Chicago firework shows, outdoor movies and other family-friendly summer activities | See list

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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CHICAGO (WLS) -- School's out, and summer's in full swing. Check out the following options, from Movies in the Parks to Broadway in your Backyard, for kid-friendly activities to keep your little ones occupied this summer!

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Free admission into Chicago museums for Illinois residents

  • Museum of Science and Industry: Free admission on June 19 for Illinois residents
  • Chicago Botanic Garden: Free admission on June 19 for Illinois residents
  • Chicago History Museum: Free admission on June 19, 23, 26 and 29 for Illinois residents
  • Shedd Aquarium: Free admission June 25 for Illinois residents
  • Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum: Free admission every Thursday for Illinois residents

Juneteenth Celebration

DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center in Chicago on June 19: This annual free Juneteenth festival offers music performances, food trucks and vendors from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. More information to this event can be found here.

Broadway in your Backyard

Porchlight Music Theatre hosts Broadway in your Backyard on dates through Aug. 6. This 60-minute, free concert features hits from Broadway musicals including Mary Poppins, Grease and more. The full schedule can be found here.

Summer firework show

Fireworks are happening Wednesdays and Saturdays through Labor Day at Navy Pier! Enjoy Chicago's firework show every Wednesday night at 9 p.m. and Saturday night at 10 p.m.

SEE ALSO | Fourth of July celebrations 2024: Fireworks in Chicago, suburbs, NW Indiana

Movies in the Parks

The Chicago Park District is screening free movies in parks across Chicago all summer on dates through Sept. 7. The schedule of movies can be found here.

Wiggleworms at Gallagher Way

Tuesdays through September at 3635 N. Clark St., bring your little ones to Gallagher Way Tuesday mornings at 10 a.m. for kid-friendly live music, pop-jet fountains and more. Following the music, Gallagher Way will screen PG rated movies at 11 a.m. A full list of performers and movie screenings can be found here .

Market Days at Pioneer Court

Wednesdays through Oct. 30 at 401 N. Michigan Ave., visit a weekly market including fresh produce, artisan vendors and more from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Wednesday. Admission is free for all ages, and vendors rotate weekly.

Farmer's Markets

Farmer's Markets are held across Chicago each week. Dates, times and locations of each market can be found here.

READ MORE | Chicago swimming pools, splash pads and other water activities to keep you cool

Lincoln Park Zoo

Take a free trip to the Lincoln Park Zoo with the whole family. The zoo at 2001 N. Clark St. is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Information about parking, exhibits and more can be found on the Lincoln Park Zoo's website.

Adler Planetarium

Walk through space, time and history at the Adler Planetarium at 1300 S. DuSable Lake Shore Dr. All tickets to America's first planetarium must be purchased online and in advance of your visit. Ticket information can be found on the Adler Planetarium's website.

Maggie Daley Park

Spend the day at Maggie Daley Park for some fun for the whole family. The park at 337 E. Randolph St. offers a climbing wall, tennis courts, mini-golf and more. A complete list of activities at the park can be found at Maggie Daley Park's website.


Experience Chicago in a thrilling way 1,000 feet above Magnificent Mile. Visitors can tilt outward for panoramic views of the city. at 875 N. Michigan Ave Tickets can be purchased at 360 CHICAGO's website.