Refugee Tibetan Monks from the Drepung Gomang Monastery create the mandala, a sacred sand painting, by meticulously arranging dyed sand in intricate patterns to represent the Buddhist principal of compassion. Special chanting ceremonies to spread their message of peace and compassion take place at noon and 5 p.m. On Aug. 15, the monks perform a closing ceremony in which the completed sand painting will be dismantled and the sands will be poured into water to represent the transitory nature of material life.When: 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m.
Weaving together dream-like narratives of the assassinations and attempted assassinations of the U.S. presidents, this musical comedy brings to light the pain of alienation, regret, and isolation that underlies each character's failure to achieve the American Dream. Previews Oct. 10; the show runs through Nov. 10. Performances are Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. (Nov. 6 only), Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. (Oct. 10 only); Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday at 7 p.m. For tickets or more information visit assassins-chicago.com.Cost: Tickets are $45.
The new Railway Garden, a G-gauge model railway running through a 2.5 acre site, opens April 30. Visitors enter through a 1920s-era railway depot to see trains running through a garden of miniature plants, water features and a variety of landscapes. May 1 through October.When: 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
Visitors can walk inside the two-story silo and turn the crank of a silage machine, watching "corn plants" delivered to the top of the silo. Plus, learn about the history of silos and silage, build miniature silos with building blocks simulating wood, brick and metal and much more.Cost: Free with admission
See a toy so amazing, so unbelievable, it has the power to transform into anything you want it to be. Enter a world where imagination rules, and ordinary becomes extraordinary.Cost: Free with admission
Kids enter artist Gino Severini's interpretation of trains by role-playing engineer, passenger or conductor in a child-size train and look for objects in an eight-foot wide "hidden pictures" mural of artist Don Stewart's "Steam Train." Plus, enjoy specially designed wooden train tables and a huge new interactive crane.
Cost: Free with admission
The exhibit features the illustrations of W. W. Denslow, a Chicago resident whose famous illustrations helped to inspire the design of the classic 1939 MGM film starring Judy Garland. The bright and colorful exhibit provides a variety of learning opportunities and hands-on activities within a three-dimensional representation of Denslow's distinctive illustrations.Cost: $9.50, $8.50 seniors
Take a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the world of magic and its historic roots in Chicago. Features a multimedia object theater experience, artifact display and live performances. Discover the tricks of the trade and witness Chicago's magical past reappear before your very eyes.Cost: Free with admission
A special exhibit on the history of Girl Scouting, with special focus on Oak Park, River Forest, and Forest Park. Celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Girl Scouts of the USA.Cost: Free with admission
Hundreds of objects and documents from the exclusive private collection, together with a rare collection of first editions of his most famous works, tell the story of how Charles Dickens and his characters became enduring cultural icons. Interactive and multi-media displays and personal effects take visitors through a chronological tour of the life, literature and legacy of Dickens. View his personal traveling inkwell, take a ride in an early century carriage, and learn about the memorable characters, stories and themes of his famous tales through games, time period puzzles and Dickens' own personal Facebook page.Cost: Free with admission