This weekend is shaping up to be beautiful with cool temperatures and low humidity in Chicago, making it the perfect time to hit some Chicagoland must do’s for this summer. Here are the top three picks for summertime fun that are made even better by the wonderful weather:
1. Brookfield Zoo
The zoo has seen the birth of a baby girl dolphin, a giraffe, a colobus monkey and two highly endangered addax calves this summer, so its prime time to hit the zoo and soak up some baby-animal cuteness. While not all the babies are out on display, the cool weather this weekend should provide excellent viewing for fun animal antics. While the addax births were the lowest profile of the bunch, they are highly meaningful. There are only about 300 addax left living in the wild in their native Africa, and this highly endangered species needs all the help it can get. While at the zoo, be sure to spend some time enjoying Dinosaurs Alive! and Stingray Bay before they close this fall. Both exhibits are an additional charge to enter and Stingray Bay is $4 for nonmember adults and $2 for nonmember children. Dinosaurs Alive! is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Members pay half price for both.Visit the zoo website at: www.brookfieldzoo.org for more details and hours of operation.
2. Bristol Renaissance Faire
The Faire is a pretty pricey ordeal, but is defiantly worth checking out. With the cooler weather, the costumes tend to be more elaborate and the entire experience more comfortable. One thing to note: The Faire now has indoor plumbing near the entrance! Gone is the smelly port-a-potty garden and now there are clean and comfortable privies. Bring cash for the small rides and games. The rides are ingenious fun that are all human-powered and include a carousel, a spinning barrel, a spinning seated maypole, DaVinci’s Hurlinator, a bungee jump and more. Games include axe throwing, knife throwing, archery and crossbows. The Faire features tons of shops where craftsmen hawk their wares in a setting that really transports you to a medieval village. The Faire also has a large offering of pubs and food available. There are also petting zoos, a daily joust and many shows featuring comedians, daredevils and plays. It’s a full days’ worth the fun and make sure you don’t miss the joust! For more information check out their website at: www.renfair.com/bristol
3. Six Flags Great America
While the weather may be a tad too cool to really enjoy hurricane harbor, it makes for an excellent day riding roller coasters and other rides. Six Flags has come a long way in recent years and is very clean, safe and family friendly these days. There are two areas for young kids, and many rides that Jr. thrill seekers will enjoy, including the Little Dipper, which was transported from Kiddie Land when it closed. The Viper is currently running backwards, offering an exciting new ride experience and X-Flight, which opened last year, is still running smooth and fast offering a coaster experience akin to gliding through the air. New this year is Luminousity, a nighttime show that lights up the night with special fx, lasers and music. Get to the park as it opens and ride the big coasters before lines start to build, for a smoother experience. Also, if you can afford it, look into their Flash Pass system which allows you to skip the majority of lines. A day at Six Flags isn’t the cheapest, so look for coke cans with discount codes and be prepared to pay for parking. It’s still a summer must do and offers great bang for your buck. Check out their webpage for more details: www.sixflags.com/greatamerica