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29 Jewish Things to Do with Kids This Summer in Chicago

Child splashing

The weather is finally warming up, and the pace of life is slowing down (at least a little bit). In addition to all of your regularly scheduled summer fun, we’ve put together a list of fabulous Jewish things you can do as a family this summer. You can schmooze, eat, play, and meet other Jewish families living near you at jBaby Chicago’s Bagels in the Park events, volunteer as a family through PJ Gives Back, celebrate Shabbat in a bunch of creative ways and places, and more.

You’re going to also want to check out JUF Young Families for the inside scoop on playgroups, mommy and me classes, parenting events, and moms’ nights out.

June


jBaby Chicago Bagels in the Park

Schmooze, eat, and play in parks near you with jBaby Chicago and meet other local families with babies ages 0 – 24 months at these free, drop-in events. Events canceled in case of rain.
Naperville
Hunters Woods Park, 2007 Lakeview Court
Sunday, June 11, 10 a.m. – Noon

Deerfield
Jaycee Park,1026 Wilmot Rd
Sunday, June 25, 10 a.m. – Noon

Lincoln Park
Bauler Playlot Park, 501 W. Wisconsin Ave
Sunday, June 25, 10 a.m. – Noon

Kabbalat Shabbat on the Lake
Welcome Shabbat with other young families and enjoy appetizers and drinks. RSVP requested.
North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, 1175 Sheridan Rd, Highland Park
Friday, June 16, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m
.

Shabbat With a Twist
Sing songs, listen to stories with synagogue clergy— and make and braid challah dough to take home and bake. For families with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. Free and open to the community.
Congregation Beth Shalom, 3433 Walters Ave, Northbrook
Friday, June 16, 11 – 11:45 a.m.

Mini-Mishkan
Join other families with little ones ages 2 and under to welcome Shabbat with music, storytelling, and play.
Mensch Academy, 4001 N. Ravenswood Suite 403a
Saturday, June 17, 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Shabbat at the Park
A music-filled, family-friendly Shabbat service at Lovelace Park with Temple Beth Israel. Bring your own picnic dinner and a dessert for sharing.
Lovelace Park (Gross Point & Isabella), 2740 Gross Point Rd, Evanston
Friday, June 23, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Shabbat in the Park with KAM Isaiah Israel
Welcome Shabbat by the lake with songs and a picnic dinner.
Promontory Point Park, 5491 South Shore Dr
Friday, June 23, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Jewish Holidays 101: Stop, Drop & Rest, It’s Shabbat
Learn about Shabbat and Jewish holidays with stories, songs, and activities. For families with children ages 0 -2, siblings welcome. Sponsored by Kol Hadash Humanistic Congregation.
The Bookbin, 1151 Church St, Northbrook
Saturday, June 24, 2:30 -3 p.m.

Summer Funfest
Get a taste of camp life and camp activities including the 30-foot climbing tower, zip line, and hands-on outdoor science park, as well as traditional camp activities like art, sports, and swimming.
Elaine Frank Apachi J Camp, 23280 North Old McHenry Rd., Lake Zurich
Sunday, June 25, 10 a.m. – Noon

Book Launch – The Children’s Tree of Terezin
A special family program featuring author Dede Harris telling the story of how the children of the Terezin concentration camp worked together to give life to a tree sapling. Best for ages 8 and up, free with museum admission.
Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, 9603 Woods Drive, Skokie
Sunday, June 25, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

July

Sunday in the Park with Bagels – Northwest
Families with young children are invited to travel through the Jewish calendar through food, crafts, and other activities. Sponsored by Congregation Beth Am, Congregation Beth Judea, Congregation Or Shalom, Interfaith Family Chicago, JCC Chicago, PJ Library, Shir Hadash, Temple Chai, and A-Z Entertainment. RSVP requested. Free
Peterson Park, 16652 N Buffalo Grove Rd, Prairie View
Sunday, July 9, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Ramah Family Fun Day
Everyone gets to be a camper for the day with inter-generational sports, swim, singing, and other camp activities. Bring your own dairy picnic lunch, dessert will be provided.
Ramah Day Camp, 98 W. Hintz Rd, Wheeling
Sunday, July 9, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Share Shabbat
Family-friendly Shabbat service featuring live music and followed by Shabbat dinner.
Emanuel Congregation, 5959 N. Sheridan Rd
Friday, July 14, 6:30 – 8:45 p.m.

Sunday in the Park with Bagels – North Shore
Families with young children are invited to travel through the Jewish calendar through food, crafts, and other activities. Sponsored by 14 local synagogues, JCC Chicago, PJ Library, jBaby, and A-Z Entertainment. RSVP requested. Free
Sunset Woods Park, 1801 Sunset Rd, Highland Park
Sunday, July 16, 10 a.m. – Noon

PJ Gives Back: Pushing the Envelope Farms
Spend a morning on an organic farm, meet the animals and participate in family-friendly environmental activities. Advance registration requested.
Pushing the Envelope Farms, 1700 Averill Rd, Geneva
Sunday, July 16, 10 a.m.

Family Movie Night
Havdalah, dinner, and a kid-friendly movie. Best for families with children ages 2 – 6 years.
Beth Emet, 1224 Dempster, Evanston
Saturday, July 22, 4:30 – 7 p.m.

jBaby Chicago Bagels in the Park
Schmooze, eat, and play in parks near you with jBaby Chicago and meet other local families with babies ages 0 – 24 months at these free, drop-in events. Events canceled in case of rain.
Bucktown
Unity Playlot Park, 2636 N. Kimball Ave
Sunday, July 23, 10 a.m. – Noon

Wilmette
Vattman Park, 898 15th St
Sunday, July 23, 10 a.m. – Noon

Shabbat at the Park
A music-filled, family-friendly Shabbat service at Lovelace Park with Temple Beth Israel, bring your own picnic dinner and a dessert for sharing.
Lovelace Park (Gross Point & Isabella), 2740 Gross Point Rd, Evanston
Friday, July 28, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

PJ Gives Back: Cradles to Crayons
Volunteer as a family at an organization dedicated to helping children living in poverty. Advance registration requested.
Cradles to Crayons, 4141 W George St, Chicago
Sunday, July 30, 10 a.m.

August

jBaby Chicago Bagels in the Park
Schmooze, eat, and play in parks near you with jBaby Chicago and meet other local families with babies ages 0 – 24 months at these free, drop-in events. Events canceled in case of rain.
Naperville
Wildflower Park, 2122 Aurora Ave
Sunday, August 13, 10 a.m. – Noon
Buffalo Grove
Willow Stream Park, 651 Old Checker Rd
Sunday, August 20, 10 a.m. – Noon
Lakeview
Margaret Donahue Park, 1230 W. School St
Sunday, August 20, 10 a.m. – Noon

The Israel Scouts Tzofim Friendship Caravan Concert
A free community concert featuring Israeli songs and dances performed by a touring group of Israeli Scouts. Bring your own picnic dinner or buy food at Rosati’s Pizza Food Truck. Come early and explore JCC Chicago’s Garoon Gateway to Science, a hands-on outdoor science park. Fun for all ages, advance registration recommended.
Lake County JCC, 23280 N. Old McHenry Rd
Thursday, August 3, 6 – 8 p.m., Concert begins at 7 p.m.

Share Shabbat
Family-friendly Shabbat service featuring live music and followed by Shabbat dinner.
Emanuel Congregation, 5959 N. Sheridan Rd
Friday, August 11, 6:30 – 8:45 p.m.

PJ Gives Back: Glencoe Park Beach
Volunteer together as a family working together to help care for the environment and make the world a better place. Advance registration requested.
Glencoe Park Beach, 635 Sheridan Rd, Glencoe
Sunday, August 13, 10 a.m.

Shabbat at the Park
A music-filled, family-friendly Shabbat service at Lovelace Park with Temple Beth Israel. Bring your own picnic dinner and a dessert for sharing.
Lovelace Park (Gross Point & Isabella), 2740 Gross Point Rd, Evanston
Friday, August 25, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Sleep Under Havdalah
Come in your favorite PJ’s for a short Havdalah service, decorate your own Shema pillow case, eat some milk and cookies, and listen to a PJ Library bedtime story.
Emanuel Congregation, 5959 N. Sheridan Rd, Chicago
Saturday, August 26, 5 p.m.

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