What’s in your neighborhood

Where to go and what to do in the South Suburbs


Chicago Parent Staff


The Irons Oaks climbing tower is open July 2, 16 and 30.

Plainfield Park District will host a Teddy Bear Picnic July 23.


Big Run Wolf Ranch
14857 Farrell Road, Lockport
(815) 588-0044

Family Day/Open House 10 a.m.-4 p.m. July 19. See "Kuma" the bear, hear wildlife lectures and take guided tours. $2.

Bolingbrook Park District
200 S. Lindsey Lane, Bolingbrook
(630) 739-1700

Summer Concert Series 7:30-9 p.m. July 2, 9 and 16. Concerts are held at the Performing Arts Theater, 375 W. Briarcliff Road. Free.

The Children’s Farm at The Center
12700 Southwest Highway, Palos Park
(708) 361-3650

Children’s Farm Family Visit 1-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in July. Featuring pony rides, hayrides and animal visits. $4.50 per person, free kids 2 and under.

The Children’s Museum of Oak Lawn
9600 E. Shore Drive, Oak Lawn
(708) 423-6709

Puppet Making July 8-12. Sidewalk Chalk Art Festival July 15-19. Be creative drawing all around the museum sidewalk. Make Your Own Slushy July 22-26. Check Web site for updates and for summer hours and admission. Recommended for kids 2-10.

City of Palos Hills
Moraine Valley Community College
107th Street and 88th Avenue, Palos Hills
(708) 430-4500

Palos Hills Friendship Festival July 10-13. Featuring food, entertainment, a carnival, classic car show, pony rides, petting zoo and fireworks. Visit Web site for detailed schedule.

Fossil Ridge Public Library District
386 W. Kennedy Road, Braidwood
(815) 458-2187

Close Encounters of the Chemical Kind 1 p.m. July 1. Kids 7-14 will learn how chemical reactions change color, fizz and bubble. Registration required. Free.


Frankfort Country Market

Oak and Kansas streets, Frankfort

This open air market along the bike path in downtown Frankfort features kids’ activities in the Munchkin Market from 10 a.m.-noon. Munchkin Market is for supervised children from 3 to 8 years old and is free. The market runs from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays.


Governors State University Center for Performing Arts
1 University Pkwy., University Park
(708) 235-2222

Aladdin 11 a.m. July 17. This production is filled with magic, mayhem and flying carpet rides. Visit Web site for ticket information.

Homewood Flossmoor Park District
3301 Flossmoor Road, Flossmoor
(708) 957-0300

Family Fun Fest noon-3 p.m. July 4. Families can enjoy many activities to help celebrate the nation’s birthday. Free admission, small fee for games and rides. National Hot Dog Day Picnic 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. July 21. Enjoy 25-cent hot dogs and live music.

Irons Oaks Environmental Learning Center
2453 Vollmer Road, Olympia Fields
(708) 481-2330

Open Climbing 5 p.m.-dusk July 2, 16 and 30. Kids 8 and older can scale the face of the 36-foot climbing tower. Arrive before 6 p.m. for a chance to climb. Waivers are required.

Joliet Public Library
150 N. Ottawa, Joliet
(815) 740-2663

Animals for Awareness 6:30 p.m. July 15. This program focuses on choosing the right pet and discusses the adoption process. Kids will be able to meet different animals. Free. Craft Club 2 p.m. July 17. Kids 9-14 can learn a new craft. All materials provided. Registration required. Free.

Joliet Public Library Black Road Branch
3395 Black Road, Joliet
(815) 740-2663

Craft Club 2 p.m. July 9. Kids 9-14 can learn a new craft. All materials provided. Registration required. Free. Animals for Awareness 7 p.m. July 23. This program focuses on choosing the right pet and discusses the adoption process. Free.

Kankakee River State Park
5314 West Route 102, Bourbonnais
(815) 933-1383

Birds of Prey 2 p.m. July 12. Learn to identify Illinois’ birds of prey by their features and sounds they make. Meet at Potawatomi Campground next to shower building.

Lake Katherine Nature Center and Botanic Gardens
7402 Lake Katherine Drive, Palos Heights
(708) 361-1873

Family Star Gazing 9 p.m. July 12. Featuring guest astronomer Joseph Mayer. Includes outdoor viewing with telescopes. Registration required. $2.50, $10 family.

Lions Community Center
1 W. Manor Drive, New Lenox
(815) 485-3584

Proud American Days July 24-27. Families can enjoy many activities including a carnival, musical entertainment, pet parade, car show, horse rides and fireworks. Visit www.
proudamericandays.com for schedule.

Monee Reservoir
Ridgeland Avenue, west of Route 50 and south of Pauling Road, Monee
(815) 727-8700

Midnight Madness 7 p.m.-midnight July 26. Kids can enjoy nighttime fishing under the stars. Concession will remain open throughout the evening. Bring a flashlight and bug spray. Free.

P&J Kids Art Loft
230 E. 8th St., Suite 4, Lockport
(815) 501-9485

Open Craft Day 9 a.m.-6 p.m. July 4. Create a special craft.

Pilcher Park Nature Center
2501 Highland Park Drive, Joliet
(815) 741-7277

Hoots, Howls and Hollers 8-9:30 p.m. July 17. Enjoy a campfire while hearing about all kinds of nighttime creatures. Registration required.

Plainfield Park District
Renwick Community Park
Renwick Road, just west of Route 59
(815) 436-8812

Patriotic picnic and fireworks display 5-9:30 p.m. July 5. Bring a picnic dinner and enjoy contests, races, games, activities and a touch-a-truck event. Fireworks at dusk. Held at Plainfield Central High School, 24120 W. Fort Beggs Drive. Teddy Bear Picnic 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. July 23. Pack up your lunch and bring a favorite furry friend for some fun activities. Kids must be accompanied by adult. Free.

Plum Creek Nature Center
Goodenow Grove Forest Preserve, Beecher
1.25 miles east of the intersection of Routes 1 and 394 on Goodenow Road
(815) 727-8700

Sounds of the Night—Frogs 8 p.m. July 18. Families can enjoy a night hike and learn about the calls of the frogs and their purpose. Free.

Sand Ridge Nature Center
15890 Paxton Ave., South Holland
(708) 868-0606

Nature Tales—Dragonflies 1:30 p.m. July 12. Kids can enjoy stories and activities as they learn about dragonflies. Ages 5-10. Snakes Alive 1:30 p.m. July 19. Learn all about reptiles and their important role in nature. Meet some resident snakes.

Tinley Park Park District
Tony Bettenhausen Recreation Center
8125 W. 171st St., Tinley Park
(708) 342-4200

July 4th Extravaganza 4-8 p.m. July 4. Featuring a free penny carnival, face painting, tug-o-war, sand art, free watermelon and music. Fireworks at 9 p.m. Free. Family Camp Out 5:30 p.m. July 18 until 11 a.m. July 19. Bring your tents and sleeping bags for a fun evening under the stars. Held at Community Park. Registration required. $10 campsite.

Thorn Creek Nature Center
247 Monee Road, Park Forest
(708) 747-6320

Getting To Know The Woods 10 a.m.-noon July 12. Hike through the woods to explore what is living and growing there. $5.

Village of Beecher Firemen’s Park
673 Penfield St., Beecher
(708) 946-2261

Fourth of July Celebration July 3-6. Festival includes a parade, fireworks, a carnival, bingo, food and live entertainment. Visit Web site for schedule of events.

Village of Chicago Ridge
10455 S. Ridgeland Ave., Chicago Ridge
(708) 425-7700

Ridge Fest July 24-27. Festival features bands, food, carnival, arts and crafts and kids’ entertainment. Visit Web site for schedule of events.

Village of Evergreen Park
9418 S. Kedzie, Evergreen Park
(708) 422-1551

Independence Day Parade 6:30 p.m., July 3. Parade goes from 95th and Pulaski east to 95th and Francisco. Followed by fireworks at Duffy Park, 92nd and Millard, at dusk.

Village of Orland Park
John Humphrey Complex
147th Street and West Avenue, Orland Park
(708) 403-PARK or (708) 645-PLAY

Movie Night at dusk July 10, 17 and 24. Families can enjoy a different movie each week. Held on the grounds of the Cultural Center. Free.

Kids Eat Chicago

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