June Events Especially for Kids

Families heading to Chicago or Winnipeg in June should look into a special taste of Chicago for kids and the 26th anniversary of Winnipeg’s annual Kidsfest.


Summer is nearly here, which means special events and festivals for children also are right around the corner. Here’s a look at two events taking place in June.

A Taste of Chicago for Kids

During the week of June 21-28, Chicago is offering its first Kids Restaurant Week, sponsored by Gourmet and Cookie magazines, in conjunction with Loews Hotels. Several of the city’s top restaurants, such as Frontera Grill, Olo and Blue Water Grill will cater to children for the week, with special menus and ‘pay your age’ prices.

The program focuses on fresh, sustainable produce, and gives parents an easily accessible way to introduce kids to fine dining as well as responsible community dining. Participating restaurants will donate $1 per meal to Chicago’s Green City Market.

“People are more educated now when it comes to food,” says Mark Payne, executive chef at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago, a participant in the event. “They shop at Whole Foods, in the green markets, and they want to provide healthier options for their children besides the typical offerings of fried foods.”

More than a dozen establishments have created special three-course menus (appetizer, entrée and dessert) and set aside early seatings just for families. Adults and children 12 and older pay $20.08; kids 11 and younger pay their age.

Sample dishes from the Café at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago include Oven Roasted Organic Chicken Nugget Lollipops with House-Made Barbecue Sauce (recipe) and Fruit Salad from the Green City Market, Turkey Sloppy Joes on Whole Wheat Bun with Herb Potato Wedges, and Creamy Soft Polenta with Cheese and Spring Peas. Payne says the polenta dish was created with kids under the age of 2 in mind.

For a list of participating venues, visit the Kids Restaurant Week Web site.

Winnipeg Kidsfest 2008

Celebrating 26 years of entertaining kids, Winnipeg’s annual Kidsfest at the Forks is back from June 5-8, 2008. The festival features musicians, magicians, storytellers, and interactive activities. Performers from the first 1983 Kidsfest are returning for the celebration, including magician Brian Glow, as well new groups and international artists such as the Jabali African Acrobats from Kenya.

Kidsfest aims to educate and entertain children through music, theater, stories, comedy and hands-on activities such as face painting and puppet making. The Forks is a beautiful, historic urban parkland where the Red and Assiniboine Rivers merge. Tickets cost $10 per day in advance (through June 4) and $12 at the gate. Children 2-12 pay once and can re-enter the festival multiple times. Free admission under age 2. Order by phone, tel. 800-527-1515 or visit

Destinations: Chicago, Winnipeg

Themes: Culinary, Family Travel

Activities: Arts and Entertainment, Eat

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