Things to do with kids in and around Chicagoon July 2, 2021 at 12:06 am

Welcome to our highlights of events and entertainment in Chicago for kids and families to enjoy. Bookmark this page and check back for updates on the latest activities.

Taste of Chicago To Go

The sampling will be going on all over the city at this year’s reimagined Taste of Chicago.
Sun-Times file

What: New and reimagined, Taste of Chicago to Go replaces the usual Grant Park festival this summer as food, music and dance events are offered across the city. Highlights include pop-up events at Pullman City Market (July 7), Austin Town Hall City Market (July 8), The Hatchery (July 10), the West Englewood neighborhood (July 10) and Eli’s Cheesecake Co. (July 10). There’s also a special “Taste-ing” event at Goose Island Brewery’s Tap Room (July 9); an afternoon of Puerto Rican food and coffee with Marisel Vera, author of “The Taste of Sugar,” at !WEPA! Mercado del Pueblo (July 9); a Picnic in White at Millennium Park produced by women restaurateurs (July 11), and pop-up music performances at participating eateries citywide (July 7-11).

Where: Locations vary

When: July 7-11

Admission: free


Tempel Lipizzans’ stallions

A Tempel Lippizan stallion performs “Airs Above the Ground.”
Courtesy Tempel Lipizzans

When: Ongoing

Where: Tempel Farms, 17000 Wadsworth, Old Mill Creek.

What: The stallions return for a new season of equestrian dressage along with interactive, educational events. Performances feature synchronized movements set to classical music that show off the strength, beauty and intelligence of the Lipizzan horse. Following each event, there are self-guided tours through the stables to meet and pet the equine stars and ask questions of riders and trainers about how the Lipizzans are raised, trained and taught to “dance.” Tickets: $35, $25 for ages 4-14.

More information:

Elmhurst Art Museum

What: A fun new exhibit, “Par Excellence Redux,” at the Elmhurst Art Museum features a fully playable 18-hole mini-golf course created by more than 20 artists, designers and architects from Chicago and beyond. It pays homage to the School of the Art Institute’s wildly popular 1988 exhibition “Par Excellence.” The family-friendly course throughout the museum includes “The Front 9” (July 7-Sept. 16) and “The Back Nine” (Oct. 13-Jan. 2). Course themes range from social justice to the occult and include a fortune-telling hole that has the power to dramatically change scores as well as a hole that challenges players with an optical illusion.

Where: Tee off at the museum, 150 S. Cottage Hill, Elmhurst.

Admission: $5, $10 (online timed reservations); children 4 and under free


Chicago Children’s Museum

What: Fun and learning are on the agenda when the Chicago Children’s Museum reopens July 2. The popular family gathering spot offers a wide variety of exhibits aimed at improving children’s lives by creating a community where play and learning connect. Babies and toddlers can enjoy “Treehouse Trails” and “Kids Town” while “Tinker Lab” and “Dinosaur Expedition” will enthrall older children.

Where: Navy Pier, 700 E. Grand

Admission: $19


Pride in the Park

‘Becoming Jane’

A new exhibit at the Field Museum, “Becoming Jane: The Evolution of Jane Goodall,” follows her journey from her childhood in England to a career as a passionate scientist studying chimpanzees in Africa.
Hugo van Lawick/National Geographic

What: Generations have been inspired by the work of primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall who has not only shown the urgent need to protect chimpanzees but also redefined species conservation to include the needs of local people and the environments. A new exhibit at the Field Museum, “Becoming Jane: The Evolution of Jane Goodall,” follows her journey from a curious young child in England to a passionate scientist studying chimpanzees in Africa. Included in the exhibit are a recreation of her field research tent, a hologram-like projection of Goodall who shares her fieldwork memories, augmented reality activities and a projection of Tanzania’s Gombe Stream National Park.

When: To Sept. 6

Where: Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr.

Tickets: $18-$32. Visit

‘Hello Helios: The warming suns of Chicago’s Greektown’

Detail view of James Mesple’s Sun and Moon Image featured in the “Hello Helios” exhibit in Greektown
Courtesy Greektown Chicago

When: Through spring 2022

Where: Halsted from Monroe to Van Buren

What: Welcome summer with a new outdoor exhibit celebrating the start of summer with 24 artworks inspired by the sun and related mythologies from Greek, Aztec, Yoruba, Japanese and Native American cultures.

More information:

Kayak for Conservation

The Shedd Aquarium’s popular “Kayak for Conservation” program.
Shedd Aquarium

When: Ongoing

Where: Kayak Chicago: 1220 W LeMoyne,

What: Get close to nature via the Shedd Aquarium’s popular Kayak for Conservation program, which features a variety of socially distant kayaking experiences on the Chicago River. Participants learn about the river’s environmental history and discover wildlife living in its ecosystem. Sessions are open to all levels of kayakers (including newbies) and are led by Shedd’s wildlife conservation experts. The cost is pay-what-you-can ranging from $20-$100 per participant, with a recommended $40, the base cost of the program.

More information:


Levi Denton-Hughes as Soledad in “It’s Poppin’ ” from Ghostlight Ensemble.
Ghostlight Ensemble

When: On demand to July 4

Where: Online

What: Ghostlight Theatre’s annual festival for young audiences takes place virtually this year. Featured are six new short plays that run the gamut from “Sunshine and the Sea of Lost Things,” about a child with no memory lost at sea, to “It’s Poppin’,” about a balloon afraid of soaring through the clouds, to “Splash of Magic,” about a girl trying to conquer her fear of swimming. Tickets: $1-$10.

More information:

‘Take Flight’

The Boeing 747 at “Take Flight.”
Museum of Science and Industry

When: Permanent

Where: Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S. Lake Shore Dr.

What: The MSI’s Boeing 747 reopens with a reimagined exhibit that explores modern aviation and the science of flight. The plane’s interior has been restored and new interactive elements have been added. Tickets: $12.95, $21.95.

More information:

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