Would you believe it if I said there were four days of summer fun that the whole family would enjoy, merely steps from your front door? Imagine as the smell of fried food, corn on the cob dripping in butter and lemonade smack you in the face; lights and sounds of games and rides, a familiar band you followed in college grace the stage. Where are you? The community carnival! We love spending the weekend at Mundelein Community Days, and our family always has the best time. I think it’s the perfect stay-cation ever. The best part was: I didn’t have to plan a thing.
Favorite Fest: Mundelein Community Days
For Kids: There are the classic rides, crafts galore, junk food, a fantastic parade, and the silliest photo op of all – the watermelon eating contest!
For Moms: Last year, I did a free yoga class (and I don’t know about you, but I can always use more yoga, calm, stretching, time in my life), as well as Zumba and Tai-chai. The local Flowerama passed out red carnations to all the moms along the parade route. I heard a favorite college band (Mike and Joe) and got very nostalgic.
For Dads: Bean Bags and Beer. Need I say more?
For All: The carnival! The lights and excitement of games and rides make you feel like a kid again. We ran into neighbors we haven’t seen in years, tried a new local restaurant, snacked on old favorites like Bill’s Pizza, enjoyed a very long parade, and cheered runners from the 5K. Friendly police, firefighters, and politicians fill up any empty space on the carnival grounds. I’m not sure if it’s nostalgia or déjà vu, but something is comforting about pretending to be a kid again and seeing all the kids smile on the silly train ride or ride the Ferris wheel.
Carnival games: Not my favorite, I know what you’re thinking. Yes, my kids both won a goldfish. I will let you know when we celebrate “sushi’s” 10th birthday. I hear these things live forever. But even 6′ teenagers are kind-of cute when trying to win a teddy bear for their girlfriend.
My 6-year old brought his own money, and he was playing the last game with his last two dollars. He missed the ball, and then the teenager running the game said, “Hey kid,” threw him another ball and let him try again on the house. He smacked it and won a rainbow bear for his cute 6-year old female partner in crime. It was something out of a coca-cola commercial.
During the parade, I heard a small group of girls say, “here come the princesses,” and the pageant winners were coming down the road. It melted my heart.
Community events nowadays are when neighbors meet neighbors and when you get to celebrate the wonderful town that you live in. Often we sit back and do nothing; we’re afraid, scared, or shy. But when everybody around you is celebrating, it’s hard not to catch the fever and become more outgoing and join in the celebration. So I challenge you this summer and fall to head out to your community events, especially the carnivals and art festivals, and meet some new neighbors and have fun with the people around you!
Get your fried Oreos and more at this year’s Community Days!
Dates for 2021: Friday, July 2 – Monday, July 5
The schedule has not been published yet.
The festival will in Kracklauer Park, located at 116 N. Lake Street. See the Mundelein Community Days website for more information and a full schedule of events and performers.