Wowsers! There’s a wide range of fun to be had in Chicago this weekend. Go on a family quest for art, intro the kids to rock classics, launch a water lantern. Better rest up—you’re going to be busy. Read on for our Editor’s picks for finding smiles.

photo: Victoria Borodinova via Pixabay

First Weekend! Wicker Park Bucktown Art Quest
Celebrate the artistic roots of Wicker Park and Bucktown with a self-curated quest to check out dozens of vibrant murals, sculptures and galleries throughout the two neighborhoods. Fri.-Sun. Event details

Last Weekend! Jam as a Fam at Naper Nights 
Naper Settlement invites you to sit under the stars and listen to Phish, Grateful Dead, Rolling Stones and The Doors cover bands. Fri. & Sat. Event details

Go Apple Picking!
Apples are the superheroes of the fruit world—they have the power to keep doctors away. Fill your bags with the juicy, ripe fruit at a kid-loved u-pick nearby. More details.

Walk the Pond in Lincoln Park
The Lincoln Park Conservancy is hosting their annual Walk the Pond event with bubble artists, face painters and activity stations around North Pond. Sat. Event details

Run Away with Midnight Circus in the Parks
Chicago’s offbeat and totally entertaining circus is taking its act on the road, performing at McKinley Park. The troupe does high-wire acts, juggling, clowning and acrobatics to raise money to improve Chicago parks and playgrounds. Sat. Event details

Be Dazzled at Aurora’s Water Lantern Festival
As the sun begins to set on the evening sky, the Water Lantern Festival begins to shine with the launch of the lanterns carrying hope, love, happiness, healing, peace, and connection. It’s a night that you’ll never forget. Sat. Event details

Enjoy A Train-Enthusiast’s Dream at Chicago Botanic Garden 
Experience the delightful sights and sounds of miniature trains traversing high and low tunnels, across bridges and around buildings at the Model Railroad Garden. Fri.-Sun. Event details

Check Out Van Gogh for All
From Starry Nights to Yellow Houses, Chicagoans can explore the interactive and thought-provoking Van Gogh for All traveling pop-up that utilizes modern tech to offer new perspective on recognizable works of art. Fri.-Sun. Event details

New! The Machine Inside: Biomechanics Exhibit at Field
Get a closer look at nature’s incredible bioengineering that allows cheetahs to run, birds to flap their wings, burrs to stick to your sock in Field’s new immersive exhibit. Fri.-Sun. Event details

Watch a Virtual Chalk Art Fest
Acclaimed Chicago 3D chalk artist Nate Baranowski will demonstrate the creation of his you-have-to-see-it-to-believe-it 3D chalk art. Fri. Event details.

Captain Your Own Boat
Gather your family and take advantage of a Chicago summer day spent on the water, with you helming the boat. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Enjoy the Great Outdoors and the Human + Nature Sculptures
Five massive sculptures rise above the natural landscape at Morton Arboretum. The thought-provoking human forms paired with elements of nature bring attention to the deep connection between people and nature. Fri.-Sun. Event details

Didn’t find what you’re looking for? Luck is on your side because we have loads more to-dos on our calendar—even lots of virtual activities to connect with people, museums and businesses all over the country. Check it out!

— Maria Chambers


100 Things to Do with Kids in Chicago

Find Your Path to Family Fun on These Chicago Bike Trails

Get to Know Your City with This Chicago-Themed Scavenger Hunt