The end of May showers will hopefully lead to some June flowers, but just because spring is running a little late doesn’t mean you have to hide indoors. We’ve some picks to get you out of the house this weekend, rain or shine. And for young insect experts, we’ve got not one but two events with bees as well as their tasty honey.

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Do-Division Family Fun Fest

Saturday, June 4th & Sunday, June 5th
Noon – 6 p.m.
Division between Damen & Leavitt
$5 suggested donation all ages

While the streets will be full of music fans and rocking bands, there’s still plenty to do here for those with kids in tow. The Christy Webber Bee Hive tent will have fun facts about the yellow and black buggers, and a tent from Cat and Mouse game store will have plenty of fun board games to explore. Kids can also explore their inner rocker by getting a punk rock hairdo from the people of Psychobaby, or just hop around in the bouncy house to the tunes of Mary Macaroni, Jeannie B and more kid-friendly artists.


Leave No Child Inside Day

Heller Nature Center
Saturday, June 4th
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
2821 Ridge Rd
Highland Park, Il
Free Admission

Going outside with the kids is always sweet – but for this special trip at the Heller Nature Center, it’s doubly so. Kids of all ages are welcome, but those six and older are allowed to take a trip to the nature center’s apiary, where they’ll learn about how bees make honey. And after learning all about it, they’ll get to taste some of the locally made honey as well.


Zoo Zip

Lincoln Park Zoo
Sunday, June 5th
10:00 a.m.
2200 N. Cannon Dr.
Zoo Zip – free admission; 5K walk – $31, 6 and under free

The United Run For The Zoo is an annual 5k and 10k for adults. The 5k Fun Walk is kid friendly – and kids under 6 can register for free. But kids also get their own special event, the Zoo Zip. Kids ages ten and under only can participate in this event – and it’s free. All participants get a prize, and t-shirts can be bought for $11.

credit: Printers Row Lit Fest

Printers Row Lit Fest

Saturday, June 4th & Sunday, June 5th
10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Dearborn Street between Polk and Congress
Free Admission

If you’ve got some bookworms in the house, the Printer’s Row Lit Fest has a stage set aside specifically for them. The Lil’ Lit Park Neverland features performances from Captain Hook’s Jolly Rodgers featuring Tiger Lilly, children’s authors like Jim Aylesworth, and comedy performances from Justin Roberts and the Not Ready For Naptime Players. And if you’ve got young foodies in the ranks, they might appreciate some of the live cooking demos from chefs like Perry Hendrix and Chris Pandel at the Good Eating Stage.

credit: Magnificent Mile

Neverland Pirate Cruise

May 20 – June 17
5:30 p.m.
Southeast corner of Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive
Adults $80, Children $65

If the kids are swashbuckling around the house and wearing eye patches to the dinner table, you can indulge them with a bit of Captain Hook and friends. Peter Pan will be playing in town for much of the summer, but on select dates you can purchase the Pirate Cruise package, which gets you tickets to the show as well as a Riverwalk cruise to Neverland. If you’ve already purchased tickets to the show, don’t worry – you can upgrade tickets for all ages for only $15.

credit: Chicago Botanic Garden

Model Railroad Garden at Botanic Gardens

10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (weather permitting)
1000 Lake Cook Road
Glencoe, IL
Adults $5; Kids $3

Combine a history lesson with a walk through nature – The Botanic Gardens offers a miniature world of tiny American landmarks, with 50 famous sites spanning 7,500 feet all circled by 17 tiny trains. The landmarks are all made from natural materials, and more than 5,000 plants make a beautiful background landscape.


Sunny Days

Morton Arboretum
Daily in June
11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
4100 Illinois Route 53
Lisle, IL 60532
Arboretum Admission: Adults $11; 17 and under $8

For a full day of fun in nature, the Morton Arboretum offers many activities and sights for the whole family. Nature trails and the Children’s Garden are always available, but June offers a workshop focused on the energy source of all these amazing plants – the sun. Kids will learn fun facts about our most important star, and will make their own sun catcher to take home.

Dan Morgridge is a writer in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village.