Don’t look now, but your calendar is nearing September, which means it’s almost time to say goodbye to summer. But don’t worry! There are still plenty of ways to soak up the final weeks of the season. Between family-friendly activities and festivals to concerts and farmers markets, here are the best things to do before fall arrives on the North Shore.
Aug. 16-18: Evanston Art & Big Fork Festival Downtown Evanston
This Evanston festival has it all: roughly 150 juried artists selling paintings, sculptures, photos, jewelry, and more; art demonstrations; kids activities; live music; and lots of beer, wine, and food options. The best part? It's free! Plus, the Downtown Evanston location makes it easy to spend time exploring everything else this city has to offer.
Evanston Art & Big Fork Festival
Aug. 23-25: Skokie's Backlot Bash Oakton St. and Lincoln Ave., Skokie
When you say goodbye to summer, go big with this annual event in Downtown Skokie. This is first and foremost a music festival, with two stages featuring bands like Smithereens with guest vocalist Marshall Crenshaw on Friday, War on Saturday, and Tributosaurus becomes The Rolling Stones on Sunday. But, there's also a carnival, movie showings, a classic car show, Bingo Bash, a pancake breakfast, farmers market, shopping, family activities, beer and food, and yes, even more. So grab the entire family and head out for some festival fun to end the season.
Skokie's Backlot Bash
Through Sept. 15: Ravinia Festival 200 Ravinia Park Road, Highland Park
Don't let summer pass you by without a visit to Ravinia, the country's oldest outdoor music festival. There are still plenty of big names scheduled, including Sting (Aug. 23-24), Queen Latifah and Common (Aug. 31), Kesha (Sept. 8), and Mary J. Blige (Sept. 13). Whether you purchase pavilion seats and dine at one of Ravinia's sit-down restaurants before the show or pack a picnic and chairs for the lawn, you'll love spending a summer evening at this venue.
Ravinia Festival, Highland park
Through Nov. 2: Farmers Markets Various Locations
Fortunately, the end of summer doesn't mean the end of farmers market season. The Downtown Evanston Farmers Market runs through Nov. 2 with more than 50 vendors, a Spud Club for kids, free shredding events, and more. At the Winnetka Farmers Market, through Oct. 19, you'll find fruits and veggies, flowers, cheeses, baked goods, and more. And the Glenview Farmers Market takes place at Historic Wagner Farm through Oct. 26, so you can pick up fresh fare before spending a day exploring one of Cook County's last working dairy farms. Learn more about these and other farmers markets around the North Shore here.