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West Loop Art Fest

Chicago, Ill.

About 100 talented artists showcase and sell creative work. Live art demonstrations will give festival-goers the unique chance to see the masters at work. Plus, enjoy local food, live music and interactive features including a graffiti wall, Art Bingo and photo booth.

When: 10 a.m. - 7 p.m., Sept. 16-17, 2017
Cost: $10

Lakeview Taco Fest

Sam Adams Lakeview Taco Fest | Chicago, Ill.

The taco gets the spotlight treatment at this fest in the heart of the Southport Corridor. In addition to tacos and music, features beer and taco pairings, Mexican wrestlers, a kids' activity area and arts/crafts.

When: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sept. 16-17, 2017
Cost: $5

Pioneer Day

Elk Grove Village, Ill.


Features reenactments, historical demonstrations, old-fashioned games and crafts, museum tours, and a petting zoo.

When: 1-5 p.m.
Cost: Free; $10 to create a life-sized scarecrow with the Garden Club


Northbrook, Ill.


Community fall festival includes hot dogs, chips and soda. There will be face painting and balloon twisting. Make old-fashioned games and ride on a trackless train.

When: noon - 4 p.m.
Cost: Free

Cary Main Street Fest

Cary, Ill.

The outdoor fall festival features local restaurants and businesses, a marketplace of vendors and artists, live entertainment and a children’s area with family stage that highlights theater, dance and other interactive children’s programming.

When: Sept. 16-17, 2017. See website for schedule
Cost: $5 donation

Pioneer Day

Elk Grove Historical Museum | Elk Grove Village, Ill.


Features reenactments, historical demonstrations, old-fashioned games and crafts, museum tours and a petting zoo.

When: 1-5 p.m.
Cost: Free; $10 to create life-sized scarecrow

The Caboose Train

Fox River Trolley Museum | South Elgin, Ill.

Repairs are complete to the museum’s former CTA freight locomotive, the only one anywhere that operates. Take a ride with the conductor in the big red Illinois Central caboose or up front with the motorman on the museum’s demonstration freight train.

Cost: Regular fares apply.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Ravinia Festival | Highland Park, Ill.

The Performer's School presents Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical based on the "coat of many colors" story of Joseph from the Bible.

When: 11 a.m., 2 and 5 p.m. Sept. 16; 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sept. 17
Cost: $15

Origami in the Garden

The Morton Arboretum | Lisle, Ill.

Visitors will be awed by 25 displays of metal sculptures based on the traditional Japanese art of paper folding as they walk paths through the Arboretum’s spectacular landscape. Created by Santa Fe-based artists Kevin and Jennifer Box, the exhibit features installations, gallery works, and the Boxes' own compositions, as well as collaborative works with some of the world’s top origami artists.

When: 7 a.m.-sunset
Cost: Free with arboretum admission

Dinos & Dragons

Brookfield Zoo | Brookfield, Ill.

Dinos & Dragons will feature 17 animatronic creatures, including the Stegosaurus, Apatosaurus, Tyrannosaurus rex, and Chinese dragon. Along the winding outdoor path, guests can explore the origins of myths and legends through culture, literature, and paleontology that is illustrated on signage. Inside a tented area, zoogoers can get up-close views of live reptiles, including a 6-foot-long Komodo dragon, seen for the first time at Brookfield Zoo. The temporary exhibit will also have hands-on activities, as well as a dinosaur dissection lab, dino dig boxes, and an excavation site.

Cost: $5, $3 kids 3-11

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