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Oak Fest

Oak Forest, Ill.


Enjoy live music, food vendors, a carnival, bingo, Fourth of July fireworks and a car show at Oak Fest.

When: For more information visit event website.
Cost: Free

Frontier Days

Arlington Heights, Ill.


Frontier Days features family friendly activities, live music, a carnival, a Fourth of July parade and a craft market.

When: For more information visit event website.
Cost: Free; carnival tickets and other activities cost extra; free shuttle service

Celebrating the Fourth

Kline Creek Farm | West Chicago, Ill.


Visitors can play hoops and graces and other 1890s outdoor games, tour the historic farmhouse, join a casual game of baseball, make a patriotic craft project, and watch a celebratory model hot-air balloon launch.

When: 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Cost: Free

Evening in the Country: The Glorious Fourth

Kline Creek Farm | West Chicago, Ill.


Visitors can churn fresh ice cream and enjoy additional balloon launches. At 6 p.m., costumed interpreters will present a Fourth of July ceremony featuring patriotic songs and a reading of the Declaration of Independence followed by an ice cream social.

When: 5-8 p.m.
Cost: Free

Made in Chicago

Chicago Children's Museum | Chicago, Ill.


Share your culture and talents at a showcase all about Chicago kids. Visitors of all ages and abilities can take to the stage to sing, dance, or just play. Stick around to jitter and jive during the Dance Party.

When: 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free

Light Up the Sky

Chicago Children's Museum | Chicago, Ill.

Add bursts of color to a communal fireworks mural.

When: 2:15 p.m. July 1, 3, 6-9
Cost: Free with museum admission

Petite Chefs

Chicago Children's Museum | Chicago, Ill.

Introduce your taste buds to new foods with chefs from the Washburne Culinary Institute. Space is limited; free tickets are available at the Bonnie Fine Worshop one hour prior to start of program.

When: 3:30, 4:30, 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. July 2 and Aug. 6
Cost: Free with admission

Northwest Fourth Fest

Sears Centre Arena | Hoffman Estates, Ill.


Hoffman Estates, Hanover Township and the Park District of Hoffman Estates host a celebration that features the region's largest fireworks show, carnival rides for the whole family, food and drink offerings, live nightly music and free parking. Sunday is Family Day, with animals, balloons, pony rides, touch-a-truck and a Ralph's World performance.

When: July 1-5. Check website for schedule.
Cost: Free; carnival rides cost extra

Butterflies & Blooms

Chicago Botanic Garden | Glencoe, Ill.

Outdoor butterfly garden where visitors can immerse themselves with hundreds of live tropical butterfly species from around the world. A field guide is available to help visitors identify dozens of species in the exhibition. Visitors can also observe butterflies hatching through a window into the pupa emergence room.

When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m., weather permitting.
Cost: $6, $5 seniors, $4 kids 3-12. Discounts for members and combination tickets available.

Festival of Flight

Brookfield Zoo | Brookfield, Ill.

Fly high with excitement while you watch trained birds soar, swoop, and dive as they demonstrate their natural flight abilities. Vultures, hawks, parrots, a hadada ibis, and a variety of other bird species will demonstrate natural behaviors as they fly overhead and interact with the audience and the host of the show. Guests will see a trumpeter hornbill catching objects, African white-necked ravens collecting cash for conservation, and more. Three shows are offered daily.

Cost: Free with zoo admission

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