Summer in Chicagoland is amazing! And there’s no shortage of summer kids activities in the western suburbs. You’ll definitely want to check out all of these articles below, including summer festivals, splash pads, farmers markets, summer concert series, free ice cream, art festivals, outdoor movies, fruit picking, and so much more! Click on any of the activity headings to get location options and also don’t forget to check out the Kidlist calendar for more kid-friendly fun.
Summer Kids Activities
Splash Pads, Spray Parks and Fountains
Find a splash pad to cool off. This list is split between free spray parks and splash pads with a fee; complete with features and photographs.
Pools with Day Passes
If you’re tired of hanging out in the kiddie pool at home, check out these nearby pools with day passes.
Farmers Markets and French Markets
All of the markets in the near western suburbs with locations, schedules, a free printable with markets by day, and tips for buying in-season food.
Free Ice Cream at Mars
Every July the Mars Chocolate plant gives away free ice cream bars and novelties. Get the details about when and how to get a tasty treat.
Summer Concert Series: Live Music
Live music, fresh air and free entertainment add up to a nice night. Some venues offer food and snacks for purchase, or you can pack a picnic to enjoy under the stars. Either way, it’s a great way to gather with your neighbors, support local bands and enjoy al fresco dining all at the same time!
Art Festivals in the Chicago Area
Art Festivals and Fairs are plentiful in Chicagoland over the summer and most of these have activities for children as well.
Summer isn’t complete without taking the family to a neighborhood festival or two! Think beautiful weather, tasty food, live music and carnival rides – it’s the perfect recipe for summertime fun. This list has the entire line-up in chronological order!
Now presenting all the outdoor movies being shown in the near western suburbs! Some even have pre-movie activities or entertainment and concessions available, so check out the details here.
$1 Kids Movies: Summer Movie Series
Many of the local theaters offer a special summer movie series where shows are offered for $1 and are usually held in the morning. This has a handy schedule with location details for all the participating theaters in our area.
Family Days at Arlington Race Track
Sundays starting in May through Labor Day are Family Days at Arlington International Racecource. You can enjoy watching the horse races and cheering for your picks. There are also many activities for the kids in the “Junior Jockey Zone.”
Cross rope bridges, swing through the trees like Tarzan, balance on logs, and zip down the lines at the end of each section. An exhilarating experience for ages 10+.
10 Best Parks and Playgrounds in the Near Western Suburbs
Kidlist readers voted and came up with the best of the west! My kids and I had a wonderful time checking out all of the parks you suggested, took photographs, and played around to try everything out. There are even slideshows if you would like to see all of the features for each.
All of the mini-golf courses with hours, prices and features.
Strawberry Picking: Farms With U-Pick Strawberries
This list breaks down all the strawberry farms that are within an hour and a half drive from our area and includes estimated dates when picking is expected to start. You will also find tips for your trip!
Kid-Friendly Baseball and Softball Games
Check out all the teams you can cheer on in the city and western suburbs here! There is also info on awesome Kids Clubs, special events and activities geared towards little ones before and/or during the games.
Blueberry Picking: Fields For U-Pick Near Chicago
Where to go blueberry picking, within reasonable driving distance from our area.
A comprehensive list of local amusement parks and tips to make your day enjoyable for all ages.
A Day at the Farm: Farms to Visit with Kids
Local farms that offer opportunities to interact with adorable barn animals, pick seasonal fruits and veggies, learn about the pioneer days, and enjoy attractions such as carousels and wagon rides.
Check out the playground options with a soft, rubbery surface instead of mulch.
Camping with Kids
Locations within three hours to take your kids camping!
Whether it is a weekend trail ride, on-going lessons, a birthday party or summer camp you seek, horse enthusiasts will love this list.
Best Forest Preserve Trails for Kids
Want to take a walk outside but don’t know where to go? Kidlist readers voted and these are the best for kids!
Where and How To Take Your Kids Fishing
Ponds to go fishing, where to buy kid-sized fishing poles, how to tie the hook to the line, where to buy bait, and how to cast your line. Basically everything you need to know to go fishing with your kids!
A real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game that you can do anywhere you are (locally or on vacation), any day and time using GPS coordinates.
Free Summer Fun
Did we say free?! Yes! We have rounded up all of the activities and events you can do this summer that you don’t even need to pull out your wallet for.