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Chicago Botanic Garden Art Festival

Glencoe, Ill.

Guests can stroll the Esplanade and shop for beautiful botanic-themed art and art made from plant materials. More than 90 juried artists will display their work including photography, paintings, ceramics, cement, metal, fiber, wood, jewelry and much more. Artist talks and family activities will be featured.

When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: Free; parking fees apply

Highland Park Fourth Fest

Highland Park, Ill.

Enjoy carnival rides, a petting zoo and pony rides, picnic games, live music and food at Highland Park's Fourth Fest.  Fireworks will be held at dusk at Wolter's Field.

When: 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Cost: Admission is free, wristbands for unlimited rides and games are available an early bird rate of $15.00; price the day of the event will be higher

Windy City Ribfest

Chicago, Ill.

Fest features live music, lots of ribs, arts & crafts and kids' area (on Saturday and Sunday afternoons).

When: 5-10 p.m. July 3, Noon-10 p.m. July 4, noon-9 p.m. July 5
Cost: $5

Oak Fest

Oak Forest, Ill.


Enjoy live music, food vendors, a carnival, bingo, Fourth of July fireworks and a car show at Oak Fest.

When: For more information visit event website.
Cost: Free

Frontier Days

Arlington Heights, Ill.


Frontier Days features family friendly activities, live music, a carnival, a Fourth of July parade and a craft market.

When: For more information visit event website.
Cost: Free; carnival tickets and other activities cost extra; free shuttle service

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. July 5 and 19.

When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: Free; $30 parking

Prairie Walk

Garfield Farm Museum | Campton Hills, Ill.

Tour the prairie with museum staff to learn about the native environment and ecosystems of Illinois. July 5, Sept. 6.

When: 9 a.m.
Cost: $6, $3 kids

Light Up the Sky

Chicago Children's Museum | Chicago, Ill.

Add bursts of color to a communal fireworks mural.

When: 2:15 p.m. July 1, 3, 6-9
Cost: Free with museum admission

Kids’ Concert: ScribbleMonster

Cantigny Park | Wheaton, Ill.


This award-winning group delivers a high-energy, play-along rock concert the whole family can enjoy.

When: Noon
Cost: Free; $5 parking

Hesston Steam Museum

Hesston Steam Museum | Hesston, Ind.

Volunteers fire real steam locomotives on three different railroads to power passenger trains you can ride. There are many other displays, such as a 106-year-old steam powered electric generator, a working saw mill and all kinds of big machines. The turn-of-the-century sawmill will run throughout the celebration. The Museum's gift shop will be open and visitors can now purchase cool sodas and ice cream treats or lunch at the newly-restored vintage soda fountain and restaurant.

Cost: Check website

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