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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

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

Story Time with Clifford

The Morton Arboretum | Lisle, Ill.

Listen to stories, meet special PBS guests Miss Lori and Mister Brandon, and visit with Clifford the Big Red Dog.

When: 11 a.m.
Cost: Free with arboretum admission

Nature and Science at Wonder Works: Electric Toys and Magnets

Wonder Works | Oak Park, Ill.

Play with static electricity made with balloons and hair and discover tricks you can play with it. You can also play with toys powered by current electricity from batteries and transformers. Plus, lots of magnetic construction materials to build with and magnets to explore the art-room sandbox-see what sticks to magnets, and what does not.

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

Ingenious Inventions Incubator

Elmhurst History Museum | Elmhurst, Ill.


Come invent something amazing in the Invention Incubator. Includes pre-owned electronics to tinker with, and other materials to let your inventive juices go wild. Take home your creation at the end of the program. No previous invention experience needed.

When: 2-3 p.m.
Cost: Free

Jim Gill

Discovery Center Museum | Rockford, Ill.

Kids, parents and friends will be singing, dancing and sneezing during this lively performance by nationally-known singer and musician, Jim Gill. The concerts will be part of the kickoff for Jim’s Nationwide Campaign for Play and will feature original clap-along, sing-along silly musical games from his new recording as well as active favorites such as Spin Again and Jim’s Silly Dance Contest. After you enjoy this delightful musical experience, create and use sound makers you can take home.

When: 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Cost: Free with admission

Fossil Collecting Field Trip

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art | Elmhurst, Ill.

Travel by motor coach to Vulcan Quarry in Sycamore, Illinois. Collect Silurian and Ordovician Period fossils in shale and limestone. Collectable fossils include: brachiopods, cephalopods, corals, crinoids, gastropods and more.

When: 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Cost: $45; $40 members

Movie on the Green

Odyssey Fun World Tinley Park | Tinley Park, Ill.


Enjoy a free movie every Friday at dusk. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the outdoors. June 10: Finding Nemo; June 17: Frozen; June 24: Inside Out; July 1: Minions; July 8: Home; July 15: Peanuts: The Movie; July 22: The Good Dinosaur; July 29: Kung Fu Panda 3; Aug. 5: Wreck-It Ralph; Aug. 12: Pixels; Aug. 19: Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip; Aug. 26: TBD; Sept. 2: The Muppets Wizard of Oz.

When: 8 p.m.
Cost: Free

Ya Gotta Regatta

Hunt Club Park Aquatic Center | Gurnee, Ill.

Build your very own boat out of cardboard and duct tape, race it and let the best boat win.

When: 2-5 p.m.
Cost: $5

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