Free Family Activities at 2011 Taste of Chicago

Come out and enjoy the 31st annual free Taste of Chicago June 24 – July 3, 2011 in Chicago‘s downtown Millennium Park.  Admission to the Taste is FREE and most of Chicago’s tremendous array of culinary delights are all located in one place at this annual ten-day lakefront festival for you to feast on! The Taste of Chicago is the nation’s premier outdoor food festival showcasing the diversity of Chicago’s dining community. The delicious array of food served at Taste of Chicago is complemented by music and exciting activities for the entire family.  (click at bottom for more info) New this year, the Taste offers discounted parking rates and a FREE McDonald’s Trolley to ferry you from the parking garage to the event. Free concerts are also provided every day on multiple stages.

FREE FAMILY ACTIVITIES

The Family Village, at Columbus and Jackson, offers FREE hands-on activities for kids including arts and craft stations led by area museums, games, face painting, green activities and more. There will also be a baby changing area with free diapers from Dominick’s. Chicago’s own Midnight Circus will perform for FREE each day at noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Kids and adults can get their play on at The Playground, at Balbo and Columbus, which features Target’s gigantic turtle sandbox. There will be daily sports, fitness and dance demonstrations, and on June 29 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., The Playground will host Move at the Taste with fitness classes for all ages and abilities, as well as games, giveaways and more. The Dominick’s Cooking Center will provide daily cooking demonstrations from dozens of notable chefs, including The Hearty Boys, Chef Tony Priolo, Chef Keli Fayard, Jimmy Bannos and Giada De Laurentiis, the Emmy-award winning television personality and the headliner for this year’s taste. She will be at the stage kitchen on Friday, July 1 at 2:30 p.m.

DailyFREE  activities at the Taste of Chicago’s Family Village are as follows:

Friday, June 24
11a-3p    – Make your own book beats music shaker with Chicago Public Library (ages 3-10)
11a 3:30 p.m.  – Create your own Butterfly Life Cycle Necklace with Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum (age 6 -12)
11 a.m. – 4 p.m.Chicago Public Schools Community Partnership Programs (ages 0-8, arts & crafts, face painting)
11 a.m. – 6 p.m.Chicago Department of Family & Support Services (ages 1-12, arts & crafts, face painting)
11 a.m. – 7 p.m.National Museum of Mexican Art (ages 4-12)
3:15 – 4:45 p.m.-  Free mini massages for mom & dad (ages 18 & up) 4 – 7 p.m.Play LaLoteria (Mexican Bingo, win prizes)
4:30 – 7 p.m.It’s U Caricatures (ages 16 & under)
5 – 7 p.m.Decorate and enjoy a free slice of Eli’s Cheesecake (while supplies last, ages 12 & under)

Saturday, June 25
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.Play Speed Chess Against the Best Youth Chess Players in Illinois (ages 5-18)
11 a.m. – 7 p.m.FIRST Robotics: See cool robots drive around and do crazy things!
11 a.m. – 7 p.m.Illinois Wing Civil Air Patrol: Come Fly With Us – Learn Why Planes Fly
11 a.m. – 7 p.m.Play at Shedd’s interactive kids station! (ages 2-12)
11 a.m. – 7 p.m.True Star’s Karaoke and Dance Challenge
1 – 3 p.m.Meet the SMURFS
4 – 7 p.m.Take a fun photo using Green Screen Photography

Sunday, June 26
11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.Face Painting, Temporary Airbursh Tattoos & Henna Art for Kids
11 a.m. – 7 p.m.Chicago Philatelic Society: Free Stamps for Kids
11 a.m. – 7 p.m.FIRST Robotics: See cool robots drive around and do crazy things!
11 a.m. – 7 p.m.Illinois Wing Civil Air Patrol: Come Fly With Us – Learn Why Planes Fly
11 a.m. – 7 p.m.Organic Sock Gardening with Chicago Metro AEYC (ages 2-12)
3 – 5 p.m.Design a fuzzy flower ring or a pair of super cool fuzzy super hero glasses with K~Fleye (ages 8-14)
5:30 – 6:30 p.m.Family Bingo (win prizes)

Monday, June 27
11a.m. – 2 p.m.Healthy Farmers Market Eating Workshop with Fresh Connections (ages 5-12, games, activities)
11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.Be a Rocket Scientist with Adler Planetarium (ages 6-12)
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.Explore hands-on science with the Museum of Science and Industry (ages 5-15)
11 a.m. – 7 p.m.FIRST Robotics: See cool robots drive around and do crazy things!
11 a.m. – 7 p.m.Illinois Engineering Council: Why Things Work – Everyday Engineering
2:30 – 5 p.m.Color your favorite characters from Peter Pan & Beauty and the Beast with Broadway in Chicago (ages 3 & up)
3 – 7 p.m.”Wish you were here…” Design a postcard of your favorite Chicago place with the Chicago History Museum (ages 4 & up)
3:30 – 7 p.m.DHS Community Alliance Team: Fingerprint ID Kit (ages 2-18)
5:30 – 6:30 p.m.Family Bingo (win prizes)

Tuesday, June 28
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.Insect Petting Zoo and Worm Composting Demo with University of Illinois Extension (ages 2 & up)
11 a.m. – 6 p.m.Chicago Department of Family & Support Services (ages 1-12, arts & crafts, face painting)
11 a.m. – 7 p.m.Illinois Engineering Council: Why Things Work – Everyday Engineering
11 a.m. – 7 p.m.Learn about the Environment with Environmental Protection Agency (ages 5-12)
11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Stretch-n-Grow – Fun Fitness for Kids (ages 3-12)
1 – 7 p.m.Sweet & Sassy summer makeovers for girls (ages 3-13)
3:30 – 4:30 p.m.Play the Giant Twister Game
5 – 7 p.m.Create your own Clay Coil Pot with Art Girl Pottery (ages 4 & up)

Wednesday, June 29
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.Food Safety at home with the Food & Drug Administration
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.Insect Petting Zoo and Worm Composting Demo with University of Illinois Extension (ages 2 & up)
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.Make an Ape handprint with Lincoln Park Zoo (ages 2-10)
11 a.m. – 6 p.m.Chicago Department of Family & Support Services (ages 1-12, arts & crafts, face painting)
11 a.m. – 7 p.m.Illinois Engineering Council: Why Things Work – Everyday Engineering
11 a.m. – 7 p.m.Fun activities with Radio Disney AM 1300 Chicago
3:30 – 7 p.m.Learn to draw Celtic knots with the Irish American Heritage Center
3:30 – 7 p.m.Paint a refrigerator magnet with Plaster of Paradise

Thursday, June 30
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.Create a mask or headress inspired by artwork from Africa in the Art Institute of Chicago
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.Insect Petting Zoo and Worm Composting Demo with University of Illinois Extension (ages 2 & up)
11 a.m. – 6 p.m.Chicago Department of Family & Support Services (ages 1-12, arts & crafts, facepainting)
11 a.m. – 7 p.m.Bicycling Ambassadors: Learn about bike safety & win prizes! Bring your bike helmet for a complimentary fitting!
11 a.m. – 7 p.m.Illinois Engineering Council: Why Things Work – Everyday Engineering
11 a.m. – 7 p.m.Fun activities with Radio Disney AM 1300 Chicago
3:30 – 7 p.m.Candle Art with Art Zone (ages 4-16)

Friday, July 1
11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.Paint a refrigerator magnet with Plaster of Paradise
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.Insect Petting Zoo and Worm Composting Demo with University of Illinois Extension (ages 2 & up)
11 a.m. – 6 p.m.Chicago Department of Family & Support Services (ages 1-12, arts & crafts, facepainting)
11 a.m. – 7 p.m.Bicycling Ambassadors: Learn about bike safety & win prizes! Bring your bike helmet for a complimentary fitting!
11 a.m. – 7 p.m.Illinois Engineering Council: Why Things Work – Everyday Engineering
11 a.m. – 7 p.m.Fun activities with Radio Disney AM 1300 Chicago
3 – 7 p.m.Sweet & Sassy summer makeovers for girls (ages 3-13)

Saturday, July 2
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.Japanese Culture Center: Aikido demonstration/Japanese martial arts (ages 5 & up)
11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.Face Painting, Temporary Airbursh Tattoos & Henna Art for Kids
11 a.m. – 7 p.m.Action Booth Photos
11 a.m. – 7 p.m.Illinois Wing Civil Air Patrol: Come Fly With Us – Learn Why Planes Fly
11 a.m. – 7 p.m.True Star’s Karaoke and Dance Challenge
1:30 – 4:30 p.m.Design masks inspired by African motifs with DuSable Museum of African American History (ages 5-12)
3 – 6 p.m.Candle Art with Art Zone (ages 4-16)
5 – 7 p.m.Free mini massages for mom & dad (ages 18 & up)
Sunday, July 3
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.Free mini massages for mom & dad (ages 18 & up)
11 a.m. – 2 p.m.Design your own patriotic crafts with the Bronzeville Children’s Museum (ages 3-9)
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.Face Painting, Temporary Airbursh Tattoos & Henna Art for Kids
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.Illinois Wing Civil Air Patrol: Come Fly With Us – Learn Why Planes Fly
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.True Star’s Karaoke and Dance Challenge
1:30 – 4:30 p.m.It’s U Caricatures
2:30 – 5 p.m.Paint a refrigerator magnet with Plaster of Paradise

For a complete schedule of activities in the Family Village, The Playground and the Dominick’s Cooking Center, click here.

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