Now that the Fourth of July craziness is over, it’s time to slow down and relax. Okay, who are we kidding? You’re just getting started! This weekend, head to the Wisconsin border for Bristol Renaissance Faire, chow down at Burger Fest, and hear Mr. Singer play live. Also, it’s the opening weekend of both Seussical at Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Charlotte’s Web at Broadway Playhouse. The only question is: What will you do first?
Bristol Renaissance Faire
Calling all lords and ladies: It’s time to party like it’s 1499. With complimentary children’s rides for kids of all ages, plus games and stages upon stages of live entertainment (we’re talking mud wrestling, jugglers and acrobats), this throwback to medieval times is a Ye Must! You’ve probably heard about the food, too, especially those huge turkey legs that you eat sans silverware. Held every Saturday, Sunday & Labor Day from 10 a.m.-7 p.m, through Sept. 1. Off I-94, just over the Wisconsin border. $23.95 adult; $11.50 child 5-12; free for children 4 & younger; $125 for a season pass. All ages. Event details.
Some of the most iconic Dr. Seuss stories come together in an extravaganza of fun, laughs and lessons. Your kids will be endlessly entertained by the unbeatable combination of Horton Hears a Who!, The One Feather Tail of Miss Gertrude McFuzz and Oh, the Thinks You Can Think! Make sure you stick around after the show for autographs and photos with the cast. Held thru Aug. 17 at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. $18/child 12 & under; $28/adult. Ages 5 & up. Event details.
The mismatched duo, pig Wilbur and spider Charlotte, and the rest of their farm friends are coming to the big city this summer. Ernie Nolan is bringing E.B. White’s childhood classic tale (piggy tale, that is), Charlotte’s Web, to life on stage. Your little ones can watch as Wilbur evolves from the runt of the litter into the farmhouse hero with a little help from his arachnid friend. Held Thurs.-Aug. 17. Emerald City Theater at Broadway Playhouse. All ages. Event details.
Square Roots Festival
With the Old Town School of Folk Music leading the entertainment, you know there will be lots of reasons to twist and shout. From Wiggleworms music sessions to multicultural dance performances to rock gigs as the day rolls into night, this fest is perfect for families that love tunes. Bring a bathing suit or a change of clothes so that your kiddo can enjoy the splash pad at Welles Park. Held Fri., 5-10 p.m.; Sat., noon–10 p.m.; Sun., noon–9 p.m. on Lincoln Avenue, between Montrose & Wilson. Suggested donation $10/adults; $5/children & seniors; $20/families. All ages. Event details.
Mr. Singer Concert
Enjoy an evening of dancing and listening to family friendly tunes from this kindie rocker (he has a huge following!). Kids will love the ice cream and pizza that they can chow down on after they play in Little Beans Cafe. You will be able to enjoy the concert outside as long as the weather stays beautiful. Held Fri., 5-7 p.m. at Little Beans Cafe. $25 for 1 child; $35 for 2 children; $45 for 3 children. All ages. Event details.
Aside from the awesome burgers from your favorite local joints, there will also be endless music on two stages. Don’t forget the Kids’ Zone with arts and crafts, inflatables, rock climbing, miniature golf, a 35-foot slide and inflatable jousting. Held Sat. & Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (kids’ zone hours) at Belmont & Damen avenues. $8 suggested donation for admission. All ages. Event details.
City Mini Golf
This traveling mini golf course will set up shop at five local schools and one park, where families can enjoy a round or two. This is a fun way to give back to the community because 15% of the profits go back to the schools that are hosting the course. Held Tues.-July 20 at Jahn Elementary School. $8/person; $5 for second round; $15 play-all-day pass. All ages. Event details.
With three music stages, spray can artists and a mechanical bull, West Fest is a non-stop party. Its kids’ area includes train rides, bouncy houses, an obstacle course and balloon darts, just to name a few. There will even be family-friendly performances from local favorites on the kids’ stage. Kids’ area open Sat. & Sun., noon-7 p.m at Chicago Avenue between Damen Avenue & Wood Street. $5 suggested donation for admission. All ages. Event details.
Your kiddos can enjoy a little slice of the excitement surrounding the Tour-de-France at this family “race.” Work up a sweat riding around the 1.246-mile path. Parents can also walk with their little ones. Don’t worry there will be “SAG” (support and gear) stops along the way with snacks and drink. Held Sat., 9-11 a.m., departing from 3704 111th St. $16/residents; $24/non-residents. All ages. Event details.
Concert & Ice Cream in the Park
Pack a picnic and a blanket and enjoy a great night of music. During Concert in the Park, you’ll be rockin’ to different bands throughout summer at Moehling Park. This week’s act is Groundspeed. Top off a night of tunes with a cool scoop from Capannari Ice Cream, directly adjacent to the park. Held Sun., 6-8 p.m. at 10 S. Pine St. Free. All ages. Event details.
Which of these events catches your eye? Let us know in the Comments below!
— Kelly Aiglon & Natasha Davis
Photo: Bristol Renaissance Faire