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10 things to do with kids in Chicago in July

Morgan Olsen
Written by
Morgan Olsen

Banish summer boredom with a handful of family-friendly activities and events to keep you and the little ones entertained throughout the month of July. 

1. Newberry Library Book Fair
Looking for a new summer read? Everyone in the family will find something at this annual book fair with more than 120,000 used tomes in 70 categories—including children's lit—many of which are priced at $3 or under. All proceeds benefit the library. (60 W Walton St, July 27–30. Free)

2. Movies in the Parks
For a family movie night your kids won't soon forget, pack the popcorn and head to a number of city parks throughout the month of July. These are just a few of our favorites:
The Secret Life of Pets (Sunday, July 2, Independence Park)
The Jungle Book (Monday, July 10, Mary Bartelme Park)
Finding Dory (Thursday, July 13 , Gill Park)
Kung Fu Panda 3 (Sunday, July 23, Emmerson Park)
The LEGO Batman Movie (Friday, July 28, Veteran's Memorial Park)

3. Roscoe Village Burger Fest
Before filling up on patties and live music, let the kids run off some energy at the fun-filled Kids' Zone with arts and crafts, a petting zoo, face painting, basketball, rock climbing, yoga and a 35-food slide. (Belmont and Damen Aves, July 8 & 9. $8 suggested donation) 

4. BenFest
This family-friendly street fest has plenty for the kiddos: a waterslide, basketball, giant tic tac toe, skee ball, football, baseball, a ring toss and so much more. Kids wristbands are $15 daily or $30 for the entire weekend. Plus, kids ages 4–10 can hang out with the Youth Ministry on Saturday night from 7:30–10pm for $10. (St. Benedict’s Parish, 2215 W Irving Park Rd, July 14–16. $5 suggested donation)

5. Fiesta del Sol
Billed as the largest Latino festival in the Midwest, Fiesta del Sol is hosted in Pilsen and has something for everyone in the family. Load up on churros, tacos and ice cream, then hit amusement rides or take in live music. (1400 W Cermak Rd, July 27–30. Free).

6. Kids Eat Chicago at Taste of Chicago
Running alongside Taste, Kids Eat Chicago is an jam-packed weekend of kid-friendly programming in Grant Park. Littles can play in bouncy houses, check out chef demos, meet the stars of MasterChef Jr. and play soccer. (S Columbus Dr and E Congress Pkwy, July 5–9. Free)

7. Kaleidoscope Family Day
The whole family is invited to explore drawing exhibitions and then create their own masterpieces together with kids from across Chicago at Kaleidoscope Family Day at the Art Institute of Chicago. (111 S Michigan Ave, July 22. Free) 

8. Family Fun Festival
The Millennium Park Foundation presents the annual Family Fun Festival, which offers free daily activities, music and arts and crafts for kids of all ages. (201 E Randolph St, through August 23. Free) 

9. A Midsummer's Night Dream
Morton Arboretum’s production of Shakespeare's comedy is a family-friendly affair presented by Theatre-Hikes, which allows audiences to walk from scene to scene at different outdoor venues throughout Chicago. This particular performance is meant to introduce young ones to the Bard. (4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle, IL; July 8–30. $15–20)

10. Windy City Pet Expo
Whether you're looking to adopt a new family member or learn more about your four-legged friend, this annual expo at the Schaumburg Convention Center offers a little bit of everything. Dozens of rescue groups will be on hand with animals looking for a forever home. (1551 Thoreau Dr N, Schaumburg, IL; July 22 & 23. Free)

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