You can keep Cannes and all its celebs—this is one film fest we can get behind. The Chicago International Children’s Film Festival is decidedly more juvenile than its glam counterparts, and that’s OK. It features more than 250 films from 40 countries, all screened over the course of 10 days, plus interactive workshops, post-screening Q&As and other educational activities. And kids can let their voices be heard by casting a ballot for the Best of the Fest award—and you may even see the winner nominated for an Oscar. Now pass the popcorn!
$10, $6 kids; $45 Family Pass. Oct. 27-Nov. 5. Facets Multimedia, 1517 W. Fullerton Ave., Chicago. (773) 281-9075.
From bats to opossums, nocturnal animals tend to get a bad rap—and the staff at one local nature center are out to give them back their good name. At Lincoln Marsh Mythbusters, kids 8 and up, with adult, gather around a campfire and learn the facts around these mysterious nighttime creatures we disrespect so freely. The truth is out there, and it just might be even stranger (but not spookier) than fiction.
$9.50, $7.50 resident. 6:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 27. Lincoln Marsh Natural Area, Harrison and Pierce avenues, Wheaton. (630) 871-2810.
Ever wanted to eat eggs with Elsa or pancakes with Poe Dameron? You can chow down with the characters of your kids’ dreams at Boo Breakfast, the perfect festive way to kick off your Halloween week. The Gingko Restaurant serves up a buffet fit for your Minions and princesses (costumes are encouraged, of course), then tops it all off with visits from all the cool characters they love. And parents can rejoice that this is maybe the only Halloween event in the history of time that doesn’t involve taking home your weight in fun-size candy bars.
$38, $31 kids 3-12, free kids under 3 (discount for members). 9 a.m. Oct. 29. The Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle. (630) 968-0074.