National Latinx Heritage Month/Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15th, and it’s the perfect time to celebrate the many contributions of the Latinx community to Chicago!
There are many great options for celebrating the diverse cultures of these communities with kids in the Chicago area.
The Best Ways to Celebrate Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month with Kids in Chicago
Little Village | More Information
There’s no better way to celebrate Mexican Independence Day than at the Little Village Parade. It’s Chicago’s Largest Celebration of Mexican Independence Day, and it’s a neighborhood with many Hispanic Americans, so stay after and grab some food at a local eatery.
Chicago History Museum | More Information
The Chicago History Museum is hosting a Community Event to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. There will be crafts and a screening of Encanto. It’s a great opportunity for young people to celebrate Hispanic Heritage.
The Field Museum is hosting bilingual storytime in the Crown Family PlayLab at the Field Museum. This event is intended to include children and their caregivers and will feature a fun-filled story and short activity led by the Field Museum staff.
Wrigley Field | More Information
This ballpark celebration will feature special entertainment, live music, cultural cuisine options around the ballpark, and other recognitions of the Hispanic culture. People who purchase through this link will get a special-edition Cubs Sugar Skull bobblehead.
A portion of the proceeds from each Hispanic Heritage ticket package will go to support the National Museum of Mexican Art.
Field Museum | More Information
Enjoy live music and dance in the Museum’s Stanley Field Hall, featuring a vibrant performance of Bomba featuring local group La Escuelita Bombera de Corazón.
“Based in the historic Humboldt Park Puerto Rican community, La Escuelita Bombera de Corazón was established in 2009 by Ivelisse “Bombera de Corazón” Diaz. As an African and Puerto Rican diasporic performing arts school, La Escuelita is committed to the preservation of Bomba percussion (buleo, maraca, cúa), dance (baile), vocals (canto), and history.”- From the Field Museum Website
Ballet Folklorico de Chicago is one of the largest Mexican folkloric organizations in the Midwest. They teach their students about Mexican culture through dance, language, and traditions.
Field Museum | More Information
September 19, 22, 26
The Field Museum is hosting 3 different “Meet a Scientist” events where the scientists focus on Latin America.
September 23 & 24 | Navy Pier | More Information
The Chicago Live Community Engagement Program is an opportunity for Chicago neighborhoods to take part in free classes and workshops and to learn more about some of Chicago’s best performing arts groups before watching them perform as part of Chicago Live!student performances
Head to Navy Pier and witness a variety of dance performances by Latinx and Hispanic dance groups. Some groups include the famous Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater, La Escuelita Bombera de Corazon, Ballet Folklorico Sones Mexicanos, Puerto Rican Arts Alliance, and more dynamic performances!
September 29-October 29 | Goodman Theatre | More Information
Produced in partnership with the National Museum of Mexican Art, watch this unique performance about luchadores (wrestlers) representing Aztec gods. This show has family, honor, and tradition featuring one of the most unique art forms in American History.
Guaranteed Rate Field | More Information
Cheer on the White Sox while celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with their Hispanic Heritage Night presented by Modelo. Fans who purchase through this link will get a T-shirt. The first 10,000 fans will get a La Catrina Bobblehead.
Canto Latino: Creando Mole
September 30 | Harrison Park | More Information
Head to Harrison Park to enjoy music performances from Latinx artists. There will be special performances from featured guests Pinqy Ring, Oliver Fade, Mariachi Perla de Mexico, and more!
There will also be food trucks, interactive experiences, and Harrison Park has an awesome playground. It will be fun for the entire family!
Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration at the Museum of Ice Cream
Until October 15th
From Sept. 15 – Oct. 15, guests visiting the Museum of Ice Cream can enjoy an exclusive new ice cream flavor, Colombian Coffee Ice Cream, that was created by Chef Gutierrez and produced by local, minority-owned Ida’s Artisan Ice Cream. In addition, the Museum of Ice Cream is offering a special all throughout Hispanic Heritage Month (9/15 – 10/15).
With code HELADO, guests who purchase two tickets will receive their third ticket 50% off.
Athenaeum Center for Thought and Culture | More Information
October 18-October 21
Ballet 5:8 is a minority-led premiere ballet company, and they have some performances coming up. They also have a ballet school if your kids are interested in ballet
September 9-January 7
If your kid is a fan of Coco, they are probably familiar with alebrijes. “Alebrijes” stem from Mexican folklore and the Gail Borden Library has a special exhibit until January!
This is an awesome library and they do a great job with their exhibits. We just saw the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle exhibit there, and we were so impressed! Best part: it’s free!
The Pilsen Arts and Community House is a gallery and performance space that celebrates the work of local artists. They are committed to social justice and supporting young artists. with community gatherings, art workshops, and more.
The National Museum of Mexican Art was launched to represent the Mexican community through their own point of view and voice. Their ongoing exhibit, Nuestras Historias: Stories of Mexican Identity from the Permanent Collection, shows the diverse stories of Mexican identity in North America.
They have great virtual art and culture lessons for kids too! The lessons on sugar painting, weaving, and paper mache sugar skulls look particularly fun.
The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture is dedicated to the promotion and advancement of the arts and culture of Puerto Rico.
The Rafael Tufino exhibit just opened and will feature his engravings, paintings, drawings and sketches.
The ILCC is one of the longest-running Latino organizations in Chicago, and they host a Latino Film Festival in April, and a Latino Dance Festival on September 23rd a the Old Town School of Folk Music. Check out their Events Calendar for more performances.
The Rafael Cintron Ortiz Latino Cultural Center at UIC is a space for anyone who wants to learn more about Hispanic communities, Latinx history, and be an advocate for social and environmental justice.
Enjoy Latin American Cuisine
October 6-October 20 | Website
Over 30 Latin restaurants are participating and offering special menus to highlight their culinary contributions to Chicago. This is an excellent way for kids to try the different cuisines of Latin America!
No tickets are necessary. Just look at the listed menus and make a reservation at the restaurant(s) that appeal to you and fit your price range!
Carnivale is a pan-Latin American restaurant in the West Loop that features cuisine from all over Latin America. The bright, cheery space is perfect for kids and they have a family-friendly brunch on Sundays.
They also host weekly special events!
5 Rabinitos is an excellent family-friendly restaurant in the heart of Pilsen, right across from Harrison Park. They have authentic Mexican cuisine, a fun ambiance, and if you sit outside you can enjoy the brightly colored murals on the side of the building.
Tres leches cake is a popular dessert in many Latin American countries and it’s made from sponge cake and three (tres) kinds of milk (leches). It’s delicious, and the best tres leches cake in Chicago is from Kristoffer’s cafe and bakery in Pilsen.
With locations in South Chicago and Logan Square, Borinken Cakes is a Puerto Rican dessert shop that sells soaked cakes and other Puerto Rican delicacies. From Piña Colada to Guava Dream to Nutella, everyone can find a flavor they love.
There are many Michoacana ice cream shops around Chicago, but the best one is in Pilsen. They have paletas, ice cream, and tortas for those who want a savory snack!
Tour Latino Neighborhoods
Pilsen is one of the hearts of Mexican culture in Chicago, and the neighborhood’s vibrant murals serve as outlets for creativity and self-expression. The murals started as a canvas to educate Mexican-American citizens about their heritage, and it now incorporates topics and current events that are important to people within the community.
The National Museum of Mexican Art put together this resource for self-guided walking tours to see the murals. It’s a great way to help kids learn more about Mexican culture and the intentions in the mural creation.
Paseo Boricua is located on Division Street in Humboldt Park, and it’s often known as “Little Puerto Rico”. The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture is located along this stretch, as well as a bunch of Puerto Rican eateries, shops, and more.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between National Hispanic Heritage Month and Latinx Heritage Month?
National Hispanic Heritage Month and Latinx Heritage Month run concurrently from September 15-October 15 in the United States and, while there is often overlap between the Hispanic community and the Latinx community, they are technically different.
Latinx refers to people from all Latin American countries. This includes Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. Hispanic refers to anyone from a Spanish-speaking culture.
Some countries in Latin America, like Belize and Brazil, don’t speak Spanish. So people from these countries may identify as Latin American, but not Hispanic.
Spain, for example, is Spanish-speaking, but it is not in Latin America. So someone from Spain may identify with Hispanic culture, but not Latinx culture.
The two different names for the celebratory months are designed to be more inclusive, but some people may use them interchangeably.
Why do people say Latinx instead of Latino or Latina?
Because “Latino” and “Latina” are gendered, people write Latinx to be inclusive of all genders. If I mentioned “Latino culture” it would technically be referring to people who identify as males from Latin America, leaving out females and non-binary Latin Americans.
How big is the Hispanic/Latinx population in Chicago?
According to the 2020 census, 28.8 percent of Chicagoans identify as Latinx or Hispanic and it is the fastest-growing community in Chicago.