What Should We Do This Weekend? Chicago, IL September 13th – 15th 2019

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 Chicagoland This Weekend:

Major ongoing events this weekend:


World Music Festival Chicago

  • September 13th – 29th
  • Chicago Cultural Center: 78 E. Washington St.
  • Enjoy the music city wide at multiple locations, check the full event schedule for more details!

Dessert Fest at the Zoo

  • Lincoln Park Zoo
  • 6:30 – 11 pm
  • Taste some of the best desserts in Chicago while taking in views of the zoo’s amazing animals and gardens. And don’t forget the champagne, beer, and wine (for those of age)! Tickets include admission, dessert tastings from some of Chicago’s most famous bakeries, interactive games, live entertainment, giveaways, and more!

Chicago Bourbon and Barbecue Festival

  • Saturday, September 14th – Sunday, September 15th
  • 12 pm – 10 pm
  • Roscoe Village
  • “Beyond ticketed afternoon bourbon tastings and plenty of mouth-watering chicken, ribs (and more), there are also one stage of soulful music.”

Big Bounce America

  • Friday, September 13th 1 – 6 pm
  • Saturday Sept 14th 9AM-6PM
  • Sunday Sept 15th 9AM-6PM
  • Busse Lake Boating Center, E Higgins Rd. Elk Grove Village
  • Come experience the Guinness Book of World Records’ largest bounce house! Slides, ball pits, climbing walls, music, and more!

Lakeview East Festival of the Arts

  • Saturday & Sunday
  • Belmont to Hawthorne
  • “The Lakeview East Festival of the Arts showcases more than 150 juried artists featuring paintings, sculpture, photography, furniture, jewelry and more. These original pieces are for sale in a wide range of price ranges. In addition to the art, the Festival has become a center of activity for the weekend with live demonstrations, entertainment stages, family activities and a garden oasis.”

Printers Row Art Fest

  • Saturday & Sunday; 10 am – 5 pm
  • On Dearborn from Harrison to Polk
  • “Just one block from famous Michigan Avenue and a short walk to the world famous Art Institute, this fall festival will be the place to be.
    The festival showcases the beauty, creativity and culture of the area. Held on Dearborn Street from Polk to Harrison, the Printer’s Row Art Fest will be a buying opportunity for art lovers of all ages. There will be art from all price points by painters, street artists, jewelers, up-cycling artists, artisans of all kinds, photographers, and mixed media artists. Area restaurants and bars will be on hand to serve up their Chicago specialties. Live music will add to the atmosphere.”

Ravenswood Art Walk

  • Saturday & Sunday; 11 am – 6 pm
  • Along Ravenswood Ave from Irving Park Rd to Leland
  • Hundreds of local artists and makers as well as outdoor market, beer garden, live music, food trucks and
    children’s activities.

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 through September only!
  • 915 W. North Ave.

Worlds Largest Corn Maze now open at Richardson Farm

  • September 7th – November 3rd; Thursday – Sunday
  • “The Richardson Farm offers a huge variety of on-farm experiences: Our activities include a 700 foot long zip line, Orbiting, and the “world’s largest”, most intricately designed corn maze along with activities for all ages.”
  • The maze is Apollo themed this year!

Midnight Circus

  • Holstein Park: 2200 North Oakley Ave
  • Friday, September 13 at 7pm
    Saturday, September 14 at 2pm and 5pm
    Sunday, September 15 at 2pm and 5pm
  • “Midnight Circus in the Parks is an eclectic ensemble of artists with a shared vision that live performance has the power to engage and inspire our audience, our community, and our world. We bring world‐class contemporary circus performances to communities throughout Chicago and raise money for Chicago parks with the proceeds.”

Nature Connects: Art with LEGO bricks by Sean Kenney

  • Sunday, September 15th is the last day to experience this unique exhibit at The Morton Aroboretum!
  • “Marvel at awe-inspiring nature-themed sculptures created entirely from more than half a million LEGO bricks, set along the Arboretum’s tree-lined paths. See the beauty of the natural world captured in 15 intricate displays, including an eight-foot-long dragonfly, its enormous wings spread overhead, and a peacock showing off its brilliant green, yellow, and blue feathers. The fan-favorite exhibition makes its return to the Arboretum with three new displays, among them an oak tree sprouting from an acorn and a pileated woodpecker with a crimson crest.
    Just as LEGO bricks connect, all of nature’s diverse building blocks—trees, animals, birds, and insects—are linked to one another. Throughout the exhibition, Nature Connects showcases these meaningful relationships, with displays including a monarch butterfly on a milkweed plant and a bee on a colorful flower.”

Keller’s Farmstand Fall Festivities

  • “Looking for family fun and creating new fall traditions? Our Saturday & Sunday Fall Festivities include a 10-acre Alice in Wonderland themed corn maze (including 3 observation decks), wagon rides, farm animals, pedal tractors, grain tables, kids play area with pirate ship, castle, and more! Want to pick apples? Buy an apple bag in our apple barn and head to the orchard! Pick a pumpkin off the vine in our large pumpkin patch or choose one from our pre-picked patch. Don’t leave without trying our delicious, homemade APPLE CIDER DONUTS, fudge, and kettle corn. They’re hard to resist! Our concession stand serves hot dogs, brats, hot pretzels, and other treats. There’s lots to experience here at the Keller Farm in Oswego! “

Stade’s Fall Festival: Farmtractions Theme Park

  • We have eight farmtastic weekends of fun planned for you, your family, and your friends! Join us Saturdays and Sundays only (our Market is open every day) during September, and Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in October. We are also open on Monday, October 14th in honor of Columbus Day! Our theme park has over 30 different activities for everyone to enjoy.
  • A classic car show is hosted September 14th & 15th
  • During the Fall Festival at Stade’s, you can also; pick fresh apples, take a hayride to the pumpkin patch and choose the perfect pumpkin, enjoy a bonfire/hayride private party, (previously set by emailing stadesfarmmarket@gmail.com) shop in our Market, enjoy delicious seasonal foods and our famous Apple Cider Donuts!


9:00 AM: Adler Planetarium Free Day

  • On free admission day, tickets must be “purchased” in person, not online.
  • “Countless galaxies, unfathomable distances, exploding stars, diamond planets, black holes, there’s no way around it, space is freaking awesome! Come learn more at the Adler Planetarium during our Illinois Resident Discount Days—where Illinois residents receive FREE Musem Entry to the museum. Museum Entry provides access to all exhibitions and experiences (excluding the historic Atwood Sphere Experience and sky shows.*)
    *On Illinois Resident Discount Days, Illinois residents may also upgrade to a Museum Entry +2 pass at a discounted price and gain access to the Atwood Sphere Experience and any of our breathtaking sky shows.”

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.”

4:00 PM: Family Fishing at Northerly Island

  • Northerly Island Park: 1521 S. Linn White Drive
  • For ages 8 and up
  • 5$ registration, register in advance
  • “Learn how to fish Chicago’s Lake Front Harbor at Northerly Island Park during Family Fishing!
    Perfect for Families with children ages 8 years old and up, this 2 hour class includes in-class instruction and on-the-water fishing. Professional Instruction is provided by Chicago’s Fish ‘N’ Kids Program Fishing Instructors. Fishing instruction, equipment and bait are provided.Fishing License is required for people ages 16 years of age and older.”

6:00 PM: Ragamala (World Music Festival)

  • 6 pm – 8 am in Preston Bradley Hall of the Chicago Cultural Center
  • “A tradition in India, the all-night classical concerts are rarely held publicly in the United States. Visitors have the rare opportunity to hear the ragas (traditional scales or modes) as they were meant to be played during the early morning and late night hours.”

6:00 PM: Emily Oaks Family Campout

  • Emily Oaks Nature Center; 6 pm – 10 am
  • “Pitch a tent, roast marshmallows and sing songs around a campfire, participate in fun nighttime activities, and enjoy breakfast outdoors. Tents, cooking supplies and food provided. Rain date: 9/14-9/15.
    For families with children ages 6 and up. Pre-registration required.”

7:15 PM: PUPcorn and A Movie

  • Spring Avenue Dog Park in Glen Ellyn
  • “Treat your pup to the perfect doggy date night with “Pupcorn and a Movie” at the Spring Avenue Dog Park. Bring a blanket or lawn chairs for a special viewing of the movie “A Dog’s Way Home,” which will begin at dusk (~7:15pm). Dogs must be leashed throughout the event, unless they are inside the designated off-leash area. You do not need to be a dog park member to attend, however, your dog must be up-to-date on vaccinations!”





10:00 AM: Chicago Water Tower 150th Celebration

  • Chicago Water Tower: 806 N. Michigan Ave
  • “Join the City of Chicago and a multitude of partner organizations for a day-long neighborhood festival celebrating the 150th anniversary of the historic Chicago Water Tower—built in 1869 by architect William W. Boyington and one of the only buildings to survive the Great Chicago Fire.
    Free programming will include family activities, lectures, tours, theatre performances, public art, and exhibitions—plus food trucks, dining discounts and complimentary admission to nearby cultural institutions.”

10:00 AM: Teenie Weenie Pumpkins and Munchkins

  • Coyote Crossing Mini Golf in West Chicago
  • “This Saturday morning join us for Teenie Weenie Pumpkins & Munchkins at Coyote Crossing from 10am to noon, ages 8 and under. Price is per child, $12 resident, $18 non. Coyote Crossing will open for mini golf after the event at 12:30 pm.”

10:00 AM: Touch A Truck Lombard

  • Lombard Commons Park
  • 10 AM – 1230
  • “Touch-A-Truck is the perfect event for families to play outside, meet with local businesses, and Touch-A-Truck! A variety of vendors will be present along with activities focused on play. Kids will have the opportunity to explore police cars, fire trucks, dump trucks, and more!

10:00 AM: Monarch Festival

  • South Shore Cultural Center: 7059 S. South Shore Drive
  • 10 am – 3 pm
  • “Everyone has a migration story! Join us at the beautiful and historic South Shore Cultural Center for a free family fun day highlighting the plight of the Monarch Butterfly and its similarities to the migration of Latinx and Black communities! Learn about how you can help the Monarch butterfly – an important pollinator and the state insect of Illinois.
    We are thrilled to partner with the South Shore Park Advisory Council, Sacred Keepers, the U.S. Forest Service, The Field Museum, The Nature Conservancy, and other collaborative partners to bring you a day full of games, educational exhibits,music, entertainment, storytelling, and fun.”

10:00 AM: Flying 4 Kids Statewide Kite Fly

  • Mike Rylko Community Park: 951 McHenry Road, Wheeling
  • 10 am – noon
  • “Join us as we celebrate Flying 4 Kids, a statewide Kite Fly to promote park districts, recreation agencies, and the park district youth license plate. Bring your kites and enjoy this day full of games, face paint, prizes and fun. Kites will be raffled off throughout the event.”

11:00 AM: WTTW Kids Big Idea with Nature Cat

  • Stratford Square Mall
  • “Join us for an exciting, FREE live family show PLUS get the chance to meet Nature Cat! Perfect for children 2 to 7 years old, bringing to life the fun and learning from WTTW Kids’ most popular and beloved children’s shows. Hosted by the WTTW Kids Lab Guys, children will be inspired to discover their own BIG IDEAS using our very own recipe of Wonder, Watch & Learn More! The exciting show will engage kids to explore themes like emotions, life cycles, recycling, the natural world, and more as we discover everyday BIG IDEAS. We’ll also learn about great children’s books that support the show’s themes and experience a few fun surprises along the way. Meet & Greet with Nature Cat following the performance.”

11:00 AM: Volo Kite Fest

  • 500 S. Fish Lake Rd.
  • “Volo’s first kite festival. We will have a stunt kite flyer who will be performing and also have his shop set up for any who wish to buy. In addition, all who desire will have the space to fly their own kites.”

11:00 AM: Tasty Event at ABT Electronics

  • 11 am – 5pm
  • ABT Parking lot: 1200 N. Milwaukee Ave, Glenview
  • “Join us for a special event with our friends from LG and everyone’s favorite food network, Tasty! On Saturday, September 14th, LG and Tasty are bringing the Cookies and Tasty Treats Truck to Abt for a day of cookies, surprises, and fun activities. Enjoy gourmet cookies from LG and Abt, customize them at the Tasty decoration station, and star in your very own Tasty video. Don’t forget to spin the Cookie Wheel to score some sweet swag —everyone who spins, wins!”

11:30 AM: The Music of the Beatles for Kids

  • Fitz’s Spare Keys in Elmhurst
  • “Join us for an afternoon of dancing, sing-a-longs, hola hooping and more – all to the music of The Beatles!”

12:00 PM: Touch A Truck Knolls Park

  • Knolls Park: 18W740 16th Street, Lombard
  • Come see big trucks up close, at an event that puts kids in the driver’s seat! Children will have the opportunity to climb aboard a vast array of specialized vehicles and public safety equipment to learn more about them. This hands-on experience gives children and their families the opportunity to sit-in, touch, and safely explore these vehicles.

12:00 PM: Second Saturday at Cantigny

  • 12 – 3 pm
  • Visitor Center Medill Room
  • “Did you know that Robert McCormick and Benjamin Franklin both ran newspapers? Our printing activity will celebrate the tie between these two printers. Then we’ll test our hand at using a quill pen to sign the Declaration of Independence. Don’t worry, we aren’t forgetting the ladies, we’ll have a station on the ladies of the 18th century as well!”

12:00 PM: Half Way To. St. Pat’s Day

  • Parkway Bank Park in Rosemont
  • 12 – 6 pm
  •  Irish food
    • Irish drinks
    • Live music
    • Irish dancing
    • Bagpipes
    • Games
    • Bounce house (12pm-5pm)
    • Face painting(12pm-5pm)
    • Did we say BEER? There will be plenty of GREEN BEER to go around!

1:00 PM: The Elsa and Anna Frozen Extravaganza

  • Fitz’s Spare Keys in Elmhurst
  • “With Frozen 2 on the way, Join Elsa & Anna as they travel all the way from Arendelle to throw a princess party you and your family won’t forget! Join them as they provide a special showing of FROZEN, sing the soundtrack, do meet & greets and provide fun frozen activities like snowflake stations and group games!”

2:00 PM: Cars, Trucks, and Heroes

  • Chik-Fil-A Wheaton
  • “Join us for our free outdoor event! Children can climb on, explore and discover their favorite big trucks and vehicles, including emergency vehicles! In addition to the trucks, there will be an inflatable slide, face painting, games, and a kids craft sponsored by Home Depot!We will also be collecting canned goods and non-perishable food items for the Glen Ellyn Food Pantry, and school supplies for Operation Christmas Child.”

3:00 PM: ¡SÚBELO! — A Celebration of Pan Latin Music and Culture (World Music Festival)

  • Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millenium Park
  • 3 – 7 pm

3:00 PM: Fall Fest at St. James Farm

  • St. James Farm Forest Preserve, Warrenville
  • 3 – 5 PM
  • “This is our first family event of the year. This free event includes a pumpkin for each child in attendance, pumpkin painting, games, crafts, snacks and more. Flyers will go home in backpacks first week of school. REMINDER: Parking will be in the special use lot, NOT THE MAIN ENTRANCE.”

5:00 PM: Light Up The Night: McHenry Riverwalk

  • 1202 Riverside Drive 60050, McHenry
  • This inaugural event of the “Live on the Riverwalk” series is a
    family-friendly community celebration featuring many firsts:

    • First celebration on McHenry Riverwalk’s newly constructed waterfront patio at Miller Point.
    • First lighting of the McHenry Riverwalk Fire Globes along Boone Creek.
    • First fall gathering at Miller Point to feature live music, local artisans and enriching kids activities.
    • Imagine…food and beverages, fun, families, and fireglobes in the crisp fall air…
    • This is a bit of McHenry you haven’t seen before, a special place that combines the beauty of waterfront with the magic of firelight, the sound of music, and hometown pride as we come together to enjoy our community.

5:30 PM: Gorton’s Annual Block Party

  • Gorton Community Center, Lake Forest
  • “Don’t miss our FREE End of Summer Block Party and Outdoor movie on Saturday, September 14th at 5:30 pm. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse will be shown at sundown! It’s bigger and better than ever with Food, Costume Contest, Activities & Entertainment! Bring your lawn chairs and blankets and the whole family!”

6:00 PM: Family Twilight Adventures

  • The Morton Arboretum
  • Call to register in advance
  • “Join us for a fun-filled adventure after hours at the Arboretum to explore the night’s theme with a tram ride, activities, and a hike. We’ll relax and roast marshmallows at the end of the evening. Children must be accompanied by adult registrant; please plan to have at least one adult per five children and dress for the weather.”

6:00 PM: Harvest Bonfire 

  • Volkening Heritage Farm in Schaumburg
  • $7/pp. Kids aged 3 and under are free
  • “Help celebrate our fall harvest time by taking a wagon ride through Spring Valley’s Heritage Farm, and roasting hot dogs and marshmallows over an open fire.”




11:00 AM: Tiger Family Trolley Picnic

  • Brookfield Kiwanis Park
  • Join Village of Brookfield Events for a ride through Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, The Trolley will stop and pick up at Kiwanis Park where families will enjoy games, themed craft, snacks and treats including fresh, made to order mini donuts! *Donuts are for purchase Come, bring the kids and join us! CALL 708-485-1474 for REGISTRATION. This is a pre-registered event for trolley ride participation. Donuts will be available for purchase from 9:30am-2pm. EVENT ACTIVITIES are 11am-1:30pm
    Children under 18months are FREE
    $14 per child
    $10 per adult
    You MUST register for your Trolley time at the time of registration:

11:00 AM: Color The Preserves

  • Crabtree Nature Center, Barrington
  • 11 am – 3 pm
  • Activities include:
    • Sculpting with clay
      Painting with watercolors
      Drawing with colored pencils
      Wood “Buzzsaw” craft
      Community mural
      Weaving with Cattails
      Face Painting by Lizzy’s Fund
      “Where I’ve been” map activity by A Little Time and a Keyboard
      Art demonstrations by Blick Art Supplies and Artistic Journeys
      Nesting Ball demonstration by Wildbird Shack
      “The Art of saving lives” by the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

11:00 AM: The Music of Reggae For Kids

  • The Rock and Roll Playhouse: Thalia Hall, 1807 South Allport Street
  • “Performing songs created by the most iconic musicians in rock history, The Rock and Roll Playhouse band offers its core audience of families with children age ten and under games, movement, stories and an opportunity to rock out in an effort to educate children and explore their creativity. The Rock and Roll Playhouse is an early and often first introduction to a child’s lifelong journey with live music and rock and roll. See you at the show!”

11:00 AM: The Children’s Book Fair

  • 57th Street at Kimbark Ave
  • 11 am – 5 pm
  • “Open to readers and book lovers of all ages, the fair is a daylong gathering for the entire family. Events will include a scavenger hunt, face painting, storytelling, musical and dance performances. There will be local booksellers, independent authors and community organizations. Rounding out the day are our featured authors book signings and free books (while supplies last).”

11:00 AM: Monarch Butterfly Festival Palos Heights

  • Lake Katherine Nature Center and Botanic Gardens
  • “Enjoy the unique and magical experience of walking through our butterfly tent! We will also have face-painting, live animals, arts & crafts fair, children’s crafts, storytime, scarecrow making, food vendors and an education tent.
    In an effort to reduce single-use plastic, this year’s festival will not be selling water bottles. Instead, we will have water stations around the festival. Bring your own reusable water bottle to fill up, and you will be entered into a raffle to win an eco kit.
    Tickets are $7 per person and free entry for children two and under.”

11:00 AM: Rock The Block Party – Carol Stream

    • Fountain View Drive, Carol Stream’
    • “We are proud to be hosting Carol Stream’s 1st Official Rock the Block Party Charity Event, where all proceeds will be going to UCP Seguin of Greater Chicago. UCP Seguin of Greater Chicago is a charitable not-for-profit agency serving individuals with disabilities in metropolitan Chicago and beyond. With your support, we can all help to provide independence, hope and joy to the gentleman who live in a Carol Stream Integrated Living Community (CILA) supported by UCP Seguin. This free event is open to the public and all ages. We will have food, music, a bounce house, activities, games, prizes and more! We invite you and your families to join us in meeting neighbors, making new friends and and helping to recognize people with disabilities in Carol Stream. We hope to see you all there!”

12:00 PM: Shermerfest

  • The Village Green in Northbrook: Shermer & Meadow Road
  • Noon – 4 pm
  • “Take a step back in time at this fun-filled community fall festival from 12pm – 4pm at the Village Green Park. Collectible and antique car show, children’s activities, hot dogs, soup and home-made sweets.”

1:00 PM: Fallapalooza

  • Performance Pavilion at Heritage Park: 201 Community Boulevard, Wheeling
  • 1 – 5 pm
  • “Enjoy an autumn afternoon with family and friends. Live music by Mike Zabrin’s Funktastic, plus fun activities like a petting zoo, pony rides, inflatables, and hayrides are just some of the activities you’ll find in the line-up of entertainment just for you, your neighbors, and family. Food and refreshments will be available for purchase.”

5:00 PM: Glow In The Park Lantern Walk for Lurie Children’s

  • Lake Ellyn Park, Glen Ellyn
  • “Get ready to light up the night at Glow in the Park! The Glen Ellyn Park District and Charlie’s Corner Foundation are partnering to offer this exciting evening of family activities benefiting Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Start the evening enjoying bounce houses and an inflatable climbing wall, face painting, a balloon artist, and a bubble show (5pm-7:30pm), live music by Tres Moustache (6pm-7:30pm), and more. At 7:15pm, watch or march in the illuminated paper lantern walk around the lake. Food will be available for purchase.
  • Glow in the Park is free to attend, but cash donations to Lurie Children’s are encouraged. There is a $10 fee per lantern to decorate a lantern on-site (while supplies last; cash only). Lantern kits can also be purchased in advance at Spring Avenue Recreation Center to decorate at home. For more information, visit www.gepark.org/glow.”

6:00 Pm: Coco: Film With Orchestra – Ravinia Festival / Fiesta Ravinia

  • 200 Ravinia Park Road, Highland Park
  • “On September 15, Ravinia celebrates Mexican Independence Day with a daylong celebration of Mexican culture, including various activities throughout the park, such as mariachis, comedians, and karaoke as well as folkloric dancing and family activities. The daylong celebration starts at 2 p.m. and ends with a presentation of Coco: Live to Filmwhich features the Chicago Philharmonic performing the vibrant score while the film is shown on our huge screens in the Pavilion and on the Lawn.”


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