It's September and the kids are back in school, but don't say that Summer is over yet.... Spend September in denial and add these activities to your late summer bucket list!
Midnight Circus in the Parks
Weekends through October 20
Various Chicago Parks
Midnight Circus in the Parks is an eclectic ensemble of artists with a shared vision that live performance has the power to engage and inspire our audience, our community, and our world. Midnight Circus brings world-class contemporary circus performances to communities throughout Chicago and raises money for Chicago parks with the proceeds. September schedule includes Hamilton Park Sept 8-9; Holstein Park Sept 14-16; Lake Shore Park Sept 21-23; Ridge Park Sept 29-30, and additional shows through the end of October.
Daily 7am - sunset
Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle
Go on a Troll Hunt on the beautiful grounds of the Morton Arboretum. These aren't just any old trolls... search for the six colossal creatures who are making their home at the Arboretum. The work of noted Danish artist Thomas Dambo, Troll Hunt marks the first exhibition of its kind in the United States.
Wicker Park Farmers Market
Sundays 8am - 2pm through October 28
Wicker Park, 1425 N. Damen Ave., Chicago
This Farmer's Market continues through October 28, with local vendors offering all the best in handmade and homegrown, with fresh fruits and veggies, baked goods, meats, cheeses, and flowers. Kids and adults can learn about the food we eat from the farm to our table, straight from the farmer’s mouth. Upcoming events include weekly Nature Yoga Classes, and Kids' Table cooking classes on Sept 16 and Oct 21.
Garfield Park Conservatory
300 North Central Park Avenue, Chicago
The Garfield Park Conservatory is one of the largest and most stunning botanical conservatories in the nation, showcasing thousands of plant species from around the world throughout eight indoor display gardens. Year-round, visitors can enjoy the lush flora and tropical temperatures indoors, or more than 10 acres of outdoor gardens, nature play spaces for children, water lily pond, and much more. In September, check out Wild Wednesdays and Sunday Fiddleheads; and on September 15, celebrate Harvest Day and meet urban goats, chickens, and bees; Play veggie bingo and lawn games; and taste fresh local foods.
Festival de La Villita
Plaza Garabaldi, 2700 W. 26th Street, Chicago
The fest coincides with the Fiestas Patrias family of patriotic holidays held each year in Mexico. More specifically, this wildly popular family-friendly happening celebrates Mexico’s independence from Spanish rule in September of 1810. Festival de La Villita (aka Little Village Fest) offers something for everyone: top local and regional music acts and entertainment, the fantastic food of neighborhood eateries, carnival rides and more.
Walk or Bike the 606
Daily 6am - 11pm
Along the Bloomingdale Trail (1800N) between Ashland (1600W) and Ridgeway (3750W)
Explore what was an abandoned rail line by foot or bike, and is now The 606! Its 2.7 miles of multi-use recreational trail and park is an alternative transportation corridor, a living work of art, and a spectacular new green space for all to enjoy. On September 22 from 11am - 2pm, at Walsh Park and Ridgeway Trailhead, check out the Bike Rally and make sure your bike is in shape for Fall riding with basic safety and maintenance tips, free helmets, and more from West Town Bikes.
Daily 6am - 11pm
Southeastern end of Millennium Park, Chicago
Take a stroll through Lurie Garden in Millennium Park, and see the dramatically lit, 15-foot-high "shoulder" hedge, cross the hardwood footbridge, and be inspired to learn about and enjoy the natural world. Lurie Garden offers free programs for kids and families during the summer months. Register for a free "Stories, Songs and Circle Games" program for ages 4-6 on September 16.
Bordered by Lake-Cook, Willow, Edens, and Forest Road
The Skokie Lagoons are a prime destination for water exploration in northern Cook County. This network of pools, channels and islands winds between Winnetka, Northfield and Glencoe. Bring the family for boat access, fishing, biking, picnic areas, hiking, kayaking, birdwatching and more.
Maggie Daley Park
337 E Randolph St, Chicago
Maggie Daley Park offers the Climbing Park with features on the wall for experts and beginners, the Play Garden, an Enchanted Forest with a mirrored maze and kaleidoscope, The Lagoon, The Sea and The Harbor play apparatus for toddlers, a Wave Lawn for recreation for all ages, and a Slide Crater with a spiral slide.
Oaks Nature Center
4650 Brummel, Skokie
Explore this natural oasis full of native wildflowers, grasses, oak trees, a 3-acre pond and trails, and try to spot native animals like great Great Blue Herons, Coyotes, Flying Squirrels, Northern Water Snakes, Red Foxes and Cooper's Hawks. The nature center offers a variety of free programs for kids.
1N600 County Farm Road, West Chicago
Step back in time to experience life on a working farm in the 1890s at Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago. Stroll through restored farmstead structures and meet the historically costumed interpreters operating this living history farm using the tools and techniques of the past. Activities and events at the farm re-create the seasonal rhythms that have governed farm life for centuries.
Taylor Bike Trail
105th St. to 129th St., Chicago
This 6+ mile path was named after legendary African American cyclist Marshall "Major" Taylor, and stretches through several sections of the city and through the neighborhoods of Brainerd, Gresham, Beverly, Morgan Park, Roseland and West Pullman, as well as the Village of Riverdale.
Trail Nature Center
3120 Milwaukee Ave, Northbrook
River Trail Nature Center tells the story of native plants and animals that remain in the urban environment, and visitors may walk through sugar maple woods along the river on self-guiding trails, learn of the past and present in the exhibit building, and visit a few of our native animals. Younger children will enjoy River Trail's nature discovery area, where they can climb in an eagle's nest, crawl in a fox den, create their own puppet shows, and more.
2391 N. Stockton Drive, Chicago
Visit a tropical oasis and other floral scenes at this oasis in the hear of the city, located right next to Lincoln Park Zoo. Bring a blanket and treats and enjoy a picnic, then head to the zoo afterwards for a special day.
201 S. Plum Grove Road, Schaumburg
Step back into the 1880s for a look at when Schaumburg was a rural German farm community. Help with seasonal farm chores, participate in family activities and games of the 1880s or simply visit the livestock and soak in the quiet. Authentically dressed interpreters welcome and guide visitors through the site. Open Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Southport and Addison, Chicago
The glorious taco will again be celebrated (along with seasonal brews) at wildly popular happening in the bustling Southport Corridor. More than a dozen restaurants will be selling both traditional and imaginatively stuffed tortillas. Also features beer and taco pairings, two music stages, lucha libre (Mexican wrestlers), a kids' activity area and artisans. $10 suggested donation, kids 12 and under free. 11am - 10pm.