I love weekends like this when multicultural events abound in Chicago - both in the city and the suburbs. In just the span of a few days, you can experience Greek, French, Hawaiian, American Indian, and African cultures - to just name a few. And, the best part is that you can do that all right here - with no passport required.
Here is the Raising World Citizens list of the top five multicultural events for families in Chicago this weekend - Saturday, March 29 and Sunday, March 30.
And, here are the full details:
1. Greek Independence Day Celebration
National Hellenic Museum
333 S. Halsted St. (Greektown)
Saturday, March 29, 2 - 5 pm
Greek Independence Day was on Tuesday, March 25. But, it's not too late to celebrate the occasion. On Saturday, you can head to the National Hellenic Museum in Chicago's Greektown neighborhood to toast Greek Independence Day - Chicago style. Visitors will be among the first to see the museum's brand-new Threads of Tradition exhibit, which showcases the importance of costumes in official Greek celebrations, festivals and national holidays, as well as their role as a source of inspiration for contemporary fashion designers. After touring the exhibit, you can stay for traditional Greek song and dance performances by children from the museum's Greek language and culture classes, Aristotle Greek School of St. Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church, and the Apollo Dance Troupe.
Looking for other places to visit during your time in Greektown? Then be sure to check out my suggestions for how to spend the afternoon with your family in Chicago's vibrant, restaurant-filled Greek neighborhood.
2. Family Ciné-Workshop
Alliance Française de Chicago
810 N. Dearborn St. (Gold Coast)
Saturday, March 29, 1:30 - 4 pm
$10 per family
The Alliance Française de Chicago's Family Ciné-Workshop continues this weekend with a special viewing of "Panique au village" (A town called panic). The 2009 movie tells the story of three plastic toys named Cowboy, Indian and Horse who share a house in a rural town and experience adventures together as they travel to the center of the earth, trek across frozen tundra, and discover a parallel underwater universe. The movie, which is shown in French, will be followed by an activity and a gouter (snack).
3. Chicago Earth Hour Celebration
Chicago Cultural Center, Preston Bradley Hall
78 E. Washington St. (Loop)
Saturday, March 19, 6:30 - 9:30 pm
Did you know that Chicago is the 2014 US Capital of Earth Hour? Well, it sure is, and you're invited to celebrate it. On Saturday, the Chicago Cultural Center is hosting an Earth Hour party that will feature none other than the Earth Hour Ambassador himself - Spider-Man! At the party, you can enjoy glow-in-the-dark face painting, music, raffles, and a chance to meet and have your photo taken with the webbed crusader, Spider-Man. All families - here in Chicago and around the world - will be encouraged to turn your lights off at 8:30 pm for one hour - Earth Hour.
4. Neighborhoods of the World: Celebrate Africa
Navy Pier's Crystal Gardens
600 E. Grand Ave. (Streeterville)
Sunday, March 23, 12 - 3 pm
Neighborhoods of the World continues at Navy Pier this weekend with a celebration of the African - and the African communities here in Chicago. The celebration will feature live music, dance performances, food, art and more. It is presented in partnership with Africa International House USA. I've been to almost all of the celebrations so far this year - and each one has been unique, inspiring and totally enjoyable for the whole family.
5. Many Traditions - One Heart: An Afternoon of Native Dance, Song and Storytelling
19th Century Club
178 Forest Ave., Oak Park
Sunday, March 30, 2 - 4 pm
$10 in advance, $15 at the door
On Sunday, the American Indian Center and Halau i Ka Poon bring Native American Indian and Native Hawaiian dances to west suburban Oak Park. Tickets are available online. Proceeds go to fund the cultural preservation efforts of the American Indian Center and Halau i Ka Poon.
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