12 Juneteenth Events for Chicago Families

Celebrate Freedom Day with kids on June 19 with these local events.

Juneteenth celebrates the abolition of slavery in the United States and families have been celebrating on June 19 for 156 years. Our list includes Juneteenth events in Chicago and across the suburbs perfect for kids, including virtual events, car parades, festivals and more.

We selected some our top picks below and you can find a full list of Juneteenth events on our calendar.

Chicago

Black Culture Week Juneteenth Caravan & Festival

June 18-19, 2021

Beginning on Chicago’s West Side, the City Wide Juneteenth Caravan will pass through historic neighborhoods and sites on its way to the South Side’s A. Phillip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum. View the caravan’s activities on a live stream from the organization’s website. The caravan ends with a two-day recognition ceremony and spoken word concert.

Black Creativity Family Day

June 19, 2021

  • Address: Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago
  • Cost: Free, museum admission is free for all on June 19, but requires advanced registration

Guests can watch a recorded performance by poet J. Ivy and share their reflections by contributing to a written word collage. Museum admission will be free on Family Day, but capacity is limited and tickets must be reserved online in advance.

Roll N Peace: Juneteenth Celebration

June 19, 2021

Families can hop on their bikes for a cycling celebration of unity. Roll N Peace is organized by Think Outside da Block, which works to reduce crime in Englewood through youth education and events.

Juneteenth Ball Chicago 2021

June 19, 2021

Families are invited to enjoy dinner and dancing under a tent to celebrate and applaud the success of Black Americans in Chicago. A VIP reception will precede the event.

North/Northwest Suburbs

Skokie Juneteenth

June 19, 2021

  • Where: Various Locations, Skokie
  • Cost: Free parade, fees for food and some activities; reservations required

After the Juneteenth Parade in Evanston, join chefs and performers at Devonshire for cooking demonstrations, bites and children’s activities. The party moves to Sketchbook Brewing for a special Juneteenth brew as well as more food and live performances.

South Suburbs

Juneteenth Celebration

June 19, 2021

Celebrate freedom, family and country with various self-guided activities and exhibit displays. Nature center activities will be highlighted along with registration-based guest presenters discussing Black history, arts and culture. Check the Sand Ridge Nature Center Facebook page for a list of guest speakers and registration information. All participants are required to wear masks and practice physical distancing. 

Juneteenth Journey Through African American History

June 19, 2021

Families are invited to learn about the major eras in African American history through live performances. Learn about the impact of slavery, the Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights Movement, Brown vs. Board of Education and Black Lives Matter. Masks are required to enter the building, but can be removed during the Jerk Dinner buffet.

Juneteenth Black Market Vendor Expo

June 19, 2021

Check out more than 30 Black-owned businesses and enjoy food, drinks, music and more. Per CDC requirements at the time, masks and social distancing may be required.

Homewood Flossmoor Juneteenth Festival & Virtual Parade

June 19, 2021

The HF Juneteenth Festival is a celebration of African American culture as expressed through food, music, dance and arts. The mission is to provide an environment that celebrates and showcases the uniqueness, power and endurance of African Americans. In the event that it can’t take place in-person, the festival will continue virtually.

Juneteenth/Summer Solstice Celebration

June 19, 2021

Families can enjoy jazz music performances, spoken word and poetry, a focus on Juneteenth-relevant monumental sculptures in the park and a drumming call to celebrate. There will also be an art exhibition, kids activities, refreshments, photos and more.

Western Suburbs

Children’s Story Trail and Craft: Juneteenth

June 18-20, 2021

Walk a short trail near the museum while you enjoy reading a posted story celebrating the history of the Juneteenth holiday. Afterwards, stop by the museum to pick up a craft and activities bag to continue the adventure. All participants are required to wear masks and practice physical distancing.

Virtual

100 Years Later: The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre – Juneteenth Commemoration

June 17, 2021

  • Cost: Free, RSVP required

Join a virtual discussion, hosted by the Illinois Holocaust Museum, with Dr. David Gray, Phil Armstrong and author Carlos Moreno about the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. The 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Massacre offers a unique opportunity for us as a nation to pay our respects to those who suffered in one of the most unforgettable crimes of domestic terrorism and racial violence in U.S. history. On May 31 and June 1, 1921, white mobs in Tulsa, Oklahoma, attacked the city’s Black residents and businesses. They murdered hundreds of people and destroyed 35 square blocks in the city’s Greenwood District, also called “Black Wall Street,” which had been the wealthiest Black community in the United States.


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