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Congratulations, Wilmette, Winnetka and Glencoe: You’ve reached the light at the end of the tunnel, also known as a North Shore summer.
1. French Market
Wilmette’s French Market on Saturdays features fresh produce, breads, flowers and other artisanal goods in the commuter lot just north of the Wilmette Village Hall, 1200 Wilmette Ave. Check it out from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. weekly.
2. Butterflies and Blooms
Butterflies and Blooms is a butterfly exhibition where visitors can immerse themselves in a habitat filled with hundreds of live butterflies. It runs from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 25-Sept. 2 at Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe.
3. Garden Chef Series
Learn to cook with garden-fresh ingredients all summer long at the Garden Chef Series at 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. May 25-Oct. 6 at Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe. Noted chefs prepare recipes in the Regenstein Fruit and Vegetable Garden’s open-air amphitheater.
4. Pools and Beaches Open
Let the summer begin! The Centennial Family Aquatic Center, and Gillson and Langdon beaches open for the season in Wilmette on May 25.
5. Memorial Day Ceremony
Honor Glencoe residents who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country at 11 a.m. May 27 at Veteran’s Memorial Park in Glencoe.
6. Memorial Day
Join in the Village of Winnetka’s 91st annual Memorial Day Parade and Observance on May 27. The parade kicks off at 10 a.m. from the corner of Glendale and Elm Streets, then heads east to the Village Green Park. The parade will be immediately followed by a ceremony. If there is inclement weather, an indoor ceremony will be held in the auditorium at the Skokie School.
7. Spring Dance Recital
The Spring Dance Recital “Don’t Just Fly, Soar” celebrates the achievements of all the Wilmette Park District’s dancers at the culmination of the year. All are welcome to attend the free Wilmette Dance Team Showcase 6:30 p.m. May 31 in the auditorium at the Community Recreation Center. Runs through June 2.
8. Downtown Wilmette Wine Walk
A fun event in downtown Wilmette on a Saturday late afternoon/early evening of wine tasting 4-7 p.m. June 1. Wine walkers will receive a wine guide and map and a wine glass. They will stop into each location tasting the featured wines. Grab your friends and make it a night out in Wilmette. For more information and advance reservations go to www.wilmettekenilworth.com.
Explore the new Woodlawn Park from 4-5:30 p.m. June 5 at Woodlawn Park in Glencoe. Spin on the Topsy Turny spinner, race on the zipline, and enjoy roving entertainment and activities throughout the park.
10. Family Fun Night
The District 29 PTO and Northfield Park District invite locals to Family Fun Night from 4-8 p.m. June 5 at Clarkson park. Enjoy bounce houses, face painting, bingo, family races, and a food and beer/wine tent.
11. Winnetka Children’s Fair
The 74rd Annual Winnetka Children’s Fair will be hosted by the Winnetka Community Nursery School June 7 and 8 on the Winnetka Village Green. Everyone is welcome and admission to the fairgrounds is free. Tickets for rides and games as well as food and snacks will be available for purchase. For more information, visit winnetkacommunitynurseryschool.org/about-the-fair/.
12. Book Sale
The Friends of the Library Summer Book Sale will run from June 8-10 at Glencoe Library, 320 Park Ave. For more info and hours, visit www.glencoepubliclibrary.org.
13. Beach Bash
Celebrate the end of the school year with a party at Glencoe Beach from 2:30-5 p.m. June 12. Join for entertainment, Frisbee, sand volleyball, snow cones and more. Food and drinks included in admission. Please register at GJHP.org. In the event of inclement weather, event will be in the Central School small gym.
14. Northfield Market & Music
The Northfield Park District is excited to present Northfield Market & Music, a weekly outdoor market with plenty for the entire family to enjoy. Shop the farmers market 3-7 p.m. Wednesdays from June 12-Aug. 14 at Clarkson Park. Then sit back and relax with friends and family and enjoy the free concerts and entertainment beginning at 5:30 p.m., including a beer tent and food sales from a featured local vendor.
15. Music on the Esplanade
On Tuesdays from 6-8 p.m., bring lawn chairs to the Chicago Botanic Garden and enjoy a summer concert series, which will run June 4-Aug. 27. For concert details and the schedule, visit www.chicagobotanic.org.
16. Movies on the Green
Enjoy monthly outdoor movie screenings at Wyman Green, between the Glencoe Public Library and Village Hall. Movies begin at dusk. The first movie screening, “Spiderman Into the Spider-Verse,” is scheduled for June 7. Check www.villageofglencoe.com for future listings.
17. Movies in the Park
Join the Winnetka Park District once a month at one of their parks to enjoy a film with your friends and family. Before every movie, staff will have various activities that are themed around the movie. Movies are free and start at sunset. The first movie is “Spiderman – Into the Spiderverse” on June 7.
Bring the whole family to explore the golf course to try to find and identify as many plant and animal species as possible at 5:30 p.m. June 7 at Glencoe Golf Club. Guided nature tours, a visit by a pair of screech owls and wild bird watching are all on the agenda. Visit www.glencoegolfclub.com.
19. Wednesdays in the Woods
Come out to Hubbard Woods Park on Wednesdays for concerts and activities. The year’s first performer will be 7th Heaven at 7 p.m. June 12. The Grand Food Center will be on-site selling hot dogs, brats, burgers, chips and beverages. Visit winpark.org for other concert details.
20. Music at the Hall
Summer Concert Series at Kenilworth Assembly Hall kicks off with Liz Berg Band, 80s and 90s music, June 14. Food and bar open at 5 p.m. with music from 6-8 p.m. Event will he held on the west lawn so bring chairs and blankets.
21. Kids Night Out
Parents can enjoy an evening alone while their children have a night out with friends from 5-8 p.m. June 14 at the A.C. Nielsen Tennis Center. The night will include on-court tennis activities followed by pizza and a movie. Register at winpark.org.
22. Ice Cream Social
Stop by for some free Culver’s ice cream to celebrate the start of the library summer reading clubs from 1-4 p.m. June 15 at Glencoe Library, 320 Park Ave. There will be sweet treats and sign-up prizes.
23. Summer Reading Kickoff Concert
Kick off summer reading with an all-ages concert by family favorite Scribble Monster 1:30-2:15 p.m. June 15 at Wilmette Public Library.
24. Father’s Day Brunch
Celebrate the male superhero in your family and thank him for everything he does with a delicious lakefront brunch from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. June 16. Catering by Chef Phil will be serving made to order eggs, pancakes, bacon, sausage, fruit, and more to ensure your dad has the strength to get ready for his next battle. Feel free to come dressed up in your superhero costume or your everyday secret identity.
25. Winnetka Music Festival
The Winnetka Music Festival is back for a third year from June 21-22. The free music concert showcases indie, electronic and R&B musicians in for top-notch entertainment and festive mingling. Enjoy food trucks and beer tents, and find new music across genres. For more information, visit winnetkamusicfestival.com.
26. Sidewalk Sale
Glencoe’s merchants line Park and Vernon Avenues with mark-down items from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. June 28-29 in Downtown Glencoe. Visit www.glencoechamber.org.
27. Hot Summer Nights
Hot Summer Nights will be held in the Rose Garden this year at Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe. Bring your dancing friends and kick it up a notch with high-energy music as you dance (or listen) to the upbeat tempo of a host of diverse genres. Concerts are from 6-8 p.m. June 6-Aug. 29.
28. Glencoe French Market
Shop the Glencoe French Market from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays from June 8-Oct. 12 at Wyman Green, located between the Glencoe Public Library and Village Hall.
Enjoy a day of activities with the Glencoe Park District, including outdoor arts, crafts, sports and games. Park-n-Play is scheduled to take place Thursdays from June 20-July 25. In the event of rain, Park-n-Play will be canceled.
30. Songs of the Plaza
Enjoy summer at Wilmette’s Plaza del Lago on Thursday nights when the shopping center hosts free outdoor concerts at 6:30 p.m. starting June 20, with Spoken Four covering any style and era, with a fun, high energy show.
31. Swim A Mile
Race the Wilmette Open Water and support Wilmette parks 7:15 a.m. June 22 at the lakefront Gillson Beach. One-mile course.
32. Entertainment in the Bowl
Concerts for all ages return to the Wallace Bowl amphitheater at the Gillson Park Lakefront in Wilmette gets underway 8 p.m. June 22 with Abba Salute, Mamma Mia! How Can I Resist You?
33. Singing and Dancing
Concerts for all ages are scheduled all summer at the Mallinckrodt Park Gazebo in Wilmette starting 12:30 p.m. June 26 with a kids show, Istvan & His Imaginary Band, featuring cool, cleverly crafted kids’ rock.
34. Red, White and Blue 5K
Bring your family and neighbors out to kickoff the Fourth of July festivities with a 3-mile race at 8 a.m. June 30 at Skokie Playfield. This event is held rain or shine. Check out the course and register at winpark.org.
35. Yankee Doodle Dash
New name, new day, new distance (5K) and prizes for Most Patriotic Costume 8 a.m. July 3 at Wilmette’s Gillson Park. Register at www.wilmettepark.org.
36. Wilmette Fireworks
Wilmette will celebrate the holiday with its classic Independence Day Celebration at 4 p.m. July 3. The Grand Fireworks Display will kick off at 9:30 p.m. at Gillson Park.
37. Fourth of July Celebration
Throughout the day, the Glencoe Park District will host patriotic games, music performances and activities for all ages. Visit www.glencoeparkdistrict.com for more Fourth of July activities, including the Rotary Fun Run, Village Parade, children’s entertainment and preschool games, live music, Glencoe’s Got Talent and fireworks at Lakefront Park at 9 p.m.
38. Fourth of July Parade
Watch and support local organizations and your fellow neighbors as they march in Winnetka’s Annual Fourth of July Parade at 10 a.m. July 4. The parade steps off from the intersection of Elm Street and Glendale Avenue and heads east to the Village Green. After the parade at 11 a.m., join neighbors at the Village Green for the traditional flag-raising ceremony, children’s flag parade and family races, where all will compete for the coveted family trophy.
39. Northfield Fourth of July
Celebrate the special national holiday in Northfield. The annual bike parade begins at 9:45 a.m. at Willow Park. Running races and family activities will follow the parade, with the announcement of the family trophy later at noon.
40. Under the Stars
Gather your camping gear and round up the kids for Wilmette’s Gillson Beach Campout on July 13 and August 10. As the sun sets, roast marshmallows around the camp fire and enjoy some family-friendly entertainment. At sunrise enjoy cereal, juice and coffee before your memorable stay draws to a close. All children must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. Staff will be available during the entire event. Visit www.wilmettepark.org for more information.
The popular show comes to Wilmette’s Wallace Bowl in Gillson Park from July 18-Aug. 3. This is a free Center for the Arts production.
42. Water Carnival
Get ready for the 95th annual Water Carnival from 6-8 p.m. July 18 at Tower Road Beach. This event will feature games and activities for children of all ages. Are your family members expert sandcastle builders? If so, join the sandcastle building competition (pre-registration required).
43. Big-Time Block Party
The two-day summer bash, dubbed Wilmette Summerfest, on July 18-20, is held in the Village Center and includes live entertainment, the classic sidewalk sale, art, food, a beer garden, children’s activities and plenty more. For more information or to get involved, contact the chamber at (847) 251-3800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
44. Glencoe Beach Campout
Spend an evening out with your family at Glencoe Beach in honor of National Camping Month. Start at 6 p.m. July 26 with a cookout, and after the sun sets, enjoy a movie night on a large projection screen and roast marshmallows. The campout will end at 9 a.m. July 27. For more information and prices, visit www.glencoeparkdistrict.com.
45. Family Camp Out
Families are invited to join the Winnetka Park District at Tower Road Beach for a great way to spend the evening of July 27. Beginning at 7 p.m., families can start setting up their camp site. Families are asked to provide their own food. Grills will be available. At dusk, watch “Little Mermaid” and start a bonfire for marshmallow roasting and s’mores. Register at winpark.org.
46. Glencoe Festival of Art
This outdoor festival with live music, food and activities for all ages spotlights artwork from more than 130 artists from around the world. Artists will feature ceramics, glass, jewelry, metal, painting, photography and wood from July 27-28 in downtown Glencoe.
47. Green Bay Trail Day
Run, walk or bike it! Activities for families, walkers, nature lovers, runners, bikers, and dog lovers will line the trail from 8 a.m.-noon Aug. 3 between Scott Avenue and Hazel.
48. Farewell to Summer Luau
Mahalo! Let that cool Hawaiian breeze hit you as Winnetka waves goodbye to summer from 4-7 p.m. Aug. 8 at Tower Road Beach. Food will be served throughout the evening, along with music performed by The Barefoot Hawaiian dancers. Register at winpark.org.
49. Cardboard Regatta
Build a cardboard boat at home and bring it to the beach to race against other boats from 12:30-2 p.m. Aug. 9. Supplies available for late additions and repairs. Awards will be presented for speed, and team spirit. Teams of two or more must have at least two people sail in the boat. For ages 6-18. Visit www.glencoeparkdistrict.com for detailed equipment lists and rules.
50. Kite Festival
In the meadow west of Evening Island at the Chicago Botanic Garden, enjoy soaring stunt-kite performances set to music by members of the Chicago Fire Kite Team and members of the Kite Society of Wisconsin and Illinois from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 10-11.
51. Back to School Monster Bash
For the last time this summer, become a monster and celebrate summer vacation with Mike and Sully. There will be a DJ playing your favorite songs of summer, crafts for children, and a photo booth to remember this monster of an evening from 6-8 p.m. Aug. 22. At dusk, stick around for a showing of the Disney movie “Monster University.”
52. Bees and Beyond
Bees and Beyond is a garden-wide thematic program that will inspire a genuine appreciation for the vital role pollinators play in our everyday lives and in a healthy, diverse planet at the Chicago Botanic Garden. The main emphasis of the program is from June through September, with touchpoints throughout the year. Visit www.chicagobotanic.org/beesandbeyond for more information.