Chicago endured such a long, cold winter this year, we need to soak up every last ounce of what makes this city awesome in the summer. Visiting the exquisitely beautiful Chicago Botanic Garden in its full summer glory is invigorating. Add the Dancin’ Sprouts kids’ concert series and you’ve got one of our family’s favorite summer activities. Musicians, children and parents sing, dance and play the early evening away in warm grass surrounded by vibrant flowers, lush plants and peaceful, flowing fountains.
Free Dancin’ Sprouts concerts are held every Wednesday from 5:30-7:30 p.m. June 11-Aug. 27. Picnicking is allowed on the Esplanade, so bring a cooler or stop at the Garden Café and Grille for delicious summer eats.
These interactive outdoor concerts reflect the garden’s participation in the Chicago Wilderness effort to “Leave No Child Inside.” It promotes time outdoors as ways to foster kids’ creativity, stimulate their imaginations and get that limitless energy out.
Michelle Cinqui, coordinator of visitor events, says the line-up this eighth year includes both fan-requested favorites as well as new-to-the-garden musicians, all from the Midwest.
Musicians here love to engage the children. My kids got to strum a guitar and even sing on stage.
Cinqui offers these concert-going tips: “Bring a blanket and have fun. Take your shoes off and dance.”
My family loves the carefree feeling of these nights so much that we’re buying a Garden Plus membership, which includes free parking (normally $20 per car) as well as an opportunity to see the Model Railroad, experience the magic of Butterflies & Blooms and ride the tram for free on Wednesdays, too.
We hope to see you there dancin’ your socks off!
Chicago Botanic Garden
Cortney Fries is a freelance writer and Chicago mom of two.
See more of Cortney's stories here.
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