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5 Fun, family-friendly Illinois festivals

Ami is a writer who is also a childbirth educator and former doula. In addition to her love of all things birth and babies, she is addicted to celebrity news and isn't ashamed to admit it. Ami lives in Chicago with her husband and her te...

Family fun abounds around Chicago

Looking for something fun to do with your family this summer? Check out these fun festivals that will appeal to the whole family!

Air & water show

1Air & Water Show

Your family may have traveled on airplanes, but chances are you've never seen planes like these! The Chicago Air and Water Show has mesmerized Illinois families for over 50 years and is the largest free show of its kind in the US.

Watch the US Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights, jump out a plane over 12,000 feet high, and the Navy's Blue Angels perform supersonic maneuvers -- including their famous six-jet Delta Formation. Plus there are amazing water sports demonstrations, like boat jumping, water and jet skiing and more.

While the event officially takes place at North Avenue Beach, you can see the air show from many other beaches along the lake. Who knows? Depending on where you live in Illinois, you may even see or hear the planes as they practice throughout the week leading up to the show.

More information: explorechicago.org

Address: North Avenue Beach, 1600 N. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60610


2Chinatown Summer Fair

A visit to Chinatown is always fun, from fabulous food to unique shops. But it's summertime when crowds come to the neighborhood for the Chinatown Summer Fair. This event features a traditional lion dance procession, a cutest dog contest, cutest baby contest, plus martial arts and dance performances. Children – even adults who may think summer food only means hot dogs or burgers on the grill – can try something new from a variety of Chinatown's restaurants at the festival.

More information: chicagochinatown.com

Address: Wentworth Avenue from 24th Place to Cermak Road; Chinatown, Chicago, IL


3Taste of Chicago

Your kids won't say "I'm hungry" at the annual Taste of Chicago!

For 30 years, Illinois families – and many visitors from around the world – have eaten their way through over 300 menu items. From ethnic favorites to traditional American fare plus tasty vegetarian options, "The Taste" will satisfy even the pickiest eater in the family! In addition to great food, there are plenty of free concerts featuring an all-star lineup of performers each year. Kids will love special events and cooking demonstrations just for them, too.

More information: www.chicago.com

Address: Michigan Ave. & Congress Dr., Chicago, IL 60604


4Kids and Kites Festival

Let's go fly a kite! After Illinois' brutal winters, nothing says spring like kite flying, and once a year families can gather together at Montrose Harbor for a free day of kite flying at the Kids and Kites Festival.

If the kids don't have a kite of their own -- let alone know how to fly one -- don't worry. While supplies last, free kits are available for children to design and create their own kite, and special demonstrations by kite experts will have your kite flying high in no time.

More information: explorechicago.org

Address: Montrose Harbor in Lincoln Park, Montrose Dr., Chicago, IL 60640


5Andersonville Midsommarfest

Andersonville is a quaint, diverse family-friendly community on the far north side of Chicago, and Midsommarfest is its annual summer street festival. Each year, nearly 50,000 people enjoy a full weekend of music, dancing, kids' entertainment, and delicious food while browsing artwork and other unique items from vendors.

The money raised at Midsommarfest -- the event is free, but small donations are suggested -- goes to support programming and events in the neighborhood throughout the year.

More information: andersonville.org/midsommarfest

Address: Clark Street from Foster to Catalpa, Andersonville, Chicago, IL 60640


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