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Busy Beavers

The Morton Arboretum | Lisle, Ill.

Discover the special features of beavers that allow them to build their home with trees. Check out the beaver dam in Wonder Pond and even practice building a dam of your own. Hike, listen to stories and play games in this interactive sensory-based class.

When: 9:30-11 a.m. June 24 and 30
Cost: $25, $18 members

Summer Fun & Games: Pipe Cleaner Animals

Elmhurst Historical Museum | Elmhurst, Ill.

Make some bendable Pipe Cleaner Animals. Free, kid-friendly tours of the exhibits will take place during the program. Families are encouraged to bring a blanket and picnic lunch to enjoy on the lawn (11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.) during Summer Fun & Games programs, and juice boxes and a sweet treat will be provided.

When: Noon-2 p.m.
Cost: $4, $2 members

Scopes In the City

Adler Planetarium | Chicago, Ill.


Enjoy a screening of Apollo 13 starting at 6:30 p.m. with special guest Captain James A. Lovell, Jr. Starting at 8:30 p.m., Adler staff will be stationed in the park on the southeast part of the lawn with telescopes to see the night sky up close.

When: 6:30-10 p.m.
Cost: Free

Hop N Bop

West Chicago Public Library | West Chicago, Ill.


A morning of movin’ and groovin’ with a variety of fun musical activities.

When: 10-10:30 a.m.
Cost: Free

Best of The Book Stall Storytime

The Book Stall at Chestnut Court | Winnetka, Ill.

Listen to some of the best new picture books, participate in related activities, and enjoy a healthy afternoon snack.

When: 4-5 p.m.
Cost: A $5 gift card purchase per child

Summer Kids Club Activities

Golf Mill Shopping Center | Niles, Ill.


Fun, free events for kids 10 and under and their families. Children must be supervised by an adult. Magic Day (June 23); Butterfly Garden Grand Opening Celebration (June 30); Get Wild Animal Day (July 7); Get Fit Day (July 14); Everything Bees Day (July 21); Paint N Play Day (July 28).

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

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

Puppets! An Interactive Puppet Extravaganza

Art Institute of Chicago | Chicago, Ill.

This interactive installation celebrates the art of puppetry by allowing visitors of all ages to explore the movements of shadow, hand, and finger puppets. Using imaginary figures or creatures and characters inspired by artworks in the Art Institute’s collection, novice puppeteers can experiment with ways to create puppets, develop stories, and use sound effects and props in order to create playful, one-of-a-kind performances.

Cost: Free with museum admission


Chicago Children's Museum | Chicago, Ill.

Kids immerse themselves in a nautical experience of their own invention, complete with docks and an assortment of boats. Toddlers to tweens will be inspired to create their own lake-faring scenarios, like steering the ship, kayaking, hoisting a sail, or dropping a fishing line to catch ‘the big one.’ The exhibit includes a dock with a bait and tackle shop, a kayak, sailboat and two-level work boat with a wheelchair-accessible lower cabin (complete with bunk and a kitchen prep area) offering countless opportunities for kids to envision themselves as a cook, rescuer, biologist or whichever role they choose.

Cost: Free with museum admission

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