Family-friendly Taste of Chicago
For city dwellers, the mention of Taste of Chicago might be met with less-than-desirable associations—packed trains, long lines, body odor—that don't typically scream "family outing." Despite the hassles, we found plenty of good reasons to take the fam this year (most notably, a young Youtube star adored by middle schoolers and talk-show hosts). If you're making the trek to this downtown food fest, be sure to cover these five features for a kid-tastic time.
1. The reason most families will hit the fest July 3: The 13-year-old Youtube sensation Greyson Chance, who announced recently he is releasing his first full-length album this summer. Opening is Shane Harper, star of the Disney Channel show Good Luck Charlie, who is sure to pump up the crowd with sweet dance moves. The show starts at 3pm—be sure to secure your place on the lawn ahead of time.
2. The Midnight Circus, a Chicago-based cast of international acrobats and actors, will be performing its new show Circo Urbano daily at 2pm, 4pm and 6pm. Kids will get a kick out of the high-flying theatrics (and adults will love it too).
3. Get down and dirty in a gigantic turtle-shaped sandbox, found in the playground at Balbo and Colombus. Make this your last stop of the day, unless you want to drag a sandy blanket around everywhere.
4. Kids will love the look and taste of the Original Rainbo Cone booth's namesake offering, which includes five (!) brightly-colored layers of orange sherbet, pistachio, palmer house (vanilla with cherries and walnuts), strawberry and chocolate ice cream.
5. Give an intro to food chemistry with a popcornsicle from the Garrett Popcorn booth. Created by Top Chef contestant Richard Blaise, classic cheese and caramel mix is formed into a ball on a stick and then flash-frozen with liquid nitrogen and served immediately. Kids will squeal at the cold sensation—and the fog rolling from their mouths.