Top 5 multicultural events for families in Chicago this weekend - September 19, 20 and 21

It’s definitely starting to feel like fall in Chicago. To celebrate the change of seasons, you can choose from Oktoberfests, apple festivals, harvest festivals and more, making fall one of my favorite times of the year.

Here is the Raising World Citizens list of the top five multicultural events for families in Chicago this weekend – Friday, September 19, Saturday, September 20, and Sunday, September 21:

1. Downtown Oak Park’s Oaktoberfest
Marion St. and North Blvd., south of Lake St. (Oak Park, Ill.)
Friday, September 19, 4:30 – 10 pm
Saturday, September 20, 12 – 10 pm
Free admission

West suburban Oak Park gets in on the Oktoberfest action this weekend with its appropriately named Oaktoberfest. The two-day festival features live music, seasonal foods, and festive libations. On Saturday, families can head to the Kids’ Root Beer Garden (on Marion St.) from 12 – 5 pm. for a full line-up of children’s activities, including zucchini races (kids create and race their own zucchini cars for $3) and a Root Beer Garden that will have root beer floats “on tap” for all ages.

2. Lincoln Square Apple Fest
4700 N. Lincoln Ave. (Lincoln Square)
Saturday, September 20, 9 am – 5 pm
Free admission

You can celebrate the start of fall at the Lincoln Square Apple Fest. The one-day event pays homage to all things apple. You can buy candy apples, fresh-baked apple pies, apple pizza, apple cider and just plain old apples, too. The Kid Zone (at Lawrence Ave.) features a variety of children’s activities throughout the day, including story time with Nili Yelin at 11 am, family yoga with Bloom Yoga Studio at 12 pm, and Wiggleworms from Old Town School of Folk Music at 1 pm.

3. Harvest Pow Wow
Naper Settlement
523 S. Webster St. (Naperville, Ill.)
Saturday, September 20, 11 am – 10 pm
Sunday, September 21, 11 am – 5 pm
$10 for adults, $7 for kids 3 – 12 years old, free for kids under 3

This weekend, you can celebrate Native American culture at the Harvest Pow Wow held at the Naper Settlement in far west suburban Naperville. The two-day event features Native American dancing and drumming, flute playing, cultural demonstrations, arts and crafts, and food. Families can enjoy the Kids Corner both days from 11 am to 5 pm. There, kids can enjoy storytelling, crafts, arrowhead making and more.

4. Malott Japanese Garden Family Sundays
Chicago Botanic Garden, Japanese Garden
1000 Lake Cook Road (Glencoe, Ill.)
Sunday, September 21, 11 am – 4 pm
Free admission (see parking rates for the Chicago Botanic Garden)

Fall is a great time to visit the Chicago Botanic Garden. This Sunday, in addition to checking out nature in bloom, you also can visit the Malott Japanese Garden to participate in hands-on activities that celebrate Japanese arts and culture. Families can make gyotaku (or fish prints), practice using chopsticks, create Japanese kits, rake miniature dry gardens, and more.

5. The Children’s Book Fair
Nichols Park, 55th and Kimbark Ave. (Hyde Park)
Sunday, September 21, 12 – 5 pm
Free admission

On Sunday, the Children’s Book Fair returns to Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood for its 28th year. The one-day festival celebrates reading, family fun and community.  Families can enjoy live performances by local music and dance organizations, hands-on art and crafts projects led by local institutions, and book signings and giveaways with featured authors. You also can march with Mother Goose, Skippy Jon Jones, and Pete the Cat in the festival’s kick-off parade at noon. Please note: In the event of rain on Sunday, the event will take place at the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club located at 5480 S. Kenwood Ave.

You can read about my family’s experience at last year’s event here.

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