Time Out Chicago Kids events

Editor Judy Sutton shares some of her top picks.

1. September 24 (Anderson's Bookshop, Naperville) September 27 (Vernon Area Public Library, Lincolnshire)

    John Grisham's Theodore Boone & the Thrill of Rights Bus Tour
  • A bus tour rolls into town with children's theatre group the Story Pirates (founded by two Northwestern grads). They'll perform a show inspired by Grisham's young adult series and characters.
  • Geared to ages 8-12, the show is interactive, with 6 audience members serving as a jury, one as a lawyer and one as a witness. During each performance, audiences learn basics of the American justice system through the Theodore Boone books, which follow the adventures of a 13-yr-old amateur lawyer in a Southern town. Expect prizes and fun sound effects.

2. October 21-30

    Chicago International Children's Film Festival at Facets in Lincoln Park and other theaters in the city and suburbs
  • Only Oscar-qualifying kids film fest in the world, and the largest in the US.
  • More than 250 films from 40 countries; a mix of animated films, documentaries, live-action films, TV series and films made by kids. Highlights this year: I am Kalam, from India, about a poor boy who wants to be like the Indian president that received great reviews at Cannes; My Girlhood, a Chinese film about a disabled girl who becomes an acupuncturist -- dubbed "Chinese Helen Keller;" three animated French films, one in 3D (French animation is apparently very hot right now; big one is called A Cat in Paris.
  • Fest is geared to kids ages 2-16. "My First Movies" short screenings especially for kids ages 2-5. For foreign films geared to kids 8 and under, professional actors read the subtitles aloud.
  • "Take One" workshops for kids 7-14 during the fest cover topics such as special effects make-up, acting basics and other filmmaking subjects.
  • Kids are encouraged to vote on films; jury prizes are awarded the final night of the fest.
  • Tickets cost $6 for kids, $9 for adults.

3. October 13, 2011 - January 07, 20

    "There's Fun to be Done! Dr. Seuss & the Art of Invention" at the Museum of Science and Industry
  • Traveling exhibit chronicles the author's career and unique way of looking at the world
  • Features some of his early work, including advertisements, paintings and sculptures.
  • Internative activities for kids include the chance to interact with Oobleck, the gooey substance that was made famous falling from the sky in Dr. Seuss's 1949 Bartholomew and the Oobleck.
  • Guests can also become creative problem-solvers and invent their own contraption by mixing images of Seussian wheels, horns and tubes.

4. October 15

    Dan Zanes at Old Town School of Folk Music
  • The Brooklyn-based kids' singer and former Del Fuegos frontman plays two daytime shows
  • His shows are always interactive and lots of fun.
  • Combine musical styles form around the world: West Indian folk, traditional Mexican music, classic rock and roll.
  • Uses lots of fun and quirky instruments during his shows: mandolin, electric guitar, fiddles, spoons!!

5. October 27-December 3

    Goodnight Moon at Victory Gardens Biograph Theater
  • A "technicolor" look at Margaret Wise Brown's classic bedtime story gets a fresh twist with Lookinglass Theatre's David Kersnar directing, and all new musical arrangements -- promises not to put anyone to sleep.
  • The entire story takes place in a single green-themed room, but the careful fan will notice numerous details, notably the book's signature red balloon that disappears and reappears from page to page.
  • Two "pajama party" performances opening week – audience encouraged to come in pj's.
  • Tickets are $25-$35

6. November 19-20

    Chicago Toy & Game Fair at Navy Pier
  • Only toy fair in North America that is open to the public.
  • Toy and game manufacturers preview new products, toy inventors
  • "Young inventor challenge" where kids 6-18 can present their own ideas for toys and games
  • Star Wars breakfast, with photo ops w/ costumed characters, giveaways.
  • Seminars for educators on involving play in classrooms
  • Tournaments: chess, monopoly and other games.
  • Celeb appearances: last year, Darryl Hannah and John Ratzenberger from Cheers -- both game inventors themselves -- were at the fest.

For More Information on these events and others, visit timeoutchicagokids.com

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