Summer Guide 2022: Family fun awaits at these area events

Keep the kiddos busy all summer long with these kid-friendly outings, festivals, tours and more in and around Chicago.

SHARE Summer Guide 2022: Family fun awaits at these area events

Shop fresh, local produce at the Green City Market. Through Nov. 19. |

Tess Graham Photography

There are endless summer events to choose from in and around Chicago, but it can be hard to find something appropriately fun for the whole family. We compiled some of our favorite activities to keep the kiddos — and parents — busy throughout the city’s best season. Fill your summer with these family-friendly festivals, outings, concerts, tours and more:

All Summer Long

  • Chicago Gaelic Park: Enjoy live music every Friday and Saturday, barbecue on the patio on Wednesdays and weekly trivia nights. Through September. The Carraig Pub, 6119 W. 147th St., Oak Forest;
  • Downtown Evanston Farmers’ Market: Every Saturday, shop a large selection of local goods with the entire family. Free, educational activities are available for children ages 2-10. Through Nov. 5. University Ave. at Oak St., Evanston. Free;
  • Family Bowling & Pizza Night at King’s Dining & Entertainment: Get some friendly competition going at King’s Dining with bowling, air hockey, foosball, pizza and more! Visit the Rosemont or Lincoln Park location. All year. King’s Dining & Entertainment, 1500 N. Clybourn Ave. and 5505 Park Pl., Rosemont. Bowling $19-$26;
  • Family Nights at Lincoln Park Zoo: This new series features children’s music from Glenn David and Mary Macaroni, food discounts, free rides, educational chats and more. Every Tuesday through June 28. Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark St. Free for kids under 10, $10 for adults;
  • Green City Market: The annual Farmers’ Market returns on Wednesdays and Saturdays in Lincoln Park and the West Loop. Grab locally grown goods and lunch from Midwest vendors. Through Nov. 19. Lincoln Park, 1817 N. Clark St. and Bartelme Park, 115 S. Sangamon St. Free;
  • Navy Pier Summer Fireworks: Every Wednesday and Saturday, Navy Pier hosts a fantastic fireworks show. Stake out a spot on Navy Pier or along the Lakefront Trail. Through Sept. 4. Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave. Free;
  • Pixar Putt: Golf 18 Pixar-themed holes, decorated with characters from “Toy Story,” “The Incredibles,” “Finding Nemo” and more! Through Aug. 21. Polk Bros Park, Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave. Tickets $25.50+;
  • Raging Waves Waterpark: Make a splash at Illinois’ largest waterpark, now through Labor Day. Park-goers have access to 32 waterslides, a lazy river, a wave pool and more. Through Sept. 5. 4000 N. Bridge St., Yorkville. Tickets $29.99+;
  • SafeHouse Chicago: Explore spy-themed activities behind the secret red door! “Junior Spies” can participate in scavenger hunts, puzzles and interactive fun. All year. SafeHouse, 60 E. Ontario St. Free entry;
  • Santa’s Village Amusement & Water Park: The entire family can enjoy an array of outdoor attractions, like water slides, tipping buckets, private cabanas, pavilions, a picnic grove and more. A new event, Kids Fest, will take place from June 18-26. Through Sept. 5. 601 Dundee Ave., East Dundee. Tickets $15.99-$79.99;
  • Six Flags Great America: The “Thrill Capital of the Midwest” introduces new features, like the DC Universe for comic book lovers, a refurbished Roaring Rapids, fresh dining options and more. Through Sept. 5. 1 Great America Pkwy., Gurnee. Tickets $34.99-$299.99;
  • The Tempel Lipizzans: Captivate the whole family by attending a Lipizzan stallion dressage performance. This summer, “The Summer Spotlight” and “How a Lipizzan Stallion Learns to Dance” grace Tempel Farms on select Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Through Sept. 4. Tempel Farms, 17000 Wadsworth Rd., Old Mill Creek. Tickets $25-$80;
  • Winnetka Park District Children’s Concerts: Every Wednesday, the Winnetka Park District hosts a lunchtime children’s concert, complete with a splash pad to cool off. June 15-Aug. 3. Hubbard Woods Park, 939 Old Green Bay Rd., Winnetka. Free;

Bring the whole crew to Family Nights at Lincoln Park Zoo. Through June 28. |

Courtesy Abel Arciniega

Special Events

  • Family Fun Fest: This two-block section of the Do Division Street Fest includes kid-friendly activities, music, face painting, arts & crafts and more. June 3-5. Division & Hoyne. $10 suggested donation;
  • ‘The Wizard of Oz’: Judy Garland 100 Years Over the Rainbow: To commemorate Judy Garland’s 100th birthday, select movie theaters are showing “The Wizard of Oz” with an exclusive deleted scene. Various locations. June 5-6. Tickets $15.68-$16.80;
  • Strawberry Fest: The annual festival returns with fun for all ages. Enjoy strawberry treats, games, carnival rides and live music. June 24-26. Historic Downtown Long Grove, 308 N. Old McHenry Rd. Free for kids under 12, $5 for adults;
  • Cirque Goes to Hollywood: The Grant Park Orchestra perform tunes from Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean, Up and more alongside an acrobatic spectacle. July 6. Millennium Park, Pritzker Pavilion, Michigan and Randolph. Free;



The whole family can glide along the Riverwalk in Urban Kayak’s Intro Paddle. Through Sept. 11.

Courtesy Urban Kayaks

  • Chicago Family Food & Bike Tour: This 4-hour easy bike ride takes you on a tour of Chicago cuisine, from downtown to North Side neighborhoods. All ages and skill levels are welcome. Through Oct. 30. Bobby’s Bike Hike, 540 N. Lake Shore Dr. $9.99-$74.99;
  • Chicago Fireboat Tours: Voyage through the Chicago River on the Historical & Architectural Cruise or catch an incredible skyline view from Lake Michigan on the Sunset or Firework Cruises. Through Oct. 30. DuSable Harbor, 111 N. Lake Shore Dr. Tickets $20-$25.
  • Historic Pullman Foundation Walking Tours: Whether you opt for a guided tour or leisurely stroll, discover the historic sites and monuments of the industrial Pullman neighborhood. Guided tours are available on the first Sunday of every month, through October. Historic Pullman Foundation, 11141 S. Cottage Grove Ave. Tours $10-15;
  • Underground Donut Tour: Indulge in treats from 4 different Chicago donut shops as you make your way through downtown, River North and the Magnificent Mile. All year. Doughnut Vault, 401 N. Franklin St. $25 for kids 10 and under, $40 for adults;
  • Urban Kayak Tours: Take a guided tour from downtown Chicago or the Chicago Riverwalk. The Riverwalk Intro Paddle is perfect for first-time kayakers and families. Through Sept. 11. Chicago Riverwalk or Columbia Yacht Club. Tickets $40+;
  • Wrigley Field Tours: Visit the Cubs’ dugout, the Budweiser Bleachers, the field and more. Through Oct. 2. Wrigley Field. Free for kids under 2; tickets $30;
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