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.

Why not get our recommendations in your inbox? Sign up for our Weekend Scoop newsletter, delivered every Thursday with our suggestions for a rock-star weekend. Sign up today!


Fiesta Familiar

Fiesta Familiar brings the family entertainment and interactive pavilions with hands-on activities at Lincoln Park Zoo. Enjoy projects in the fields of art, health, gardening, science and music for the whole family.


Elim Dutch Festival

A day of fun for all ages! All proceeds from the event benefit children and adults with disabilities. The day begins with a home-cooked pannekoeke (pancake) breakfast, and then the Dutch Village shops will be open to indulge in Dutch pastries, see the crafts and gift items, or sit and enjoy the all-day entertainment. Kids enjoy the petting zoo, magic show, Kid's carnival, and other entertainment - and someone might catch a glimpse of Sinterklaas (Dutch Santa Claus).



A day of chili, live music, a beer garden and fun for the whole family. This International Chili Society sanctioned, Home-style chili competition attracts competitors from throughout Chicagoland.


Solar Fest

The event features a variety of exciting, educational events and activities for young learners. Young scientists can make color-changing UV bead bracelets, while older kids will experiment with solar-powered ovens and create their very own oven to take home. Scientists will also be speaking about Argonne’s research in organic vs. silicone solar panels and will teach adults and older children how to construct solar panels to generate and supply electricity. Enjoy sun-related storytime with NIU’s STEM Read or participate in an energy art project and learn how the sun can power our world. Additional activities include a sun catcher craft project, Creativity Studio art activities, and a Museum-wide scavenger hunt on all things solar. Special solar-themed treats will also be available for purchase in the Museum’s S.M.A.R.T. Café. And don’t miss a special appearance by Superman, who will talk about how he gets his energy from the sun.


Edgewater Fall Art Fair

Stroll around two street blocks full of art exhibitors and music. Includes Children’s Activity Corner with face painting, demonstrations, and chalk drawing with Art Therapy Connection, balloon artistry, puppet shows, live storytelling and mask-making workshops. Plus, Kids’ Music Talent Showcase, featuring live music performances by elementary school-aged children, a fun Pet Parade & Creative Costume Contest, special appearance by Miss Illinois 2014, Marisa Buchheit, and a theater workshop for families by Lil’ Buds Theatre.


Flight Fest

Flight Fest begins with a ceremony honoring the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. Then participate in Glenview Jr. Flight Academy kids’ activities, Eurobungy, inflatables, rock climbing wall, hot air balloon and more. Plus, listen to live music and see a traveling naval base museum with historical photos and memorabilia, along with viewings of the feature film, “Wings Over Glenview.” Food and beverage tickets are available for purchase as well as an activity wristband for carnival games and activities.


Evanston Green Living Festival

Local organizations can present their green products, services and ideas to attendees who are looking for ways to lower their carbon footprint. Event includes a wide spectrum of green exhibitors, fun and educational stations addressing the urban forest, stimulating activities for adults and children and a food menu. Attractions will include bicycle rickshaw rides, a green market, and the NU Tiny House.


Free Museum Day Live! from Smithsonian Mag

The hallmark of the Smithsonian museums is that they're free to the public. In that spirit, Smithsonian Magazine is sponsoring a free day for museums all over the country, and a number of Chicago area museums are participating. In our fair city, the big participating museums are the Adler, the Art Institute and the Museum of Contemporary Art. There are more than 30 museums participating in Illinois. Sign up for tickets on the Smithsonian Magazine website. One ticket is good for two people at one museum.


Children's Day

Features Turn-of-the-Century toys, crafts, "chores" and entertainment. Families can immerse themselves in the beauty and comfort of the historic home museum, a National Historic Landmark, and the adjacent public park.



This fundraiser for the West Suburban Humane Society features a Dog Walkathon, Pet Expo, blessing of animals at 10 a.m. and a demonstration by Dog Scouts of America. Kids' activities include clowns, face painting, balloon sculptures and a Kids and Kindness Zone. Food for humans and dogs available.


Family Camping

Take a nature hike, go fishing, learn basic camping principles and enjoy a campfire. Learn basic camping skills from our experts; camping and fishing equipment will be provided. Bring your own sleeping bag and brown bag lunches. Hotdogs and marshmallows will be provided.


Rogers Park Harvest Celebration

Features free hayrides, pumpkins, treats and entertainment.


Copyright 2014 Wednesday Journal Inc. All rights reserved. Chicago web development by liQuidprint