Things to do with kids in August

We found one free or cheap event a day from now through Labor Day.

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Week of July 29


July 29: Wicker Park Fest
Get into the neighborhood vibe at this festival featuring indie music acts—Budos Band, Lucero, Kill Hannah—us food, and local arts and craft. Noon–10pm, Milwaukee Ave, between Paulina St and North Ave (773-384-2672, wickerparkfest.com). $5, free for kids.

July 30: Special Needs Night
The Naperville Park District has set aside some beach time especially for families with special-needs kids. Bring the whole family for a quiet, less stressful evening. 6:30–8:30pm, Centennial Beach, 500 W Jackson Ave, Naperville (630-848-5000, napervilleparks.org), $3.

July 31: One Score, One Chicago: The Planets
Ravinia encourages Chicagoans to all study The Planets, a suite composed by Gustav Holst that celebrates our celestial neighbors. At this live performance by Chicago Symphony Orchestra, highlights include special videos with actual footage of the planets, plus telescopes set up for stargazing after dark. 8pm, Ravinia Pavilion, 418 Sheridan Rd, Highland Park (847-266-5100, ravinia.org), $10 for lawn tickets.

August 1: Old-Fashioned Campfire—Full Moon
This "old-fashioned" campfire lets families and friends enjoy a guided hike with a park naturalist with delectable s'mores and camp games to follow.
7:30–9pm, Park Avenue Beach, 8 Park Ave, Highland Park (847-433-6901, pdhp.org), $8.

August 2: Mr. Singer presents "It's Only Natural"
The playlist at these half-hour, first-Thursday concerts focuses on nature, natch, so expect to hear lyrics about plants and animals while the little one sings along. 1:45–3:15pm, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N Cannon Dr (773-755-5100, naturemuseum.org), $9, $7 for students and seniors, $6 for ages 3–12 and free for kids under 3.

August 3: The 11th Annual InterArts Festival: Striding Lion Student Performance
After spending four weeks with artists in the Striding Lion performing group, residency students will present original dance, theater, and music performance. 4pm, McCormick Tribune YMCA, 1834 N Lawndale Ave (773-769-7540, stridinglion.org), free.

August 4: Edgewater Farmers' Market
Bring your kids to the farmers' market with you in the morning. Make sure to get there by 10am to see Chicago-based singer-songwriter Megan Deiger perform as a part of “Music at the Market.” 8am–1pm, Norwood St and Broadway St (edgewater.org/farmersmarket), free.


Week of August 5

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August 5: Scavenger Hunt in the Mill
Kids can savor a bit of history at this 19th-century mill that was once part of the Underground Railroad as they search for goodies during the scavenger hunt. 10am–4pm, Graue Mill & Museum, 3800 York Rd, Oak Brook (630-655-2092, grauemill.org), $3.50, $1.50 for kids.

August 6: 7th Annual Chicago Sister Cities International Festival
This festival is full of authentic ethnic food, merchandise and entertainment from Chicago's sister cities. You can also visit a special photography exhibition "Kizuna: The Bonds of Emotion," which captured the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. The festival is held until Friday, August 10. 10:30am–5pm, Daley Plaza, 118 N Clark St (312-201-2525, chicagosistercities.com), free.

August 7: Bike-in Movies: Pee-wee's Big Adventure
Pack a blanket and snacks, and head to the museum for a movie night. They will be screening 1985 wacky classic, Pee-wee's Big Advenutre outside on the terrace. Watch out for Large Marge! 8:30pm, The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N Cannon Dr (773-755-5100, naturemuseum.org), free.

August 8: Illinois State Fair
Catch tractor pulls, horse races or high-dive acts, or get in on the action with rides. The downstate fair welcomes live music from Demi Lovato, Train, Creed, Hot Challe Rae, Andy Grammer, Cheap Trick and more. 5–11pm, Illinois State Fairgrounds, 801 Sangamon Ave, Springfield (217-782-6661, agr.state.il.us/isf), $7, $3 for age 5–12, free for kids under 3.

August 9: Tropical Flower Show at Lincoln Park
Bring your kids to see a "tropical paradise in Chicago." This show features flowering plants of colorful foliage, assorted tropical foliage, and more! 9am–5pm, Lincoln Park Conservatory, 2391 North Stockton Dr (312-742-7736, chicagoparkdistrict.com), free.  

August 10: Tuesdays on the Terrace: In and Out of Character
As a part of Tuesdays on the Terrace workshops, you get to collaborate with others to create and draw a new person on an interactive drawing wall.
5–8pm, Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E Chicago Ave (312-280-2660, mcachicago.org), free for Illinois residents or kids.

August 11: Bud Billiken Day Parade and Picnic
This massive kid-centered parade, founded in 1929 by Robert S. Abbott, features upwards of 160 floats and vehicles, marching bands and community groups. Running for the 82nd year in a row, it’s thought to be the largest and oldest parade of its kind. The event ends with a large-scale picnic in Washington Park. 10am, Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. Dr, from Oakwood Blvd to 55th and Elsworth Dr (773-536-3710, budbillikenparade.com), free.

 

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