Exposing the kids to all the sights, sounds and culture of
Chicago can get pretty pricey for a family, but with the return of
Millennium Park's free Family Fun Festival, June 9-Sept. 3, we can
experience the best of Chicago at minimal expense.
Millennium Park's Family Fun Festival
runs June 9 - Sept. 3.
The festival, presented by Target, is a combination of hands-on
activities, performances and events. My sons are always eager to
get to the Family Fun Tent (open 10 a.m.-3 p.m.) located on the
park's Chase Promenade North where they can play, watch a show or
create an art or science project. Projects change each week as
Chicago's museums and cultural institutions take turns coordinating
activities. For example, visit June 14-20 to find "Mexico: A
Festival of Toys" presented by the Chicago Children's Museum or
stop by Aug. 9-15 for the Museum of Science and Industry's "Science
and Exploration Week."
Young children will enjoy singing along with Old Town School of
Folk Music's Wiggleworms every day at 10 a.m. You can catch
storytellers and a reading circle at 11 a.m. or live performances
by local artists each day at 1 p.m. Beyond activities and
entertainment, the tent is a great respite from the sun.
Festival programming also includes two special family events.
Emerald City Theatre will bring its comedic production of "The True
Story of the 3 Little Pigs" to the park's Great Lawn at noon on
Sundays in August, and the Chinese Fine Arts Society will wind its
way through the park at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 22 with the tale of
"QiXi: A Chinese Love Story."
Millennium Park's Jay Pritzker Pavilion is also the site of
great performances. My family has watched the CSO rehearse and
dance troupes practice, all for free, and all amazing. Its lawn is
also a great open space where kids can play tag or catch.
In addition to the Family Festival, no trip to Millennium Park
is complete without racing around Cloud Gate and splashing through
Crown Fountain. Enjoy a stroll through Lurie Garden to explore
native flora. It's a great place for a color-themed "I Spy."
My family always finishes the afternoon downtown with some
treats, maybe ice cream or dessert from Park Grille. We go home
exhausted and happy.
Alena Murguia lives in Berwyn, Illinois along with her husband and three growing sons.
See more of Alena's stories here.
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