What Should We Do This Weekend? Chicago, IL August 16th – 18th

Looking for things to do in Chicagoland this weekend?

Here are over 40 family-friendly events happening in Chicago, and the suburbs this weekend!


Family Friendly Events in Chicago, IL This Weekend:


Major ongoing events this weekend:


Chicago Air & Water Show

  • August 17th & 18th; 10 am – 3 pm
  • The show can be viewed along the lakefront from Fullerton to Oak Street, with North Avenue Beach as the focal point.
  • Headliners are the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the U.S. Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights

Bit Bash at The Museum of Science and Industry

  • August 17th: 9:30 – midnight
  • August 18th: 9:30 – 4 pm
  • “Play a hand-selected and artfully curated selection of more than 60 indie games. Get hands-on in a relaxing and approachable atmosphere for all ages as you experience unique controllers and hardware, the thrill of multiplayer games, and experiences you can’t play at home that push the expansive boundaries of games. Celebrate long into the night with drinks, live events, tournaments and a thousand of your new best friends.”

 Bristol Renaissance Faire

  • Kenosha, WI off I-94 at the Wisconsin Border
  • Saturdays and Sundays, July 6th – Sept 2nd, 10 am – 7 pm
  • Children are free
  • August 17th and 18th present Heroes and Villains!
    • “Wear your colors with pride! Step out and join the Heroes or the Villains for a weekend filled with daring deeds and wicked mischief! Whether you love to be hated or hate to be loved we want you to come out ready to do battle and in your best costumes!”

Illinois State Fair

  • The 2019 Illinois State Fair runs from August 8th through August 18th. The Fairgrounds are open from 7 a.m. to Midnight for the duration of the Fair.
  • Illinois State Fairgrounds: 801 Sangamon Avenue, Springfield, IL 62706
  • Free Admission Day on Friday, August 16 (1st Responders’ with proper ID)

2019 ANA Chicago World’s Fair of Money

  • August 13th – 17th
    • Wednesday to Friday – 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
    • Saturday – 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • “From August 13-17 in Rosemont, Illinois, at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, the 2019 American Numismatic Association Chicago World’s Fair of Money will be held. At this event, visitors can expect to see $1 billion-worth of historic and rare coins and currency, including paper money. Activities at the venue range from live auctions to lectures and seminars.”

1060 Block Party

  • August 17th & 18th; 1 – 10 PM
  • “We’re hosting a free, two-day community block party for lovers of music and outdoor grilling. (Re)discover music from Chicago bands curated by Metro Chicago and enjoy upscale eats and flame flavored meats from Gallagher Way eateries.”

Little Italy Festa / Gelato Festival Chicago

  • Little Italy Festa“Taylor Street is one of the most historic neighborhoods in Chicago. From the late 1800s to about the 1950s, this area was a hub for Italian immigrants to settle and establish their families. It soon became Chicago’s “Official” Little Italy.””Chicago’s Little Italy Fest-Taylor Street celebrates the great history of the neighborhood by celebrating the rich culture of the generations of Italians who settled there decades ago. Fabulous food from award-winning area restaurants, several stages of continuous family entertainment, quality merchandise from Italy and colorful cultural attractions make this event one of the most popular of the summer.”THURSDAY: 5PM-10PM
    FRIDAY: 5PM-10PM
  • Gelato FestivalAugust 17th: 2 – 10 pm
    • August 18th: Noon – 8 pm
    • “Ticket-holding guests enjoy all-you-can-eat gelato, prepared fresh onsite by local and visiting artisans in the world’s largest frozen dessert laboratory on wheels – then vote for their favorite flavors. All the while, the stage is alive with music, games, contests and giveaways, complete with fun for the whole family. Join us in our quest to find the best gelato in America by tasting them all! The chef with the most votes will continue their gelato journey in the Gelato Festival World Masters 2021.”

Pilsen Fest

  • August 17th & 18th: Noon – 10 pm
  • 18th Street & Blue Island Ave.
  • The PILSEN FEST uses music, theatre, poetry, food culture, handcrafts, educational seminars, and the arts as a means of promoting and preserving Pilsen’s rich cultural heritage. Recognizing the historic and cultural value that the Pilsen neighborhood holds for Latino/Mexican Chicago, the Pilsen Fest uses the arts to expose Chicago to the local and national artistic talents and to embrace the history and community pride that Pilsen represents for the diversity of Chicago as a global city. 
  • There is a Kids Corner so bring the whole family!

Edison Park Fest

  • FRIDAY – 5PM – 10:30PM
  • SATURDAY – 11AM – 10:30PM
  • SUNDAY – 11AM – 10PM
  • Enjoy live entertainment, beer garden, children’s area, food vendors, craft fair, and extreme trampoline shows.

Thai Food Festival Chicago

  • Sat & Sun: 11 am – 9 pm
  • Great selection of authentic Thai food from different restaurants around Chicago
  • Outstanding dance and music performances
  • Thai silk fashion show
  • Food and Muay Thai demonstrations
  • Live music by local Thai band

Riverfest South Elgin

  • Panton Mill Park
  • Friday, August 16: 5pm-11:30pm
  • Saturday, August 17: 1pm-11:30pm
  • Sunday, August 18: 1pm-9pm
  • Fireworks: Saturday at 9:30pm
  • Car Show: Saturday and Sunday: 10:30am-4pm
  • Free and live music, carnival, Special Night for Special Kids, local food vendors, beer tent, craft and business expo, car show, fireworks, model railroad layout and trolley rides. 

Evanston Art & Big Fork Festival

  • 800 Church St, Evanston IL
  • Friday: 4 – 9 pm
  • Saturday: 10 am – 9 pm
  • Sunday: 10 am – 5 pm
  • Juried artists, live music, great food, and fun art projects for kids

Lego Ninjago Days at Legoland Discovery Center

  • August 3rd – September 30th
  • “Calling all ninjas in training: Master Wu is ready to challenge you with an EPIC mission! LEGO NINJAGO® has been summoned to LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Chicago! Unleash your Ninja building powers to complete Master Wu’s challenges with exclusive building activities, mega mini movie creations and practicing your ninja moves with your favorite NINJAGO characters to become a ‘Master of Spinjitzu’! Are you pumped for the challenge?”

Bixbee Imagination Station Pop-UP

  • Mon to Thur, Sat & Sun (10am – 5pm), Fri (10am – 7pm)
  • Tickets: Adult $23, Kid (3-11 years old) $15, Children 2 and under are FREE
  • “Come discover a world every kid (and kid-at-heart) wished truly existed. Enter an un-charted playground where you can ride a polka-dotted elephant and spot cheeky, technicolor monkeys. Ignite a brilliant light show with just the beat of a drum. Ride a mythical unicorn blazing across a disco rainbow sky. See human connectivity come to life like an electric spirograph. Share secrets with your bestie via flower blossoms. Explore outer space with a surfing, taco loving dinosaur, and take a selfie inside a ferociously, friendly shark!”
  • In Chicago for a limited time only!
  • 915 W. North Ave.

Neon Summer Pop Up

  • 5 week only pop -up
  • 1265 W. Le Moyne St, Chicago
  • Neon Summer Chicago is an all ages event. While the experience is fun for all ages prior to 7pm, please keep in mind after 7pm the festivities turn boozy so we recommend families come out during our earlier hours. All ages are welcome to stay throughout the event as long as they want. After 7pm, under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Admission into Neon Summer Chicago Pop-Up, including access to 9-Hole Pop Mini Golf course, Bocce ball and Instagramable experiences. Go-Karts, Axe Throwing, food and full bar/drinks will be available for additional purchase onsite. Select your date, the time that works best for your group, arrive anytime within your 30-minute ticketing window and stay as long as you’d like!
  • Go Kart racing is first come, first served and NOT included unless purchased, specifically in a package.





10:00 AM & 11:00 AM: Wiggleworms Navy Pier

  • Free and open to the public! Join us at the Lake Stage in Polk Bros Park at Navy Pier for Wiggleworms, Old Town School of Folk Music’s celebrated early childhood music program. This free program for babies, toddlers and preschoolers features two back-to-back 45-minute performances, separated by a 15-minute break. Come sing, clap and play along!

11:00 AM: Acorn Express Adventure

  • “Join us on the Acorn Express tram for a family friendly tram-ride adventure through the Arboretum! We’ll seek out fun destinations to hike, make a craft, and explore new topics each week.”

5:00 PM: Naper Nights: Soundtracks of a Generation

  • “This is a tribute to Woodstock – the performers, their music, and to the concept of peace and harmony. Covering the most popular songs, Soundtracks of a Generation will take Naper Nights on a musical journey chronologically through each day of the festival. Every spectrum of musical genre – from Rock, Blues, Soul, Jazz Fusion, Latin Rock, and Psychedelic Rock – will be performed at this counter-culture commemoration. Join us as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Woodstock Music and Art Fair and jam to the songs that have become the soundtrack of an entire generation.”

6:00 PM: Summer Nights Classic Car Show, Downtown Downers Grove

  • August 16th – Emergency Vehicles, Trucks and Farm Tractors (all years). Live music from All Hats No Cattle (Bluegrass).

6:00 PM: Vintage Rides

  • “Vintage Rides returns to the new, beautiful Front Street in Summer of 2019!
    Stroll through Downtown Wheaton to enjoy seeing the new streetscape, classic cars, motorcycles and trucks of every make, model and year! Spectators will admire cars from Model T’s to Teslas and everything in between. There will be a DJ spinning tunes, so bring the entire family out for fun in Downtown Wheaton and enjoy the cars, the music and the great food and shops that Downtown Wheaton has to offer.”
  • Dodge Night / Country

6:30 PM: Water Colors Jazz Series

  • “The Art Ensemble of Chicago is an avant-garde jazz group that grew out of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) in the late 1960s. The ensemble integrates many jazz styles and plays many instruments, including “little instruments”: bells, bicycle horns, birthday party noisemakers, wind chimes, and various forms of percussion. The musicians wear costumes and face paint while performing. These characteristics combine to make the ensemble’s performances both aural and visual.”
  • Lake Stage in Polk Bros Park
  • All ages event

6:30 PM: Children’s Garden Campout

  • 6:30 pm – 9 am
  • “Join us for a campout designed especially for families! Pitch your tent on the lawn inside the Children’s Garden and get ready for a night filled with fun.  Visit hands-on activity stations; enjoy snacks, night hikes, and bedtime stories. When you get sleepy, retire to your cozy tent and snooze the night away. In the morning, wake to the sound of birds singing; then enjoy a light breakfast and a chance to explore the Children’s Garden with your family before it opens to the general public.” 
  • Please bring your own tent, light snacks and a light breakfast included.






9:00 AM : Free Bug Fest

  • “It’s our 10th anniversary! Insects and the fascinating world of bugs will take center stage at this popular, late-summer event. The free, family-friendly, stroller-friendly event will feature fun and educational attractions with a swarm of bug-related activities, demonstrations and crafts. This year enjoy the pollinator express for $2 a ride or unlimited rides for $10.”
  • Red Oak Nature Center in Batavia

9:00 AM: Back to School Blues Breakfast Bash

  • Kimmer’s Ice Cream in St. Charles, Wheaton, and Elmhurst
  • “Got the back to school blues? Come on out and cure the blues with ice cream for breakfast! We will open our doors early at 9am on Saturday, August 17th for a fun event.
    There will be several breakfast flavors as well as a special topping available at this event. Our Sparkle Cones™ will be Back to School Blues as well!
    So roll out of bed, throw some shoes on, and come on over on August 17th and enjoy some delicious homemade ice cream for breakfast. You’re not going to want to miss this!”

10:00 AM: Big Rigs and Kids

  • Cortesi Veterans Memorial Park in Villa Park
  • ‘Come out to this popular family event and see all the different vehicles from the Villa Park Fire and Police Departments including the Mobile Command Center, plus tow trucks, dump trucks, mowers and smaller equipment. This hands-on event allows kids and adults to climb in, on and around the vehicles. Additional on site performances for our very own, Discover Dance Performance Teams and Ken Schultz, The Flying Fool.”
  • “BUT WAIT…THERE’S MORE! Walk with us over to Lions Park, 320 E. Wildwood Ave. and witness the Easterseals fundraiser helicopter ball drop! After seeing all the big vehicles, join us to watch a helicopter drop more than 1,000 multi-color balls in Lion’s Park. Each ball represents a raffle entry for Easterseals DuPage & Fox Valley’s Helicopter Ball Drop: Perfect $10K Giveaway. The ball closest to the target will win the grand prize! Purchase a raffle ticket by Friday at noon for your chance to win.”

10:00 AM: Parade of Disney Vehicles

  • Volo Auto Museum in Volo, IL
  • “See our Disney Parade vehicles in action! We have acquired several vehicles used in Disney World parades and we’re going to put them in our own parade! Free Mickey and Minnie ears for all the kids, while supplies last. You’ll also be greeted by several recognizable characters.”

10:00 AM: Firezone Back To School Party

  • Firezone in Schaumburg
  • 10$ / child
  • “Join us for a fun morning filled with fire trucks, slides, Legos, crafts, and more! We will be collecting school supplies and then donating them to School District 54. Please bring a donation to be entered to win a prize!”

11:00 AM: Kid Market at Antique Taco

  • 1000 W 35th St., Bridgeport
  • 20 kids vendors, music, food

11:00 AM: Sensory Friendly Screening of Angry Birds 2

  • Hollywood Blvd Cinema
  • “GiGi’s Playhouse, Inc. has partnered up with Blvd to provide the best Sensory Friendly Screening experience available. Special Screenings are designed for everyone that may have a different need while seeing a movie. Anything from a sensitivity to loud sounds, inability to sit still (Parents with toddlers you know we mean you) and everything in between. Lights will be on, sound softer and walking around will be welcomed in a safe judgement free zone.”

11:00 Geneva Park District Back To School Festival

  • Peck Farm Park in Geneva
  • “Bring the whole family to Peck Farm Park and have one last fun-filled day before school starts! Enjoy games, nature crafts, a scavenger hunt, and a Birds of Prey presentation. Hawks Hollow Nature Playground and the Butterfly House will be open for your enjoyment.”

12:00 PM: Kid-A-Palooza

  • Stratford Crossing in Bloomingdale
  • An afternoon of FREE family fun!
  • “Enjoy live performances, magic shows, music, a rock wall, games, balloon artists, food, raffles, prizes, kids crafts, and more! Participants can enjoy free items from our merchants, like chocolate-covered strawberries from Café Zupas and chair massages from Elements Massage!
    Enter our Facebook contest for a chance to win FREE gift cards! Take a picture at Kid-a-Palooza and post it the Stratford Crossing Facebook page with the hashtag #StratfordCrossingKidapalooza to be automatically eligible to win.”

3:00 PM: 4th Annual Balloon Glow

  • Staunton Fireman’s Park in Staunton, IL
  • “Come enjoy the 4th annual balloon glow August 17th from 3:00— till ??? Free activities for the children, LOTS of food and drinks available. Tethered rides will start in the late afternoon, Balloons will glow at dark.”

3:00 PM: Wheaton All Night Flea Market

  • 3pm – 3 am
  • Dupage County Fairgrounds
  • “Part of this widely acclaimed: Flea Event” will include, artists, celebrities, great food & much more! Plus 1000’s of treasures from 100’s of vendors including, antiques, folk art & crafts, close-outs, shabby-chic, housewares, country farm, industrial, advertising, coins, collectibles and much more! Food and beverages onsite! Indoors and outdoors!”

3:00 PM: Side By Side with the Chicago Philharmonic

  • “This program, presented through the Chicago Park District’s “Night Out in the Parks” initiative, brings side-by-side symphonic concerts to Chicago parks in local communities. Students and community members are invited to bring their instruments and collaborate with Chicago Philharmonic musicians in rehearsing and performing free concerts for members of the community and the general public.”
  • August 17 – Pottawatomie Park with conductor Scott Speck
  • 7340 N Rogers Ave, Chicago, IL 60626

4:00 PM: The Sandlot Playground Party

  • Oak Brook Park District: 1450 Forest Gate Road
  • “We are celebrating a whole year of inclusive play at the Oak Brook Park District’s The Sandlot, a Universal Playground on Saturday, August 17 from 4:00-7:00 pm! This fun and free playground party will feature entertainment, DJ, vendors, plus much more!
    The Sandlot, a Universal Playground, was specially designed for all, regardless of age or ability. The theme of the event is based on the book, “Strictly No Elephants,” by Lisa Mantchev and illustrated by Taeeun Yoo which supports our goal of everyone being a part of the game. We hope you can join us for this free, family-friendly event!”

6:00 PM: Naper Nights: Soundtracks of a Generation

  • Rico performs 6 – 7:30.
    • “Rico is defined as a band with a rich sound of diversified musical cultures. A mixture of sophisticated melodic genres comes together in tribute to the music of Santana. Rico creates an immense fiery soulful sound through bass, congas, percussion, drums, timbales, keyboards, guitar, and pure passion.”
  • The Band from 8 – 10
    • “Showcasing the astounding breadth and depth of The Band’s distinctively original Americana music, The THE BAND Band brings the music of The Band alive with authentic, true-to-form renditions of their extraordinary repertoire, including “The Weight”, “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”, “Up On Cripple Creek”, and more.”

8:30PM: Movie In The Park: Ralph Breaks The Internet

  • Knolls Park in Lombard
  • “Grab your lawn chairs, blankets, and gather the kids for a movie night in the park with Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet. There will not be a bad seat in the park with our large screen. Be prepared to laugh like a kid again and enjoy a nice family night out! Admission is FREE (food is available for purchase)”






9:30 AM: Honey Harvest Demo – Highland Park

  • Heller Nature Center
  • Ages 8 to adult
  • Come and experience how to harvest our honey with one of our naturalists.
  • Learn all about honeybees, visit the apiary, extract honey from our bee boxes and then take home a small jar (one per family).
  • Children must be accompanied by a paid registered adult.
  • All participants must wear closed shoes and tall socks to visit the hives.

10:30 AM: Ferrari Club of America Time Trials in Lisle

  • “The Ferrari Club of America will be holding time trials in downtown Lisle on Sunday, August 18, 2019 from 10:30 AM – 1 PM.  The event will make use of Lisle Commuter Parking Lots A, B, C and E and Burlington Avenue between the west entrance of Commuter Lot B and Center Avenue.”
  • Spectators are welcome to visit and enjoy!

12:00 PM: Boating In The Park

  • Lake Ellyn Park in Glen Ellyn
  • “Row or pedal your way around Lake Ellyn! We will have kayaks, canoes, and a pedal boat available to rent from noon-4pm. Instructions are available on dry land before you venture out. Pack a picnic to enjoy by the shore and spend the afternoon enjoying the park. Rental fee: $5 per boat for 20 minutes. No pre-registration required.”

12:00 PM: Back To School Picnic

  • Proksa Park in Berwyn
  • “Join the Berwyn Park District, Pav YMCA, and Berwyn South School District 100 as we say goodbye to summer in style!
  • This free family picnic features lunch off the grill, school supply giveaways by the PAV YMCA, informational booths, interactive games, bounce houses, face painters, balloon twisters, and meet & greet with BSD 100 staff.
  • New this year, we are introducing a Touch-A-Truck featuring a fire truck, ambulance, police car, and other big machinery that the kids can get behind the wheel for a photo-op!”

1:00 PM: St. Charles Park Palooza

  • Pottawatomie Park
  • $1 per person per activity at the Paddlewheel Riverboats, River View Miniature Golf Course and Swanson Pool. Reduced pricing this day only from 1-4pm. Food and beverages are available for purchase at River View’s Refreshment Stand and by the Toasty Cheese Food Tent.
  • Live Music
  • Face Painting
  • Balloon Artist
  • Inflatables
  • Throwback Party Games
  • Crafts & Keepsakes
  • Character Meet & Greets
  • Self-Directed Scavenger Hunt & Prizes
  • Popcorn or Ice Cream (while supplies last)
  • Youth Sport Pick Up Games
  • Pickleball Demonstration, 2-3pm
  • Special Performance by the St. Charles Dance Academy, Time TBD
  • Miss Jamie’s Farm Performance, 1:15-2pm
  • One Night Band Performance, 2:45-3:45pm
  • Beer & Wine Garden (for adults only), sponsored by Riverlands Brewing Company and the Wine Exchange

5:00 PM: Floats and Boats!

  • Hampe Park in Carol Stream
  • “Families in the Carol Stream area are invited to come kick off the new school year at a fun FREE event! Cub Scout Pack 191 will be giving out free root beer floats and helping kids make paper boats. We will have our rain-gutter regatta track available to test out and race your finished boats!
  • This is a great opportunity to learn more about our program and how to start your family adventure with Pack 191! We welcome all boys and girls entering Kindergarten through 5th grade.”

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