Ah, summer in Chicago. If it seems like there's a fair or festival every week somewhere in the city and suburbs, that's because there is. But you can't be everywhere, and little feet are good for only so many steps, so we've picked our fifteen not-to-miss summer fests.
It's going to be smaller this year, but the city of Chicago is
still promising plenty of yummy eats for visitors. If you'd
like to expose your picky eater to a variety of foods, check out
"taste portions." Each booth has two choices of smaller-serving
food items that cost only two or three tickets, so you can get a
kid-size portion. But if you don't think your picky toddler is
going to eat anything you buy, go ahead and pack the food and drink
they'll eat-the entry-point guards will check bags, but they're
looking for alcohol, not juice boxes. Go early to beat the
One of the city's best, Retro on Roscoe has all the usual
trappings of a neighborhood fest (live music, artisan tables, food
vendors) plus the famous Windy City Chili Cook-Off, a vintage car
corner and a great kids' area, open noon to 6 p.m. both days, with
balloon artists, inflatables and face-painting.
The acts at the kid-friendly stage of Lollapalooza may be more
PG in content than the main stage, but don't be fooled: This is a
rock concert. This three-day interactive music experience features
a lineup of family-friendly rock and activities including music and
Fest features a BBQ contest with several rib vendors, food
ranging from ribs and hot dogs to salads, snacks, desserts and
drinks, two live music stages, special events, and fireworks.
Family area features carnival rides, inflatables, circus tricks,
magic show, face painting, petting zoo and live
There's nothing more beautiful than the glow of balloons taking
off at dusk. Add in some carnival rides, entertainment and food,
and you have the makings of a memorable family outing.
Iconic annual celebration of Asian culture includes parade, arts
and crafts and food, and while you're there, we've got you covered
with our Tour of Chinatown for Little
Enjoy Aztec dancing, local art exhibits, craft workshops, a
children's area with read-out-loud sessions, free books, games and
educational activities, plus live entertainment, Pilsen School
Expo, indoor soccer tournaments, free health screenings and
This Chicago classic has something for everyone--from screeching
fighter jets to the chance to cool off in the lake while you watch.
Get there early to get a good seat, and don't forget plenty of
water and sunscreen.
Parade kicks off at 10 a.m. and features bands, drill teams,
dance teams and car clubs. At the end of the parade route, there is
a picnic with entertainment, food and music.
Take a trip through 16th Century England. Kids will love the
kingdom just for them, with sandboxes, pirate ships and a kids
quest all their own.
Put on those dancing shoes and head to Grant Park for an evening
of music and laughs. The series offers free, introductory one-hour
dance lessons by professional instructors followed by music and
dancing. The diverse musical lineup showcases dance styles from all
corners of the globe.
A fest filled with Greek food? Enough said!
While moms and dads check out the artwork, there are plenty of
activities just for the kids.
Tall Ship's Parade of Sail kicks-off the festivities on
Lake Michigan, showcasing numerous tall ship vessels from around
the world, including Norway and Canada.