Forget what they say about April showers. You won’t let a rainy day stand in your way of having a good time this month. Start with a kindie rock concert by Laura Doherty & The Heartbeats and move on to an outer space-themed circus and toy shop celebration. You’ll find excitement outside of the city, too, at the Touch-a-Truck event in St. Charles and Facets kids’ film series in Lake Forest. Puddle jumping was never so fun.
Laura Doherty & The Heartbeats Concert
One of our favorite kindie rock artists is back with a live show — and she’s joined by her full crew, The Heartbeats. She’ll get everyone moving with songs from her new children’s CD, “In a Heartbeat”, which is a whirl of breezy folk-pop. Also, expect songs from her previous two acclaimed albums. Held Sat., 11 a.m. Schubas. $8. All ages. Event details.
Timeless Toys 20th Birthday Party
The charming Lincoln Square mom-and-pop toy shop is putting 20 candles on its cake — and you’re invited to celebrate. Head over for giveaways, games, prizes, balloons, glitter tattoos and more. Held Sat., 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. All ages. Event details.
CircEsteem Spring Circus
Blast off on an intergalactic adventure navigating asteroid belts, martians, astronauts and more. CircEsteem, Chicago’s premiere youth circus, is taking you on ”A Space Odyssey.” Circus stunts include everything from aerial feats to juggling, and what’s really special about this journey is that performers are students ages 3-18. Held Sat., Sun & Apr. 12 at Alternatives. $16/adults; $8/children. All ages. Event details.
“Here Comes the Sun” at Alder Planetarium
Explore the power of the nearest and brightest star through special weekly programs including Young Explorers Mondays, where the very young can go adrift in the galaxy via a special sky show, “One World, One Sky,” starring Big Bird and Elmo. Every Friday is Homegrown Solar Science, where families can build their own solar oven or window garden. And on Saturdays, local artists help you create a cosmic masterpiece using the sun, planets and moons as inspiration. Held through April 27. All ages. Event details.
Macy’s Flower Show
Take your little sprout to see the pretty blooms and enjoy family fun. “Speed chalk artist” Shaun Hays will create a 3D illusion over the course of the show. Through Saturday, Family Fun Days offer face painting, crafting, demos from Brookfield Zoo crew experts, DIY mini-garden workshops and more. Held thru Sun. Macy’s on State Street. Free. All ages. Event details.
Passover Play Day
This holiday celebration invites you to make Matzah covers and finger puppets, sing holiday songs and do relay races. Visit the storybook corner that has loads of reads related to the holiday. After the fun winds down, change into your swimsuit and take a dip in the indoor pool. Held Sun., 2-4 p.m. Bernard Weinger JCC. Free. All ages. Event details.
Ape Awareness Weekend
Go wild at Brookfield Zoo, where apes of all kinds are being celebrated with special Zoo Chats in the Tropic World section of the zoo. You’ll learn about orangutans, gibbons, gorillas and more, discovering their plight in the wild and the need for their conservation. Held Sat. & Sun., 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Brookfield Zoo. Included in zoo admission. All ages. Event details.
Savor a big piece of the country at St. Charles’ Touch-a-Tractor event. Life is quiet and calm in this part of Illinois, and you’ll feel it as you pretend you’re a farmer and sit on an actual tractor, ride mini pedal tractors, shell corn and meet farm animals. Held Sat., noon-4 p.m. & Sun., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Kane County Farm Bureau. Free. All ages. Event details.
Facets Kids’ Film Series
This family-friendly series includes award-winning animation and live-action shorts from the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival. Today’s show, “Chocolate Fingers,” includes nine short films. Watch as a young boy learns how to be a big brother, how a band of woodland critters plan to restore their habitat from encroaching city folk, and how a youngster dreams of romance. Held Sun., 4 p.m. Gorton Community Center. $12. Ages 4 & up. Event details.
What are your big plans for April? Let us know in the Comments section below!
— Kelly Aiglon
Photo: Laura Doherty & The Heartbeats