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12 things to do with kids in Chicago in June

Written by
Laura Rote

Summer is here! Now that the days are longer and the kids are home from school, you might be searching for some new ways to get the kids off the couch and out of the house. Fortunately, the month of June is packed with family-friendly events like children's theater, street festivals and even an art exhibit for teens. Make room in your busy schedule for these and other events the whole family will enjoy.  

1. Ribbit! The Exhibit. You won't just be looking at beautiful flora at the Morton Arboretum this summer—you can also expect to encounter a giant frog or two (pretend frogs, of course). The kids will be tickled to wander upon a big copper frog sitting in a tree or a trio of amphibians playing musical instruments in the park. (Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Rte 53, Lisle, through Sept 25, 9am. Free)

2. Three Little Kittens. Awwww. This interactive theater experience is purr-fect for toddlers, as they help uncover just what happened to those darn mittens. (Emerald City's Little Theatre, 2933 N Southport Ave, June 3. $18 for adults, $8 for children under 1 year old)  

3. The 606 Block Party. It's hard to believe it's only been a year. Bring the kids out to Chicago's most popular new trail to celebrate the anniversary with music, food and hands-on activities for all ages. (The 606, Various locations, June 4, 10am–9pm. Free)

4. 57th Street Art Fair. This Hyde Park event showcases hundreds of artists across mediums, as well as offers the chance to see the masterminds themselves at work. Shop, play and learn a little along the way at this popular annual event. (57th St between Kenwood and Kimbark aves, June 4, 11am & June 5, 10 am. Free)

5. The SpongeBob Musical. Our favorite underwater sponge comes to life on the Chicago stage in this long-awaited production, complete with a diverse musical score from the likes of Cyndi Lauper, Panic! At the Disco and others. (Oriental Theatre, 24 W Randolph St, June 7–July 10. $35–$97)

6. Homewood Art & Garden Street Fair. Sidewalk chalk and arts and crafts abound at this street festival just outside of Chicago. Plus, you'll get a chance to cheer on local bands, like local teens Through the Flood and Work in Progress. Both days feature hands-on activities with the Homewood Science Center, from discovering butterflies to dissecting plants. (Downtown Homewood, June 10 & 11, 10am. Free)

7. Giordano Dance Chicago. It doesn't matter how old you are—you're bound to get a kick out of the high-energy Giordano Dance Chicago. The whole family can enjoy the magic of dance with this evening performance from the popular jazz dance company. (Auditorium Theatre, 50 E Congress Pkwy, June 11, 7:30pm. $28 and up) 

8. 21Minus. Support young artists from across Chicago neighborhoods when teens take over the MCA with their creations in different mediums. (Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E Chicago Ave, June 11, 1–6pm. Free for teens and their families) 

9. Movies in the Parks. Catch some of your favorite films or the latest blockbusters in parks across Chicago this summer. In June, get ready for movies like Jurassic World (June 14) in Kedvale Park, and Minions (June 21) in McKinley Park, among many others. (Various venues, June 13–Sept 5. Free) 

10. Scottish Festival and Highland Games. Everyone is Scottish during this family-friendly weekend event in nearby Itasca. Traditional Scottish games, live music (cue the bagpipes!) and plenty of livestock are sure to keep the kids entertained at the 30th annual event. (Hamilton Lakes, 333 Pierce Road, June 17 & 18. Friday $12, kids under 12 free; Saturday $20, kids ages 3–12)

11. Kids' Music Series at Tavern on Little Fort. The kids can gather 'round for a mix of classic children's songs, mainstream rock and original tunes during this monthly sing-along. (Tavern on Little Fort, 4128 N Lincoln Ave, June 18, 11 am. $8)

12. Millennium Park Summer Film Series. You can catch Ferris Bueller's Day Off (June 21) and Soul Food (June 28) this month as part of the beloved summer film series under the stars and the city skyline. (Millennium Park, June 21–Aug 30. Free)


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