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The 10 best things to do with kids in April

The 10 best things to do with kids in April
Photograph: Max Herman

April showers might bring May flowers, but they also bring incredibly antsy children with cabin fever. Take advantage of these spring events for the family cropping up across the city this month.

1. 90-Second Newbery Film Festival
This free annual video contest showcases short films made by kids across the country that tell the stories of Newbery Medal-winning books in, you guessed it, 90 seconds. (Vittum Theater, 1012 N Noble St, Apr 1 at 3pm; free but reservations are recommended.)

2. Juicebox
Help your kids burn off some pre-nap energy at this recurring event featuring musical and theatrical performances to get the creative juices flowing. (Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N Central Park Ave, Apr 1, 8, 15, 29; free. Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E Washington St, Apr 7, 14, 28; free.)

3. Wild Wednesdays at Garfield Park Conservatory
Let your little ones get up close and personal with the natural world with animal encounters. For once, you can let them play in the dirt and call it an educational experience. (Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N Central Park Ave, Wednesdays at 4pm; free.)

4. Great Chicago Egg Hunt
If you've ever thought that the only thing missing from your Easter egg hunt is sword fighting, then this is the right event for your family. Maggie Daley Park teamed up with Medieval Times for a Middle Ages-themed Easter celebration, complete with egg hunts in three waves (10:30am, 11:15am and noon), sword fighting demonstrations, knights and princesses, crafts, games and interactive activities. (Maggie Daley Park, 337 E Randolph St, Apr 14 at 10am; $5.)

5. Go, Dog, Go
Enjoy the musical adaptation of P.D. Eastman’s beloved children’s book Go, Dog. Go! All performances will feature a pre-show touch tour in order to make the show accessible to audience members who are blind or have a visual impairment. A relaxed performance will also be offered on Sunday, April 23 at 5pm for students with autism, learning differences or other sensory needs. (Mussetter-Struble Theatre, 1949 Campus Dr, Evanston. Apr 14, 21, 7pm; Apr 15, 22, 11am, 2pm; Apr 16 at 2pm; Apr 23, 2 pm, 5pm; $6–$10.)

6. Bunny Rock 5K
Run off all the Peeps you've been sneaking from your kids in this 5K while your little ones chase down even more Easter eggs filled with prizes. Enjoy a post-race photo opp with the Easter Bunny plus a petting zoo. (Montrose Harbor, 4400 N Lake Shore Dr, Apr 15 at 10:15am; $10–$35.)

7. Morton Arboretum Easter Brunch
Celebrate Easter in nature and try to spot some real bunnies while visiting with the Easter Bunny. Enjoy one of three seatings at the arboretum's restaurant, Ginkgo, and then stroll the grounds to walk off some of that feast. (Morton Arboretum, 5100 Illinois Rte 53, Lisle. Apr 16, 9am, noon, 3pm; $27–$59.)

8. Greek Independence Day Parade
Make your way down to Halsted Street and join the revelry in Greektown as the neighborhood celebrates the 194th Independence Day and the Feast of the Annunciation. (Halsted Street between Randolph and Van Buren streets, Apr 30 at 2:30pm; free.)

9. C2E2
Show off your family's super powers and get in on the cosplay action at the annual Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2). Kids will marvel—pun intended—at all the costumes, memorabilia and activities while parents geek out over panels, meet-and-greets and more. (McCormick Place, 2301 S Lake Shore Dr, Apr 21–23, 10am; $5–$70.)

10. Dia del Nino Family Festival
Promote healthy habits from a young age at this event, which starts with a walk from the National Museum of Mexican Art through Pilsen and includes free health screenings, games, arts and crafts and live performances. (National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W 19th St, Apr 22, 8am; free.) 

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