August 28, 2008

Get out there and play

The idea of taking the family to listen to jazz may sound a little intimidating, but it shouldn’t be. Show your kids how cool jazz can be this weekend at the Chicago Jazz Festival in Millennium Park, 55 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, and Grant Park, 337 E. Randolph Drive, Chicago, through Sunday. In its 30th year, the Chicago Jazz Fest is Chicago’s longest running music festival.

The festival begins Thursday night with a free concert at Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion, featuring two-time Grammy Award winner Sonny Rollins at 6:30 p.m. The saxophonist received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004.

The remainder of the festival will be held at Grant Park for three days with three stages of music and activities. The second half of the festival will run from 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Friday-Sunday. For a full line up—which includes saxophonist, violinist, trumpeter and composer Ornette Coleman and the Alison Ruble Sextet—visit the Web site. The festival is also hosting an art fair located in the rose garden between Jackson Boulevard and Buckingham Fountain.

If your kids want to learn more about jazz instruments, head over to the kids’ activity area in Grant Park for a hands-on experience. Not only will kids be able to learn about the instruments, they’ll also have the opportunity to make music of their own.

The Chicago Jazz Festival is free. Dogs and coolers are not permitted. For more information, call (312) 744-3315 or visit

Get your tickets here

Three lucky Chicago Parent readers will win a four-pack of ticket vouchers good for any weekday performance of“Disney On Ice: A Disneyland Adventure.” Performances will be at the United Center, 1901 W. Madison St., Chicago from Sept. 9-14. For more information, visit To win, visit our discussion board.

Get out there and play some more

Have a howling good time on Monday at the Call of the Wild Labor Day Celebration at Wolfe Wildlife Refuge and Bike Path, 109th Street and Laramie Avenue, Oak Lawn. Bring your four-legged friends (of the dog variety) for plenty of tail-wagging fun from 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

Canine favorites include a 1-mile dog walk and doggie talent show. Learn all about insects that reside in the wetlands during the Bug Walk. And have your kids bring their favorite Teddy bear—or other favorite stuffed animal—for the Teddy Bear Parade.

The celebration will also include rope climbing in the trees, crafts and a Cold Blooded Creature Show. Although the event is free, animal face painting and carnival games cost extra. There will also be a concert at 1:30 p.m. featuring The Neverly Brothers.

For more information, call (708) 857-2200 or visit

Outside fun

Your summer has been all about family fun, and the kids—albeit reluctantly—have gone or are about to go back to school. So why not spend your Labor Day at the Family Fun Summer Concert Extravaganza at Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph St., Chicago, featuring Poi Dog Pondering.

The extravaganza also marks the last day of the Family Fun Festival at the Chase Promenade Tent. Sing and dance along with instructors from Old Town School of Folk Music during the Wiggleworms at 10 a.m., then join a reading circle at 11 a.m. and enjoy concerts at noon and 2 p.m. with the Blue Ribbon Glee Club. Featured artist Poi Dog Pondering takes the stage at 3 p.m.

Kids can get creative and go green with the Museum of Science and Industry on“Green Science” from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Family Fun Activity Zone. Start by making your own crayons and paper, then create a solar gadget and burn off some energy on the blender bike. Kids may also use environmentally friendly materials in a“green” house.

The Summer Concert Extravaganza is free. For more information, call (312) 742-1168 or visit

Piece of the prize

This week, five lucky Chicago Parent readers will win“Unstable Fables: Tortoise vs. Hare” and“The Blue Elephant” on DVD. To win, visit our discussion board.

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