The summer festival season is underway in Chicago - as evidenced by all of the many events happening across the city this weekend. It's shaping up to be one of those weekends when it's almost impossible to fit everything in. But, it's always fun to try!
Here is the Raising World Citizens list of the top five multicultural events for families in Chicago this weekend - Friday, June 6, Saturday, June 7, and Sunday, June 8:
1. Andersonville Midsommarrest
Along north Clark St. from Foster Ave. to Catalpa Ave. (Andersonville)
Friday, June 6 - Sunday, June 8
$5 suggested donation on Friday
$10 suggested donation on Saturday and Sunday
(kids under 12 are free)
Andersonville Midsommarfest returns to Chicago's Swedish neighborhood for its 49th year. This year, nearly 50,000 people are expected to enjoy music, dancing, kids’ entertainment, and food at the street festival. Families will want to head to the Family Fun Area (open on Saturday and Sunday from 11 am - 5 pm) to enjoy face painting, crafts, games, yoga, an inflatable slide, climbing wall, and more. All of the activities in the Family Fun Area are free, which is pretty incredible for a local street festival. The Swedish American Museum & Brunk Children's Museum of Immigration also will be offering free admission during Andersonville Midsommarfest on Saturday and Sunday from 11 am - 4 pm.
Interested in information on other places to visit in Andersonville? Then, you also should check out my family-friendly virtual tour of the neighborhood.
2. Lincoln Park Greek Fest
2701 N. Sheffield Ave. (Lincoln Park)
Friday, June 6, 5 - 11 pm
Saturday, June 7, 12 - 11 pm
Sunday, June 8, 12 - 1o pm
Donations of any amount are accepted
Organizers of the Lincoln Park Greek Fest invite you to experience the Ancient Greek concept of filoxenia and the famous hospitality of the Greek culture. The Lincoln Park Greek Fest lets you enjoy all that the Greek culture has to offer - food, music, traditions and more. For kids, Lincoln Park Greek Fest offers two "bouncy houses" - available for use free of charge - and a variety of carnival games.
3. Japan Festival
Forest View Educational Center
2121 S. Goebbert Rd. (Northwest suburban Arlington Heights)
Saturday, June 7, 10 am - 6 pm
Sunday, June 8, 10 am - 5 pm
$5 general admission (free for people 18 years old and under)
Billed as the largest Japan showcase in the Midwest, Japan Festival promises to celebrate Japanese culture through food, shopping, music, traditional ceremonies, and more. Attendees can enjoy Japanese anime, kawaii goods, martial arts, theater, a tea ceremony, and more.
Reminiscent of "Ramen Street" in Tokyo Station, you can sample ramen from various restaurants located in the festival's Ramen Restaurant Alley. Participating ramen restaurants include Slurping Turtle, Ramen Misoya Chicago, Yamachan Ramen, and Myojo Ramen. At the festival, you also can enjoy a variety of Japanese sweets, including daifuku (pancakes filled with sweet bean jam), kaki gori (shaved ice), Ramune (Japanese "marble" soda), and more.
Since returning from a recent trip to Tokyo, I've been yearning for authentic Japanese food. So, I can't wait to sample it all - and enjoy the cultural experiences, too.
4. Printers Row Lit Fest
Along Dearborn St., from Congress Pkwy to Polk St. (Printers Row)
Saturday, June 7 from 10 am - 10 pm
Sunday, June 8 from 10 am - 6 pm
Free admission for outdoor activities
(Tickets required for indoor programs)
Billed as the largest free outdoor literary event in the Midwest, the Printers Row Lit Fest features 150 vendors selling new and used books and 200 onstage events. The fest is expected to draw more than 150,000 people over the course of its two book-filled days. Families will want to head to Lil' Lit Park where they can enjoy storytelling, performances, sing-alongs, costumed characters, and other activities. You can find out more in the Printers Row Lit Fest family guide.
5. 2014 World's Fair
Kohl Children's Museum
2100 Patriot Blvd. (North suburban Glenview)
Sunday, June 8 from 3 - 5 pm
Cultures from around the world will be on display at the 2014 World' Fair on Sunday at Kohl Children's Museum. With Cultural Care Au Pair as your tour guide, you and your family can "travel" to Asia, Europe and South America through food, crafts, games and more. You can register in advance online.
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