Get out there and play
Line up your four-legged, finned, feathered and scaled family members and march over to Oak Park this Saturday for the Downtown Oak Park Pet Parade. All animals—including the stuffed variety—can march along the parade route with their human family members. At the end of the parade, participants receive a few treats and a lanyard that provides kids the opportunity to play free games at the post-parade block party on Marion Street. Pet contests, raffles and other activities are included in the block party.
The parade steps off at 11 a.m. in Mills Park, 1025 Pleasant Place. All pets must be on a leash or in a cage. Marching in the parade is $5, $2 kids (pets are included in the cost), but watching the parade and the after party are free to attend. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Oak Park Animal Care League. Registration closes Friday in the Park District office, 218 Madison St., but will be open from 9:30-11 a.m. Saturday in Mills Park. For more information or to register, call Shari Ann Wenzel at (708) 725-2108 or visit oakparkparks.com. Get out there and play some more
Get in the Latin groove this weekend with a visit to Fiesta del Sol. The festival, an alcohol- and tobacco-free environment, celebrates culture, music, art, food and the Pilsen neighborhood with entertainment, family activities, a kids’ area and sporting events. Stop by for storytelling at the Arbitron Children’s Reading Corner and take home a free book during their book giveaway.
Fiesta del Sol is held from 5-10 p.m. Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday at 1400 W. Cermak Road, Chicago (between Loomis and Morgan streets). Admission is free. For more information, call (312) 666-2663 or visit fiestadelsol.org
. Outside fun
Get messy, active and learn along the way at Kidzfest 2009. The outdoor kids’ festival hosts plenty of family-friendly activities, including a geodes dig, touch-a-truck, fishing and archery with the Forest Preserve District of Will County. Go back in time at “Down on the Farm,” where your family can compete in activities, including a log cabin relay, a penny hunt and answer Lincoln trivia questions to win a prize. Hone your farmer skills at the petting zoo and at Fair Oaks Farms’ areas or get your hands dirty at The Nature Center’s mud tables. Get up close and personal with reptiles at the Cold Blooded Creatures Reptile Show from 11 a.m.-noon.
Kidzfest is from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday in downtown Joliet. Admission is free. For a full schedule and additional information, call (877) 4-JOLIET (456-5438) or visit jolietdowntown.com or visitjoliet.org.
Piece of the prize
Your kids love to monkey around the house to the sounds of The Wiggles. Join Sam, Murray, Jeff, Anthony and their pals when you win tickets to see “The Wiggles Go Bananas Live!” One lucky Chicago Parent reader will win a family four-pack of tickets to see The Wiggles at 5 p.m. Aug. 16 at the Rosemont Theater, 5400 N. River Road, Rosemont. Before you sign up, please make sure you can attend. For more information, visit thewiggles.com. To win, visit our discussion board.