Family Activities for Summer

This Summer, Take Advantage of These Family-Focused Activities All Around Chicagoland and Online Too!

School is out and that means it's time to make plans for fun and educational ways to keep the children engaged and to spend time together. Illinois Action for Children's Enhanced Referrals team has compiled this incredible list of things to do in and around Chicago, including virtual activities you can do at home.

Take a look, make a plan, and most importantly, have fun!

Free Museum Days in Chicago


Chicago Public School Summer Sports Skills Camp (5th-12th grade)


Grant Park Music Festival

Cost:  Free seating available with reservations


Bulls Fest at United Center in Chicago

The two-day festival will feature a 3v3 basketball tournament, live music, art exhibitions, kid-friendly activities and food and drinks.

Event cost: Free

Event times: 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Aug. 19-20, 2023

West Loop Summer Fest

See yacht-rock and tropical inspired tribute bands and enjoy tasty food and beverages at this annual festival in the West Loop.

Event cost: Contact for details

Event time: noon-10 p.m. July 9-10, 2022


Roscoe Village Burger Fest

Come out to this festival to try and vote for Chicago's Best Burger. In addition to food, there will be music, arts/crafts and a "Kids' Zone" for children and families to enjoy.

Event Cost: $10 suggested donation

Event times: 5-10 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday-Sunday July 15-17, 2022


Taste of Lincoln Avenue

Enjoy a main stage with local and regional entertainment, food, arts and crafts and more.

Event Cost:

Event Times: Noon-10 p.m. July 22-24, 2022


Lincolnwood Fest

This fest features live music, carnival rides, games, BINGO, classic car show, arts and crafts and more.

Event cost:

Event time: 5-10 p.m. Thursday, 5-11 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday July 28-31, 2022


Jeff Fest

This annual fest, also known as the Jefferson Park Arts and Music Festival, offers food, music and a kids zone with fun, family activities.

Event Cost:

Event Times: 5-10 p.m. Friday, 2-10 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, July 29-31, 2022


Chicago Hot Dog Fest

This three-day festival offers hot dogs and other various foods, activities for kids, live music shows and much more. Organized by The Chicago History Museum.

Event Cost: $5/suggested donation or $20/family suggested donation; fees for food

Event Times: Aug. 5-7, 2022


Retro on Roscoe

This 25th annual event is a great time for families, music enthusiasts and Gen X'ers to celebrate. There will be live music on three stages, antique vendors and merchants and a family area. The family area features inflatables, face painting, balloon artists, rides, crafts and more.

Event Cost: $10 suggested donation

Event times: 5-10 p.m. Friday; noon-10 p.m. Saturday-Sunday Aug. 12-14, 2002


Ribfest Chicago

Enjoy ribs and other food and listen to bands while the kids hang out at "Kids Square" featuring entertainment, inflatables and games. Plus, celebrity-judged "Best Ribs" award and amateur and professional rib-eating competitions.

Event Cost:

Event Times: 5-10 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday-Sunday Aug. 19-21, 2022


Taste of Greektown

This annual event returns for its 31st year. It features Greek food, music and entertainment, including Greek bands, artisans and games for both kids and families.

Event Cost:

Event Times: 4-10 p.m. Friday and noon-10 p.m. Saturday-Sunday Aug. 26-28, 2022


Lakeview Taco Fest

The taco gets the spotlight treatment at this fest in the heart of the Southport Corridor. In addition to tacos and music, features beer and taco pairings, Mexican wrestlers, a kids' activity area and arts/crafts.

Event Cost: $10 suggested donation

Event Times: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 17-18, 2022


Evanston Art Fest

Shop from over 130 juried artists from around the country at this annual event. For three days, art lovers will have the opportunity to see the masters at work with live art demonstrations along with one-on-one booth chats.

Event Cost: Free

Event times: Noon-5 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday Aug. 19-21, 2022

Chicago Park District

Offers Virtual Programs, In-person Activities, Day Camps, Nights out in the Park, and more


Chicago Summer Guide:  Things to Do Around the City This Season

Cost:  Varies


Mommy Poppins In-person Summer Camps for Kids in Chicago/Suburbs:


Chicago Parent

Get your FREE Chicago Parent Summer Camp Guide!:


Chicago Kids Summer Camps Guide


Oaklee’s Family Guide for Chicago and Suburbs Summer Programs


2022 Summer Camp Guide


2022 Summer Camps for Kids in the Western Suburbs:


2022 North Suburban Camp Guide:



Northwestern Center for Talent Development Summer Programs


Evanston Summer Programs


Chicago Early Learning

Chicago PrE-Learning:

Chicago PrE-Learning features at-home educational activities that will be updated regularly.


Tuesday’s Child


Virtual ComedySportz

Event Cost: Free.

Event Times: 7:30 p.m. & 9:30 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays.


Art with Ms. Choate

Ms. Choate is a Chicago art teacher who is hosting a free daily online art class. New story times are posted daily and can be watched any time.

Time: Any time

Cost:  Free

Ages: All ages


Miss Katie Sings

Miss Katie is an early childhood music teacher creating fun videos for your little ones during quarantine.

Time: Any time

Cost: FREE

Ages: All ages


Philly Zoo at 2 (1pm CST)

Get an insider’s look at the Zoo during our Philly Zoo at 2 Facebook Live series and virtually meet and interact with our amazing animals and dedicated staff every weekday at 2:00 p.m./1pm CST.

Time: 1pm CST

Cost: FREE

Ages: All ages


Chicago Parent

Virtual Camp Fair

Looking for a kids camp in Chicagoland — and beyond? You’ve come to the right place! Chicago Parent’s first-ever FREE Virtual Camp Fair is packed with top-notch overnight camps, day camps and specialty camps ready to give your kids a safe, memorable and fun summer. Discover what camps offer, explore our Official Camp Planning Guide, and check out the camp chat videos. Happy camping!


Summer Camps with Minecraft and Roblox

Planning ahead for summer activities? Enrollment is live for our accelerated summer classes and our brand-new virtual summer camps!

Mr. Dave Music

Virtual Online Music Classes


Chicago Kids

Virtual Classes

If you need help finding child care this summer, Illinois Action for Children can help!

Child Care Referrals

If you have any questions, please let us know how we can help!