Labor Day Guide for Chicago Families

Enjoy your day off and celebrate Labor Day with yummy cookout recipes, festive activities and local events going on around town.

When Labor Day weekend rolls around, we always think of it as the last hurrah to summer. Families also enjoy the last few summer moments before really jumping back into the school routine.

The first Monday in September is traditionally dedicated to celebrating the achievements of American workers. This guide helps you plan your Labor Day with family-friendly events, food, activities and more. Have a great Labor Day weekend!


Photo credit: Naperville’s Last Fling

Many of our favorite summer festivals are back just in time for Labor Day weekend. Check out a few of our Labor Day event picks below and find more events in our calendar.

Naperville Last Fling

Sept. 1-4, 2023

The festival includes an entertainment stage, food vendors, business expo vendors, family activities, Labor Day parade and a carnival.

Taste of Polonia

Sept. 1-4, 2023

Enjoy a true cultural experience that includes nonstop live music on three stages, authentic Polish food, arts and crafts, games, movie screenings, casino, face painting, balloons and more.

Frankfort Fall Festival

Sept. 2-4, 2023

This fest features more than 300 artisans, live entertainment, a carnival, food, beverages and a parade at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Schaumburg Septemberfest

Sept. 2-4, 2023

This outdoor festival features entertainment, arts and crafts show, a carnival, pony rides, fireworks and a Labor Day parade.


Labor Day weekend often means plenty of barbecues with family and friends. Enjoy some amazing homemade food with these recipes.

No-cook meals for hot summer days

Don’t bother turning the oven on for your Labor Day meal planning. We rounded up a few no-cook recipes like BBQ chicken salad and caprese zoodles that still taste amazing.

Labor Day sides and desserts 

Looking to feed a crowd for Labor Day? While you’re probably not planning to invite many people this year, it doesn’t hurt to go big to satisfy your hungry guests with these recipes.

Recipes for vegetarian sliders

If you have any vegetarians or want to eat more plant-based food, you have to try one of these vegetarian sliders. The roundup has everything including grilled vegetable, portobello and even a vegan “pulled pork”.

More Activities

Looking for more ways to enjoy Labor Day weekend? Here are a few activities that offer a fun time with your kids. Find more things to do on our calendar..

Where to go kayaking in Chicagoland

If you’re feeling adventurous, check out these kayaking spots in the city and suburbs. It would be a great screen-free activity for the whole family.

Ice cream shops your kids will love

End the summer with a sweet treat! You can’t go wrong with these ice cream shops in Chicagoland. Some of our favorites are The Brown Cow and Shawn Michelle’s.

Cool off at the beach

A day off on one of the last days of summer can only mean one thing — beach day! Head to one of these family-friendly beaches in Chicagoland to cool off and relax. 

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