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As summer winds down, it's time to soak up every last drop of sunshine and enjoy quality family time before the school year begins. Lucky for you, August is filled to the brim with kid-friendly festivals, classic Chicago events and plenty of excuses to get outside. Here's what to do with the little ones this month.
Take the kids to the Chicago River to watch over 50,000 yellow rubber ducks splash around in the water. The annual fundraiser provides resources to Special Olympics Illinois athletes, and ducks can be "adopted" for $5 each. (The Wrigley Building, 400 N Michigan Ave, Aug 3. Free to attend, $5 per duck)
Celebrate the 80th anniversary of this classic Disney flick with a morning movie in the park. The 1937 movie is being shown in conjunction with the Millennium Park's Family Fun Festival, which runs through Aug 24. (Millennium Park, 205 E Randolph St, Aug 24. Free)
Nosh on traditional Japanese cuisine, check out a ukelele performance, shop artisan designers and tour a chapel at this three-day cultural festival. (Midwest Buddha Temple, 435 W Menomonee St, Aug 11–13. $5 donation, kids under 12 free)
This food-filled festival will keep the kiddos entertained all day long with live music, outdoor games and, of course, hot dogs galore. Vendors like Edzo's, Byron's Hot Dogs, Dog House Grill and others will provide encased meats that are sure to interest even the pickiest eaters. (Chicago History Museum, 1601 N Clark St, Aug 11–13. $5 suggested donation)
In its 88th year, the world's largest and oldest African-American parade showcases talented youth before the start of the new school year. This year's theme is "Honoring our Hometown Heroes," and the city's very own Chance the Rapper will serve as grand marshal of the parade. (Martin Luther King Dr and Oakwood Blvd to Garfield Blvd and Elsworth Dr. Aug 12, 10am. Free)
All eyes will be on the sky for the annual event that attracts tens of thousands of onlookers each year. Round up the kids and head to the lake for aerial performances from the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the Aerostars, American Airlines and the Chicago Fire Department Air/Sea Rescue. Remember to bring ear protection for young viewers. (North Avenue Beach, 1600 N Lake Shore Dr, Aug 19 & 20, Free)
Tote your music-loving family to Lollapalooza's kid-friendly zone for live tunes, skateboarding demos, hip-hop workshops and a music video tent. Kidzapalooza is open all four days and is located in its own enclosed area of the park. (Grant Park, 337 E Randolph St, Aug 3–6. Kids under 10 free with ticket-holding adult)
This free street festival boasts an area devoted to kids and families with a stage, inflatables, an obstacle course and a fire engine slide. Plus, parents are invited to relive their childhoods with amusement park rides and carnival-themed treats. (Edison Park, 6755 Northwest Hwy, Aug 18–20. Free)
Whether you're going for the 500-pound butter cow, corn dogs or amusement park rides, the State Fair is a day trip that's sure to leave the kids in awe. (801 Sangamon Ave, Springfield, Aug 10–20. $10, seniors $3, children 0–12 free)
10. Kite Festival
Situated in the meadow of Evening Island at the Chicago Botanic Garden, this two-day, family-friendly festival offers stunt kite performances from the pros, kite-making workshops, public fly time and food and drink for purchase. (1000 Lake-Cook Rd, Glencoe, Aug 12 & 13. Free with admission)
Head to Edgewater for live music, family-friendly fun, fest food and entertainment. The two-day festival boasts an exciting lineup that's got something for everyone. (Broadway from Thorndale to Ardmore, Aug 5 & 6. $5 suggestion donation)