Free Summer Family Fun in Chicago

Summer is all about getting out of the house and enjoying the beautiful weather. Parents in this economy, though, really need to pay attention to their budgets. Jean Lemke, co-founder of, shares some free activities for families to enjoy this summer. All of these activities and much more may be found in kidwinks' online Chicago Summer Fun Guide

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Subscribers to kidwinks' email list get a Family Activities Guide delivered to their inbox each Monday morning, full of hand-picked events and activities for the week, including links to free events, free museum days, and Kids Eat Free deals.

Family Fish Fest
This event is part of the Chicago Park District's Nature Oasis program, which was designed to help Chicagoans of all ages experience the wonder of nature right here in the city. Come out to fish with the Fishin' Guys, enjoy a canoe ride with Friends of the Chicago River, make crafts and meet live animals all at the park's lagoon. Where: Douglas Park, 1401 Sacramento, Chicago
When: July 30, 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Cost: Free
Ages: All ages

Children's Summer Entertainment
Many park districts and communities offer free, family-friendly entertainment throughout the summer months. On any given day or evening, families can enjoy some sort of free concert, performance or movie in the city or suburbs. The easiest way to find something on a particular day near you is to visit kidwinks' Events Calendar. The entertainment series we are highlighting today is at Vogelei Park in Hoffman Estates. Every other Friday at noon, a performance oriented to children is held. The next show, Mini Amazing Animal Show, is on August 5th, and kids will get a chance to pet exotic animals and learn about them.

Where: Vogelei Park, 650 W. Higgins Road, Hoffman Estates
When: Every other Friday in the summer at noon. Remaining shows this season: August 5th and 19th.
Cost: Free
Ages: All ages, but geared toward children.

Full Moon Fire and Drum Jam
The Full Moon Fire and Drum Jam happens every Full Moon during the summer months in Chicago. Started in 2004 by a group of friends celebrating a birthday with about 30 people in attendance, the jams have grown substantially as more fire spinners and drummers come to share their art form and skills with each other and the audience. Now over 1,000 people attend, including many families that come to enjoy the free show.
Where: About 1/2 Mile SOUTH of Foster Ave Beach on the Lake Front, Chicago
When: Full moons: August 14 at 7:45 p.m., September 12 at 7:00 p.m. and October 11 at 6:15 p.m.
Cost: Free
Ages: All ages

Summer Nights Classic Car Show
Travel down Main Street of Downers Grove on Friday evenings, and you're transported to a different era. The street, along with many side streets and parking lots, are lined with beautifully maintained classic cars. A certain type of car (e.g., orphan cars, military vehicles & trucks, convertibles, Model T's, etc.) is featured each week but there is always a wide variety. Live Entertainment is provided at the Main Street Train Station. This event is FREE and great fun for the whole family!
Where: Downtown Downers Grove
When: Friday nights through September 2nd; 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Cost: Free
Ages: All ages

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