5 Chicago summer drop-in programs for families


We hate to break it to you, but this is your last chance to take advantage of the great summertime drop-in programs all over Chicagoland. Here are some fun ones to check out.


Settlement Sundays

We're big fans of anything that involves ice cream, so this combo of history and make-your-own sundaes is right up our alley. The hands-on family activities, games, demos and tours are just the cherry on top. Free with admission. 1-4 p.m. (ice cream 2-3:30 p.m.) Sundays. Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville. (630) 420-6010, napersettlement.com.


Summer Studios

Get creative in the great outdoors-or downtown Chicago, at least. Families can collaborate on art projects while enjoying live jazz music. Food and beverages are available to purchase, so you can take full advantage of these last summer nights. Free with admission. 5:30-8 p.m. Tuesdays. Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago. (312) 280-2660, mcachicago.org.


Thursday Family Nights

If you haven't had the chance to see the humongous bugs that have taken over Morton Arboretum, here's your chance. The arboretum offers family-friendly music, snacks, and the chance to check out Big Bugs, Tree House Tales and new elements in the Children's Garden. $5 after 4:30 p.m. 5-8 p.m. Thursdays through Aug. 15. Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle. (630) 968-0074, mortonarb.org.


Summer Saturdays

Future architects can explore Frank Lloyd Wright's famous Robie House and then try out their own creative designs. Weekly themes range from building with Legos to sketching out floor plans, so there's something for every skill level. $5 children, free adults. 10 a.m.-noon Saturdays. Frederick C. Robie House, 5757 S. Woodlawn Ave., Chicago. (708) 848-1976, gowright.org.


Kleinman Family Cove Family Drop-in Activities

Summer is all about water - we live by a lake, after all! - so why not learn a little bit about it? Families can use scientific tools to see critters under water, find out about water plants, and more. Free; $25 parking. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe. (847) 835-5440, chicagobotanic.org.


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