Chicago weekend events for kids


There's a lot going on in this world-class city we live in, and the options can be overwhelming. So every week, we'll pick our not-to-miss events. Chances are, you'll see us there, kids in tow. If none of these suit your schedule, browse our full calendar to find events near you.

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Chicago Memorial Day Wreath Laying Ceremony and Parade

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.


Family Field Day

See all that DuPage forest preserves have to offer at this open house featuring a new trail and spots for picnicking. Visit with District naturalists, interpreters, rangers and volunteers and discover a great variety of nature-oriented programs. Watch horse and riding demonstrations, dog obedience and field trials and dairy demonstrations. Other activities include pony rides, hay-wagon rides, fishing, archery instruction, barn tours and live music.


Little Scribe

Learn how writing began, how it changed over time, and how it changed the world forever through this hands-on program. Kids ages 9–12 help us “evolve” a writing script, while kids ages 5–8 take part in an interactive tale that describes how the alphabet was created and how it evolved. Try your hand at two of the world's most ancient written languages, from Mesopotamia and Egypt, and go on a tour of ancient writing in the galleries. Presentations and guided writing-themed tours begin at 1:30, 2 and 2:30 p.m.


National Turtle Day

Celebrate the inhabitants of the museum’s newest live animal display, Turtle Rock! The museum will be doing special turtle-themed artwork, having turtle story time and doing slow-paced “turtle motion” races.


Festival of Flight

Fly high with excitement while you watch trained birds soar, swoop, and dive as they demonstrate their natural flight abilities. Vultures, hawks, parrots, a hadada ibis, and a variety of other bird species will demonstrate natural behaviors as they fly overhead and interact with the audience and the host of the show. Guests will see a trumpeter hornbill catching objects, African white-necked ravens collecting cash for conservation, and more. Three shows are offered daily.


Butterflies & Blooms

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.


Bike the Drive

Choose between a 15- or 30-mile loop of Lake Shore Drive with no cars in sight. All ages and skill levels are welcome. Participants receive an event T-shirt (early registrants only), access to three rest stops and admittance to a post-ride festival with food and live music.



Arlington Park Race Track Family Days

The Junior Jockey Zone includes free petting zoo, pony rides, face painting, a bounce house and more.


Wonderland, Alice's Rock & Roll Adventure

Top Chicago director Rachel Rockwell and music director Michael Mahler boldly reimagine Lewis Carroll’s books Alice in Wonderland and Through the Lookingglass in this world premiere family musical. Carroll's beloved, poetic tale of self-actualization is brought to life by a cast of actor/musicians who create an eclectic, live rock soundtrack as 7-1/2 year-old Alice searches for her own inner musical voice. Throughout her journey, the actor/musicians surround Alice in a live musical tapestry ranging from classic rock to punk to ska and even a little bit of Bollywood.


Gem, Mineral, Fossil & Jewelry Show

Chicagoland's largest retail and wholesale show for rockhounds features educational guest speakers, silent auctions, door prizes and a Kids' Room with free mineral specimens for kids. Shop for rocks, gems, minerals, crystals, handmade jewelry, beads, tools and supplies, more. See hands-on demonstrations of jewelry making, geode cracking, gold panning, fossil preparation, wire wrapping and more.


Red Nose Day: Kid's Fair

Event includes food, face-painting, storybook games, raffles and more. Headlining the day is a performance of “Hamlet’s House,” the inaugural production of PubHouse Playhouse. Benefits Boys & Girls Club of Chicago.


Memorial Day Clay Camp

Kids make and paint fun clay projects and take a break for lunch. The ceramic pieces will be ready for pick up in 3 weeks. Call, email or register online.


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