Chicago readies for summer fun, family events, and great entertainment
August 1, 2018

The Chicago Air and Water Show will be held Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 18 and 19, along the lakefront from Fullerton Ave. to North Ave. Beach.

By Susan Fong

Summertime is the best time for fun in the city. A variety of summer-time events provide joy for everyone—there is plenty to do for both youngsters and adults in terms of cultural, musical, and community events.

Enjoy the season through Gazette Chicago’s annual Summer in the City guide, which will help you learn about live music, recreation opportunities, and many fun-filled activities for the whole family to enjoy.


The 60th annual Chicago Air and Water Show will be held Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 18 and 19, along the lakefront from Fullerton Ave. to the focal point, lakeside at North Ave. Beach. Both shows run 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. and are free. A full-run rehearsal show on Friday, Aug. 17, will draw a sizable crowd and provide an additional day of events. The 2018 program includes military and civilian flight aerobatics, historic aircraft, simulated water rescues, and parachute teams and features feature the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights, and the U.S. Navy Leapfrogs. Log on to

The 61st annual Gold Coast Art Fair will be held at Grant Park’s Butler Field at Monroe St. and Lake Shore Dr. on Saturday and Sunday, June 16 and 17, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. This year’s fair will welcome more than 300 local and international artists. The fair offers works of art for everyone. Enjoy art demonstrations and do it yourself fun art projects as well as beer, food, and music all afternoon. Sign up to win $200 in art bucks to spend. Log on to or call (847) 926-4300. Suggested donation is $5 to support Chicago Park District art programs.

Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., in Preston Bradley Hall offers the Dame Myra Hess Concerts, a free weekly classical series on the Wednesdays of June 6, 13, 20, and 27 from 12:15 to 1 p.m. The International Music Foundation presents the series, which highlights emerging solo and ensemble talent. For a visiting artists listing, go to

Maggie Daley Park, 337 E. Randolph St., is a 20-acre lakefront park and recreation center that offers a broad range of multi-sensory experiences including a roller skating ribbon and climbing park. This summer the park offers 21 & Upward, sponsored by Arc’teryx Chicago the Thursdays of June 21, July 19, Aug. 23, Sept. 20, and October 18, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at $10 per person. 21 & Upward includes an evening of climbing, food, and drink, for those 21 and older. For first time climbers the park offers top rope orientation classes at 5:30, 6:15, and 7 p.m. For complete details on other park amenities such as tennis courts and field house events, go to

Maggie Daley Park is a 20-acre lakefront park and recreation center that offers fun for youngsters and adults as well.

Millennium Park is bordered by Michigan Ave. to the west, Columbus Dr. to the east, Randolph St. to the north, and Monroe St. to the south. An award-winning locale for art, music, architecture, and landscape design, it features the Frank Gehry-designed Pritzker Pavilion, interactive Crown Fountain, Lurie Garden, and popular Cloud Gate sculpture (“the Bean”).

The Millennium Park Summer Film Series returns with films at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, June 5 through Aug. 21, plus an additional show on Monday, July 9. New this year, each screening in the series will be programmed in collaboration with a local independent film festival providing an eclectic sampling from more than 50 of Chicago’s film festivals. The season begins with John Waters’s Hairspray and ends with Slum Dog Millionaire. For a complete listing of films, go to

This year’s Millennium Park Summer Music Series will be held Monday, June 18, through Thursday, Aug. 16, at the Pritzker Pavilion. All concerts are free and open to the public. Performances begin at 6:30 p.m. and take place rain or shine. The series presents a selection of multi-genre music including jazz, rock, and Indian fusion from top local, national, and international artists—both established and emerging. Shows include Jose James’s Tribute to Bill Withers (soul jazz), Anoushka Shankar (Indian fusion), Hollie Cook (reggae), Willie Colón (salsa), and Moonrise Nation (indie rock). Go to

See architecture, landscapes, and public art via Chicago Greeter. The program highlights points of interest and 25 neighborhoods throughout the city. Downtown and Millennium Park Instagreeters are stationed in the Chicago Cultural Center Randolph St. lobby, Friday and Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tours leave every half hour. To schedule other longer tours, go to

Navy Pier attractions include the new Yard Theater, which opened last fall as part of Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Join the family fun whether it is at the IMAX Theater, on a boat ride or tour, or strolling through the arcade of shops and restaurants. Fun is everywhere to be found through the pier’s selection of free and paid programming for children, youth, and adults. Navy Pier features fireworks year-round and begins a new free Monday film series, Water Flicks. For dates and programs, go to

The 38th annual Taste of Chicago runs from Wednesday through Sunday, July 11 through 15, in Grant Park. With 73 restaurants represented, Taste-goers will have an endless variety of menu items to suit every palate. All vendors will offer their signature dish-es at $3 portions so guests can have a variety of tastings. The Taste features music as well, and Petrillo Music Shell concert general seating tickets start at $18; lawn seating is free. Acts will include Brandi Carlile, Juanes, and Black Star. Music on the Bud Light Stage also is free: artists will include Raii and Whitney (R&B) and NDPNDNT; the stage is located at the south end of the Taste of Chicago area at Columbus and Balbo Drives. For a complete list of performers, log on to


The 35th annual Chicago Blues Festival will be held at Millennium Park from Friday through Sunday, June 8 through 10, 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Pritzker Pavilion. Among the headliners will be the Corey Dennison Band, Mississippi Heat with Billy Flynn and Giles Corey, a special tribute to Bob Koester and the 65th anniversary of Delmark Records, Selwyn Birchwood, Willie Clayton, Little Walter Tribute, Fantastic Negrito, Kenny Neal, and Mavis Staples.

Bridges to the Blues Showcase 2018 is part of the Blues Festival and the Year of Creative Youth in Chicago. On Monday, June 4, from 5 to 9 p.m. in the Chicago Cultural Center’s Claudia Cassidy Theater, young musicians will perform, sponsored by Donda’s House. Multi-generational artists will create original music, inspired by the blues, for a chance to perform at the Chicago Blues Festival on Saturday, June 9, at the Front Porch Stage with Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith. For details, visit For a complete list of artists, log on to

The Chicago Gospel Music Festival begins this weekend, Friday and Saturday, June 1 and 2, in the Chicago Cultural Center and Millennium Park.

The 33rd annual Chicago Gospel Music Festival begins this weekend, Friday and Saturday, June 1 and 2.  The festival opens on Friday in the Cultural Center from noon to 4 p.m., then continues from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. in Millennium Park with Pastor Dan Willis and the ChoZen Youth Choir 150. Later in the evening, Chicago Church Girls Rock Too will perform along with other artists. The festival on Saturday runs from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

As part of the Year of Creative Youth, the next generation of young artists and youth choirs will celebrate Chicago’s music legacy at the Inspiration Youth Stage on Saturday, June 2, in Millennium Park in the North Promenade Tent.

The festival also will offer family activities, arts and crafts for kids, face painting in the Kids Activity Zone, and a Health and Wellness Oasis with information and expert talks on healthful eating, exercise, preventive screenings, and care.

Log on to

The 40th annual Chicago Jazz Festival will run from Friday, Aug. 24, through Sunday, Sept. 2. In addition to the Chicago Cultural Center and Millennium Park, other venues will offer jazz programs throughout Chicago. Among the headliners are Ramsey Lewis, Kurt Elling, Dianne Reeves, Maceo Parker, Orbert Davis and the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, and a Tribute to Willie Pickens. In keeping with the festival’s tradition of nurturing young artists, on Saturday, Sept. 1, the Harris Theater Rooftop Terrace in Millennium Park will feature Roof Top Jazz: Young Jazz Lions, select groups from a city-wide jazz band competition that was co-hosted by the Jazz Institute of Chicago. On Sunday, Sept. 2, the Harris Theater Rooftop Terrace hosts Roof Top Jazz: NextGenJazz, focusing on up-and-coming Chicago musicians alongside notable regional and national touring artists. For more information on artists, dates, and venues, see

The Chicago Jazz Festival will run from Friday, Aug. 24, through Sunday, Sept. 2. In addition to the Chicago Cultural Center and Millennium Park, other venues will offer jazz programs throughout Chicago.

The Grant Park Music Festival will offer ten weeks of classical music under the evening sky from Wednesday, June 13, through Saturday, Aug. 18, in the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. Conductor Carlos Kalmar is the primary conductor for the series, which also features several visiting conductors. The season begins with an oratorio from Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast, Shepard’s Magiya, and Haydn’s Symphony 99 and concludes the season with Dvorak’s Water Goblin and Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. Check the schedule for free afternoon open rehearsals and lectures the day before and day of concerts. For a list of artists and concert dates, log on to

Lollapalooza will be held in Grant Park Thursday through Sunday, Aug. 2 through 5, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., on eight stages with 170 American and international bands, highlighting alternative rock, punk rock, heavy metal, hip hop, and electronica. Some 2018 favorites include Arctic Monkey, Bruno Mars, and the Weekend. Kidzapalooza runs parallel to the main concerts and offers parents and kids the opportunity to catch family-friendly music on its own stage. Among the activities offered are skateboarding demos, hip-hop workshops, and a music video tent. The food court offers foods from more than 35 award-winning chefs and restaurants with vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free options. For a complete lineup and other details, go to

The International Music Foundation offers Rush Hour Concerts, a free weekly series every Tuesday from June 5 through Aug. 28 at St. James Cathedral, 65 E. Huron St. These chamber music events feature world-class musicians. Doors open at 5 p.m., pre-concert conversations begin at 5:15 p.m. in the cathedral foyer, followed by a 30-minute performance at 5:45 p.m. For a list of artists, check out

Merit School of Music will present Two of a Kind, a family concert featuring David and Jenny Heitler-Klevans, targeted to children six months old to second grade, on Saturday, June 9, at 11 a.m. It also will offer summer camps focused on instrumental improvement and ensemble play. The school is located at 38 S. Peoria St. Call (312) 786-9428 or log on to

With SummerDance, move across the 4,900 square feet of open-air dance floor in Grant Park’s Spirit of Music Garden as well as at other Chicago Park District locations. This program runs Thursdays through Sundays, June 28 through Aug. 25. Dance lessons begin at 6 p.m.; music and dancing run from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Swing, waltz, and cha-cha or simply enjoy the music of 40 live bands and DJs this summer. Food and beverages will be available for purchase at the SummerDance Grill. SummerDance will take place rain or shine and is canceled only in the case of extremely inclement weather. Updates will be announced via Facebook and Twitter. For a list of dates, musicians, and park sites, go to

The 20th annual World Music Festival Chicago runs Friday through Sunday, Sept. 7 through 23. More than 50 musical groups representing 20 countries will perform in a host of venues across Chicago. Programming includes Ramagala, rarely performed classical Indian music and dance, and El Grito, a festive downtown concert in Millennium Park to celebrate Mexican independence. Admission is free. Check for updates of artists, venues, and programs at

Chicago Bike Week runs Thursday, June 21 to Friday, June 29. This year’s rally begins at Daley Plaza.


Chicago Bike Week runs Thursday, June 21 to Friday, June 29. This year’s rally begins at Daley Plaza on June 21 at 5 p.m. in the evening with a Revolution Brewing Beer Garden featuring giveaways, bike-themed entertainment, and educational programming. A highlight of Bike Week is the chance for workplaces to compete as to which company team can get the most employees to bike all or part of the way to work. For a complete calendar of events and registration information, go to or call (312) 427-3325.

The Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) offers tours, exhibitions, lectures, special events, and adult and youth collaborative education and play to raise awareness and appreciation of Chicago’s architectural legacy and why design is important. This summer, the CAF will move to its new location at 111 W. Wacker Dr., located just above the dock for the CAF River Cruises aboard Chicago’s First Lady, which run through Sunday, Nov. 18. The ship departs from the Riverside Gardens at Michigan Ave. and Wacker Dr. at the southeast corner of the Michigan Avenue Bridge. Or try the 90-minute fast-paced Must-See Tour of Chicago highlights. Evening cruises allow participants to witness the city’s transition from day to night. Take a walking tour of Riverwalk West, Chicago’s new coastline guided tour, downloaded to smartphone. There are more than 85 tours offered. Visit or call (312) 922-3432.

The X-Race has now replaced the former Chicago Challenge Urban Adventure Race. On Saturday, June 23, from 2 to 5 p.m., a nationwide mobile scavenger hunt race takes place, and teams from anywhere can compete. Now instead of meeting downtown, each team can register online up to race day. Each team receives a list of 40 challenges, such as creating a human pyramid inside an elevator or finding an 85-year-old to ask about the meaning of life. Within the three-hour time limit, each team submits a picture or video of each challenge to race HQ via a mobile app for approval along the way. Teams will compete against other teams located all around the country at exactly the same time. The race benefits two organizations working to cure childhood cancer, St. Jude’s and Alex’s Lemonade. The cost is $20 to $30 per person and includes a donation to both charities. For more information or to register go to

The African Festival of the Arts will be held in Washington Park on Labor Day weekend and feature education, entertainment, food, and a wellness area.


The 29th annual African Festival of the Arts will be held in Washington Park, 51st St. at Cottage Grove Ave., Friday through Monday, Aug. 31 through Sept. 3. The park will come alive during Labor Day weekend as a simulated African village. Enjoy education and entertainment including music and dance as well as a wellness area, books and authors pavilion, food court, and quilting pavilion. Log on to

The Chicago Arts District Second Fridays Gallery Night is a monthly walking tour of galleries and artist studios centered around south Halsted Street beginning at 1711 and ending at 2005 S. Halsted every second Friday of the month from 6 to 10 p.m. Admission is free; tours include openings and receptions. For more information, call (312) 738-8000, ext. 108, or go to

Chicago Park District parks will host their 18th season of Movies in the Park this summer. For updates on programming, go to .

The Onesti Festa Pasta Vino will be held Friday through Sunday, June 15 to 17, on Father’s Day weekend in the Heart of Chicago/Little Tuscany community on Oakley Avenue at 24th Street. The event draws 25,000 visitors annually. The festivities run 5 to 11 p.m. Friday; noon to 11 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday. Enjoy three stages of live music. This annual festival transforms a generations-old Italian neighborhood into the streets of Italy with Venetian-costumed performers, statues that line the street, and a Florentine market filled with finely crafted Italian merchandise. Sample wine and food from La Fontanella, Bacchanalia, Il Vincinato, and Ignotz Ristorante. At noon on Sunday, a Catholic Mass will honor those who have passed away. For a complete entertainment lineup and other information, log onto or call (630) 962-7000.

On Saturday and Sunday, June 23 and 24, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., the Chicago Food Truck Festival 2018 will be held at its new location at 1600-1800 S. Wabash Ave. The event is free with up to 30 gourmet food trucks and a sangria fest along with music and DJs. Free admission ticket is required. Tickets are available through Log on to for further details.

The 34th annual Chicago Tribune Printers Row Lit Fest runs Saturday and Sunday, June 9 and 10, beginning at 10 a.m. Started by the Near South Planning Board and bought in 2002 by the Chicago Tribune, the fest has grown to encompass five city blocks on south Dearborn Street from Harrison to Polk Streets. The fest will feature more than 200 booksellers, seven stages, and more than 100 free literary events. The event attracts more than 125,000 book lovers and is the largest free literary event in the Midwest. All events are free, but reserve in advance for select programs. For a list of authors, speakers, and events, go to

Chicago Women’s Park and Gardens and Lakeside Bank will present VanderCook College of Music’s graduate band on Tuesday, July 10, behind the Clark House Museum, 1827 S. Indiana Ave. The Toddlers, Tunes, & Turtles program begins at 5:30 p.m. A family drum circle demonstration at 6:30 p.m. lets kids enjoy interactive creative music making with their families using rhythm, song, and dance to build community, foster self-confidence, and have fun. The concert begins at 7 p.m. and is presented in partnership with the Chicago Women’s Park and Gardens Advisory Council, Chicago Park District, Glessner House Museum, Greater South Loop Association, Near South Planning Board, Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance, and Spoke & Bird.

The park, together with Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance (PDNA), opens its four-film series of Movies in the Park on Saturday, June 30, with The Notebook. Check for show times and other park events, such as the Star Party, third annual South Loop Beer and Cider Fest, and a new August event, Shakespeare in the Park, at

The 39th annual Chinatown Summer Fair will be held Sunday, July 15, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wentworth Avenue at Cermak Road. Along with the Lion Dance procession, entertainment includes Chinese classical dance and music, martial arts demonstrations, and displays of ancient art forms and disciplines. Enjoy a taste of Chinatown’s many restaurants, items from gift shops, Chinese arts and crafts exhibits, street vendors, and a children’s area at 24th Place and Wentworth. The fair is sponsored by the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce. Log on to or call (312) 326-5320.

The Dragon Boat Race for Literacy at Ping Tom Memorial Park, 300 W. 19th St., will be held Saturday, June 23, with an awards ceremony at the end.

The 18th annual Dragon Boat Race for Literacy at Ping Tom Memorial Park, 300 W. 19th St., will be held Saturday, June 23, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with an awards ceremony at the end. More than 10,000 visitors are expected this year to watch 32 teams compete in a fast-paced boat race along the south branch of the Chicago River on decorated dragon boats. Each team has 20 members, 18 paddlers, a drummer, and a flag catcher. The races begin at 8 a.m. Enjoy music, food, crafts, and entertainment. Proceeds support literacy programs. Log on to or call (312) 326-5320.

Festa di Tutti I Santi (All Saints Festival), sponsored by the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii, 1224 W. Lexington St., will be held Sunday, Sept. 16, from noon  to 5 p.m., immediately after Mass. The event begins with the Mass at 11 a.m., followed by a procession from the shrine to the Festa in Victor Arrigo Park with members from various patron saint societies. Reservations are required for a table; no outside food allowed. A table of ten costs $140, which includes $20 worth of food tickets. Or bring lawn chairs and find a space in Arrigo Park. Enjoy a picnic, music, the pot of gold raffle, kids’ games, pony rides, and a bocce ball tournament along with live music and a photo exhibit. Call (312) 421-3757 or email to make reservations.

Fiesta del Sol, Pilsen’s annual four-day alcohol- and tobacco-free family friendly festival, runs Thursday through Sunday, July 26 through 29, at 1400 W. Cermak Rd. Hours are Thursday 5 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The largest Latino festival in the Midwest spans more than eight blocks with more than 100 booths and attracts more than one million visitors. Taste the food while enjoying live music by local talent and carnival rides. There will be sports tournaments as well as art and indigenous crafts. Fiesta Del Sol is an annual fundraiser organized by the Pilsen Neighborhood Community Council to support and promote community residents and businesses as well as immigrants’ civil rights and education reform. See or call (312) 666-2663.

Make Music Chicago, known internationally as Fete de la Musique, on Thursday, June 21, from 9:30 a.m. to 8:15 p.m., will celebrate with 750 cities across the globe to make music around the city as a Summer Solstice do-it-yourself extravaganza. The event is presented by the International Music Foundation and takes place at venues throughout Chicago. The all-day party invites Chicagoans to celebrate their ability to make music, regardless of age, ability, or preferred style. Whether alone or in a group, amateur or professional, register and be matched with a venue. The event is free and open to the public. To find out how you can participate as a musician or host call (312) 265-0754 or go to

Old St. Patrick’s Church’s 34th annual World’s Largest Block Party is scheduled for Friday, June 22, 5 to 10:30 p.m. with free entrance during Happy Hour between 5 and 6 p.m., and Saturday, June 23, 2 to 10:30 p.m. at the Old St. Pat’s campus at west Monroe and south Desplaines Streets. All ages welcome. Tickets may be purchased at the door. Headliners on the main stage will be Maggie Speaks and the Walk-Ins. The block party benefits the church’s mission and outreach programs and attracts more than 18,000 people annually. For more details, log on to

The Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance (PDNA) and Glessner House Museum will partner once again to offer PDNA’s annual walk through time with a tour of Prairie Avenue mansions, starting at Glessner House, on Saturday, June 2, 10 a.m. to noon, and Sunday, June 10, from 1 to 4 p.m. The tour includes the historic Second Presbyterian Church. For a more extensive list of tours which include not only Glessner House but other sites, check the website. Reservations recommended. Go to for tour schedules, children’s programming, and lectures.

PDNA also will sponsor the new South Loop Beer and Cider Fest at Chicago Women’s Park and Gardens at 1801 S. Indiana Ave. on Saturday, July 28, from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Try a sampling of beers and ciders. Call (312) 401-2688 for any questions on PDNA events or go to

The Randolph Street Market Festival at 1341 W. Randolph St. is home to the Chicago Antique Market, Indie Designer Market, Modern Vintage Chicago, and the Holiday Market. Browse plentiful vintage items, with more than 150 vendors selling their favorite collectibles, and enjoy food and live music. Dates are the Saturdays and Sundays of June 23-24, July 28-29, Aug. 25-26, Sept. 29-30, Oct. 27-28, and Nov. 17-18. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free parking available. Call (312) 666-1200 or toll free at (877) 319-2643. Go to for admission prices and more information.

St. Barbara’s Church will host its four-day carnival at 2859 S. Throop St., featuring rides, carnival games, and sweet treats. Admission is free. Prices vary, but megapasses are available and allow users all four days of unlimited rides. Presale price until Wednesday, June 13, is $50; price increases to $60 once the fair begins. The event runs Thursday through Sunday, June 14 through 17. Hours are Thursday, 6 to 11 p.m.; Friday, 6 p.m. to midnight; Saturday, 4 p.m. to midnight; and Sunday, 2 to 10 p.m. Call (312) 842-7979 or go to

Greektown will host its 28th annual Taste of Greektown, 100 to 400 S. Halsted St., on Friday, Aug. 24, 4 to 11 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 25 and 26, noon to 11 p.m. Enjoy the flavors of Greece: roast lamb, pastichio, moussaka, and spanakopita in the neighborhood eateries along with music and entertainment by Greek bands and belly dancers, plus games for kids and families. Admission is free.

Taste of Randolph Street will be held Friday through Sunday, June 15 to 17, to benefit the West Loop Community Organization. Hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Headline musical acts are Allen Stone, The Devil Makes Three, and Chicano Batman. Held in six blocks around 900 W. Randolph St., the event will feature food from neighborhood restaurants, cooking demonstrations, and artisans and vendors selling their goods. For more information, call Star Events at (773) 665-4682 or go to or

The 12th annual Taylor Street Festa Italiana, organized by the Little Italy Chicago Neighborhood Association and Onesti Entertainment, will be held on Taylor Street east of Ashland Avenue Thursday through Sunday, Aug. 16 through 19. Hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday, 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday. Enjoy food and browse handmade crafts, jewelry, clothing, and accessories. For a complete entertainment lineup and other information, log onto or call (630) 962-7000.

Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph St., will host the Pitchfork Music Festival Friday through Sunday, July 20 through 22. Tame Impala, Fleet Foxes, and Lauryn Hill are among the headliners. Single day tickets cost $75; a three-day advance ticket is $175. Log on to

Also at Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph St., the North Coast Music Festival will be held Friday through Sunday, Aug. 31 through Sept. 2, presenting electronic music and hip hop. Opening performers include Miguel, DJ Snake, and Jamiroquai. Log on to for a complete lineup, schedules, and after-party events.

The Chicago Children’s Museum at Navy Pier offers three floors of play and includes the experiential playground of Boats: Captain Your Own Adventure.

MUSEUMS and zoos

The Adler Planetarium, 1300 S. Lake Shore Dr., has new hours, open every day from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Current exhibits include What is a Planet?, Cosmic Wonder, and Mission Moon. Learn about Planet Nine, watch films, and test materials in the Community Design Lab. Visit the Universe and walk through space and time. Call (312) 922-7827 or go to

The Chicago Children’s Museum at Navy Pier, 700 E. Grand Ave., is open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; admission is free Thursdays from 5 to 8 p.m. There are three floors of play. Just opened in May is the experiential playground of Boats: Captain Your Own Adventure. Here is where a youngster can create whatever nautical experience he or she can imagine and make it real.  Bring kids of all ages and join in the multisensory experiences and hands-on projects. Children, infants, and parents welcome. Call (312) 527-1000 or go to

The DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th Pl., (773) 947-0600, is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Closed Monday. Admission is free every Tuesday. Enjoy the museum’s latest exhibit: Clearing a Path for Democracy: Citizen Soldiers of the Illinois Fighting 8th. For other permanent exhibits and events, go to

The National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W. 19th St., (312) 738-1503, is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and closed Monday. On display until Sunday, Aug. 19, is Arte Diseño Xicágo (Art Design Chicago) an exhibit of photos and works from Latin artists’ early contributions to the City of Chicago.  Also on display is Peeling Off the Grey, an examination of the gentrification of Pilsen. For a complete list of current and upcoming exhibits, log on to

Celebrate the Summer Nature Festival at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N. Cannon Drive, and (773) 755-5100, on Thursday, July 19, from 4 to 8 p.m. The museum is a children- and family-friendly multisensory educational experience—learn about plants and animals, both inside and outside the museum. Attendees can enter the renowned Judy Istock Butterfly Haven and other temporary exhibits such as A-maze-ing Amphibians and Nature’s Puzzles. Food, ice cream, beer, and wine are available for purchase. Festival admission is free (suggested donation of $5 for individuals or $10 for families). For a listing of ongoing and traveling exhibits, go to

Shedd Aquarium, 1200 S. Lake Shore Dr., offers summer hours after Monday, June 11, through Sunday, Aug.19, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and weekends. Fall hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends. The aquarium will close early on Saturday, June 9, when hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 18, when hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Obtain tickets for the aquarium’s new exhibit, Under Water Beauty, which opened last month. With more than 32,000 living creatures, this is the world’s largest indoor aquarium with many “meet the animal” and dozens of “touch the animal” exhibits along with creative hands-on activities. Call (312) 939-2438 or log on to

Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N. Clark St., (312) 742-2000. This year the zoo celebrated its sesquicentennial with the exhibition From Swans to Science: 150 Years of the Lincoln Park Zoo. This summer enjoy Twilight Safaris on Tuesdays, June 12, July 17, and Aug. 21, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Stroll after hours, registration is required, and for all children younger than 16, entry is free. Enjoy the United Run for the Zoo in a 5k or 10k or the kids’ Safari Stampede on Sun., June 3. Attend many children’s and adult events, including the annual Second Saturday Garden Tours and Third Saturdays Garden Workshops. Fitness at the Zoo runs through Sunday, Sept. 30. Check website for prices and schedules. Engage in activities such as guided nature exploration and reading storybooks. Music at the Patio is held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Café Brauer, with music programming from the Old Town School of Music. All ages are welcome. For a complete schedule of events, call (312) 742-2000 or log on to