5 dad-friendly family activities this weekend

Summer ain’t over. As soon as August hits and people start buying palettes of glue sticks for the school year, everybody acts like it’s cloudy and 50 degrees outside. Summer is still raging and you should wring every ray of sunshine out of it. This coming weekend is loaded with great fests and activities, and many of them seem like Dad will get a particular kick out them. I wish I could do everything on this list this weekend but, alas, I am but one Dad.

White Sox Family Sunday

It’s been a brutal rebuilding year for the Sox, but there has been some fun stuff to watch: Rodon’s pitching. Palka’s bat. All-Star First Baseman Jose Abreu. If the whole family doesn’t enjoy America’s pastime, there’s still more to do at Sox park than you can even fit in nine innings – especially when it’s a Family Sunday. There’s the Xfinity family zone’s batting, pitching and running activities, sure, but it’s also Spirit Day, with a chance for autographs with four Sox players. Kids get balloon animals and to run the bases after the whole thing is over. Add to that the statuary of Sox legends in the outfield, and the best food and craft beer in Chicago sports, and you’ve got a day the whole family is going to enjoy. (Oh, and tickets are as low as $5 and parking $10.)

Guaranteed Rate Field, Sunday, Aug. 12, 1:10 p.m. game time. (Park opens 90 minutes prior.)

Hot Dog Fest

New York won’t stop crowing about its pizza and hot dogs, both of which taste like wet garbage. Chicago knows how to make a hot dog, and we celebrate it at this late summer fest, presented by the Chicago History Museum. Inflatables and games for the kids, hot dog-related lectures (only in Chicago), and encased meats both classic and outré. Oh, and lots of bands, including the DMB tribute “Trippin’ Billies” so Mom and Dad can look back fondly on the concerts Mom made Dad go to in the ‘90s.

Hot Dog Fest, Lincoln Park (South Fields) 1701 N. Stockton Drive, Aug. 9-12. $5 suggested donation.

Steampunk Invasion at the Bristol Renaissance Faire

Fatherhood isn’t all baseball, hot dogs and aging bro-dom. There are plenty of geek dads, out there who might want to get their steampunk on at the Ren Faire. If you haven’t been to the jousting, mud fight, Shakespeare- and turkey leg-filled Faire in southern Wisconsin, you’re missing out on a reasonably historical good time. This weekend it won’t be all mutton sleeves and iambic pentameter, though, as Victorian time-travelers will be crashing the party for a steampunk weekend. Have the whole family dust off their top hats and brass goggles for the costume competition and take your time machine or Tardis to the Ren Faire.

Bristol Renaissance Faire, 12550 120th Ave., Kenosha, Wis., Aug. 11-12. $25.95 for parents, $11.50 for kids (5-12).

Retro on Roscoe

Dad, did your musical tastes petrify by 32 years old? Of course they did – they always do – but you can still hear what you used to enjoy back when your brain could still absorb things at this incredible fest. One of the best summer street fests, Retro on Roscoe offers up not only food, shopping and games, but antique cars and bikes and tribute acts to just about any music your family loves – old school hip-hop, Bowie, Beatles, ABBA, Blues Bros., Zeppelin, Yacht Rock, Frankie Valley, Country, and local favorites Sixteen Candles and Rod Toughcurls and the Bench Press.

Retro on Roscoe, Roscoe and Damen, Chicago, Aug. 10-12. Suggested donation $10.

The Fest for Beatles Fans

And speaking of the Beatles, grab the kids, grab Dad – heck, grab Granddad – and head out towards O’Hare for this celebration of the Fab Four and the culture surrounding them. There are crafts, puppet shows, and a parade for the kids, while Dad celebrates Revolver’s 50th anniversary and likely buys more T-shirts than he can ever wear. You’ve got to get this into your life.

The Fest for Beatles Fans, Hyatt Regency O’Hare, 9300 Bryn Mawr Ave., Rosemont. Aug. 10-12. Adults $26 and up, kids $22 and up.

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