Special Events

The following is a general listing of some of the larger annual special events presented by the Skokie Park District. For more specific event information or information regarding other fun special events throughout the district, view our seasonal program guides here or call (847) 674-1500. Click here to see Devonshire Playhouse shows. To discuss sponsorship of a special event or advertising opportunities in our seasonal guides, email Diane Hardy or call her at (847) 929-7156.
Winter Chilly Fest: February 9-10, 2019

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Emily Oaks Nature Center hosts two evenings of old-fashioned winter fun and food, one weekend in early February. Families enjoy ice skating on the pond (weather permitting), hay rides on the trail, snow and ice games, wildlife treat trees, and roasting marshmallows over a campfire. Delicious chili dinners are served indoors by a roaring fire, overlooking the Emily Oaks pond. The Emily Oaks Nature Center is located at 4650 Brummel St. For ticket or more event information call (847) 674-1500, ext. 2500

Princess Ball - February 16, 2019

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By royal order, all princesses are cordially invited to a night of dancing and dining with three Disney princesses! Pre-registration is required, in person or at www.skokieparks.org

Superhero Dance - March 16, 2019

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Dancing, dinner and superhero fun with the kids! Pre-registration is required, in person or at www.skokieparks.org

Breakfast with the Bunny & EGGstravaganza: Spring 2019

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The beginning of spring means it is time for our ‘Breakfast with the Bunny at the Oakton Center!

The EGG-stravaganza egg hunt is outside the center that same day at Oakton Park and is free to the public. The egg hunt  begins promptly at 11 a.m., rain or cold. The eggs go fast so please make sure to be on time. 

Skokie's Spring Greening: April 14, 2019

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The Skokie Park District and its public agency partners present "Skokie's Spring Greening," Skokie's annual communitywide green living event, featuring unique opportunities for recycling household items! Visit Niles North High School at 9800 N. Lawler. Check the event out at www.SkokieSpringGreening.info.

Earth Day Celebration: April 28, 2019

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Skokie's celebration of the earth, Emily Oaks Nature Center annually commemorates Earth Day. The entire family will celebrate nature through annually changing themes. The event includes games, activities, music, food and a native plant sale. The Emily Oaks Nature Center is located at 4650 Brummel St. For ticket or event information call (847) 674-1500, ext. 2500.

Skokie Festival of Cultures: May 18-19, 2019

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Since 1991, the Skokie Festival of Cultures has become one of the premier ethnic festivals in Illinois, attracting more than 500,000 visitors and dozens of cultures over its 25 years, all representing Skokie's tremendous diversity. Attendees will 'tour the world' with their stamped passport and enjoy two days of ethnic folk music and dance, a wide range of food, unique arts and crafts, international children's games, a merchandise bazaar, an international beer tasting, and dozens of cultural booths and displays. The Skokie Festival of Cultures is held the third weekend in May and is a free event. For more information, visit www.skokieculturefest.org.

Skokie's Independence Day Parade & 3D Fireworks Festival

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Skokie's Fourth of July Parade kicks off at noon and features marching bands, tumblers, live animals, drill teams, clowns, vintage automobiles, and more. The parade is held in downtown Skokie. At 5 p.m. the fun moves to Niles West High School (Oakton Street just west of the Edens Expressway) featuring food, drinks and live bands until dusk. Finally, catch the spectacular 3-D Fireworks Festival, presented by Sherman Dodge, with the first 10,000 patrons receiving a free pair of 3-D glasses. (The fireworks rain date is July 5.) For more event information call (847) 674-1500.

Pancake Breakfast in the Woods: July 7

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Emily Oaks Nature Center hosts an early July sunrise breakfast among the oak trees! The menu includes delicious pancakes served hot off the griddle with syrup or strawberries, turkey sausage, and beverages. You are welcome to complete your morning by taking a leisurely stroll along the Nature Center trails. Advanced tickets are recommended and can be purchased at Emily Oaks. In the event of heavy rain, the event will be held indoors. The Emily Oaks Nature Center is located at 4650 Brummel St. For ticket or more event information call (847) 674-1500, ext. 2500.

Summer Movies in the Park: May through August 2019

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Pack up the kids or a date, grab a blanket or chairs and head to Lorel Park for an evening of free family fun! Movies on the big screen will begin at dusk the second Thursday of June, July and August. International Short Films will play at the Oakton Center on May 18, kicking off the 2018 Skokie Festival of Cultures.

Tuesday Family Festivals: June & July

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This weekly family festival in the park moves to various locations Tuesdays in July at 7 p.m.

Sunday Sundown Concert Series: July & August

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The Skokie Park District annually offers a summer filled with fantastic free musical entertainment at the Sunday Sundown Concert Series at Devonshire Park in July & August. All performances begin promptly at 7 p.m.

Skokie's Backlot Bash: August 23-25, 2019

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Having quickly earned a reputation for quality, original live music, as well as a host of unique family attractions — Skokie's downtown summer street festival is held annually over three days in late August, one week prior to Labor Day weekend. Since its inception in 2007, Skokie's Backlot Bash has presented international eclectic rock, blues and R&B artists. (See past music acts here.) For more information regarding this three-day, late August event, call (847) 674-1500, ext. 2715 or go to www.backlotbash.com.

Skokie's Backlot Dash 5K Run and Walk: August 24, 2019

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On Backlot Bash Saturday (see above), Chicagoland runners compete in Skokie's Backlot Dash 5K Run and Walk, in and around the downtown Backlot Bash grounds. The event also includes a children's run. For more information, call (847) 674-1500, ext. 3510.

Devonshire County Fair - October 2019

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Fall fun for the whole family featuring hay rides, inflatables, superheroes, games & contests, food, music, circus acts, and more!

Scream Scene & Halloween Happenings, October 2018

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The Skokie Park District annually offers one of the widest offerings of Halloween events in Chicagoland. Events include:

Scream Scene: October Weekends
Rated as one of Illinois' best haunted houses, Scream Scene features more than 20 unique rooms. From crazed butchers to insane clowns, the faint of heart will not want any part of this “scene.” (Not recommended for children under 10. Also check out our behind the scenes "Lights On" event for the entire family.) Skokie Water Playground, 4701 Oakton St. For info call (847) 674-1500, ext. 2700 or go to www.ScreamScene.org

Things That Go Bump In the Night: October 19-20
A non-frightening, educational look at our furry and feathered creatures of the night, your family’s visit will end with a campfire, snack and songs! Advance ticket purchase advised. The Emily Oaks Nature Center is located at 4650 Brummel St. For ticket and event information call (847) 674-1500, ext. 2500.

Skatium Costume Contest & Public Skate: October 26
The Skatium has been haunting the whole family at Halloween now more than for 40 years! This year, dress up in costume and hit the ice for our two hour public skating session, where we will judge the best costumes. The Skatium Ice Arena is located at 9300 Weber Park Pl. For details call (847) 674-1500, ext. 2900.

Monster Bash at The Exploritorium: October 27 
This family event will have carnival games & prizes, crafts, bounce house, face painting and candy galore. Event price includes Exploritorium play! Come in costume. This fun fair does not scare. Pre-registration is suggested. The event is located at the Oakton Community Center, 4701 Oakton St.

Purchase tickets for Monster Bash

Santa in Skokie - December 2018

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Pancake Breakfast with Santa: Dec. 15
Santa is coming to the Skokie Park District! Please join us for a delicious pancake breakfast, entertainment and a raffle. Take pictures with Santa at this all ages event on at the Oakton Community Center, 4701 Oakton St. Register online or in person.

Santa will Call or Write Your Child
In two separate events, Santa will call or write your child. Click here for a Santa Form and make sure to turn it in before the deadline. For deadline information regarding any of our three Santa events, call (847) 674-1500, ext. 2700.

Itty Bitty New Year: Late December 2019

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The Oakton Community Center and the Exploritorium are transformed into a miniature Times Square, complete with a DJ and a “countdown to noon” balloon drop. The perfect way to celebrate the New Year with the kids, the Skokie Park District’s “Itty Bitty New Year” kicks off at 10 a.m. and ends at noon at 4701 Oakton St. Pre-registration is required. Register here. Space is limited.