The fair and festival landscape is lined with kid zones aplenty. Knowing where to find the best is what we do here at Chicago Parent. Find the best fest for your family this July with food, fun and the (occasional) beer garden high on the checklist.
When: July 4
Where: Nichols Park, 1355 E 53rd St.
The parade starts at 11 a.m. at 53rd and Lake Park in Hyde Park and travels to Nichols Park for an afternoon of picnic-style family fun, including games and entertainment for children and adults.
When: July 5-7
Where: West Town neighborhood
Features live music on three stages, plus Kid Fest, Pup Fest, and an array of vendor booths from neighborhood retailers, restaurants, and artists.
When: July 10-14
Where: Grant Park, 331 E. Randolph St.
The Taste runs over five days in Grant Park as a massive foodie fair complete with live music and activities for the entire family. Popular features include a three-course fine dining experience prepared by a notable Chicago Chef at Celebrity Chef du Jour, Pop-up Restaurants, food trucks and more.
When: July 12-14
Where: 4400 – 4560 N. Lincoln Ave.
A festival of more than 70 acts including music, dance parties, jams and kids area with games, crafts, interactive concerts, the “Instrument Petting Zoo” and more. Also features the best local and regional craft breweries and Lincoln Square restaurants.
When: July 19-21
Where: St. Benedict Church, 2215 W. Irving Park
North Side family-friendly event that highlights a menu of food and refreshments, craft beer, live music for adults and children, and quality family entertainment. The marketplace on Leavitt includes local vendors and merchants of art, jewelry, clothing, gifts, crafts and games. “Rock the Fest” is BenFest’s youth band showcase hosted by School of Rock, which features budding young musical talent jamming on the main stage. The popular children’s area features live music and dance for various ages, games, waterslide, inflatables, face-painting, arts and crafts area, Sport Zone and more.
Lake County Fair
When: July 18-21
Where: Highwood Metra Station Parking Lot, 317 Green Bay Road, Highwood
Carnival rides, live music and food from vendors, plus a North Shore Taco Fest that includes the region’s best taco-centric restaurants.
When: July 24-28
Where: Lake County Fairgrounds, 1060 E. Peterson Road, Grayslake
The annual Lake County Fair—“Summer’s Best Fest”–features hi-powered motocross and demolition derbies, professional rodeo, daily entertainment stages, Camping World and County Fair traditions in the livestock barns auction, horse show, carnival midway, petting zoo, diverse food treats and so much more.
When: July 27
Where: Busse Woods Trail, Arlington Heights
This event brings together culture, sport and international flavors that blend a 2,500-year-old tradition with the fun and excitement of an outdoor festival. Races begin at 9 a.m. and continue throughout the day. Festival grounds offer a variety of activities, including Asian cultural performances and the Health Wellness Village with products and services to assist in leading a healthy lifestyle. Grab a bite from one of our Food Trucks, enjoy a cold one in the Beer Garden or shop in the Marketplace. Kids can enjoy games and activities in the interactive Kids Zone.
When: July 31-Aug. 4
Where: Shermer Road & Walters Avenue, Northbrook
Features a wide variety of food vendors, carnival rides and games, and entertainment. Live entertainment is featured each night at the main stage and during the day at the beer garden, food, and children’s stages. All proceeds from the festival go to scholarship and grants via the Northbrook Civic Foundation.
Windmill City Festival
When: July 3-6
Where: Knoch Park, 700 S. West St., Naperville
Fest features a BBQ contest with several rib vendors, food ranging from ribs and hot dogs to salads, snacks, desserts and drinks, two live music stages, special events, and fireworks. Family area features carnival rides, inflatables, circus tricks, magic show, face painting, petting zoo and live performances.
When: July 4-6
Where: Community Park, 1825 Short Street, Lisle
This festival features hot air balloon shows and rides (weather permitting), as well as musical entertainment, a special kids’ area, an arts and crafts fair, fireworks, a large carnival and an assortment of daily events.
When: July 12-14
Where: Batavia Riverwalk, Houston Street at Island Avenue, Batavia
Featuring carnival, entertainment, music and demonstrations. Kids’ fun zone includes obstacle course, inflatables, rock wall and bungee run.
Oak Lawn Party in the Park
When: July 3-7
Where: 159th and Central Ave., Oak Forest
The Oak Forest festival features bingo, a bean bag tournament, bands, a car show, food, and family fun, including a carnival. Event includes fireworks on July 4.
When: July 4
Where: Memorial Park, 102nd & Major, Oak Lawn
Oak Lawn’s Fourth of July Party in the Park will be a day-long event held in two locations. At Memorial Park, from noon-4 p.m., families can play Bingo, enter a bags or 3-on-3 tournaments, watch a magician, play in the mud table, in inflatables or with bubbles, and decorate a mural. Beginning at 3:30 p.m., the party moves to Stony Creek Golf Course, where the Oak Lawn’s Got Talent competition will begin. Fireworks will launch at Richards High School.
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