July 3, 2008

Get out there and play


Under the yellow and blue of the Grand Chapiteau,“Kooza,” from Cirque du Soleil, will transport you to a world filled with all of the makings of a circus without the animals.“Kooza” is a show filled with highwire acts, a wheel of death, dual unicycle riders and a juggler, just to name a few. But what makes this show magical are the characters who are more than willing to delight the crowd with their nearly silent comedy.

A myriad of characters entertain the crowd until the show begins. Once the show begins, you’ll find plenty of acts that will live up to the circus excitement. The Chinese Chairs will take your eyes up to the very top of the Chapiteau as you watch an acrobat stack chairs higher and higher, 23 feet into the air. The precision balancing on top of eight chairs and a pedestal leaves the crowd speechless.

There are a few naughtier elements to“Kooza” that your family may find slightly mature for your kids. Most of the children in the audience on opening night were around the age of 8.

“Kooza” is performing now through Aug. 10 in the United Center’s parking lot K. Ticket prices range from -5, .50-0.50 children 2-12 and .50-2.50 students 13 and up and seniors 65 and older with ID. Prices vary based on seating areas and student and senior discounts are only available for weekday performances. For more information, tickets and showtimes, visit www.cirquedusoleil.com.

Get out there and play some more


Let your kids’ imagination float up, up and away this weekend as your family takes an adventure to the Eyes to the Skies Festival in Lisle. This year, the festival will host oddly shaped balloons including the Energizer Bunny Hot“Hare” and a United Van Lines truck. Kids will have ample opportunities to talk to and take pictures with the balloon pilots.

The festival opens today and goes through Sunday. The first launch of 15 to 20 hot air balloons on Friday is at 5:30 a.m. and the second, Balloon Glow, happens between 5 and 7 p.m., depending upon the winds.

If your family is the courageous sort, take a ride in a tethered hot air balloon from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Rides are for adults, for kids. The festival also hosts the only hot air balloon in the country that is handicapped accessible, named Serena’s Song. Free balloon rides will be available for those with disabilities from 6-7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. to dusk, weather permitting. These rides are given with first-come-first-served stand-by status.

The festival also hosts a carnival and kids area. The carnival will be open from 5-11 p.m. Carnival rides are for the day, with weekend passes available (check Web site for details). A few of the kids’ area activities include performances by Espana Extreme Aerial Stunt Show and Circus, Radio Disney Party Patrol Interactive Shows, All American Lumberjack Show and games, face painting and a petting zoo. For a full line-up of children’s area activities, visit the Web site. There are also nightly fireworks shows at 9:45 p.m., weather permitting, with a Fireworks Extravaganza on Friday.

Eyes to the Skies Festival is located at the intersection of I-88 and I-355. For festival hours and more information, visit the Web site, www.eyestotheskiesfestival.com.

Get your tickets here


Four Chicago Parent readers will win a family four-pack to the premiere of“Space Chimps” featuring the music of the Blue Man Group. The premiere is on Saturday, July 12 at 10 a.m. at the AMC River East in Chicago. The motion picture will hit theaters July 18. For your chance to win visit our discussion board.

Outdoor fun


Chicago Parent wishes all of its readers a safe and happy July 4. This weekend will be filled with booming firework festivities best left to the professionals at community fireworks displays. Keep kids away from all fireworks, including sparklers, for safety.

Check our calendar for a full listing of July 4 activities, as well as other activities occurring all weekend.

Photo courtesy of the city of Chicago.

Piece of the prize


This week, two lucky Chicago Parent readers will win a set of passes for two adults, two kids and two dogs for a Canine Cruise, courtesy of Mercury, Chicago’s Skyline Cruiseline. Visit our discussion board for your chance to win.


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