Time to Get Safe, Green, Art and Free

September 23, 2011

This week is Child Passenger Safety Week, and to make sure all caregivers are traveling safely with their kids, there will be 82 car seat safety check clinics around Chicago and Illinois on National Seat Check Saturday, September 24.

At each location, certified technicians will be on hand to provide free child safety seat inspections and advice to parents and caregivers on which car seats are best for their children.

To find out more about the clinics, or to find one in your area, visit

Once everyone is well buckled in, here are some events you can drive to and enjoy around Chicagoland this weekend:

*Museum Day: This 7th annual Smithsonian Magazine event will provide a day of free admission on Saturday, September 24 at museums around Illinois and the country. Just download a ticket on the magazine’s website and two people will get in for free at participating museums and cultural venues, including the Adler Planetarium and the Clark House Museum.

*Randolph Street Market: This European-style market offers one of Chicago’s largest vintage, art and antiques events of the year. Find something spectacular for your home, and it will be delivered within downtown Chicago for free. Set for Saturday, September 24 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, September 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 1340 W. Washington Blvd., Chicago, admission is $8 online or $10 onsite; kids under 12 are free.

*Barkapalooza: The West Suburban Humane Society’s 18th annual fundraiser will take place in Lisle Community Park, 1825 Short Street in Lisle, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, September 25. The Walkathon part of the event will raise money for the shelter. The Pet Expo part will feature several rescue groups. There will also be vendors with pet goodies, a pet parade, a pet scavenger hunt and more.

*Chicago Botanic Garden: This weekend is the Midwest Regional Dahlia Society Show, where thousands of dahlia blooms will be on display on Saturday, Sept. 24 from noon to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 25 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Meander over to the Fruit and Vegetable Garden around 11 a.m. each day where volunteers will help visitors plant free seeds or seedlings to take home. There is a charge to park at the Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, but admission is free.

*Art in the Barn: Around 185 artists will have their fine art works on display for this 37th annual event, which always take place on the fourth weekend of September at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital, 450 W. Highway 22 in Barrington from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. There will also live music and entertainment, children’s art activities and pony rides. Admission is $5 for anyone age 12 or older.

*Cantigny Green Fair: This third annual event will offer a recycled art contest and fashion show, an organic farmers market, cooking demonstrations and eco-activities for kids. More than 100 vendors will be on hand for the Green Fair, which costs $5 per car, and will take place at Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road in Wheaton, on Saturday, September 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

*Recycling Extravaganza: All DuPage County residents are invited to Downers Grove this Saturday to recycle their stuff. Up to two boxes of documents plus most electronics will be accepted. Hours are 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 24 at the Village of Downers Grove Public Works Facility, 5101 Walnut Avenue. Cars must enter from Curtiss Avenue via northbound Walnut Avenue.

This is the first weekend of autumn. Hope it’s a good one!

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