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Malott Japanese Garden Family Sunday

Chicago Botanic Garden | Glencoe, Ill.


Enjoy hands-on activities related to Japanese gardens and culture, and make a take-home project. Different projects and activities are featured each week, including raking miniature dry gardens, trying chopsticks and practicing calligraphy.

When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: Free

Very Important Rocker concert

The James Hotel | Chicago, Ill.


Join non-profit Common Threads and top-selling kindie artists including Ralph’s World, Brady Rymer, Happiness Club and Laura Doherty & Jeanie B from the Kindie All-Stars in a special acoustic concert. Plus, meet and greet with the artists, healthy cooking demos from Common Threads and samples form Lifeway and Quaker. RSVP to


When: 8:30 a.m.-11 a.m.
Cost: $10 family donation suggested

First Responders Day

Arlington Park Racecourse | Arlington Heights, Ill.

Event honors first responders and raise awareness and funds for the Gary Sinise Foundation. Attendees can experience the 9/11 Remembrance Rescue Project’s hands-on fire engine and Rescue 4. Other activities will include Police vs. Fire Foot Race out of the Gate, FireZone course for Kids, a chili cook-off and more.

When: 11:15 a.m. gates open
Cost: Free with admission; free to first responders

Making History: Toys and Tinkering

Quilombo Cultural Center | Chicago, Ill.


Lincoln Logs, Ludwig drums and Harmony guitars were all made and shipped along the Bloomingdale Rail Line. Learn about the rich manufacturing history and make some ingenious toys and musical instruments to take home. Part of Trail Mix, a free monthly series of family events and conversations about The 606.

When: 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Cost: Free

Insect Songs

Rush Creek Conservation Area | Harvard, Ill.

Learn about the calls of field crickets, tree crickets, cicadas, and katydids and try to catch them in the act.

When: 1:30-3 p.m.
Cost: $2, free resident

MARVEL Weekend

Hollywood Palms Cinema | Naperville, Ill.


Celebrate the opening weekend of "The Guardians of the Galaxy" with comic drawing classes, CGI photo ops, comic legend appearances and more. Tickets for classes need to be purchased in advance.

When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: Free; cost for comic book class

Laugh Shack

Chicago Children's Museum | Chicago, Ill.

Try out some goofy faces, learn a wacky walk or build an arsenal of original knock-knock jokes. Once your material is ready, it's time to hit the stage and showcase your best bits at the Children's Museum's own comedy club.


Sox vs. Cubs: The Chicago Civil Wars

Elmhurst Historical Museum | Elmhurst, Ill.

Exhibit highlights the longtime rivalry between the fans of these two storied teams. This cultural history exposé covers all the bases of the crosstown rivalry to examine concepts of loyalty and fandom through videos of each team’s colorful supporters; interviews with former players, sports journalists and broadcasters; and fan souvenirs and ephemera.

Cost: Free with admission

Funky Turns 40: Black Character Revolution Exhibition

DuSable Museum of African American History | Chicago, Ill.

Exhibit commemorates the 40th anniversaries of 1970's Saturday morning cartoons that featured positive black characters for the first time in television history. It was the first time that cartoons like Josie And The Pussy Cats, Kid Power and Star Trek featured strong, positive black female characters. It was also the first time that black people like Bill Cosby and Berry Gordy led the development of animated television programming featuring black characters.

Cost: Free with admission

Destination Solar System

Adler Planetarium | Chicago, Ill.

A live show that takes adventurous space explorers on an immersive tour of the Solar System. Set in the future, Destination Solar System flies audiences from one end of the Solar System to the other in under 30 minutes, from sizzling solar flares on the Sun to liquid methane lakes on Saturn's moon, Titan. Passengers can travel hundreds of millions of miles in just seconds on an adventure-filled tour led by Jesse, an enthusiastic, knowledgeable yet "green" tour guide, and MAX, a highly advanced, fully integrated onboard computer.

Cost: Check website

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