The University of Chicago’s Commercial Real Estate Operations group has partnered with The Silver Room to sponsor and program the kids’ area of the 15th Annual Silver Room Sound System Block Party, taking place Saturday, July 21. The theme of this year’s event is “Beautiful People” and the kids’ area is called “Beautiful Kids.” The main block party runs from 12-10 p.m., and the kids’ area is open from 12-6 p.m. A full schedule of kids’ activities can be found here. This is the first year the block party will include a dedicated kids’ area.
The block party will be located on 53rd Street from S. Lake Park Avenue at the east, to Dorchester Avenue at the west. The kids’ area is situated in the Harper Court development’s private street at 5235 S. Harper Court.
The block party was started by Eric Williams, owner of The Silver Room at 1506 E. 53rd Street, at the store’s original location in Wicker Park in 2002. Despite its popularity growing to attract an estimated 40,000 people this year, the party still has the same welcoming, family-friendly, community-based feeling it has always had since its beginnings in an alley.
The “Beautiful Kids” area includes 25+ local community groups and participants, either hosting activities or performing on the kids’ stage. The DuSable Museum of African American History will park its mobile museum on 53rd Street in front of the Hyde Park Bank. The Museum of Science & Industry will host activities based on the new exhibit “The Science Behind Pixar.” Bright Horizons at the UChicago Child Development Center will bring sensory exploration bins, and Chef Shakira will lead a hands-on cooking experience. The non-profit Brown Books & Paintbrushes hosts local children authors and story tellers in their outdoor library and cozy area. The Hyde Park Neighborhood Club brings their Imagination Playground with oversized blue foam building blocks. Little Black Pearl provides face painting and henna tattoos. The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago will teach the basics of reading and writing hieroglyphs and offer face painting with Egyptian symbols. Vanille Patisserie will host cupcake decorating in front of their store at 5229 S. Harper Court. Local groups Hashtag Lunch Bag and Cradles to Crayons will guide kids in writing inspirational notes for the homeless and children in need. The N.E.C. Cosmetologist team will offer hair braiding and adornment. The Hyde Park Art Center will guide kids in painting a temporary mural and making paper bag puppets. Marsha’s Music hosts a family music jam session. Spanki’s World of Face Painting and IndigeeFace will offer face painting. The University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital will bring a giant teddy bear for kids to treat with medical equipment, coloring sheets, stickers, hats, and more. UChicago’s Arts + Public Life group will lead art activities for kids 8 and older through teens. Non-profit Abstract & Apple Juice offers two “sip and paint” sessions for kids. Sista Afya will lead coloring activities from the Mental Wellness Warrior coloring book.
Performers include Robert Burford “Bob the Bubble Man”, kids jamm leading a family yoga class, 57th Street Books leading a story time and guitar sing-along, Hyde Park Suzuki, Hyde Park School of Dance, Donia Dance & Azania Drum Ensemble of Betty Shabazz Academy, Black Girls Jump with double dutch jump rope demos and instruction, and Move Me Soul Dance Company. For unstructured fun, there will be a play area with chalk and hula hoops.
The Silver Room Sound System Block Party is free, with donations accepted at all entry points. All activities in the kids’ area are free.