Buffalo Grove, IL is a great place to enjoy some quality family fun any time of year. In the northern suburbs of Chicago, Buffalo Grove is known for its quaint downtown area. It has plenty of restaurants, locally-owned shops, and major retailers all in close proximity. In addition, it is a great community for families, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city and O’Hare International Airport. Here are some of our favorite activities in Buffalo Grove for families.

Just for Kids Holiday Shop

Let your child pick out a gift for mom or dad all on their own. Buffalo Grove Park District puts on a kid’s shopping event for gifts ranging from $3 to $8. Adult helpers are there to help your little one pick out the perfect surprise gift. But plan ahead! In 2021, the event is from 4:30-6pm November 30 and December 1 at Alcott Center.

Buffalo Grove Days

This Buffalo Grove fest is a six-day festival that takes place annually over Labor Day weekend. This fest is chock-full of fun activities for the entire family, including:

  • Carnival
  • Labor Day parade
  • Classic car, truck, and motorcycle show
  • BBQ competition
  • Fine arts & crafts show
  • Business fair
  • Special needs events
  • Local nonprofit organization showcase

On top of all these great events are carnival rides, food vendors, live entertainment, and a beer tent. Families looking to buy carnival wristbands for their children can purchase tickets online at a discount ahead of time. Historically, a one-day pass was $22 (online) or $60 for the entire six days. For the latest information, head over to the Buffalo Grove Days website!

Bowlero Bowling

In Buffalo Grove, Bowlero is a bowling alley at its best. With great food and drinks, party rental packages, arcade, laser tag, and leagues, all ages really love this spot. They even host a Kid’s Fest once or twice a year for a fun-filled day at the lanes! 2021’s event was in June, so watch out for the next one. The best part is bowling and shoe rental are entirely free to all kids for one hour, and adults can score a discounted rate. Each child will also receive a free $5 loaded card to spend on any games at the arcade. Other specials include:

  • $1 soft drinks
  • $1 cookies
  • $2 hot dogs
  • $14 pizza pies

Reserve your spot in advance to avoid busy lines on the day of the event.

Buffalo Grove Singers

Looking to participate in a community singing group? The BG Singers may be just the group for you! This ensemble is for adults, but what a wonderful way to teach your children music appreciation to go watch mom or dad perform! The group travels to perform locally at events and attractions, and sings a variety of music styles. And what a great way to make new friends!

Irish Days

Located down the road from Buffalo Grove in the historic downtown village of Long Grove is a unique festival called Irish Days. This Labor Day weekend event celebrates the Irish culture with music, ethnic food, and plenty of beer to go around. The festival will feature a Gaelic tent to promote awareness of the Irish language, and local Chicago area Irish musicians, dancers, and singers. Another fun event at Irish Days is the Irish Dog Competition where any dog (Irish or not) can enter the contest to become the King, Queen, Prince, and Princess of the day. Attendees can also catch the “Best Looking Men’s Legs in a Kilt” contest, snack on corned beef hash, and sip on a Guinness Stout! Families can enjoy the 3-day festival for free! Check out the Irish Days website for the latest on the event schedule.


Photo by Anita Ritenour under the Creative Commons 2.0 license