Chicago Suburban Family

Things To Do

Best Day Trips

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Summer is here! Schools out, the weather is warm, the pools are open, and the fruity drinks are flying. A lot of people love summer but ultimately end up doing the same old stuff. Why not make this summer a little different? Turn the page to find lots of awesome things you should definitely do before the end of this summer!

Day Trips…Plan NOW!


Santa’s Village Amusement Park
Come for the NOSTALGIA and stay for the FUN!! With RIDES, ANIMALS and SHOWS the whole family will have FUN at Santa’s Village! Summer of 2019 will also see the biggest addition to date with Santa Springs!! Make a big splash at the all NEW water attraction! With multiple kiddie slides and a wading pool too, this monstrous play structure will allow for hours of fun in the sun with the whole family!! Visit or call 847-426-6751 for further details. Located at 601 Dundee Ave., East Dundee, IL.

Mid-Continent Railway Museum
Mid-Continent Railway Museum – Take a step back in time! Climb aboard for a 55-minute round-trip train ride in historic railcars. Explore the museum filled with restored railcars and steam locomotives from the late 1800s and early 1900s and browse the museum gift shop inside the depot. For more information, call 800-930-1385 or visit Mid-Continent Railway Museum, E8948 Museum Road, North Freedom, WI 53951.

Boundless Adventures
Boundless Adventures is more than just a zipline park! It’s an exciting new family-friendly aerial adventure park experience for thrill-seekers, adventurers, tree-climbers, zip-liners and outdoor enthusiasts that is now open in Wisconsin! With 120 obstacles, 20 ziplines and 9 courses with 4 different difficulty levels, there is something for everyone! 9800 160th Avenue, Bristol, Wisconsin. For more information or to reserve your spot today, please visit or call 262-924-8626.

Kohl Children’s Museum
With 17 hands-on exhibits, come see for yourself why we’re the Place Where Awesome Lives! Starting July 30, take a journey through the great outdoors in the world-debut interactive exhibit, Nature Cat: Backyard and Beyond, with Nature Cat, Hal, Daisy, and Squeeks! Located at 2100 Patriot Blvd, Glenview, IL. For more information, call (847) 832-6600 or visit

Complete Renovations at Bloomingdale Park District
The Bloomingdale Park District has undergone a complete renovation is an ideal spot to visit before summer’s end. The all-new Johnston Recreation Center features an indoor playground, workout center and multi-purpose space for teens and active adults. The adjacent Oasis Water Park offers an eight-lane competitive pool with drop slide and diving boards, a zero-depth entry pool and an all-new children’s sprayground. Both facilities border Circle Park, complete with a brand new playground, basketball court, roller hockey rink, skate spot, fitness stations, .35-mile loop and picnic shelter with indoor restrooms. Visit for information on any of the above attractions.

John Deere Attractions
Discover free, family-friendly fun at our John Deere Attractions sites. Climb into the cab of legendary machines at the John Deere Pavilion. Witness the evolution from horse-drawn to horsepower at the John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum. And discover an archeological site and live blacksmith demonstrations at the John Deere Historic Site. Open Monday–Saturday, 9am–5pm and Sunday, noon–4pm. For holiday hours and location information, go to

Onesti’s Wild West Town
Bring your family, group or party for a day of wild west fun at Onesti’s Wild West Town, a family amusement park, conveniently located just off of Interstate 90 and open 7 days a week.  Cowboys, ponies, train and roller coaster rides, escape room, live musical performances daily, museum exhibits, rockabilly café serving Americana fare, old towne shoppes, tomahawk throwing and more!  Discounted party packages available.  8512 S. Union Road, Union, IL. (815) 923-9000.

Discovery Center Museum
Discovery Center Museum – a hands-on children’s museum with more than 300 interactive exhibits relating math, science and art for children ages birth-12. Exhibits related to the human body, electricity, sports, math, simple machines and agriculture. There is also a Tot Spot Gallery designed for ages 6 and younger, a live science theater and an award-winning outdoor park. Special events on Fridays June 15 – August 8. Visit Location: 711 N. Main Street, Rockford.

Sight Seeing Tours in Chicago, Gray Line Tours
Since 1926, Gray Line has operated professional sightseeing tours in Chicago — sharing the city’s warm culture and attractions.  Join us this summer as we introduce new tour offerings, state-of-the-art “Stadium Trolleys” and an expanded team of knowledgeable professional guides.  Whether you live in the Windy City or you plan to visit, Gray Line makes Chicago sightseeing better with enjoyable, clean, and cool experiences. Book your tour today:

Reed’s Canoe
Reed’s Canoe Trips  are an ideal recreational activity for groups of any size, from a family adventure to large church, school, or park district outing with an adventure close to home. The three trips we offer range in length from approximately 2 hours to a full 6 hours on the water, and are suitable for either new or experienced canoeists. Since the Kankakee River is located only an hour south of Chicagoland, even our longest trip will fit into a one-day outing! 907 N. Indiana Ave, Rt. 50, Kankakee, IL  Call for information or reservations: (815)WE CANOE or visit:

Antique Flea Market, Zurko Promotions
Treasures abound at the ANTIQUE FLEA Market on July 13 – 14, August 10 – 11. On hand for sale will be an eclectic treasure trove of antiques, collectibles, old & new toys, primitives, estate jewelry, coins, sports items, bargains, close-outs and lots of fun stuff to buy!Lake County Fairgrounds,  1060 E. Peterson Rd., Grayslake, IL. It’s more treasure-hunting at its finest, as dealers gather for the ALL-NIGHT FLEA MARKET on Sat. Aug. 17 DuPage County Fairgrounds , (county Farm * Manchester), Wheaton, IL. For more info call 715-526-9769 or visit

Mountain View Adventure Center, Des Plaines Park District
This challenging 18-hole mini golf course features a gold-rush mining town theme, with waterfalls, obstacles, and some rather interesting signposts. Six brand new machines in the Batting Cages, with a full range of softball and baseball pitches. Free Skate and BMX parks. Concessions and picnic shelter. A great place for parties and outings. 510 E. Algonquin Rd., Des Plaines, IL. 847-391-5733.

Cantigny Park
Add Cantigny in Wheaton to your summer agenda! Family Fun Nights are set for July 19 and August 16, and don’t miss the annual McCormick Day party on July 25. Catch a Sunday bandshell concert—Wendy & DB perform on August 18—or enjoy Movies in the Park every Friday night. Most events are free with paid parking ($5 weekdays; $10 weekends). Visit for details, and text PARK to 36000 to receive event updates.

Congregation Etz Chaim of DuPage County
Are you searching for a warm and welcoming Jewish community? Congregation Etz Chaim has a long tradition of being an inclusive community, welcoming Jews by birth or by choice, interfaith families, singles, LGBTQ, and people of all ages and abilities. Join us for Brunch & Open House on Sunday, August 18th from 10:00 to 11:30 am. Tour our synagogue and meet our rabbis, school principal, and inclusion specialist. Discover why we are a caring community that draws strength from the diversity of our membership. 1710 S. Highland Avenue, Lombard. (630) 627-3912 OR

DeKalb County Barn Tour
The DeKalb County Barn Tour on Saturday, August 10 is a unique opportunity to tour select barns on livestock and grain farms in southern DeKalb County. The self-driving tour includes a guided tour of each barn, demonstrations, displays, family activities, and more! Tickets are $25 per carload and include a souvenir Guide Book with map. Advance tickets at, or at the door. Details at; email; or call 815-756-8737.

Celebrate America Craft and Art Fair (Presented by Craft Productions, Inc)
100 booths of crafts handmade in the Midwest! Celebrate 4th of July in beautiful Burlington Park, just 1 block North of downtown Hinsdale. Shop, meet the artists, then enjoy the rest of this fun Summer festival featuring a parade, live music, food vendors, turtle races, and free kids activities. Thursday, July 4th, 10am-4pm. Burlington Park, 30 E Chicago Ave, Hinsdale, IL. Just steps from the Hinsdale Metra stop. Free admission.

45th Annual La Grange Craft Fair (Presented by Craft Productions, Inc)
200 booths of crafts in lovely Downtown La Grange. This long-running show is a crowd favorite and our largest show of the summer! Shop, meet the artists, and get inspired by their latest work, all handmade in the Midwest. Friday, July 12th – Sunday, July 14th, 10am-5pm. Downtown La Grange, 38 S La Grange Rd, La Grange, IL. Just steps from the La Grange Road Metra stop. Free admission.

Festival of the Vine Craft and Art Fair (Presented by Craft Productions, Inc)
90 booths of fine art and crafts, just South of beautiful Downtown Geneva. Shop, meet the artists, and stay for wine tastings, live music, and the Flavor Fare featuring local restaurants. Saturday, September 7, 10am-6pm, and Sunday, September 8, 10am-5pm. 100 S 3rd St, Geneva, IL. Free admission.

Ride Metra
Ride Metra to Summer Fun With traffic-free trips to fun Chicago-area destinations like the beach, ballpark, festivals, concerts and more, Metra is made for summer! Enjoy unlimited rides Saturday and Sunday for just $10, and free rides for up to three kids 11 and under with each fare-paying adult through Labor Day. For more fun trip ideas, schedules and to find the station nearest you, visit today!

Aurora Downtown
Aurora Downtown welcomes you this summer with free events for everyone to enjoy. Join us at our free summer concert series Wednesdays at the Plaza that runs until August 14 and Alley Art Festival on August 31. Enjoy family-friendly events like Aurora Museums After Dark and First Fridays.

The Midwest Pond & Koi Society
MPKS, are families with a common hobby: koi ponds, garden ponds, koi keeping, and plants. MPKS members range from the novice to experienced water gardener. The club has monthly meetings with topics about plants, ponds, and fish. Other activities include; auctions, a trade show, and a pond tour. You do not have to be a member to attend a meeting. Visit our web site for more information.

Forest Preserve District of Kane County
Come camping in Kane County! You can get away from it all without spending it all. Paul Wolff Campground in Elgin and Big Rock Campground in Big Rock offer with electric and water hook-ups for RV camping, plus tent and equestrian camp sites. Both campgrounds are within beautiful Kane County forest preserves where you’ll enjoy miles of trails and other amenities. Sites range from $12 to $35 per day.  Call 630-444-1200 or visit

Wheeling Park District’s International Festival
Celebrate the diversity of our communities at this annual festival. Bring the whole family and explore our cultural richness through authentic live performances, fun activities and ethnic food. Learn about the local organizations that support unique and diverse populations. FREE. Heritage Park Performance Pavilion, 201 Community Boulevard, Wheeling.

Entertainment Cruises
Bring the whole family on deck for a cruise aboard Spirit of Chicago! Enjoy delicious food, refreshing summer drinks, outdoor games and onboard entertainment, plus unbeatable skyline views you won’t find on land. Docked at Navy Pier, Spirit cruises daily with lunch, brunch and dinner options available. Now through September 30, take 20% off all Signature dining cruises aboard Spirit of Chicago. Use code SUBFAM20 when you book online or by phone. Some restrictions apply.

TransWorld’sJewelry, Fashion & Accessories Show
Summertime fun at the TransWorld’s Jewelry, Fashion & Accessories Show coming to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL on July 18-21, 2019.  NEW: bring a friend with you to the show – 2 for 1 registration fee. Shop for yourself, your family, and friends for Summer into Fall products such as jewelry, fashion, accessories, gift, décor, beauty and gourmet items you can only find at a TransWorld’s JF&A Show.  Get FREE gifts just for attending and buying at the show as well!  KIDS DAY ON SUNDAY, APRIL 28th.  Kids aged 9-16 can attend with an accompanying adult.  Register kids on-site only and a $5 fee applies and they will get a FREE gift!.  Also, visit the CLEARANCE BIN – a designated area on the show floor for even greater deals!  For complete details, visit our website at: to register.

Naper Nights at Naper Settlement
Naper Nights Community Concert Series will kick off this summer with an exciting line-up covering the best in rock n’ roll history. Visitors will relax under the stars while enjoying cold drinks, delicious food and amazing music. Naper Nights will take place from 5-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights on July 19-20 and Aug. 16-18 at Naper Settlement located at 523 S. Webster St. in Naperville. Tickets are on sale now. Visit

Village of Arlington Heights
Arlington Heights is the perfect summer family destination to shop, dine, and play!  Discover our unique Downtown ambiance with great shopping, dining, and entertainment at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre.  Take in live outdoor music at the Sounds of Summer concert series Thursday and Friday evenings in Harmony Park.  Check out Frontier Days, July 3-July 7 at Recreation Park, featuring one of the largest Fourth of July parades in the area, along with great entertainment, rides, and games!  Come back Downtown on August 2-3 for the Mane Event/Taste of Arlington Heights, offering block after block of the best cuisine in Arlington Heights.  For more great experiences, visit

Village of Lemont…Enjoy Our Scene!
No matter the season, breathtaking hills, valleys, quarries and canals frame Lemont, a quaint village just 25 miles southwest of Chicago.  This unexpected sanctuary is an ideal place to live, visit and experience.  As we approach summer there’s no shortage of things to do in Lemont. This summer, Lemont Farmers Market runs every Tuesday morning, Lemont Legends Cruise Nights every Wednesday evening, and there’s even a series of Thursday evening concerts to add to the mix.  And you won’t want to miss Heritage Fest, the highlight of the summer, on Saturday, July 13 with good food, great music and tons of family fun! For details on Heritage Fest, visit Lemont is an oasis of dining, shopping, events and activities, all year long. Whatever you do this summer, come and experience Lemont, and Enjoy Our Scene!

Veggie Fest Chicago 2019 
Good Food and Healthy Living. One of the largest and celebrated vegetarian food & wellness festivals in North America takes place on August 10 & 11 from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm. Delight its famous vegetarian and vegan international food court. Bring your lawn chair & blankets & enjoy live music from some of Chicago’s best bands. Plenty of fun for kids with face painting, clowns & crafts & over 100 vendor booths. Engaging food demos by restaurant owners, chefs, and authors. Admission & parking are both free. Danada South Park at Navistar Circle, Lisle. For more information: visit


Limelight Theatre Company presents “Willy Wonka”
Roald Dahl’s classic book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, comes to life in this musical performance by Oswegoland Park District’s Limelight Theatre Company. This scrumdidilyumptious show is sure to delight as we embark on a joyride through the world of pure imagination. Grab your Wonka bar and see if you have a golden ticket to join Charlie and friends on a tour of the magical chocolate factory. Performing Wednesday, July 24-Saturday, July 27 at Oswego High School, 4250 Route 71 in Oswego. Advance tickets are available online at for $12/Adult, $8/Student or Senior. Tickets are $2 more at the door.

Overshadowed Theatrical Productions presents “Newsies”
July 12 – August 3, 2019 Music by Alan Menken (composer for “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Little Mermaid”) “Newsies” is a crowd-pleasing, soul-stirring musical. Set in New York City at the turn of the 20th century and inspired by the historic newsboy strike—this show packs a powerful message about defying injustice, standing together, and never backing down. Performing at 900 Foster Avenue in Medinah, Illinois. For tickets call 630.634.2100 or visit our website at

Little Mountain Community Theatre presents “Mamma Mia!”
July 19 & 20
at 7:30 p.m. July 21 at 2 p.m. The songs of the pop group ABBA provide the score for this romantic comedy which contrasts the dreams and aspirations of a young woman about to become a bride with those of her mother, a free spirit of the 70s who never married. Mamma Mia! takes place at a Greek island taverna in the summer of 1999. Tickets: $17 adults, $14 seniors/students. Lemont High School Performing Arts Center or 630.296.4215.

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