Square Roots Fest is a perfect summer festival for Chicago families

If you go

Square Roots Fest

  • Lincoln Avenue, between Montrose and Wilson, Chicago
  • Tickets are donation only, with a suggested donation of ,
    kids and families
  • nsquareroots.org

One of the highlights of summer in Chicago has to be the amazing selection of street festivals. But hands-down, one of the best festivals for families is the Square Roots Fest in Lincoln Square.

Hosted by the Old Town School of Folk Music and the Lincoln Square Chamber of Commerce, the second annual Square Roots Fest takes place July 12-14 on Lincoln Avenue, between Montrose and Wilson. With multiple music stages, both inside the Old Town School and along Lincoln Avenue, the fest delivers a vibrant mix of performers alongside some of the best local foods and regional craft brew beers.

Square Roots Fest offers the widest variety of music of any festival in the city, says Alisa Baum, concert director at the Old Town School. “From rock to folk and reggae to dance, there is something for every music lover.”

The global dance parties, open jams, fiddle contests and all-ages drum circles are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to family activities. There even is an entire area devoted to kids with a hands-on instrument petting zoo and art tent with crafts.

“It’s a really comfortable environment for families, and kids aren’t an afterthought considering that’s what we do at the Old Town School,” says Baum. “There is tons of stuff for kids and the whole fest is geared towards fun, music and art.”

There are special Wiggleworms performances for crowds of all ages.

“We always put together a full band of our own talented teacher-performers to make a high-quality show for families,” says Erin Flynn, the children’s music program manager at Old Town School. “We have interesting instruments, amazing harmonies, and just so much fun. Last year, we had everything from a sitar to a washboard.”

“Performing and participating in Square Roots is essential summertime,” says Flynn. “The sun is shining upon Chicago and folks of all ages come together to create and enjoy music and community. You leave feeling like you were part of something really special.”

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