August is a tricky month—my mom brain is already jumping directly into back-to-school mode, but my kids are still in a full-on summer mindset. Fortunately, this month is full of local events and activities – maximize your family fun by checking out this list of thirty-one ideas to help you enjoy the rest of summer with your family. (Date-specific events in early August are bolded, so you don’t miss them as you read.) Let’s jump feet first into August and make a splash!
27 Kid-Friendly Things to Do in August 2022
1. National Night Out, held annually on the first Tuesday of August, is a nationwide initiative to increase community between law enforcement and the communities they serve. Many police departments in our area are hosting fun events to bring awareness—many including face painting, touch-a-truck and more. Click here for the Kidlist event calendar list of NNO options near you.
2. Head to Blackberry Farms on August 3rd, or August 17th, for Free Family Fun Days! Bring the whole family to explore this historical farm and all it has to offer – pony rides, playgrounds, and more.
3. Grab some lawn chairs and your dancing feet—live music is available all over the place in August! Our kids really enjoyed their first concert in the park recently (they’re ages 9, 7, and 4) and it was a wonderful way to spend a relaxing summer night.
4. Aspiring artists can report to The Lombard Historical Society for Art@ThePeck, which is held each Tuesday afternoon in August. Create a craft to take home, and learn more about local history.
5. Tee up some fun at your local golf course or driving range. Many offer evening hour discounts (sometimes called “twilight” discounts), and specific days and times for families to golf together. Here are some options and examples in Naperville, Downers Grove, and Lemont. If the thought of your kids swinging clubs makes you nervous, fear not! The western suburbs are full of awesome mini golf options, where kids of all ages can participate at their own pace.
6. It almost seems too simple, but the appeal of a new playground and some surprise popsicles can be a major win with the littles. I put our frozen treats in a thermal water bottle with some ice (so they stay frozen) and pull them out during a break in play. On our list for August is to explore the brand new fun at Harvester Park in Burr Ridge, as well as the updates at Ide’s Grove West in Woodridge.
7. Never underestimate the power of your local public library for so much more than books! My kids were so proud to receive their first library card, and now we spend hours combing the shelves for books, games, puzzles, and audiobooks. Public libraries also offer museum passes for local museums through the Museum Adventure Pass program (check your library to confirm, or click on the link to search for your location). Have a kid who blew through Harry Potter and doesn’t know what to read next? Ask a librarian! Some libraries offer curated book bags, or lists, based on your child’s interests – here’s an example at the St. Charles Public Library. My kids also really love checking out new and interesting items like night vision goggles, a sewing machine, or a 3D printer (can you believe it?)—you may be surprised what you can borrow! Here’s an example of a “library of things” at the Downers Grove Public Library.
8. If the element of surprise is something your kids love, secretly set aside a day on your calendar for a mystery adventure. Choose a date, check the Kidlist events calendar and add any appealing, workable options onto pieces of paper. When your child(ren) wake up, pick one out of a hat, and get going! Leave us a comment if you chose this option, and let us know where you ended up!
9. For a different twist on story time, head to Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago. Their weekly story time is led by a costumed storyteller and will take your kids (ages 3 and up) on a historical adventure in a beautiful, peaceful setting.
10. You’re invited! We’d love for you and your family to join us at the next Kidlist Park Playdate on August 9th at Soehrman Park in Countryside. Stop by between 3:00 and 4:30pm for entertainment, playground and splash pad fun, and more!
11. Let’s face it, August is really hot, and my kids are over the “sprinkler in the backyard” thing. Time to step up my game and visit a new (to us) splash pad or pool for the day. So many local splash pads are free, and one day pool passes are reasonable as well!
12. New in 2022: the Ice Age Giants exhibit at Brookfield Zoo is large and in charge! Life-sized, animatronic animal re-creations will be on display throughout the zoo for your kids to explore. Brookfield Zoo is free for kids August 1-3!
13. For an easy, low-key summer morning, plan your own “Kites & Bites” outing. For my family, this means stopping at the bagel shop, then heading to our local soccer field or park with kites in hand. It is such a peaceful way to spend a few hours outdoors before the day gets too hot. If your kids are really into kites, click here for more ideas to enjoy.
14. From August 5th through August 7th, the Morton Arboretum is hosting the Destination Asia Festival (included in admission). Explore Asian cultures through food, dance, and art.
15. If you’re looking for a full-day activity best suited for tweens and teens, you can’t do much better than a day spent at The Forge in Lemont. Annie and her kids recently went to check it out, and there is so much to do! Click here for her helpful tips in planning your outing. You can use the code KIDLIST20 to get 20% off whatever activities you book.
16. My kids aren’t quite ready to zipline their way across a quarry, so we stick closer to home and love nature walks. It’s an easy way to get outside, explore a new path or place, and spend time together. Hike on over to our list of trails for kids—maybe we’ll see you there!
17. One of my favorite things to do in the summer is visit local farmers markets around the western suburbs. It makes grocery shopping interesting and entertaining for the entire family! My kids love to meet the farmers and vendors, and if we happen to snag a fresh donut while we’re there, so much the better. Click here for our list of local farmers markets.
18. When the weather takes a turn, and we’re forced to be indoors, there’s no reason for the fun to stop. Elementary school-aged kids (and older) may enjoy the exhilarating challenge in a local escape room, while there are movie deals for all ages at our local theaters. Click here for our full list of kid-friendly indoor activities.
19. Get your feet wet! Whether it’s the tadpole pool at the Arboretum’s children’s garden, Waterfall Glen in Darien, creek-stomping in Oswego, or a baby pool in your backyard, don’t forget that water is always appealing to kids. So is mud, of course, and any Peppa Pig fans should check out Peppa Pig’s World of Play in Schaumburg. Click here for our review of the preschooler-friendly play space.
20. Get out of town—just for the day. Katie put together an awesome list of Metra stops along the BNSF line (complete with kid-friendly activities nearby to those stations) which is hot off the Kidlist presses! Level up by finding a train themed restaurant to round out the day.
21. Check out the newest art installation at Cantigny Park, which features large, colorful sculptures inspired by Mexican folklore. Admission fee includes this exhibit and so much more. Cantigny Park is free the first Wednesday of the month too!
23. The grand finale of the Kidlist Park Playdate Series is Saturday, August 26 from 10-11:30am at Ty Warner Park! Join us for a magic show with animals, craft with the library, games with the park district, snacks, and swag to end the summer and kick-off the school year!
24. Don’t forget about the Kane County Cougars! It’s a great mixture of baseball and kid-friendly fun, and also an inexpensive outing. Save money by using the code KIDLIST for buy one, get one free tickets. Click here for tips on enjoying a game and details about the discount code.
26. Make a plan to visit Naper Settlement. Not only is it an immersive historical park that will jumpstart your child’s imagination, you can cool off at their Playscape and Splash Pad while you are there. Pair it with a trip to Downtown Naperville where you can look for the summer sculptures “Cruisin into Summer”. Click here for the map of sculptures and post your favorite on social!
27. Too rainy or too hot? Head over to DuPage Children’s Museum! They have so many amazing exhibits and areas for kids to play and learn.
If you’re planning for a specific date in August, our Events Calendar is an incredible, searchable resource. Check it out!