There’s no such thing as too much fun, and this weekend is proof of that. We’re showing you where to kick off the fall fest season, see a cruelty-free circus and giving you a tip on a safe bet for big smiles with the grandparents  – Sunday is National Grandparents Day, after all! Read on and get your planning engines started!

photo: courtesy of White77 via Pixabay



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.

Lincoln Park

Donut Fest at Lincoln Park Zoo
Go nuts for donuts! You won’t be able to resist the smell of Chicago’s most famous and popular donut shops and bakeries, which will be on zoo grounds for this splendidly sweet tasting experience. Enjoy live entertainment, games, giveaways and more! Sat. Event details.

Barkin’ Brunch on the Patio at Cafe Brauer
Schedule a date . . . with your favorite pooch because Lincoln Park Zoo’s Cafe Brauer would like to invite you and your furry friend to brunch on the patio. Sun. Event details.

Museum Campus

Free Admission at Shedd Aquarium
Illinois residents have free access to the original galleries at Shedd as well as discounted rates on other packages to experience sharks in the Wild Reef, and beluga whales, dolphins and sea lions in the Abbott Oceanarium. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

West Loop

Kolcraft Baby Day
You’re invited to Kolcraft’s inaugural Baby Day! This free event includes baby product discounts, food, children’s activities, free raffles, informational seminars from industry experts and photo opps with the World’s Largest Stroller! Sat. Event details.


Last Chance of the Season! Family Sundays are Best with the Sox
The White Sox ballpark experience for kids will feature special kid-focused activities throughout the concourse and the opportunity to run the bases after game. Play ball! Sun. Event details.

Various Locations

Get Your Hands Dirty at a Grandparents Day Brunch
Grandparents and kids get to work side-by-side to make a delicious brunch of Fried Egg, Squash & Pecorino Toast, Mixed Greens & Pear Streusel Coffee Cake, and then enjoy it together! It’s the perfect combo of a fun activity, hands-on cooking instruction, a delicious meal and recipes so you can recreate the dishes at home. Sun. Event details.



Touch-A-Truck Event
Elmhurst Park District invites you to bring the kids to Berens Park to touch, feel and climb through a variety of trucks and vehicles, including fire trucks, tow trucks and more! Sat. Event details.


Opening Weekend! Shades of Autumn Festival
Take a little drive for more than 25 family friendly attractions at the Shades of Autumn Festival. You’ll find the traditional hayrides, pumpkin picking and petting zoo. But, the little ones are also going to be wowed by the famous pumpkin cannon, hamster track, semi-truck slide, trikes for tikes, scrumptious apple cider donuts and so much more. Sat. & Sun. Event details.

Oak Park/River Forest

Faire at the Square
Enjoy this free, creative-reuse carnival with carnival-themed games made out of repurposed materials! Win prizes, learn about local plants and animals, and more. Fri. Event details.


Snooze in Nature at Emily Oaks Farms
It’s prime camping weather, so sneak in at least one more night under the stars. Kids will pitch tents, explore Emily Oaks at night, roast marshmallows over a campfire and play games. Fri. Event details.

— Maria Chambers

A Bunch of Cool Things to Do for $25 or Less
Harvest Festivals You Don’t Want to Miss
Field Day! 8 Local Corn Mazes to Get Lost In


. . . and check out our Events calendar for even more suggestions.