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Pierogi Fest

Whiting, Ind.


Festival features food, entertainment, kids' play area, polka parade and pierogi eating contest.

When: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. July 29-30, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. July 31
Cost: Free

Walgreens Chicago International Dragon Boat Festival

Arlington Heights, Ill.


Dragon Boat crews are comprised of competitive teams around North America, as well as local corporate teams. The event multicultural performances, the Walgreens Health & Wellness Village, exhibitions, food vendors and a Kids Zone.

When: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: Free

Jeff Fest

Chicago , Ill.

The northwest side's cozy Jefferson Park neighborhood throws its annual community party with food, music, arts/crafts and activities for kids.

When: 5-9 p.m. July 29; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. July 30-31
Cost: $5

Tall Ships Chicago

Chicago, Ill.

The festival kicks off with a Parade of Sail. Then, starting Thursday, ticketed guests have the opportunity to view, tour and even sail away on participating vessels.

When: 3-10 p.m. July 27; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. July 28-30; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. July 31
Cost: $10 general admission; $15 dockside boarding, $25 weekend dockside boarding

Family Twilight Adventures

The Morton Arboretum | Lisle, Ill.

Go on a hike, do activities and roast marshmallows before going on a silent tram ride through the woods after dark to see what animals come out when people go home.

When: 7-9 p.m. July 8 and 23; Aug. 5 and 20; Sept. 9 and 17
Cost: $19

Creature Feature

The Morton Arboretum | Lisle, Ill.

From tails to scales to slimy skin, meet some real reptiles and amphibians. Deb the Frog Lady showcases this incredible group of animals and kids will even get to hold a few.

When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: Free with arboretum admission

Wildlife Campout

Willowbrook Wildlife Center | Glen Ellyn, Ill.

Bring your camping gear and sleep with your family under the stars. Enjoy fun, spooky stories by the fire; learn about owls and other animals; meet the center’s raptors; and hit the trails for a star-lit hike. Dinner and breakfast are included, and some tents are available for rent for an extra fee.

When: 6 p.m.-9 a.m.
Cost: $30, $20 kids 7-15

Bats in Your Belfry?

Volo Bog State Natural Area | Ingleside, Ill.


The program begins with a video and talk and then caravans to the site's famous bat barn. Participants should bring lawn chairs and mosquito repellent. Registration is required.

When: 6:50-9 p.m.
Cost: Free

Kids Identification and Safety Seat (K.I.S.S.) event

DuPage Children's Museum | Naperville, Ill.


To help locate children if they go missing and protect them when they are traveling, the Illinois Tollway and Illinois State Police District 15 are hosting a free Kids Identification and Safety Seat (K.I.S.S.) event. Parents, grandparents and caregivers are invited to stop by to create free kids’ ID cards and get help with child safety seat inspections.

When: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Cost: Free

The Wizarding World of DCM

DuPage Children's Museum | Naperville, Ill.

Be sorted into special museum houses and create magical masterpieces. Search for the golden snitch, Dobby’s sock, and other items from the Harry Potter universe hidden throughout the museum’s neighborhoods. Plus, explore the science of wizardry by attending a special “Potions Class” in the lab.

When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: Free with museum admission

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