August Bucket List: 31 Ways to Celebrate the Last Month of Summer

Still excited about summer but running out of energy to plan outings for your kids? Never fear, Kidlist is here! We have curated an entire month’s worth of family-friendly events and activities so you can squeeze the last precious drops out of the season. Let’s turn up the heat with extra fun in the sun and send those back-to-school blues packing!

This article is sponsored by Oak Brook Park District, who is hosting two movies in the park this month!

Bring your blankets, picnic baskets, beverages and lawn chairs for these outdoor movies in the park! Register for your own socially distant circle for up to 6 people. Front rows cost $20 and back rows cost $10. You are welcome to bring your own food and beverages.

Movie in the Park: Coco
Wednesday, August 4, 2021 | 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Central Park Performing Arts Pavilion: 1500 Forest Gate Road, Oak Brook

Despite his family’s generations-old ban on music, young Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead. After meeting a charming trickster named Héctor, the two new friends embark on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history. Click here to register for Coco.

Movie in the Park: The Croods 2
Wednesday, August 11, 2021 | 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Central Park Performing Arts Pavilion: 1500 Forest Gate Road, Oak Brook

Searching for a safer habitat, the prehistoric Crood family discovers an idyllic, walled-in paradise that meets all of its needs. Unfortunately, they must also learn to live with the Bettermans — a family that’s a couple of steps above the Croods on the evolutionary ladder. As tensions between the new neighbors start to rise, a new threat soon propels both clans on an epic adventure that forces them to embrace their differences, draw strength from one another, and survive together. Click here to register for The Croods 2.

31 Kid-Friendly Events in August 2021

Week One: August 1–7

Sunday, August 1: Chicago Reptile Show
Cold-blooded friends on display for all lizard, snake, and reptile fans.

See also
Kids in Sports is Coming to Naperville

Sunday, August 1: Pleasant Home Ice Cream Social
Free Brown Cow ice cream, face painting, jugglers, and the Oak Park Blue Grass Band.

Monday, August 2: Family Science Night
Enjoy hands-on STEAM activities for the whole family and take home the supplies to play again!

Tuesday, August 3: National Night Out
This free community event (nationwide collaboration between Park Districts and their Police Departments) is jam-packed with fun for the whole family: helicopter landing, touch-a-truck, DJ, balloon artist, and more!

Wednesday, August 4: Lunch on the Lawn
Eat al fresco in Burlington Park (Hinsdale) while the kids enjoy Dan Gogh’s Magic & Art Show.
(Don’t forget to reserve your spot at the Oak Brook Park District movie at the park for that evening. They are showing Coco! More info above)

Friday, August 6 – Sunday, August 8: La Grange Endless Summerfest
Go for the carnival, stay for the live music and fireworks! Read more about Endless Summerfest in our Summer Guide.

Saturday, August 7: Naperville Food Truck Festival
Fun for foodies of all ages, plus live music, face painting, balloon making, and more.

Week Two: August 8–14

Sunday, August 8: Cirque Italia
If you like Cirque du Soleil, this is right up your alley: acrobats, jugglers, and incredible stunts . . . this time, with water! (Note: this is the last day of the 7/29-8/8 run, so if Sunday doesn’t work for you, check the website for earlier dates and options) A particularly good option for the sometimes-hard-to-please tween and teenage kids in your family.

See also
Family-Friendly Weekend Events: July 30–August 1 and Beyond

Monday, August 9: Pool Day
No need for a case of the Mondays this week! Grab some sunshine with a day pass to a great pool.

Tuesday, August 10: Play & Learn at Naper Settlement
This “historic” splash pad is surrounded by fun activities to discover: exhibits, imagination stations, gardens, and more.

Wednesday, August 11: Bucket Drum Jam
Kids in grades K-6 can make some noise at this outdoor drumming and rhythm lesson. All equipment is provided onsite.
(Don’t forget to reserve your spot at the Oak Brook Park District movie at the park for that evening. They are showing The Croods 2! More info above)

Thursday, August 12: Acorn Express Tram Tour
All aboard the Acorn Express for a tram ride that includes a craft activity for kids and natural views for all.

Friday, August 13: Nature Obstacle Course
Which member of your family will conquer this obstacle course made from all natural materials? This drop-in event also includes natural exploration activities and art.

Saturday, August 14: Just Keep Swimming Pool & Movie Night
Find Dory and make new friends at the Centennial Park Pool in Lemont (register through the park district).

Saturday, August 14: Wacky Water Workshop
Kids ages 4-8 can splash and learn while enjoying a facilitated STEAM activity all about the properties of water.

See also
Kid-Friendly Stops on the BNSF Metra Line

Week Three: August 15–21

Sunday, August 15: Boating in the Park
Kayaks, canoes, paddle boats . . . oh my! Make your way to Glen Ellyn for a peaceful afternoon on the water.

Monday, August 16 – Friday, August 20: Midday Spray
Pack a lunch and head to Naperville from 11:00am – 1:00pm to beat the heat with a mist party.

Friday, August 20 – Sunday, August 22: Bike Camping Family Adventure
Depart Oak Park for a guided bicycling journey to Bartlett over 3 days and 2 nights. Beginners welcome!

Saturday, August 21: Walking Theatre
Theater lovers can enjoy the story of Jonny Appleseed as they stroll the arboretum grounds in Lisle.

Saturday, August 21 – Sunday, August 22: O-Sa-Wan Pow Wow & Marketplace
Revel in the sights and sounds of intertribal singing and dancing, watch crafting demonstrations, and explore Native American regalia at this annual event.

Week Four: August 22–28

Sunday, August 22: Princess Lunch at Blackberry Farm
Aspiring princesses report at 11:30am for a meal, crafts, and photos with your favorite princess. Tickets required.

Monday, August 23: Dial Me A Story
Call anytime to hear a pre-recorded story read to you by a friend from the Naperville library. (Book changes weekly.)

Wednesday, August 25: Get the Wiggles Out
Save some sunblock and cool off indoors at Forest the Fox’s Playbox in Westchester.

Friday, August 27: End of Summer Craft Bash at the Promenade
Head to Bolingbrook for crafts, handmade home decor, activities, music and fun for all.

Friday, August 27: Outdoor Movie: Wall-E
Who doesn’t love a movie under the stars? Your kids will delight in the hilarious and touching story of Wall-E.

Saturday, August 28: Youth Fishing Derby
Report to Lake Harriet in Woodridge for the 2nd Annual Youth Fishing Derby. Kids up to age 16 welcome!

Saturday, August 28: StoryWalk at the Riverwalk
Storytime meets scavenger hunt as you walk and read along the river. Once you’ve read the entire book, a craft activity awaits you at the end of your path.

Week Five: August 29–31

Monday, August 30: Sunset Camp Out
Enjoy an evening storytime “camp out” with the whole family.

Tuesday, August 31: Last Week for Dinosaurs at the Zoo!
The amazing, animatronic dinosaur exhibit at Brookfield Zoo ends on September 6th. Don’t forget to visit before they go extinct . . . again!

If you’re planning for a specific date that isn’t listed above, check out our Events Calendar for more fun ideas!

About the Author

Jamie Dougherty
Jamie is raising her family (an 8-year-old girl and two boys aged 6 and 3) in Downers Grove, after having grown up in a few towns along the BNSF corridor. A former blogger, she is especially excited to have the opportunity to mix her love for writing and family-friendly fun here at Kidlist. Her family enjoys laidback, outdoor activities – current favorites are nature walks, trying new playgrounds, and long bike rides but they are also looking forward to community and indoor events returning soon! On rainy days, you can find the kids crafting/tinkering with found objects (cardboard creations, anyone?) and building forts. When she’s not managing the family schedule and home, Jamie loves to visit her local library, drink too much Diet Coke and plan the next adventure she can take with her kids!

2 Comments on "August Bucket List: 31 Ways to Celebrate the Last Month of Summer"

  1. There is a closer kite festival on 8/11. Elmhurst Kite Fest in Behrens Park from 11am-2pm. Food trucks also will be on site so families can have a picnic lunch.

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