If it sometimes feels like summer brings an itch for travel that can't quite be scratched, we've got a solution for you. Head to Chinatown, which offers visitors a taste of Asia-without having to take a long, pricey flight. And this month, Chinatown presents two annual favorites sure to appeal to your family.
On July 13, check out the Dragon Boat Race for Literacy, where teams speed down the Chicago River in beautifully decorated dragon boats. If it's a nice day, bring a lunch (or order from one of Chinatown's many delicious restaurants) and enjoy a picnic in Ping Tom Park, one of our favorite spots in the city. And since all proceeds promote literacy, you can feel good knowing any money you spend is going to a worthy cause.
Or stop by the Chinatown Summer Fair on July 21, a day packed full of cultural entertainment, yummy food and authentic arts and crafts. We can't wait for the gorgeous, colorful Lion Dance Procession. Plus, kids will love the area just for them, complete with a petting zoo and pony rides.
If you're headed to the South Side, don't forget that the CTA's Red Line is closed, so be prepared to park and walk. There's also a nonstop shuttle between the Roosevelt and Cermak-Chinatown stations, if you prefer public transit. It'll be your little reminder that you're still in the Windy City, even if it feels like you've magically arrived on the other side of the world.
Elizabeth Diffin is the associate editor at Chicago Parent. She lives in Wheaton.
See more of Elizabeth's stories here.