Earth Day Activities for Chicago Families

Note: These events have been canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19. Please check out our virtual events calendar for family fun things to do safely at home.


Are you ready to go a little green? Earth Day is a little different this year, but there are other ways for families to celebrate the holiday on April 22 such as recycled crafts and ways for older kids to go green. Below are the events that happened in 2019 — we’re looking forward to having them back in 2021!






When: April 13


Where: Adler Planetarium, 1300 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago


Cost: Free with museum admission


Explore the time scales between weather and climate and examine the science behind climate change. Participate in citizen science projects, view art pieces that spark discussion, and meet with climate change experts.


Earth Day at Peggy Notebaert


When: April 22


Where: Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago


Cost: Free with admission


Start your seedlings with Gotham Greens as they run Earth Day activities throughout the day.


Ancient Earth Day


When: April 27


Where: Oriental Institute Museum, 1155 E. 58th St., Chicago


Cost: Free, registration recommended


Learn all about ancient trash and recycling and how ancient people lived with the environment. Practice creative engineering and innovative thinking to solve problems with limited resources, and use recycled and natural materials to craft your own Ancient Earth Day-inspired creations.


North/Northwest Suburbs


Earth Day Expo


When: April 20


Where: Hawthorn Mall, 122 Hawthorn Center, Vernon Hills


Cost: Free


Join Beat Bugs Jay, Kumi and Crick in an interactive sing along in honor of Earth Day. The Beat Bugs will sing and dance in two 25-minute performances, then meet with fans for 20 minutes after each set. The expo will also feature Earth Day activities from local businesses and organizations.


Earth Day Celebration


When: April 28


Where: Emily Oaks Nature Center, 4650 Brummel St., Skokie


Cost: Free


This year’s Earth Day celebration features games, activities, food and a native plant sale.


Earth Day Party


When: April 28


Where: Spring Valley Nature Center & Heritage Farm, 1111 E. Schaumburg Road, Schaumburg


Cost: Free


Celebrate your connection to the Earth withgames, crafts, free wildflower seedlings, birdhouse building, worm composting construction, a live hawk and owl display, and more.


South Suburbs


Earth Day


When: April 20


Where: Sand Ridge Nature Center, 15891 Paxton Ave., South Holland


Cost: Free


Celebrate Earth Day with hikes, puppet shows, art-making and Earth Day Jeopardy.


Earth, Wind and Fire


When: April 27


Where: McCarthy Park, 16801 S. 80th Ave., Tinley Park


Cost: Free


Celebrate Earth Day with hands-on games and activities. The wind will be blowing at the kite fly on McCarthy Field, bring a kite to fly and fill the sky with spring colors. Stop by the warming bonfire to roast some tasty marshmallows.


Earth Day (Pilcher Park)


When: April 27


Where: Pilcher Park Nature Center, 2501 Highland Park Drive, Joliet


Cost: Free


Enjoy wildflower hikes, pulling invasive plants, playing games and making crafts out of recycled materials, and visiting earth-wise vendors with great information. The stewardship portion is a good opportunity for community service hours for high school, scout groups, and church groups. Learn why it is important to preserve habitats and good to recycle.


Western Suburbs


Trash to Treasure


When: Weekdays in April


Where: The Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle


Cost: Free with general admission


Discover the world of recycling through fun games and make a recycled craft of your own to take home.


Party for the Planet


When: April 14


Where: Brookfield Zoo, 8400 31st St., Brookfield


Cost: Free with zoo admission


Learn about the different ways you can make Earth-friendly choices such as conserving energy, riding a bike, or recycling. During this fun-filled family event, participate in green-themed craft activities, help staff plant flowers and a tree, visit with representatives at the Eco Expo and more.


Earth Fest


When: April 27


Where: Public Works Center 201 South Blvd., Oak Park


Cost: Free


The event focuses on green neighborhoods, sustainable lifestyles and best practices. Highlights include eco-friendly vendors, local chefs and restaurants, games and activities for children, items for sale, and entertainment. In addition, recycling booths will be available for eyeglasses, sun glasses, hearing aids, rechargeable batteries, cell phones and old blue jeans.



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