Do snow leopards snore or parrots talk in their sleep? Find out at Campout at the Zoo, an overnight adventure that lets you pitch a tent on the zoo’s South Lawn and enjoy the sights and sounds of the animal kingdom after all the other human visitors have gone home. The evening’s activities include after-hours animal house tours, a campfire and s’mores before bedding down under the stars. Catching some zzz’s with (or near) the zebras? Sign us up. Evening Encounter: $40, $34 for members; Full Overnight: $65, $55 for members; Add-on dinner: $12. 7 p.m.-8:30 a.m. July 8, 22 and 29. Lincoln Park Zoo, 2200 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago. (312) 742-2000.
This is not your grandmother’s regatta. Ya Gotta Regatta puts a wacky twist on the traditional high-society boat race, with seafaring vessels that are made entirely of cardboard and duct tape. Participants get two hours to build a skiff that’s fit to sail, then test its sea-worthiness in a swimming pool. And if your dinghy can’t stay above the waves, don’t worry. The coveted “Titanic award” goes to whoever has the most spectacular sinking. $5. 2-5 p.m. July 22. Hunt Club Park Aquatic Center, 900 N. Hunt Club Road, Gurnee. (847) 623-7788.
For 20 years Barrel of Monkeys has been acknowledging what moms and dads everywhere already knew: Kids are pretty freakin’ creative. So the organization uses that natural bent to teach creative writing courses in schools across the city, then turns those tales into stage-worthy sketches performed by real actors. Kids Write It: 20 Years of Intergenerational Storytelling celebrates the standing ovation-worthy mission with a retrospective of the past two decades. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll marvel at the brilliance of Chicago’s young minds. $25, $10 kids under 10. 7:30 p.m. July 27. Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago.