100 Days of Summer in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago

**The handy list has been updated for 2017**

It’s the unofficial start of summer! I am so excited to present you the 100+ Days of Summer in the NW suburbs of Chicago. Don’t get stuck in the rut of not finding anything to do. In fact, I’ll make it easy and give you more than 100 things for you to do with your kids – all in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. I’ll be continually adding items so bookmark this page.

So what are you waiting for? Get out and GO!

    1. Mark your calendars for free kid flicks at Paragon Theaters. (Free, Arlington Heights)
    2. Let loose at the indoor playground Adventure Playland. And guess what? It’s great for birthday parties, too! (Mount Prospect)
    3. Fishy fun is possible without a trip to the Shedd. Visit Petland Aquarium Adventure instead. Review by Queen of the Land of Twigs ‘N Berries. (Hoffman Estates)
    4. Check out a new library to play, play, play including our favorites Barrington Area Library and Wauconda Area Library. Here are a few more library ideas. (various locations)
    5. Grab ice cream at Christie’s Dairy Delights. Review from Two Moms a Little Time, and a Keyboard here.  (Palatine)
    6. Sample food from food trucks. 
    7. Enjoy a Picnic in the Park during lunchtime with entertainments and playground closeby. (6/13, 7/11 East Dundee)
    8. Ride the rails at Fox River Trolley Museum. Review here. (South Elgin)
    9. Boogie down with the kids at a free children’s concert.
    10. Learn about the history of Buffalo Grove at the Raupp Museum. Starting June 13, there will be free walk-in activities every Tuesday afternoon, and free nature activities on Wednesdays for the next 10 weeks.  Two Moms a Little Time and a Keyboard review here.  (Buffalo Grove)
    11. Ahoy matey! Spend the day enjoying kiddie rides at the pirate-themed amusement park Pirates’ Cove. Read a review here. (Elk Grove Village)
    12. Bounce around and let the crazies out at an inflatable bounce place like Jump Zone (Buffalo Grove) or Pump It Up (Schaumburg/Crystal Lake)
    13. Bring your tot bowling to Pinstripes for $3 Kids Bowling. Read a review here! (South Barrington)
    14. Partake in an awesome Kids Obstacle Course. And yes, they will get muddy. Parents can participate for free! (6/24, Crystal Lake)
    15. Watch horses gallop and speed through. Sundays are family fun days at Arlington Park National Racecourse. (Arlington Heights)
    16. Become Scottish just for a day at the Scottish Festival and Highland Games. Read a review here. (6/17 & 6/18, Itasca)
    17. Learn about frogs at Crabtree Nature Center. (7/9, Barrington Hills)
    18. Let the kids go wild at the Treehouse while you sip on coffee. (Lake Zurich)
    19. Discover a new fro-yo joint. (Various suburbs)
    20. Cool off and go ice skating at Hoffman Estates Ice Arena. (Hoffman Estates)
    21. Earn a prize by trying to visit as many places as  you can with the KDRMA program (various burbs)
    22. Try to visit as many places as you can with the Museum Adventure Pass (various burbs)
    23. Experience the gallantry and chivalry of Medieval Times (Schaumburg)
    24. Bowl for FREE. Find more info here. (Multiple places)
    25. Visit a zoo AND an amusement park. Santa’s Village Azoosment is the best of both worlds! (East Dundee)
    26. Touch a truck! Algonquin Commons will have super-sized vehicles in their parking lot. (6/11, Algonquin)
    27. Taste your way through Des Plaines, or just stop by Taste of Des Plaines (Free, 6/16-6/17, Des Plaines)
    28. Choo choo! Time for a choo choo restaurant. My kids adore 2Toots Grill (Bartlett) and people rave aboutThe Choo Choo. Little Lake County review here. (Des Plaines).
    29. Immerse yourself in the world of LEGOs at Brickworld (6/17-6/18, Schamburg)
    30. Taste delicious gourmet popcorn at Mama Lee’s Gourmet Popcorn. (Elgin, West Dundee)
    31. Partake in a Crystal Lake tradition by watching cardboard boats float on water at the America’s Cardboard Cup Regatta. (6/17, Crystal Lake)
    32. Visit a mini African village and learn more about their culture at The Cake Village. (East Dundee)
    33. Bike the Fox River Bike Trail and explore many of the family-friendly stops like Van’s Ice Cream and Dairy Queen.
    34. Have a brick-tastic good time at LEGOLAND Discovery Center. Come visit to see the new additions to the Miniland. (Schaumburg)
    35. View fish at the aquarium and see stuffed animals (real stuffed animals) at Cabela’s (Hoffman Estates)
    36. Pick fresh produce at a farmer’s market.
    37. Grab your blanket and watch a movie in the park under the stars (various suburbs)
    38. Pick your very own luscious strawberries from the vine. We had a fun time at Heider’s Berry Farm la few years back. Review here.  (Woodstock)
    39. Take a break from shopping at the play area at a mall like Woodfield (Schaumburg), Hawthorne Center (Vernon Hills) (West Dundee)
    40. Walk amongst art at the International Sculpture Park (Schaumburg)
    41. Feed ducks, pet sheep, emus, and alpacas at Randall Oaks Barnyard Zoo. (West Dundee)
    42. Practice safety while biking at Safety Town at Vogelei Park (Hoffman Estates Vogelei Park)
    43. Drop-in at the Recplex for indoor fun for tots. Review here by Queen of the Land of Twigs and Berries. (Mount Prospect)
    44. Head to the mall and have the kids go crazy at the brightly colored playground Yu Kids. (Schaumburg)
    45. Ride a carousel at Jumps ‘n Jiggles. Review here. (Elk Grove Village)
    46. Be a beach bum at any one of our beachesThree Oaks Recreation Area (Review here)  in Crystal Lake and Lake Arlington offer sandy fun on a sunny (or not so sunny) day!
    47. Play PAC-MAN and a few other arcade games at PAC-MAN inspired restaurant/entertainment venue Level 257. My Chicago Parent review here. (Schaumburg)
    48. See Elk at Busse Woods. Review here(Elk Grove Village)
    49. Listen to music at a free outdoor concert in the park. (Various suburbs)
    50. Let the kids enjoy the sun and have fun in a new park. Some of our favorites include Deicke Park (Huntley) and Veteran Acres Park (Crystal Lake)
    51. Batter up! Cheer on the Schaumburg Boomers at a minor league baseball game. For even more fun visit during their Sunday Family Fun Day or their many themed nights. Review here.
    52. Splash around at a splash pad.  For a simple yet fun one at Fountain Square Park.
    53. Ohm. Time for a little yoga with the little ones at oHmMother Yoga. (Opens in July, West Dundee)
    54. Fly a kite (Anywhere)
    55. Go fish! Catch and release fishing is available at Twin Lakes. Rent a boat for more fun! (Palatine)
    56. Watch planes land and take off while having dinner at Pilot Pete’s, an airplane themed restaurant. It’s located at an airport!  (Schaumburg)
    57. Tumble around at an open gym at Elite Kids. (Crystal Lake)
    58. Ride the Metra between the ‘burbs or to the city! (various suburbs)
    59. Learn about the history of trains at the Bartlett Depot Museum. (Bartlett)
    60. Try a chimney cake at the super adorable coffee shop, Heart of Europe Cafe. My ChicagoParent.com review here.  (Barrington)
    61. Celebrate the summer with a sweet treat at Sweet T’s Bakery (Arlington Heights)
    62. Put out a (pretend) fire at Fire Zone. (Schaumburg)
    63. Pick up a new hobby, find a new train to add to your collection or watch a model trains chug through at America’s Best Train, Toy, and Hobby Shop. (Itasca)
    64. Plan a little redecorating at Ikea. Kids tall enough can drop-in at the playland area. Visit on Tuesdays when Kids Eat Free! (Schaumburg)
    65. Watch butterflies fly all around you at Crystal Lake Butterfly House at their Nature Center. (Crystal Lake)
    66. Brunch it up at Pinstripes Sunday Brunch. Review here (South Barrington)
    67. Discover your favorite Asian foods at Mitsuwa. Grab some noodles for lunch. (Arlington Heights)
    68. Fridays are fun days at Vogelei Park with performances. (6/9-8/18, Hoffman Estates)
    69. Experience the charm of a 19th-century community farm fair during Spring Valley Country Fair at Volkening Heritage Farm (6/11 & 6/12, Schaumburg)
    70. Cool off from the summer heat and head to a waterpark like Rainbow Falls Waterpark (Elk Grove Village)
    71. Celebrate the Fourth of July at Frontier Days (6/29-7/4, Arlington Heights)
    72. All aboard! Hop aboard the Woodfield Trolley making stops at Woodfield, Streets of Woodfield, and more! (Schaumburg)
    73. Pedal a paddleboat on the lake at Twin Lakes Recreation Area. (Palatine)
    74. Buy candy at an old-time candy shop like Around the Corner Candy  (West Dundee)
    75. Buy a new toy or window shop at a unique toy store like Brilliant Sky Toys & Books (Deer Park)
    76. Listen to a story at Barnes and Nobles (Various suburbs)
    77. Witness how donuts are made at Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. Call first to see when they have a fresh batch cooking.  (Elk Grove Village)
    78. Learn about the Irish culture at Irish Fest (7/14 – 7/15, Arlington Heights)
    79. Catch a flick at the drive-in. The McHenry Outdoor Theater has been opened since 1955. (McHenry)
    80. Fore! Practice your mini-golfing skills at Congo River Golf (Hoffman Estates)
    81. Find a bargain at a flea market like Wolff’s Flea Market (Palatine)
    82. Shop at an old time general store like Norton’s USA (Barrington)
    83. Watch the Dragon Boat Festival at Lake Arlington (7/29, Arlington Heights)
    84. Join storytime at a library (Various)
    85. Listen to a story with cookies and milk at Panera through Barrington library (South Barrington)
    86. Take photos at the picturesque Walton Island Park. (Elgin)
    87. Eat at a restaurant….with a live tree growing in the middle. Benedict’s is a great option for a breakfast or brunch. (East Dundee)
    88. Dine in a train car at Chessies (Barrington)
    89. Pets can have fun too at a canine carnival. (7/27, Palatine)
    90. Discover all that Rosemont has to offer. Review here. (Rosemont)
    91. Chow down on grilled food at Weber Grill. Read about our experience here. (Schaumburg)
    92. Celebrate the 4th of July at Northwest Fourth-Fest, the largest festival in the Northwest suburbs. (Hoffman Estates)
    93. Beat the crowds and go apple picking. Read our review of Royal Oak Farm. (Harvard)
    94. Enjoy fun activities like a corn maze, 50′ tube slide, carousel, jumping pillows and more at Richardson Adventure Farm. Read about our experience here. (Spring Grove)
    95. Sundae Funday! Have you conquered the kitchen sink at Colonial Cafe? (Algonquin)
    96. Eat sushi kaiten-style on a conveyer belt at Sushi Station (Elgin)
    97. Enjoy the beautiful gardens at Friendship Park Conservatory. Read a review by Queen of the Land of Twigs and Berries. (Des Plaines)
    98. Visit the Northern Illinois Fire Museum in Marengo to learn all you want about the firemen and their cool equipment.
    99. Take a selfie with the bison at the wildly popular new nature playground at Bison’s Bluff . Review here. (Schaumburg)
    100. Love dinosaurs? Go to the Gail Borden library’s Dinosaur Giants to see bones of a Jobaria skeleton and the Suchomimus “Crocodile Mimic” skeleton. Review here.  (Elgin)
    101. Nature’s calling and they’ve added a new nature play space dubbed Wahoo Woods. Read all about it here. (East Dundee)
    102. Wednesday fun! Learn all about the new exhibit on McDonald’s Hamburger University, then go on a tour of the Farmhouse at Elk Grove Historical Museum. (Elk Grove Village)
    103. Visit Hippo Campus where sense memories are made. Don’t forget to try out their Imagination Garden or enroll in a fun class. Review here. Class review here. (Volo)
    104. Splash away at Rainbow Falls Waterpark. It’s small and manageable which makes for an easy day out! Read review here. (Elk Grove Village)

Did I miss any of your favorite activities in the Northwest burbs?

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