31 Days of August Summer Fun in Chicago’s Western Suburbs

Monday, Jul 31st, 2017 by

The kids go back to school in a few weeks, but there is still plenty of summer fun to enjoy.  If you need a little help planning some special outings to make the most of this month, here’s the August Edition of the Go West Guide to Summer Fun! Many of these events are free, none require advance registration and while some are tied to their specific date, others are part of a series or are something you could do any day of the week. I tried to make that clear, but of course follow the links for more information. Plus, if you don’t like the suggestion for the day, check out the Go West Calendar – you’ll always find several more choices there! Happy August!


Tuesday, Aug. 1:  More than 16,000 communities will be celebrating National Night Out, America’s Night Out Against Crime. Held the first Tuesday in August, the event is designed to boost community involvement in crime prevention activities, police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie. In Geneva, free admission is being offered at both Sunset Pool and Mill Creek Pool from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Forty-five neighborhoods in Aurora have celebrations planned with family entertainment, free food and more. The city of Elgin is celebrating at Festival Park with a showing of “Jurassic World” at dusk, a K9 demo, demonstrations of other police equipment, live music by country band Wild Daisy and more.


Wednesday, Aug. 2: Cool off in a movie theater this morning, with a choice of “Trolls” at Goodrich Quality Theaters in Oswego and Batavia, the “Peanuts Movie” at Studio Movie Grill in Wheaton, “The LEGO Batman Movie” at the Charlestowne in St. Charles and Ogden 6 in Naperville, or “Curios George” at the Marcus Elgin. All offer $1 tickets, except for Marcus, where tickets are $3. Check the Go West Calendar for details! In the evening, check out a rescheduled performance by the band Mr. Myers in Geneva’s River Park. You’ll enjoy the sounds of reggae, Caribbean rock and classic rock at this free show.






Thursday, Aug. 3: RomeoFest gets underway today in Romeoville – it’s a four-day celebration with tons of free and family friendly entertainment. Read this Insider’s Guide on what to expect. In St. Charles, you can attend a “Tree-mendous Thursday” at the Hickory Knolls Nature Center, where there will be a hands-on, self-guided celestrial activity that you can take home.


Friday, Aug. 4: You have your choice of festivals and fairs going on today through the weekend: Kendall County Fair in Yorkville, McHenry County Fair in Woodstock, North Aurora Days in North Aurora and RomeoFest in Romeoville! Also today, the Chicagoland Emergency Vehicle Show kicks off with a 15-mile-long lights and sirens procession through the towns of North Aurora, Aurora, Montgomery and Oswego.


Saturday, Aug. 5: Today could be a great day to check out the Batavia Farmers’ Market, held on the scenic North River Street from 8 a.m. to noon. Home Depot stores will also hold their free kids workshop from 9 a.m. to noon. The Morton Arboretum is holding its 3rd annual Destination Asia cultural festival on Aug. 4, 5 and 6. Admission is free with paid admission or membership and will include live music and performances, games and activities, botanical activities, and more. For a full schedule of events, click here. Finally, the Chicagoland Emergency Vehicle Show will be in downtown Oswego for a demonstration of new and vintage emergency vehicles, safety displays, children’s activities and more.


Sunday, Aug. 6: A number of events wrap up today: the Kendall County Fair, McHenry County Fair, North Aurora Days and RomeoFest. Also today, as part of its National Night Out celebrations, the city of Naperville is hosting the Chicagoland Emergency Vehicle Show, which is the Midwest’s largest display of emergency vehicles (both old and new) and Kids Cycle Mania, an interactive bike course. The fun takes place between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Jackson Street between Eagle and Main streets. Or head to Naper Settlement on Sunday for a “Naperville Plays!” special event with the DuPage Children’s Museum featuring the a focus on sheepherding, animal tales and hands-on activities from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. This is included with regular admission.



Monday, Aug. 7: Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago hosts an 1890s-themed Children’s Story Hour on Mondays at 10 a.m. all summer long. Your family can sit on blankets or tree stumps in the shade near the farmhouse to listen to stories from the 1890s featuring characters like Tom Sawyer and Peter Rabbit. Admission is free. In the afternoon, your kids can learn about farm chores, too. In the evening, Gail Borden Library is hosting a touch-a-truck display from about 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. Your family is encouraged to bring a picnic dinner to enjoy on the west lawn at 6 p.m. Beverages and dessert will be provided for free by the library.


Tuesday, Aug. 8:  Brookfield Zoo is offering “Kids’ Free Days” today, as well as on Aug. 7 and 9. This promotion is good for kids ages 11 and under. Admission for adults and parking frees still apply. There will be a variety of special family-friendly activities during these days, too. The zoo is open from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on these evenings.


Wednesday, Aug. 9: If you want to spend the day outside and don’t mind a drive. check out Pirate Cove Children’s Theme Park in Elk Grove Village. In the evening, you can head to downtown Aurora to see the band Feed the Birds play at Millennium Plaza for free along the Fox River. Or catch the last of the “Movies in the Park” at Newton Park in Glen Ellyn with a showing of the animated hit “Sing” and a craft/activity, all starting at 8 p.m.


Thursday, Aug. 10: Grab the kids and come enjoy a “Party on the Farm” with Go West Young Mom and the St. Charles Park District at Primrose Farm. This is a free event from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Aug. 10, and we’ll have tractor-drawn wagon rides, old-fashioned games, a “cow washing” station, farm crafts and more! Find all the details here and here. In the evening, you can head to Aurora to enjoy the “Aurora Museums After Dark” promotion at the Aurora Regional Fire Museum and SciTech Hands On Museum. Children are free with paid adult admission.


Friday, Aug. 11: Cantigny Park is showing the musical “La La Land” as part of its Friday night outdoor movie series. Movies start around 8:30 p.m. and are included with regular $5 weekday parking fee. If you’re up for a road trip, the llinois State Fair in Springfield is running from today through Aug. 20. If that seems kind of far, the Mendota Sweet Corn Festival is going on through Sunday, Aug. 13.


Saturday, Aug. 12: It’s Kids Day at the Chicago Bears training camp in Bourbonnais. Admission is fee and there will be a rock climbing wall, face painters, balloon artists and a special Staley Da Bears Dance Express Show. You do need tickets to attend. Find all the info here and here. Tonight, the hit animated film “The LEGO Batman Movie” will be shown at Aurora’s Phillips Park at dusk. It’s a free screening. Alternately, this is your last Saturday to enjoy Brookfield Zoo’s “Summer Nights” musical series until next summer!


Sunday, Aug. 13: Today is French Connection Day at Cantigny Park, featuring french music, cann-can dancers, a stroller mime, accordianist and vocalist, a storytime with Madeline and more. Activities are included with the regular $10 weekend parking fee. Alternately, you can check out one of the “Family Days” at Arlington International Racetrack today featuring a Junior Jockey Zone with pony rides, a petting zoo, face painting, magician, juggler, bounce houses and hands-on activities. You can learn a lot more about what to expect here in a review written by my friend Annie at {kidlist.} Blackberry Farm in Aurora is also scheduled to host “Civil War Days” on Saturday and Sunday.



Monday, Aug. 14: If the day is warm, consider heading to Maryknoll Parks in Glen Elln, where you’ll find a mini golf course, two playgrounds with unique features and a great splash pad (small fee required.) Find what to expect here. Alternately, if you’d like to check out a new pool before they close for the season, going later in the day is a way to save some money. Check out our Guide to Special Twilight Rates.


Tuesday, Aug. 15: This week marks the first week of school for some suburban public schools. But if you still have little ones at home, checking out a new splash park or sprayground is rarely a bad idea in August! Another great spot to visit with a littler one is Deicke Park in Huntley – I promise it is worth the drive!


Wednesday, Aug. 16: If this afternoon turns out to be too hot or too rainy for outdoor play, you have a couple of easy indoor options offered at park district facilities: The Treehouse Play Area in West Chicago or the Indoor Playhouse  at the Vaughan Athletic Center in Aurora. But if today is nice weather, we’ve featured lots of new “Great Parks!” on Go West this summer – perhaps try out a new one!


Thursday, Aug. 17: The Gail Borden Library is hosting a free outdoor concert for preschoolers at 10:30 a.m. with Wendy & DB. At night, you are invited to bring a picnic dinner and enjoy music, games and activities at an “Evening in the Country” on Thursdays through August from 5 to 8 p.m. at Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago. Admission to this all-ages program is free; wagon rides are $5 per person for ages 5 and up and free for children under 5.  Riverfest Express, the community festival in South Elgin, gets underway today and runs through Aug. 20 at Panton Mill Park, across from the Village Hall. There will be fireworks on Saturday at 9:30 p.m.


Friday, Aug. 18: Cantigny Park is showing the “Land Before Time” as part of its Friday night outdoor movie series. Movies start around 8:30 p.m. and are included with regular $5 weekday parking fee. But head there beforehand for a “Cruise Night” featuring music by Joe Kalish at 5:30 p.m. and classic cars up close. In St. Charles, Goldfish Swim School is sponsoring a free showing of “Finding Nemo” in Lincoln Park. Activities will get underway at 6 p.m. – crafts, games, giveaways. The 88th annual Elburn Days gets underway today and runs through Aug. 20. It’s an important fundraiser for the Elburn Lions Club and features a carnival, parade, tractor pulls and more.


Saturday, Aug. 19: The Sensory Garden Playground in Lisle is hosting a Sensory Garden Play Day today from 10 a.m. to noon. There will be face painting, planting and more. Here’s a bit what to expect from this unique playground with a great mission. Today is also the day for Bugfest, the popular annual event organized by the Fox Valley Park District to celebrate our our 6-legged friends. Start your adventure at Lippold Park with fun bug games and insect encounters. Then travel the stroller-friendly Fox River Trail or explore the wood-chipped hiking trails to Red Oak Nature Center and bug-related activities. This event is free and runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Refreshments and products are available for purchase. Also tonight, it’s Bollywood Night in Aurora’s Phillips Park! A popular Indian film will be shown at Aurora’s Phillips Park at dusk, and there will be Indian performances with Indian food for sale. It’s a free screening.


Sunday, Aug. 20:  The children’s band Wendy and DB performs at noon at Cantigny Park, wrapping up the Kids’ Concerts series for the summer. The concert is free, but the $10 weekend parking fee applies. Bring your lawn chairs or blankets. These performance are held rain or shine, except in extreme weather.



Monday, Aug. 21: If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, the new Hamill Family Wild Encounters exhibit at the Brookfield Zoo earned rave reviews last year. Alternately, you can hop on the Union Pacific West line for a trip to Elmhurst – kids ride free on Metra through Labor Day! Or if you want to stay close to home, the WaterWonders exhibit in North Aurora is fun and free!


Tuesday, Aug. 22:  There aren’t many chances to catch the Kane County Cougars play at home in Geneva before the season is over. Tonight, they take on the Cedar Rapids Kernels at 6:30 p.m. and they’ll play them again Wednesday and Thursday night.


Wednesday, Aug. 23: Has your family been to Lippold Park in North Aurora yet this summer? It’s a very unique place! Just go to the bathroom before you head there – last I heard, it still lacked facilities. Or if you’re looking for something indoors, you have just a month left to check out the free exhibit at the Gail Borden Library in Elgin called “Dinosaur Giants: An Exhibit from the Sereno Fossil Lab.” It closes Sept. 24.


Thursday, Aug. 24:  Tonight is the last “Thursday Family Night” of the season at the Morton Arboretum when you can enjoy live music, kid-friendly fare and entertainment after-hours. Admission is $5 per person after 4:30 p.m., or free for members. The entertainment tonight includes Duke Otherwise. The weekly Classic Car Show also takes place in downtown Geneva around the courthouse lawn.


Friday, Aug. 25: Today might be a good day to visit the Butterfly House at Geneva’s Peck Farm Park Interpretative Center. The Butterfly House is open on Mondays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. The suggested donation is $2 per person or $5 per family. Make sure to plan time to climb the farm’s silo for some fun views and to play at the new Hawk Hollow Nature Playground. There are plenty of shady places for a picnic. At Cantigny Park, the hit movie “Guardians of the Galaxy” will be shown at dusk and will be included with the regular $5 weekday parking fee.


Saturday Aug. 26: You have your choice of farmers markets today in downtown Aurora (8 a.m. to noon), downtown Batavia (8 a.m. to noon), Naperville (7 am. to noon), Sugar Grove (8 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and the Wheaton French Market (8 a.m. to 2 p.m.) At the main Aurora Public Library, a drop-in and free “Saturday Afternoon Crafts for Children” will be offered from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.


Sunday, Aug. 27: Did you know you can ride a paddlewheel riverboat on the Fox River? Yep – they cruise the river north of St. Charles, leaving from Pottawatomie Park. Check this page for exact information on the times, but the boats run daily in the summer and on weekends in September and mid-October. Prices are $7.50 for adults, $6 for kids. Definitely a relaxing way to spend part of an afternoon! Alternately, perhaps there is time to fit in one more visit to a favorite public pool? Call to double check the exact hours, but Geneva’s Sunset Pool, Aurora’s Phillips Park Aquatic Park, Turtle Splash Water Park in West Chicago and St. Charles’ Otter Cove Aquatic Park have traditionally stayed open through Labor Day, at least on weekends. If you’re looking for music today, the Booze Brothers – a Blues Brothers tribute band – will play at Cantigny Park and is included in the regular $10 weekend parking fee.


Monday, Aug. 28: If you’re up for a road trip and the weather is nice, it might be a good day to check out the new Wahoo Woods nature play space directly behind the Dundee Library at 555 Barrington Avenue in East Dundee. Sounds like your kids will get messy here, so bring a change of clothes – and a picnic since you will likely be staying for a while!


Tuesday, Aug. 29:  We raved about our trip to the Three Oaks Recreation Area in Crystal Lake, and you still have a few days to find out why! The swimming beach here is open daily from 10 a.m. to sunset, Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.


Wednesday, Aug. 30: An option for history lovers is a trip to visit the Volkening Heritage Farm at Spring Valley in Schaumburg. Admission is free, and the farm and visitors center are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday through mid-November. While there, you’ll want to make time to visit Bison’s Bluff Playground, which is designed to engage children in active and passive play in a natural setting.


Thursday, Aug. 31: This is your last chance this season to enjoy an “Evening in the Country” at Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago. You’re invited to bring a picnic dinner and enjoy music, games and activities at an “Evening in the Country” on Thursdays through August from 5 to 8 p.m. at Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago. Admission to this all-ages program is free; wagon rides are $5 per person for ages 5 and up and free for children under 5.