Nighttime Chicago family outings

Parents know kids need to go to bed at a reasonable hour in order to be well-rested. However, during the lazy summer months, bedtimes are more flexible than firm and special outings trump sensible behavior. Take advantage of the balmy evening hours to enjoy some “nightlife” as a family and burn a little midnight (more like 10 p.m.) oil. Here are a few fun options for after-dark activities.

Parents know kids need to go to bed at a reasonable hour in order to be well-rested. However, during the lazy summer months, bedtimes are more flexible than firm and special outings trump sensible behavior. Take advantage of the balmy evening hours to enjoy some “nightlife” as a family and burn a little midnight (more like 10 p.m.) oil. Here are a few fun options for after-dark activities.

Catch a movie in the park. The Chicago Park District once againoffers its popular Movies in the Park program.
Starting in June, see a variety of movies (most are
family-friendly) at a number of neighborhood parks throughout the
city. The shows start at sundown. Pack a blanket and some snacks
and enjoy al fresco free family entertainment. Visit chicagoparkdistrict.com for a list of movies,
dates and locations.

Chicago Movies in the Park


Enjoy an outdoor concert. In addition to its popular daytimeKraft Kids Concert series, Ravinia Festival in
Highland Park hosts a number of evening concerts appropriate for
kids. Ravinia recently announced that children age 15 and under
will be admitted to the lawn free for nearly all of the classical
performances for the 2012 season. Visit ravinia.org for a
full list of concerts and other family-friendly evening events.

Ravinia Festival


Sleep under the stars. Sleep under the Skyscrapers atthe Lincoln Park Zoo is designed for families with kids
5-12. Participants pitch their tents and enjoy dinner before
exploring the zoo and Nature Boardwalk at night. Other highlights
include a campfire, s’mores, stories from zoo staff and a movie
before bed. You can choose to attend the evening activities only or
sleep overnight. This year’s program dates are June 29-30, July
20-21, Aug. 3-4 and 17-18. Visit lpzoo.org to register.

Similarly, the Chicago Botanic Garden offers
its popular Family Campout July 28. The event
includes nature games, a hike and s’mores. Visit chicagobotanic.org for details.

Chicago nature overnights


See nature at night. Families with children under 10 can takepart in Family Twilight Adventures at MortonArboretum. The adventures, which take place several times
during the summer, include a hike, a moonlight ride on the tram and
roasted marshmallows over a campfire. Visit mortonarb.org
for details.

Morton Arboretum at Night


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