I've written about my love for the (mostly) fabulous Chicago Park District programming in the past. During the summer months, The Chicago Park District offers Chicago families everything from summer camps to sports programs to pools.
But I think that my favorite summer offering may be the Movies in the Parks Program. I just like everything about this idea. Grab a picnic blanket, some snacks and drinks and head out to your local park to enjoy a movie under the stars with other neighborhood families. What's not to like about this great family experience? Not all of the movies are appropriate for kids, but there is a nice selection of family-friendly films (although this would make for a fun and inexpensive date night activity too).
This program runs through September 2012. All of the movies are free. Each film beings at dusk (let them stay up late -- it is summer after all). You can check out the full schedule online and they even have a Facebook Page devoted just to Movies in the Parks.