Labor Day Weekend Go Guide

In town for the holiday weekend?

There are a bunch of great ways to celebrate summer’s swan song in Chicago and the suburbs—from sports to song, fairs to fun runs. You’re certain to find something for everyone in the family to enjoy. And with an extra day, more time to do it. Here are our recommendations:

Catch These Exhibits Before They Close

Museum of Science and Industry
Exhibit closes September 3

If you haven’t yet made it to MSI for this exhibit, here’s your last chance. Also a must-see if you have family and friends in town and are looking for kid-friendly fun.

Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective
Art Institute of Chicago
Closes September 3

Here’s another exhibit that’s kid-friendly in nature—artist Roy Lichtenstein, with comic-like works that pervade pop culture.

Genghis Khan
The Field Museum
Closes September 3

A great way to ease into the school year and history class—learn more about this ancient warrior through this weekend.

Fairs and Fests

Art Fair on the Square
September 2 & 3
Lake Forest

It’s the 58th year for Deer Path Art League’s signature event, featuring 180 artists, family activities and more in beautiful Market Square.

Buffalo Grove Days
August 30 – September 3
Buffalo Grove

A great village festival, complete with a carnival, beer garden, live entertainment and family fun.

Long Grove’s World Tour 2012
September 1 – 3
Downtown Long Grove

The festival with a global flavor—celebrate cultures from around the globe at this three-day event.


Chicago Jazz Festival
September 1 – 3
Grant Park

Chicago’s signature music festival set in downtown Chicago’s Grant Park. Free admission. See local, national and international acts throughout the weekend. Headliners this year include Roy Haynes, Dianne Reeves and Allen Toussaint.

North Coast Music Festival
August 31 – September 2
Union Park

Quickly becoming one of the hippest fests on Chicago’s music calendar, this is THE place to catch great up and coming, hot club acts.

Parrots of the Caribbean
August 31 – September 2
Skokie Theater

Parrotheads—Join the Jimmy Buffett tribute this weekend in Skokie.

Hall and Oates
September 1

If you can sing along to “Private Eyes,” then you know where you are supposed to be this weekend—front and center at Ravinia.

Sports & Outdoors

Chicago River Canoe and Kayak
Skokie Lagoons

This is the weekend you can cross “kayaking with the fam” off your summer bucket list. Head to Tower Road, rent a kayak or two and enjoy one more taste of summer before the leaves start to fall.

Wisconsin Highland Games
August 31 – September 2
Waukesha, Wis.

Looking for a fun day trip out of town? Head north of the border for some old-fashioned Scottish action.

Twilight Shuffle 5K
Sunday, September 2

Close out the season in a healthy way with a fantastic summer’s evening run through Libertyville.


Chicago Jazz Festival photos courtesy of City of Chicago.