The Chicago Veggie Fest is Fun for the Whole Family No Matter What They Eat
A Veggie Fest does not sound like something that would excite the family especially little ones and meat eaters. Well not our family. We are a very veganish friendly family with diet preferences that range from vegans to meat eaters. I myself have been a pescatarian for over 5 years. This festival is one of my favorites. Don’t worry there is so much to do for the non-veggies. All the meat eaters in my family enjoy. I’ve gone for several years and it just keeps growing. The estimated attendance over two days is over 45,000 people. This was my first time going with a toddler which always changes my experience but the Chicago Veggie Fest was a fun time for all!
- An entire section of the grounds is dedicated to activities and entertainment for children.
- Face Painting: Children ages 2-12 can get a fruit, vegetable, or other design.
- Crafts: Interactive and fun crafts that provide information about a vegetarian diet.
- Games: They have balloons, bubbles, origami, beading, and giant board games
- Photo book: Picture opportunity with veggie friendly props.
- Music and Plays: Enjoy professional performers on the Children’s Tent Stage.
- There is a mother’s station for nursing moms and diaper changes.
- A toddler play area was welcome relief to allow my little one time to run around in an enclosed area with toys.
- The Veggie-Kids Parade encourages children to dress up like their favorite animal or vegetable and walk around the festival. You can even make costumes for the parade.
- Check out the schedule in advance if you want to see a celebrity chef do a demo or listen to a speaker. We got the chance to meet former NBA Champion John Salley who is a vegan spokesperson. There are multiple tents and presentations starting from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.
- There are sessions on yoga and meditation for families if you want to learn how to start the practice at home.
- The live music stage is the place to gather. Right next to the food court there are plenty of tables and chairs but feel free to bring your own bag lawn chair and a blanket. The bands are all amazing. They cover a wide spectrum of musical styles from blues, reggae, and folk. Grab a plate of food and enjoy. Don’t be afraid to get up and dance!
- There are a lot of vendors so take your time and check them out. Samples of food, products, health, beauty, wellness, nonprofit organizations, and local businesses. If you see a long line, they are handing out samples or a freebie (which I can never pass up).
- I mean you don’t come to Veggie Fest and not EAT! Prices range from $4 to $7. Some favorites are the Beyond Burger, Spicy Veggie Chicken, Pizza, fruit smoothies, and ice cream. These tents have the longest lines. Now this isn’t a food blog, although I’d like to think of myself as a foodie. So, I’ll just say everything is delicious. This is truly my chance to get all my favorites that I never get to eat, “Hello, Beef and Broccoli!!”
It is free to enter and ample free parking. Each food ticket is $1. Most food items are between $4-$7. Save time in line and bring cash, there is a limited number of credit card only lines.
What to Bring
Although the area is all on grass we managed quite well with a stroller. I’m a big fan of baby wearing at festivals. Bring a small backpack for your baby items and pack plenty of water. Water cost $1 but we had no problem brining in several bottles. Although there are tables and chairs, they get crowded quick and you might have to spend time scouting an open spot. Bring your bag lawn chair and a blanket and sit right in front of the band.
Park via the entrance on Warrenville Road for easy access into the festival. There is a shuttle available.
The Chicago Veggie Fest is not to be missed. I go to a lot of local festivals and I truly believe this is one of the most diverse festivals. I’m also going to say it has the best festival food. The music has never disappointed. It is truly the highlight of my summer.
2nd Weekend in August
11:00 am – 8:00 pm
Free Admission and Free Parking
Danada South Park
2701 Navistar Circle