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Best Of Chicago

Weekend Family Fun Guide

May 27, 2011 6:00 AM

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Big Run Wolf Ranch

(credit: Big Run Wolf Ranch)

When said together, they’re three of the most beautiful words in the English language: Three Day Weekend! Memorial Day is on Monday, and whether you observe the holiday in some way or just enjoy your extra time off, there are plenty of activities taking place around town.

MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND EVENTS

chi 5 27 jewel samad afp getty Weekend Family Fun Guide

(credit: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

Wreath Laying Ceremony and Memorial Day Parade

Downtown Chicago
Saturday, May 28
11 a.m. wreath laying; Noon parade
State Street from Lake St. to Van Buren, Chicago
Free
www.explorechicago.org

Atten-SHUN! The City of Chicago’s Memorial Day event begins with a wreath laying at Daley Plaza at 11 a.m., followed by the parade which begins at noon. Chicago’s Memorial Day parade is one of the largest in the country, and this year’s theme is “Honoring Our Cadets.” Parade participants include high school marching bands, Veteran’s groups, ROTC students, drum and bugle corps and members of the military.

Big Run Wolf Ranch

(credit: Big Run Wolf Ranch)

Family Day

Big Run Wolf Ranch
Saturday, May 28
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
14857 Farrell Road, Lockport
$4 per person
www.bigrunwolfranch.org

Take a walk on the wild side at Big Run Wolf Ranch during this special family day that offers guests the chance to meet some exotic animals. Amazing Animals by Samantha will be on hand with a chinchilla, kinkajou, coatamundi, tortoise, several cat and other interesting guests. The regulars will also be on site, including wolves, cougar, bear, coyotes, woodchucks and more. You’ll also be able to enjoy food, drinks and music at this unique family event.

chi 5 27timothy clary afp getty Weekend Family Fun Guide

(credit: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

Irish Fest

Chicago Gaelic Park
Friday, May 27 – Monday, May 30
Daily hours vary, visit web site
6119 W. 147th St., Chicago
Free
www.chicagogaelicpark.org

While the calendar may say it’s Memorial Day Weekend, this festival will have you summoning the luck of the Irish! Irish Fest offers four full days of entertainment, including a variety of family fare including a Carnival Midway with unlimited rides, Children’s Petting Zoo with free pony rides, Irish dancing, an Irish Dog Exhibition, a “Red Hair & Freckle Face” contest, and an entertainment tent with jugglers, clowns, magic and puppet shows.

chi 5 27 ernest ruscio getty Weekend Family Fun Guide

(credit: Ernest Ruscio/Getty Images)

Barrington Art Festival

Downtown Barrington
Saturday May 28 and Sunday May 29
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Cook and Station Streets, Barrington
Free
amdurproductions.com

Whether you’re a seasoned art lover or master fingerpainter, this is one art festival that really has something for everyone. The work of more than 140 juried artists from around the world includes ceramics, fiber, glass, jewelry, metal, photography, watercolors, wood and more. For little ones, the youth art tent offers activities like Paint-a-Wall and an art scavenger hunt. And the Youth Art Division of the festival showcases original works from artists ages 6 to 18.

chi 5 27 cuneo mansion Weekend Family Fun Guide

(credit: Cuneo Mansion)

Cuneo Gardens Art Fest

Cuneo Mansion & Gardens
Saturday, May 28 and Sunday, May 29
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
1350 N. Milwaukee Ave., Vernon Hills
Free admission, $5 parking donation requested
www.cuneomansion.org

At this art festival, the setting itself might draw as many “oohs” and “aaahs” as the artwork! Bring the entire family out to enjoy fine art and craft from all across the country, including paintings, jewelry, ceramics, fiber, wood, sculpture and more. Music lovers will enjoy the live entertainment both days of the festival, along with festival food that will include wraps, pulled pork sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs soft drinks, wine and beer.

INDOORS

Children's Museum

(credit: Children’s Museum)

Memorial Wall

Chicago Children’s Museum
Monday, May 30
2:30 p.m.
Navy Pier – 700 E. Grand Ave., Chicago
Regular admission applies, $12 children/adults, $11 seniors.
www.chicagochildrensmuseum.org

Kids can learn more about the meaning of Memorial Day and then create collages in remembrance of people and pets that still hold a special place in their hearts. After doing this, enjoy a day at the museum that includes interactive exhibits like Forts, Skyline, Dinosaur Expedition, WaterWays and more.

Pump It Up

(credit: Pump it up party.com)

Memorial Day Pop-In Play

Pump It Up Chicago
Monday, May 30
10 a.m. – 12 p.m. or 12:15 p.m. -2:15 p.m.
821 W. Eastman, Chicago
$8/child, tickets available online
www.pumpitupparty.com

If your kids haven’t let out enough steam by the time Monday rolls around, take them to Pump It Up Chicago to wear them out once and for all. This special holiday jump opportunity includes your choice of two sessions – 10am-12pm or 12:15pm-2:15pm. Kids can enjoy bounce houses, slides, obstacles courses and more. This holiday playtime is open to all ages.

Legoland

(credit: Legoland Discovery Center)

Pirates Weekend

LEGOLAND® Discovery Center
Saturday, May 27 – Monday, May 30
10 a.m. – 8 p.m
Streets of Woodfield, 601 N. Martingale Road , Schaumburg
Adult Admission is $19. Child Admission is $15.
www.legolanddiscoverycenter.com

Ahoy Mateys! Bring your pint-sized pirates to LEGOLAND® Discovery Center this weekend, which is being transformed into a pirate’s paradise. Pirate-themed activities include creative building challenges, a fun group build and a daily Pirate Treasure Hunt where each day someone will win a treasure chest full of LEGO® bricks.

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory

(credit: Dave Hogan/Getty Images)

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Emerald City Theatre at Apollo Theater
Sunday, May 29
1 p.m.
2540 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago
Adults $16, Kids $13
www.emeraldcitytheatre.com

Have a day that’s all about candy but won’t require a trip to the dentist! When Charlie Bucket unwraps a winning golden ticket, his life is about to be turned upside down. The classic story of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is brought to life in this Emerald City Theatre production, best enjoyed by kids 3 and up.

Sue Zeiler is the founder of ChicagoKids.com, which launched in 2001 and is the Chicago area’s leading online resource for local parents. Her mission is to find the best family events, activities and destinations for Chicago area families.

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