mountain, a giant 60-ft. burlap sack slide and hay wagon rides round out the fun. Pumpkins will be available for sale at the Pritzker Family Children’s Zoo pumpkin patch daily throughout October. Fri.-Sun, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Lincoln Park Zoo. Free admission; $3/ride tickets. All ages. Event details.
Saturday Kids Pokemon League
Pokemon fans have a place to learn how to play the game! Every Saturday they can learn with other Pokemon Trainers. They may use any cards they have, but must bring or purchase a ready-to-play 60 card deck. Don’t know how to play? Arrive at 10 a.m. for a learn-to-play session. At 10:30 players will be matched and play will begin. Trainers can earn incentives along the way for attendance, good sportsmanship and wins! Sat., 10 a.m. Cat & Mouse West Loop. Free; $10/fee if you drop off kids. Ages 7-12. Event Details.
Family Camping at the Farm
Spend the evening camping out at Fischer Farm and enjoy some quality family fun! You bring the camping gear and the farm will provide hotdogs (which you will cook on the fire), chips and a beverage for dinner, s’mores and a continental breakfast. Sat., 5 p.m. to Sun., 10 a.m. Fischer Farm. $8/resident; $10/non-resident. All ages. Event details.
Run! Jump! Fly! Adventures in Action
Kohl Children’s Museum is out to show kids that exercise is fun with their newest exhibit, Run! Jump! Fly! Adventures in Action. Visitors will engage in five different exercise simulations that include surfing, snowboarding, kung fu and rock climbing – all in a fun and immersive environment. Sat., 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., noon-5 p.m. Kohl Children’s Museum. $11; free for children 1 & under. Ages 0-8. Event details.
Scary or spectacular – Morton Arboretum lets you be the judge. Find out where spiders live and how they help our gardens grow. They’ll even have spiders available for viewing. Sat. & Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Morton Arboretum. Free with admission. All ages. Event details.
Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm Pumpkin Fest
Harvest memories with your family with a visit to Siegel’s Pumpkin Fest. Guests will find a petting zoo, hayrack rides to a u-pick pumpkin field, train rides, haunted barn, 2-acre corn maze, pony rides, zombie paintball ride, a climbing wall, gem mining and more! Don’t forget your Siegel’s Suds, homebrewed sodas in a special souvenir cup. Sept. 26-Nov. 1, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm. $15. All ages. Event details.
Walk the Green Pumpkin Trail
Oak Park businesses are hosting a Green Pumpkin Trail full of free kids’ activities. Start at the Oak Park Visitors Center to pick up a map and sticker card. Collect stickers and healthy treats and receive a special treat at the last stop. Be sure to give a big “hello!” to Jake the Neverland Pirate, Princess Sofia the First and Queen Elsa along the way. Also included in the day: a pumpkin patch where you can purchase and decorate a pumpkin, a costume contest, live music, free screening of Casper, face painting with vegan paints and scary story times. Sat., 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Lake St./Marion St./North Blvd. Free. Ages 3-8. Event details.
Rediscover Disney Classics on the Big Screen
Revisit beloved Disney classics on the big screen with your favorite Disney groupies. The Walt Disney Company and Cinemark Seven Bridges will show four throwback films daily, seven days a week. Showing this week: Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Wall-E and Up. Daily, varied showtimes. Cinemark Seven Bridges. $5. All ages. Event details.
Let us in on your weekend plans in the Comments below!