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Oak Fest

Oak Forest, Ill.

FREE  

The Oak Forest festival festures bingo, a bean bag tournament, bands, a car show, food, and family fun, including a carnival. Event culminates with fireworks on July 4.

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

Celebrating the Fourth

Kline Creek Farm | West Chicago, Ill.

FREE  

Visitors can experience the excitement of one of the country’s first holidays by playing hoops and graces and other 1890s outdoor games, touring the historic farmhouse, joining a casual game of baseball, making a patriotic craft project, churning ice cream for an ice cream social, and watching celebratory model hot-air balloon launches. At 6 p.m., costumed interpreters will present a Fourth of July ceremony featuring patriotic songs and a reading the Declaration of Independence followed by an ice cream social at 7 p.m. There will also be horse-drawn wagon rides at 5:30, 6:15 and 7 p.m.

When: 1:30-8 p.m.
Cost: Free; $5 wagon rides

Shark Spectacular

Itasca Park District Waterpark | Itasca, Ill.

Celebrate Shark Week with crafts, games and activities. The first 50 guests will take home a gift.

When: 1-3 p.m.
Cost: Free with pool admission

The Stars of the Peking Acrobats

Ravinia Festival | Highland Park, Ill.

A troupe of China's most gifted tumblers, contortionists, jugglers, cyclists, and gymnasts complemented by live musicians playing traditional Chinese instruments.



 

When: 7 p.m.; gates open at 4 p.m.
Cost: $15, $5 lawn

Origami in the Garden

The Morton Arboretum | Lisle, Ill.

Visitors will be awed by 25 displays of metal sculptures based on the traditional Japanese art of paper folding as they walk paths through the Arboretum’s spectacular landscape. Created by Santa Fe-based artists Kevin and Jennifer Box, the exhibit features installations, gallery works, and the Boxes' own compositions, as well as collaborative works with some of the world’s top origami artists.

When: 7 a.m.-sunset
Cost: Free with arboretum admission

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.

Dinos & Dragons

Brookfield Zoo | Brookfield, Ill.

Dinos & Dragons will feature 17 animatronic creatures, including the Stegosaurus, Apatosaurus, Tyrannosaurus rex, and Chinese dragon. Along the winding outdoor path, guests can explore the origins of myths and legends through culture, literature, and paleontology that is illustrated on signage. Inside a tented area, zoogoers can get up-close views of live reptiles, including a 6-foot-long Komodo dragon, seen for the first time at Brookfield Zoo. The temporary exhibit will also have hands-on activities, as well as a dinosaur dissection lab, dino dig boxes, and an excavation site.

Cost: $5, $3 kids 3-11

Forts

Chicago Children's Museum | Chicago, Ill.

Visitors are invited to imagine, construct, and play within their own special places as everyday materials take on new shapes and purposes to become a fort builder's paradise. Forts inspires both constructive planning and imaginative play. As children negotiate, problem solve, and take turns, they develop interpersonal practices.

Cost: Free with museum admission

Science + You

Kohl Children's Museum | Glenview, Ill.

Exhibit features a child-sized laboratory where kids can explore how scientists impact health and wellness through hands-on, interactive machinery, processes and technology. A demonstration area of the exhibit will allow guest scientists and educators to perform fun and interactive scientific experiments appropriate for young children.

Cost: Free with admission

Community Roots: Agriculture in Naperville

Naper Settlement | Naperville, Ill.

The exhibit allows visitors to see the progression of land use, learn why early settlers chose the livestock they did, how the community supported agriculture and the impact technology had on farming and the changing landscape and population. The Gregory family, who owned a 400-acre farm which is now the Westfield Fox Valley Shopping Center, is among many Naperville farm families represented in the exhibition. On view is Larry Gregory’s 4-H electricity projects from 1947 and 1948, where he laid out future plans for wiring farm houses after World War II.

Cost: Free with museum admission
 
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