Summer fever has definitely struck! Not to fear: We have remedies. Check out our picks for the best family events around town. This weekend is especially hot, with everything from a train festival to a kiddie symphony to street parties galore. Enjoy that sunshine, everyone!
Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s “Little Red Hen”
To know this story is to love it — especially when live music is involved. For this installment of the family series, Once Upon a Symphony, watch as an industrious little red hen teaches her farmyard friends a valuable lesson about teamwork. Enjoy the music, imaginative sets, costumes and visual projections. Pre-concert activities led by music educators begin 45 minutes before the performance. Held Sun., 1:30 p.m. at McAninch Arts Center. $16/adult; $14/youth. Ages 3 & up. Event details.
Ha en bra dag! That roughly translates to “good times!” in Swedish. And that’s exactly what you’ll have at this fest, which features kids’ arts and crafts, maypole and folk dancing, music and mouth-watering international cuisine. Held Fri., 5-10 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., noon-10 p.m. Suggested donation of $10/person; children 12 & under free. All ages. Event details.
Ogden International School’s End of the Year Carnival
Step right up and try your hand at the ring toss or rubber ducky pond. Or check out the llama and her friends at the petting zoo. See if you can dunk the teacher into the water tank. Toss water balloons. Soar down the inflatable slide. Get your face paint or hair streaked. What fun! Held Fri., 3:30-5:30 p.m. $5/person. All ages. Event details.
“Moby Dick” On Stage
Arrr, matey! Captain Ahab and his swashbuckling crew are looking for young or seasoned pirates to set sail with them on a harrowing journey of fate vs. free will as they go up against the sea monster, Moby Dick. Join them as madness rages like the angry sea in this family-friendly show, presented by Lookingglass Theatre Company. Held Wed.-Aug. 9 at Water Tower Water Works. Tickets start at $40. Ages 7 & up. Event details.
Wells Street Art Festival
This isn’t just fancypants art for grownups. Stop by the Children’s Play Area on Wells and Evergreen so your kiddos can create their own masterpieces and hear The Happiness Club musical revue on Sunday at noon. Held Sat. & Sun., 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Wells Street, between North Avenue and Division Street. Suggested donation, $10/person. All ages. Event details.
“Chagall for Children” Exhibit
Step inside the world of world-renowned painter, printmaker and designer, Marc Chagall. Encourage your budding artist to explore light, color, composition and texture. With 14 multi-sensory stations, curious kiddos are sure to discover something new during each visit. Held thru Sept. 6 at Kohl Children’s Museum. $11/children & adults; under 1 are free. Ages 2-12. Event details.
Choo-choo enthusiasts, take note: This extravaganza has something for train lovers of all ages. Explore more than a dozen trains and see classic locomotive memorabilia. Kids can even take mini train rides. Stay for food, live entertainment and a carnival. Held Thurs. & Fri. starting at 5 p.m.; Sat & Sun. starting at noon at Calwagner Street & Franklin Avenue. Free (extra fee for train rides). All ages. Event details.
Butterflies & Blooms
Enter the serene tropical habitat made up of beautiful flowers and hundreds of butterflies fluttering about. Sit still and they may just land on you. Or try to catch them. Be gentle, though — they’re nature’s jewels. Held thru Sept. 7 at Chicago Botanic Garden. $6/adults; $5/seniors; $4/children 3-12; Children 2 & under free. All ages. Event details.
What are you excited to do this weekend? Tell us in the Comments!
— Kelly Aiglon & Maria Chambers
photo: Chicago Symphony Orchestra / Todd Rosenberg