An event that takes place overnight in downtown Chicago doesn’t sound all that family-friendly. Even though this is an accurate description of the second annual Looptopia, held from 5 p.m. May 2 to 5 a.m. May 3, if you go at the right time you and your little ones will find plenty to do.
"One of the groups we’re trying to reach out to is families," says Ty Tabing, executive director of the Chicago Loop Alliance, which is presenting the event. "We’re fortunate to have a lot of families living downtown, so we’re going toward more spectacle-oriented events that have a general appeal."
Performers from Cirque Du Soleil will certainly cause a spectacle as they preview their "KOOZA Kite Action" show throughout the Loop, featuring kite-flyers, dancers and acrobats. The breakdancing group Brickheadz will also perform throughout the night.
Public performances aren’t the end of the family-friendly entertainment, though. The Harold Washington Library will have a variety of activities and events from 5-9 p.m., including storytelling, author appearances and music. FAO Schwartz in Macy’s State Street Store will feature face painting and a book reading from a Chicago Sky player. At Daley Plaza, parents and kids can have fun together at the Dancing With Class parent-child dance workshop with demonstrations by Chicago Public School students. If your family is more artistic than coordinated, you can turn a paper bag into a wearable piece of art with the Chicago Children’s Museum.
Although Tabing admits most of the family activities end by midnight (past most little ones’ bedtimes anyway), he says everyone is welcome to join in at the sunrise event at Millennium Park from 5-7 a.m., which includes a game of hide and seek, artwork and free food and drinks.
"It’s just a really a good way to engage people in arts and culture in the city at a young age," says Tabing.
For directions, a map and the most up-to-date schedule of events, go to www.looptopia.com.