There are, quite literally, hundreds of festivals in Chicago and the suburbs this summer, but here are our faves for bringing littles along:
Whether you’re there to get your Swede on (hello, Maypole!) or to enjoy the best of Andersonville’s dining scene, Midsommarfest is worth the entry fee. Regional artisans, outreach from local nonprofits and crowd-favorites rocking into the night make this two-night, three-day fest a great way for the whole fam to anticipate the year’s longest nights. You’ll probably be up anyway.
Chinatown Summer Fair
Like you needed another reason to visit Chinatown. The annual summer fair is yet another chance to indulge in incredible food and immerse yourself in the beauty of a truly gorgeous celebration. The traditional Lion Dance procession will thrill the kiddos—and the martial arts demonstrations might just inspire their parents.
Fiesta del Sol
Dubbed “the largest Latino festival in the Midwest,” this Pilsen staple is not to be missed. Exceptionally geared towards the younger set (their Children’s Area features both educational activities and face painting), the arts-heavy weekend showcases a vast array of craftsmanship—and even offers the chance to get your own crafting on.
Albany Park World Fest
It’s hard to find a more ethnically diverse neighborhood than Albany Park, and its World Fest brings the best of this gem of a ‘hood’s best. Come for the Brazilian salsa, West African folkloric and Asian drum beats.
Square Roots Festival
At the Square Roots Festival in Lincoln Square (featuring more than 60 acts, not to mention 40 craft brews), bigger aficionados can groove to indie rockers and world music stars, while their offspring can drum circle with the best of them, fall in love with the Wiggleworms performers from Old Town School of Folk Music and even get down with the hoe-down in a family barn dance. It’s the perfect fest to expose babes to good music.
Keely Flynn is a Chicago playwright, freelance writer, and blogger living with three young children, an extraordinarily tolerant husband, and two cats who just try to make it through the day without being ridden like ponies. Check out her personal blog, lollygagblog.com.
See more of Keely's stories here.
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