Fun Things to Do with Kids in Chicagoland This Weekend

Find the latest family events and activities to make it an awesome weekend.

May offers so many great events and things to do with your kids, including plenty of summer festivals.

Check out the Flight of Butterflies at Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and grab some sweet treats at Bittersweet Pastry Shop. Take advantage of the amazing weather and wander through Chicagoland’s most beautiful gardens.

Enjoy cookies at these places near Naperville and check out the farmers markets with your family for some local goodies.

My son, Jordan, and I are looking forward to checking out the summer festivals, including the Long Grove Chocolate Festival. We also love shopping at farmers markets and plan to check out a few this weekend.

Looking for more things to do with kids in Chicagoland? We have you covered to make it a great weekend with kid-friendly events, what’s going on around town and even at-home activities. Be sure to tag us on Instagram @chicagoparent if you enjoy any of these weekend events!

This article was recently updated on May 16, 2024 by Chicago Parent’s Audience Development Coordinator, Kari Zaffarano. The update included her adding new Chicagoland events to the ChicagoParent.com‘s calendar and featuring the best family events this weekend. Questions? Please reach out to kari@chicagoparent.com.

Events

Photo credit: Dan Swinson

The city and suburbs continue to offer excellent options for family-friendly events. We picked some of our favorites going on this weekend below. Find more events on our calendar.

Poetry Making Playground at West Side Justice Center

May 16-19, 2024

Teens and tweens can check out an immersive installation with original poems written by some of Chicago’s most renowned poets. It will include seven different works and fuse poetics, illustration, design, multimedia and more.

Long Grove Chocolate Festival in Historic Downtown Long Grove

May 17-19, 2024

The fest is known for its chocolate-dipped treats like strawberries, donuts, cupcakes, cake pops, truffles, croissants, eclairs, funnel cakes and more. There will also be tons of live entertainment, family activities, chocolate vendors and chocolate experiences.

A&A Ballet’s Cinderella at Athenaeum Theater

May 18, 2024

​Watch this family-friendly performance that features Asian American, Tatiana Chen as Cinderella and welcomes A&A Ballet and Joffrey Ballet veteran, Amber Neumann, as Stepmother. A&A Ballet offers audiences a modern take on the classic story.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Theatre School at DePaul University

May 18, 2024

​Teens can come out to The Theatre School at DePaul University to see William Shakespeare’s classic, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

A Year with Frog and Toad at Chicago Children’s Theatre

May 18-19, 2024

See the Tony-nominated musical, based on Arnold Lobel’s popular children’s book based on two friends, Frog and Toad. See their friendship as it goes through the seasons.

Batavia Farmers’ Market

May 18, 2024

  • Address: North River Street between Wilson and Spring streets, Batavia
  • Cost: Free admission

The Market features produce, baked goods, plants, honey and related farm products from over 50 carefully curated vendors.

Downtown Downers Grove Market

May 18, 2024

More than 60 vendors come together to sell locally grown produce, coffee beverages, artisanal cheeses, fresh baked goods, curated floral arrangements and more.

Green City Market Lincoln Park

May 18, 2024

Families can discover the best of the Midwest at Green City Market’s Lincoln Park farmers’ market.

Lincoln Roscoe Spring Art & Craft Fair

May 18-19, 2024

  • Address: Lincoln Avenue From Roscoe to School, Chicago
  • Cost: Free

Come shop original art and handmade crafts from 75 juried artists. Also, live music, art activities for kids, festival food and more.

Oak Park Farmers Market

May 18, 2024

This lively market connects the Oak Park community with local farmers. In addition to fresh produce, you can find dairy and meat products as well as handcrafted items. May 18 is Go Green Day.

Once Upon a Symphony-Goldilocks and the Three Bears at Chicago Symphony Orchestra

May 18, 2024

Young audiences are invited to see the classic tale, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, as it’s told on stage in a 45-minute production. For ages 3-5.

Swing Into Summer at Navy Pier

May 18, 2024

Enjoy a day-long celebration with a bunch of swinging-sports including baseball, pickleball, wiffle ball, softball and golf. Coaches and trainers  will be there to offer instruction. There will also be mini-golf competitions at the new Pier Park Mini Golf Course.

Taste of AAPI and Business Expo! at Jewel-Osco

May 18, 2024

This celebration includes performances, delicious samples, giveaways and more.

Drag Queen Story Time & Butterfly Parade at Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

May 19, 2024

Dress up like a butterfly and join Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum for story time with their friends from Kiki Queens. Hear stories about butterflies and join the parade. Tickets include access to all museum exhibits.

Everyone at Play at Kohl Children’s Museum

May 19, 2024

The Museum invites families with children with disabilities to explore the exhibits while closed to the general public. A quiet room for stimulation breaks will be available. Registration required.

Spring Fun Fest at Parkway Bank Park

May 19, 2024

Activities for the fest will include live entertainment, bounce houses, a petting zoo, face painting, balloon sculptors and more.

Play Unstoppable Festival at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Chicago

Through May 26, 2024

Families can join LEGOLAND Discovery Center for their Play Unstoppable Festival. The fest includes creating a LEGO flower, designing your own spirit animal, a dance party, an all-new LEGO Friends 4D movie, photo opportunities and more.

Victory at Home: 1941-1945 Exhibit Opening at Elmhurst History Museum

Through Aug. 18 2024

This exhibit examines the Home Front during World War II and explores the sacrifice, service and patriotism of Americans throughout the country, with a focus on those in Elmhurst and greater Chicagoland. You’ll see compelling artifacts, photographs and interactive audio-video stations with hands-on experiences, journals, uniforms, WWII posters, historic radio broadcasts and more.

Circusville: Play Under the Big Top at Chicago Children’s Museum

Through Sept. 7, 2024

Children can join the circus where littles can express themselves, unleash their imaginations, explore their skills, embrace new challenges and shine. Advanced tickets recommended.

007 Science: Inventing the World of James Bond at Museum of Science and Industry

Through Oct. 27, 2024

  • Address: 5700 S. DuSable Lake Shore Drive, Chicago
  • Cost: $18/adults, $14/children 3-11, $9/members; General admission: $25.95/adults, $14.95/kids 3-11, free for children 2 and under; Tickets are in addition to general admission to the museum

See the new spy-themed exhibit that reveals the science and technology behind the world’s longest-running movie franchise. It features some of the cars, gadgets and props that were used in the films, including a prototype jetpack from Thunderball and the modern Gravity Industries Jet Suit.

Around town

Flight of butterflies peggy notebaert nature museum
Courtesy of Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Spend the weekend exploring Chicagoland with your family with these ideas. Find more things to do on our website.

At-home activities

Photos credit: Amazon

If your family wants to stay home this weekend, you can try the following activities with your kids.


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Kari Zaffarano
Kari Zaffarano
Kari Zaffarano is a mom of one and Chicago Parent's Audience Development Coordinator. She tracks down the best events every week and shares the inside scoop with families in print and online. She enjoys reading, traveling and exploring new places with her son.

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