How Can You Not Have a Great Weekend in Chicago?

June 03, 2011

School isn’t even out yet and it already feels like summer around Chicagoland.

This weekend is filled to the brim with free fairs and festivals. While you are out browsing, remember that you really should get your kid’s teachers gifts before that final bell really rings.

Here is a sampling of the events in and around Chicago this Saturday and Sunday. Hope you have a colorfully wonderful weekend!

*Printer’s Row Lit Fest: This book festival was founded in 1985 by the Near South Planning Board to attract visitors to the Printers Row neighborhood, which was once the city’s bookmaking hub. Today the fest is considered to be the largest free outdoor literary event in the Midwest.

This year’s 27th annual Printers Row Lit Fest will feature more than 250 author appearances plus author talks, music, cooking demonstrations, entertainment, kid’s activities, food, and books, books, books. Be there on Saturday, June 4 at 2 p.m., and you will witness the city’s largest-ever group reading.

The two-day event takes place Saturday and Sunday, June 4-5, along historic Printers Row, on Dearborn Street from Congress to Polk streets in downtown Chicago. For more information, visit printersrowlitfest.com.

*57th Street Art Fair: Chicago’s oldest juried art fair is appropriately situated in Chicago’s historic Hyde Park neighborhood. The event is family friendly (in other words, alcohol-free) and will include art of all mediums.

While you are there, consider participating in the Art Buying Boot Camp, which is a guided tour through the fair with art-buying experts who can help you with everything from determining the best price for a piece to the best colors to match your living room.

The free 57th Street Art Fair takes place Saturday, June 4 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, June 5 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on 57th Street and Kimbark Avenue in Hyde Park. Visit 57thstreetartfair.org for more details.

*Do Division Street Fair and Sidewalk Sale: This signature Chicago street fest offers live music, family entertainment, food, crafts and great bargains spanning across 10 city blocks on Division from Ashland to Leavitt in Chicago.

There will be a $5 donation requested for admittance to Do-Division that will benefit local non-profits, the West Town Chamber of Commerce and Division Street Committee, as well as three local elementary schools; A.N. Pritzker, LaSalle Magnet II and De Diego.

The fair will take place from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, June 4-5. For more information, visit do-divisionstreetfest.com.

*Dandelion Wine and Fine Arts Festival: The theme of this 12th annual festival in Waukegan is “Postcards from Green Town.” As a community art project, postcards will be available to design or color.

The festival honors one of Waukegan’s famous residents, Ray Bradbury, and his book “Dandelion Wine,” a novel published in 1957 about a boy’s magical summer in the ravines of Green Town (ergo, Waukegan).

The free festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Bowen Park on Sheridan Road just north of Greenwood Avenue in Waukegan and will include music, dance, arts and crafts, children’s activities and more. For more information, visit waukeganparks.org.

*Deerfield Fine Arts Festival: Come see the newly developed downtown area when the North Shore suburb of Deerfield hosts this 9th annual festival.

Located on Park Avenue and Deerfield Road, adjacent to Jewett Park, the event offers art, music, food, kids art activities and a silent auction. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Ovarian Cancer Research.

The fine arts festival is set for Saturday and Sunday, June 4-5, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission and parking are free. For more information, visit dwevents.org.

*World Environment Day: Celebrate this worldwide-held event at the Chicago Botanic Garden where people of all ages will learn how to protect the earth through awareness and action.

Gardeners can recycle their plastic plant containers in parking lot 4, attend informative presentations, demonstrations and tours and get a free heirloom tomato plant at the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden.

World Environment Day will take place on Saturday, June 4, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe. There is a charge for parking, and some presentations require tickets. For more information, visit chicagobotanicgarden.org.

*A Day in our Village: Scoville Park and Rehm Park in Oak Park are the places to be on Sunday, June 5 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. when the village celebrates diversity and community involvement during this 38th annual free event.

The all-inclusive festival allows residents to become volunteers, join an organization, patronize a local merchant or service, meet neighbors, enjoy special activities, make new friends, join a congregation and generally support the community spirit.

Oak Park Township’s mini-buses will provide free transportation between venues from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit oak-park.us.

*Kids Workshop: Bring your future homeowner to a free How-To Workshop at any Home Depot store from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 4, where they will make a cool valet organizer while learning do-it-yourself skills and tool safety.

This would make a great Father’s Day gift. For more information, visit homedepot.com.

*Free Museum Admission: Bank of America customers who show their credit or debit card on Saturday and Sunday, June 4-5 can get free general admission into several Chicago museums including the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Shedd Aquarium, the Chicago History Museum and more.

Museums on Us is a special event the company holds on the first weekend of every month. For more information, visit museums.bankofamerica.com.

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