5 Things to Do September 17– 19 — Highwood Bloody Mary Fest, PAWS Chicago 5K, Brews at Lincoln Park Zoo and More

It’s officially the last weekend of summer! Whether you’re happy or sad to see the season go, there are plenty of opportunities to take advantage of the warm weather while it lasts. Don’t miss PAWS 5K run/walk for a good cause, an outdoor concert and art exhibition at the Brushwood Center, the North Shore’s best bloody marys and more. Here are five of the best events and fests to check out this weekend.

Check out each event’s website for current Covid-19 safety measures and possible cancelations.

Sept. 18: PAWS Chicago Annual 5K Run/Walk

400 W Montrose Harbor Dr.

A Best of 2021 – Best Charity Run/Walk winner, the PAWS Chicago 5K is not to be missed. The biggest dog-friendly charity event in the city, the fundraiser helps PAWS in their mission to end the killing of homeless cats and dogs. Beyond raising awareness and funds, the event is a day of costumes, meeting new friends, dog agility courses, live raffles, entertainment, treats, and more. Register or donate on the PAWS website. And if this gets you inspired to train for more races, check this innovative training method for any distance from 5K to marathon.

Sept. 18: Farm Fall Festivals Open for the Season

Many local farms kick off their fall festivals this weekend, including All Seasons Orchard (14510 Route 176, Woodstock). In addition to apple and pumpkin picking, they will have corn mazes, apple cider donuts, warm apple cider and more. Check out our list of where to pick apples and pumpkins around Chicago for more fall fun!

Sept. 18: Sixth Annual Craft Brews Beer Festival at Lincoln Park Zoo

2001 N Clark St

Calling all beer lovers. This Saturday at Lincoln Park Zoo guests 21+ can enjoy tastings from over 150 breweries from 6–10 p.m. There will also be food for purchase, music, lawn games, and of course the zoo’s incredible animals. Tickets range from $55-65. Grab your tickets on Lincoln Park Zoo’s website.

Sept. 19: Highwood Bloody Mary Fest

17 Highwood Ave., Highwood

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Amateurs and experts prepare elaborate Bloody Mary recipes judged by a panel of local celebrities (including our very own Editor in Chief, Patrick Regan!). The daylong festival features food, music and children’s activities. Follow along on Better’s Instagram if you can’t make it.

Sept. 19: Our Future: Youth Perspectives on the Environment & Outdoor Concert at Brushwood Center

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Grab your picnic blanket and join Brushwood Center for a family-friendly outdoor concert and youth art exhibition! The art exhibition will open at 1 p.m., and Rivers Empyrean Concert begins at 2 p.m., followed by a Deep Listening Walk. Registration is required and tickets are $20 for BCRW Members/Riverwoods residents, $30 for non-members, and free for kids ages 14 and under (if accompanied by a ticket-holding adult). Grab your tickets on Brushwood Center’s website.

More events to keep on your radar for this weekend:

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Macaire Douglas

Macaire Douglas lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and two sons. She proudly supports Save Abandoned Babies Foundation, a Chicago-based nonprofit organization that works tirelessly to prevent the illegal abandonment of newborns nationwide. Since its inception in 2000, more than 3,600 newborns have been safely surrendered and adopted into loving homes.