African fest offers worldly view

Chicago is full of culture, but you don’t have to be all grown up to appreciate and experience it. Get your kids exposed to different cultures by bringing them to one of the many cultural festivals available in our city.

At the African Festival of the Arts, for instance, families can experience African culture through art, food and music. Start at the Drum Village, where kids and adults (previous visitors have included President Barack Obama) can play the drums and buy their own.

The Children’s Pavilion has its own programming, including arts and crafts activities. In the past it has also included face painting, clowns and balloon makers, says Robin Price, events coordinator of the African International House.

Bril Barrett performs tap dancing demonstrations and those watching can try the moves out for themselves. The festival’s food court offers more than 30 food vendors including many with Afro-centric foods, Price says.

Nonstop entertainment on the two different stages ranges from Latin jazz to hip hop. Each member of the family can find something to buy at the four different villages, which are defined by products ranging from art to fashion.

With so many ways to experience the culture of Africa, your kids won’t even realize they’re learning along the way.

•10 a.m.-10 p.m., Sept. 4-7

•51st and Cottage Grove, Chicago

•(773) 955-2787

•Tickets are $15, $10 in advance, $5 kids 11 and under. Daily family pass for two adults and four children under 12 costs $30. Food costs extra.

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