Calling all Chicago parents! It’s time to grab your sweaters and dive right into a new season of family fun. From fall fests to Oktoberfest, kids concerts and more, we’ve rounded up a list of the city’s must-visit activities and events for your family to explore this September.

End of Summer Luau

End of Summer Luau

September 1st

11:00AM – 2:00PM @ Mini City 21

Close out summer with a BANG at Mini City on 21 for open play in the playground area, crafts, balloons, bubbles, and snacks! Relax while your little ones enjoy a song and dance party with Moana and her friends from The Island of Motonui.

Midnight Circus in the Park – Foster Park

Midnight Circus things to do in Chicago

September 7th & 8th

3:00PM – 5:00PM @ Midnight Circus in the Park – Foster Park 

Midnight Circus in the Park is bringing world‐class circus performances to the communities throughout Chicago! From acrobats to aerialists, jugglers and more, these amazing shows are not only guaranteed to be a family hit, they also help the community as all proceeds are used to fund Chicago park improvements.

Can’t make it these dates? You can also check out Midnight Circus in the Park 9/14 and 9/15 at Holstein Park.

Lego Ninjago: Master Wu’s Mission

Lego Ninjago

Last chance! Exhibit closes September 30th

Open daily until 9/30 @ Legoland Discovery Center 

Calling all ninjas in training: Master Wu is ready to challenge you with an epic mission you won’t want to miss. Head to Legoland before 9/30 to watch your kiddos unleash their Ninja building powers and complete Master Wu’s challenges. The event includes exclusive building activities, costumer character meet & greets and more! Plus, every Saturday and Sunday from 2-4pm, kids ages 5-12 can join a Martial Arts class taught by Fonseca Martial Arts. 

Renegade Craft Fair

Craft Fair

September 7th – 8th

11:00AM – 7:00PM @ Division Street

Renegade Craft Fair’s fall festival takes over Division Street in Wicker Park for an amazing marketplace of the best 400+ makers and designers, hands-on workshops, art installations, music and more! There’s also a Parent Comfort Station located on Winchester Ave, which includes enclosed diaper changing stations, private nursing and pumping space (with electricity!), sidewalk chalk and a judgement free (and meltdown approved) family zone!

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Summer, Do-Nut Leave Us Playdate

Sod Room

September 7th

10:00AM – 12:00PM @ Sod Room

Don’t be sad that summer is leaving! Instead head to Sod Room on September 7th for an end of season playdate featuring a fun morning of playtime and the famous donut wall!

Children’s Lighthouse Fall Fest

Fall Fest things to do in Chicago

September 7th

9:30AM – 11:30AM @ Pump It Up Chicago

This free event features an interactive dance class with All About Dance and a musical performance by Miss Jamie’s Farm. Snacks will be provided by Pearachute. Enjoy activities hosted by Windy City Ninjas, Crosstown Chiropractic, Burning Bush Brewery, Usborne Books, Big Blue Swim School, Colgate Bright Smiles Bright Futures, and more.

Fall Family Fest

Fall Fest things to do in Chicago

September 8th

9:00AM – 11:30AM @ Kohl Children’s Museum

Celebrate the harvest season during this outdoor-themed morning featuring a petting farm, apple cider press, tractor-drawn wagon rides, appearances from Nature Cat and Rapunzel, and kiddie train rides through Habitat Park!

Kids Night Out At Codeverse Lincoln Park

Kids Night Out at Codeverse

September 7th, 14th, 21st & 28th

6:30PM – 8:30PM @ Codeverse

Explore Codeverse’s technical playground during Kids’ Night Out! Throughout the night, kids will rotate between learning to code or free coding, programming concert lights, competing in robotics challenges, and playing DJ in the Black Hole! Join us from 6:30pm-9:00pm this Saturday night for a kids’ party that can’t be beat! Dinner will be provided.

Chicago Fire vs. FC Dallas Soccer Game: Family Outing + Halftime Scrimmage for the Kids!

Chicago Fire vs FC Dallas

September 14th

1:00PM – 4:00PM @ SeatGeek Stadium

Calling all little sports fans! Join other families on 9/14 to cheer on Chicago’s men’s soccer team, Chicago Fire against FC Dallas. Before the game, you and your family can enjoy the Fire Fest, featuring interactive games and activities for both children and adults! PLUS, your kiddos will be invited to the field at halftime for a mini scrimmage to experience soccer in real time!

Roscoe Village Lil Kickers Open House

Lil Kickers things to do in Chicago

September 14th

2:00PM – 2:30PM @ Lil Kickers Roscoe Village

Lil’ Kickers is more than just a great soccer program for kids. Their high-energy soccer classes are carefully designed to enhance your child’s overall growth and well-being. Meet their energetic staff at this free Open House for a free 30-minute demo class.

Breakfast with Santa

Breakfast with Santa

September 14th

10:00AM – 11:00AM @ Santa’s Village

Santa in September?! Yep. Join Santa for food, games & entertainment! Get one on one time with Santa for photo ops. Tickets are $9.99 in addition to General Admission Ticket

Bubblespalooza Music Fest


September 14th

4:00PM – 7:00PM @ Bubbles Academy

Join Bubbles Academy for a block party bash in their parking lot and indoor space. With bounce houses, entertainment from Mr. Dave, Stages Performing Arts, Buddha Belly Kids Yoga, and your favorite Bubbles Academy Teaching Artists, your entire family will have a great time celebrating their 16th year anniversary benefitting whole child arts.

Six Flags Fright Fest & Character Candy Trail

Six Flags Fright Fest

Opens September 14th

Character Candy Trail: 1:00PM – 3:00PM; Kid Ride at Fright Fest: Open Until 5pm (Daily except Fridays) @ Six Flags

The daytime hours are family-friendly and offer the chance to grab some candy from your favorite Looney Tunes characters in the trick-or-treat trail, catch a few shows.

Midnight Circus in the Park – Holstein Park

Midnight Circus things to do in Chicago

September 14th & 15th

2:00PM – 7:00PM @ Midnight Circus in the Park – Holstein Park

Grab the kids and head to Holstein Park for an unforgettable event the whole family will love! Enjoy acrobats, aerialists, jugglers and more at these Circus in the Park performances taking place Saturday, 9/14 and Sunday, 9/15 from 2-4PM and 5-7PM.

Flutter Into Fall

Flutter into Fall

September 14th

10:00AM @ Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

“Flutter into Fall” at the Nature Museum with a day-long celebration of butterflies! Families can participate in monarch butterfly tagging demos, butterfly craft projects, multiple butterfly releases, a special story time, and more.

Lakeview East Festival of the Arts

Lakeview Festival

September 14th – 15th

10:00AM – 7:00PM @ Lakeview East

Celebrating their 15th year, the Lakeview East Festival of the Arts is Chicago’s premier fine art festival showcasing over 125 artists. Along with the extraordinary art display comes live performances, entertainment stages, family activities, and local food and drink all weekend long.

The Rock and Roll Playhouse Presents: The Music of Reggae for Kids

Reggae for Kids

September 15th

11:00AM @ Thalia Hall

The Rock and Roll Playhouse band offers families with children (ages 0-10 years) the opportunity to rock out with games, movement, stories and live music. This concert for kids and families shares the music of reggae with a new generation of music lovers.

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Touch a Truck Event!

Touch a Truck

September 21st

11:00AM – 5:00PM @ Santa’s Village

Your little ones can see, touch & climb into work trucks, fire trucks, ambulances and heavy equipment at this Touch a Truck event at Santa’s Village! After the fun, stick around and explore the rest of the AZoosment Park, which includes kiddie and family thrill rides, a barn and petting zoo, domestic and exotic animals, live shows, games, shops, and restaurants. 

The Ship of Tolerance: Open Air Concert and Children’s Celebration

The Ship of Tolerance

September 21st

2:00PM – 4:00PM @ Navy Pier

Head to Navy Pier on 9/21 for a free concert celebrating talented youth from around the world in honor of The Ship of Tolerance. The mission of the Ship of Tolerance is to educate and connect youth of different continents, cultures, and identities through the language of art. A weeklong celebration of youth learning to work together!

Bixbee Imagination Station

Bixbee things to do in Chicago

Last chance! Exhibit closes September 22nd

Open daily from 10:00AM – 5:00PM @ Bixbee

If you haven’t had a chance to check out this experiential pop up, September is the last month to do so as the exhibit closes 9/22! Inspired by a child’s innate ability to transform their reality into a fantasy world powered by nothing more than their own creativity, Imagination Station is equal parts funtastical playground and imagination jump starter!

Oktoberfest Family Fest

Oktoberfest things to do in Chicago

September 28th – 29th

11:00AM – 5:00PM @ Santa’s Village

Head to Santa’s village for Oktoberfest where families can enjoy music entertainment, special german foods and drink, as well as fun carnival activities all weekend long.

Lincoln Park Fall Fest

Lincoln Park Fest

September 27th – 29th

10:00AM @ Lincoln Park Zoo

Dive into the wonderful world of autumn, from picking the perfect pumpkin to clambering up a hay mountain, with Lincoln Park Zoo’s fifth annual Fall Fest. This free, family-friendly celebration injects the heart of Chicago with a little harvest fun. This year’s festival features ticketed attractions throughout the zoo, including a Ferris wheel, corn maze, corn pool, fun slide and inflatable obstacle course.

Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm Pumpkin Fest

Siegel's Pumpkin Fest

Opens September 28th!

Daily from 9/28 – 10/31

It’s not officially fall until you’ve visited your first pumpkin patch, and there’s no better place to do this than Siegel’s Farm! Head to this 4th generation family farm to enjoy all things fall, including pumpkin picking, hayrides, corn mazes, apple cider doughnuts and more.

Brick Safari

Brick Safari

Last chance! Exhibit closes September 29th

Open Daily thru 9/29 @ Brookfield Zoo

Take a walk through a secluded jungle path exploring over 40 incredible life size animals built entirely with LEGO bricks. This is the first time Brick Safari is offered in the USA, so make sure you visit before it ends on September 29th!

View the full calendar to find more things to do in Chicago!