Summer has [unofficially] officially arrived! Memorial Day Weekend is always a favorite - and that's not going to change this year. Before you fire up the grill on Monday, be sure to check out some fun fests that are fit for the whole family, or visit one of the many new exhibits that are sure to make this summer your best one yet. Our full calendar has all the other great events in the city and suburbs this weekend. Happy summering!
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The wreath laying ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. at the Eternal Flame on Daley Plaza. The parade kicks off at noon and proceeds south on State Street from Lake Street to Van Buren Street. Participants include many area high schools' Drum and Bugle Corps as well as many veterans groups.
Along with the traditional mole puestos (mole booths) and mouthwatering festival food concession stands, this year’s celebration features more than 30 live bands, dozens of artisans, merchants and craft vendors, matches by professional masked wrestlers (Mexican lucha libre), flamethrowing performances, and a chance to ride the mechanical bull. At the Plaza de los Niños (kids zone), enjoy facepainting and carnival games and a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) outreach component presented by Northeastern Illinois University.
See ongoing horse and riding demonstrations, dog obedience and field trials, sheepherding demonstrations, raptors and reptiles from Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Glen Ellyn, and cows from Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago. Enjoy pony and hay-wagon rides, fishing, archery instruction, food vendors, live music, and a display of vintage tractors with ties to the preserve’s agricultural history. Visit with Forest Preserve District rangers and St. James Farm staff and volunteers as well.
Features 10 wolves, Siberian tiger, black bear, mountain lion and more. Plus, food, drinks, gift shop, music, raffles and fun. Season passes and adoptions available.
Features artwork, live music, food and kids' activities.
The exhibition immerses audiences of all ages in settings inspired by the groundbreaking film franchise Jurassic World, blending real-world science and education with the very best in high-quality entertainment. The exhibition was developed in close collaboration with renowned paleontologist Jack Horner, who served as Paleontological Advisor on Jurassic World. It is infused with interactive educational elements—inspired by the real-world science of dinosaur DNA that allowed Jurassic World to come to life. Guests will walk through the world-famous Jurassic World gates to get up close to the towering dinosaurs, some more than 24 feet tall, and explore the Park through a specially guided tour. Once onsite, visitors will experience the family-friendly Gentle Giants Petting Zoo; step behind the glass into The Hammond Creation Lab; get a special preview of Jurassic World’s top-secret project, the Indominus rex; and go inside the Raptor Training Paddock.
Visitors are invited to imagine, construct, and play within their own special places as everyday materials take on new shapes and purposes to become a fort builder's paradise. Forts inspires both constructive planning and imaginative play. As children negotiate, problem solve, and take turns, they develop interpersonal practices.
Outdoor butterfly garden where visitors can immerse themselves with hundreds of live tropical butterfly species from around the world. A field guide is available to help visitors identify dozens of species in the exhibition. Visitors can also observe butterflies hatching through a window into the pupa emergence room.
Visitors will be awed by 25 displays of metal sculptures based on the traditional Japanese art of paper folding as they walk paths through the Arboretum’s spectacular landscape. Created by Santa Fe-based artists Kevin and Jennifer Box, the exhibit features installations, gallery works, and the Boxes' own compositions, as well as collaborative works with some of the world’s top origami artists.
Exhibit features a child-sized laboratory where kids can explore how scientists impact health and wellness through hands-on, interactive machinery, processes and technology. A demonstration area of the exhibit will allow guest scientists and educators to perform fun and interactive scientific experiments appropriate for young children.
Dinos & Dragons will feature 17 animatronic creatures, including the Stegosaurus, Apatosaurus, Tyrannosaurus rex, and Chinese dragon. Along the winding outdoor path, guests can explore the origins of myths and legends through culture, literature, and paleontology that is illustrated on signage. Inside a tented area, zoogoers can get up-close views of live reptiles, including a 6-foot-long Komodo dragon, seen for the first time at Brookfield Zoo. The temporary exhibit will also have hands-on activities, as well as a dinosaur dissection lab, dino dig boxes, and an excavation site.
Robot Revolution explores how robots, created by human ingenuity, change how we play, live and work together. The exhibit comes to life with a collection of cutting-edge robots secured from some of the most innovative global robotics companies and universities. Guests have extraordinary opportunities to interact with robots that have rarely been shown to the public before. New robots include a life-sized humanoid robot that greets guests at the entrance of the exhibit, the Cube Solver, who dazzles guests with its lightning-fast ability to solve a Rubik’s cube, a hexapod robot with six snakelike legs that navigates rough terrain and Adept Lynx, a self-navigating industrial robot used in shipping factories.