Festive fall fun is everywhere in Chicago this weekend. Kick off Autumn by grabbing a pumpkin at a Fall Fest, a brew at an Oktoberfest or dream of taking to the skies at a Flight Fest. Better rest up — that’s a lot of Fests to get through. Read on for our Editor’s picks for finding smiles.
photo: World Music Fest Chicago
IN THE CITY
The Revival Presents: The Explorers
Spend an afternoon with the Explorers, a rag-tag group of knowledge-seekers, as they adventure to unknown territory in search of learning and laughter. Whether they’re exploring Outer Space, a Doctor’s Office, or even the Human Brain, this group is sure to meet fun, silly characters along the way. Sat. Event details.
Pet a Stingray at Shedd Aquarium’s Stingray Touch
Get up close and personal with stingrays at the Shedd Aquarium’s Stingray Touch exhibit. Dip your hand into a shallow tropical pool to find out what a stingray feels like. Feel their unique texture as they glide through the water in Shedd’s first outdoor environment. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Field Market Days at The Field Museum
Enjoy fresh food, live music, and lakefront views at a monthly farmers market in The Field Museum’s own backyard! Shop local produce, prepared foods, craft beer and other goods offered by local businesses and vendors. Sat. Event details.
Come One, Come All! 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. Sat. & Sun. Event details.
7th Annual Harvest Celebration in Rogers Park
Welcome the changing of the season at this annual autumn extravaganza with free fun and games for the family! Enjoy a day in the park by joining the community for refreshments, FREE hayrides, pumpkins, treats and entertainment! Sat. Event details.
18th Annual World Music Festival
Introduce your future globe trotter to music by performers that have come here from Latin America, Africa and beyond playing at venues all across the city. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
JBaby Chicago’s Ultimate Rosh Hashanah Playdate
Celebrate the fall holidays with jBaby Chicago! Play in their pop-up Sukkah, make Rosh Hashanah cards, enjoy a baby-tot concert and eat yummy snacks! Sun. Event details.
IN THE ‘BURBS
Glenview Flight Fest
Did you know Glenview was once home to the largest primary training facility for the U.S. Navy? Learn about and celebrate Glenview’s impressive aviation history at their annual Flight Fest. Attendees will be treated to live music, a peek at a traveling naval base museum, model airplane demonstrations and family activities from inflatables to rock climbing walls. Sat. Event details.
Last Few Weeks: Ribbit! The Exhibit Hops Into Morton Arboretum
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, including playing instruments, catching butterflies and meditating on a lily pad. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Siegel’s Farm Pumpkin Fest
Siegel’s Farm welcomes families to harvest family memories at the annual Pumpkin Fest, Affordable Fun on the Farm®. General admission tickets include more than 30 attractions. New attractions feature Kaden’s Birdie Barracks (a 4th playland) and Kiddie Zip Line. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Hofbräuhaus Chicago Oktoberfest
The sister location to the legendary original in Munich is surprisingly family friendly on weekend afternoons. In a grand dining hall packed with communal tables, you can get excited about a rotating array of European musicians that play oompah music on stage (brace yourself for the chicken dance). There are also kids’ parades and games, and you might even see an aplhorn, a long horn used by Swiss mountain dwellers. Come hungry for traditional german fare. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Wendy & DB Giving a Summer Send Off
Wendy & DB love to get kids singing, wiggling, jumping, dancing and just having a great time! Their original songs encourage children to use their imaginations, teach musical basics like melody and rhythm, and show kids how to have fun with words. Bring a blanket and picnic lunch. Fri. Event details.
For more ideas on how to spend your weekend, check out our Family Events Calendar.
Tell us how you plan to spend your weekend in the Comments below!
— Maria Chambers