It's hard to believe this is the last weekend of July. At this time of year, I always find myself wondering how summer always seems to fly by way too fast. And, it makes me want to take advantage of all of the great summertime events in Chicago and the surrounding area even more.
Here is the Raising World Citizens list of the top five multicultural events for families in Chicago this weekend - Friday, July 25, Saturday, July 26, and Sunday, July 27:
1. The Whiting Pierogi Fest
Downtown Whiting, along 119th St. (Whiting, Ind.)
Friday, July 25 and Saturday, July 26, 11 am - 10 pm
Sunday, July 27, 11 am - 5 pm
Just across the southern Illinois border is Whiting, Ind. - proud home of the annual The Whiting Pierogi Fest. This year, more than 200,000 visitors are expected to descend on the town to celebrate the Polish pierogi. At the festival, you can plan to pile your plate with different varieties of pierogi. But, the pierogi fun doesn't stop there. You can compete in the Pierogi Toss and Pierogi Eating Contest. You also can see life-size pierogis strolling down the city streets and get your photo taken with one - the perfect way to remember your pierogi-fueled fun.
2. Irish Fest
Arlington Heights Historical Museum
Corner of Euclid and Vail (Arlington Heights, Ill.)
Friday, July 25, 5 - 11 pm
Saturday, July 26, 4 - 11 pm
$5 for adults, $2 for kids ages 3 - 14 (kids under 15 are free on Friday)
St. Patrick's Day was more than four months ago. That makes it time to celebrate all things Irish once again. At Irish Fest, you can enjoy Irish music, food, and culture - right on the grounds of the Arlington Heights Historical Museum in northwest suburban Arlington Heights. The three-day festival offers a kid-pleasing "Wee Folk Tent," with balloon art, face painting, crafts, games, and more.
3. Wicker Park Fest
Milwaukee Ave., from North Ave. to Paulina St. (Wicker Park)
Saturday, July 26, 12 - 10 pm
Sunday, July 27, 12 - 10 pm
$5 suggested donation
Wicker Park Fest lets you experience the best of a Chicago summertime street festival - while letting your kids have fun, too. The two-day festival has a Kids Fest area, where kids can create origami, build Lego robots, cook up a mini-dish, try their hand at chess, and more. As a family, you also can enjoy live entertainment and food from local restaurants in a thriving, dynamic and fun Chicago neighborhood.
4. Chicago International Dragon Boat Festival
Lake Arlington (Arlington Heights, Ill.)
Saturday, July 26, 8:30 am - 4 pm
You can check out the 2,500-year-old tradition of Dragon Boat racing in northwest suburban Arlington Heights this weekend. Dragon boat teams from across North America will take to the waters of Lake Arlington the Chicago International Dragon Boat Festival. In addition to watching the races, you can enjoy an outdoor festival that includes food vendors, entertainment, and children's games and activities in the Kids Zone.
And, while you're in Arlington Heights, don't forget to stop by the Irish Fest (mentioned above), happening all weekend long.
5. Family Day: Who am I? Exploring Identify through Art
Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center
9603 Woods Dr. (Skokie, Ill.)
Sunday, July 27, 11:30 am - 1 pm
$12 for adults; $6 for kids ages 4 - 11; $8 students ages 12 - 22
This special Family Day program explores what we look like on the outside and who we are on the inside through facilitated, art-based activities. The program, presented by the Illinois Holocaust Museum and the Anti-Defamation League, offers something for children ages four to 14 and their parents. Four to six-year-old children can enjoy an art and music-based activity; seven to nine-year-old children can participate in a breakout session called "What Makes a Group?;" and 10 to 14 year-old-children can use water colors and oil pastels to explore their identify through the creation of self portraits.
When your child (or children) are done with their breakout workshop session(s), you can all explore the highly interactive Make a Difference! The Harvey L. Miller Family Youth Exhibition,which teaches children to respect differences, address bullying, and take a stand on issues that matter to them. Advance reservations for the program are required: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summertime road trip inspiration:
Interested in heading out on a summertime road trip? Then, this weekend is the perfect time to hop in your car and head north to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for German Fest on Friday, July 25, Saturday, July 26, and Sunday, July 27.
Milwaukee's German Fest celebrates practically every aspect of German culture and tradition - including food, music, history, travel and more. You can shop for glockenspiel, catch an oompah band, savor some schnitzel, and even catch a soccer tournament.
Families can design a German Fest t-shirt, make a craft project, and play German language games in the German Language Games Tent. On Sunday, children can participate in a Fairy Tale Parade through the festival grounds.
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