Labor Day in Chicago


While most of us are happy to have the day off for Labor Day, it’s a bit bittersweet- seeing as Labor Day signals the end to summer. But don’t fret! Instead, grab an I-GO car and jet off to one of the Chicago Tribune’s many ideas for Labor Day fun:

African Festival of the Arts: Experience African and African-American culture through music, fine arts and cuisine at this annual festival. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. in Washington Park, 51st Street and Cottage Grove Avenue. $10-$15, $5 for seniors and children younger than 12; 773-955-2787, africanfestivalchicago.org

Bike Obama tour: See the sights President Barack Obama frequented in the Chicago area, including his Hyde Park neighborhood. The two-hour, 6-mile bike tour begins at 10 a.m. at the Hyde Park Art Center, 5020 S. Cornell Ave. $32, $18 for children younger than 12 (bike and helmet available). An extended Stimulus Package tour is 22 miles in four hours (departs at 9 a.m., $43) and includes the Museum Campus and Grant Park. A 10 percent discount is offered for online reservations, R.S.V.P. required; 312-915-0995, bobbysbikehike.com

Summer Tropical Flower Show: Maybe your garden didn’t turn out as planned (rain is good, no?), but this display of tropical plants, including begonias and hibiscus, should brighten your day. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at Lincoln Park Conservatory, 2391 N. Stockton Drive. Free; 312-742-7736; and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park Ave. Free; 312-746-5100

Dinosaurs Alive!: A display of animatronic dinosaurs — including a 60-foot-long and 30-foot-high replica of the Ruyang Yellow River dinosaur — at Brookfield Zoo has got the awesomeness. And there are all the other wonderful animal habitats to check out too. 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. at Brookfield Zoo, 3300 Golf Rd., Brookfield. $17, $11 for seniors and children ages 3-11 (includes regular zoo admission), $8 for parking; 708-485-0263, czs.org

The Last Fling: Here’s how to send summer off with a bang: a spaghetti-eating contest, Big Wheel races, car show, parade and more. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at Naperville Riverwalk, 100 W. Jackson Ave., Naperville. Free (main stage free Monday); 630-961-4143, lastfling.org

Bristol Renaissance Faire: It’s the last chance to get all medieval, as Bristol closes its season with a juggling/comedy/fire show, street theater and more. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. at Bristol Renaissance Faire, 12550 120th Ave., Kenosha, Wis. $16.95, $7.50 for children 5-12, children younger than 5 free; 847-395-7773, renfair.com

Arlington Park: A day of thoroughbred racing will include a Pucker Up Stakes for 3-year-old fillies and a Stars and Stripes handicap for older horses. There’s more than racing going on, with The Brave performing on the Miller Lite Band Stage. Gates open at 11:15 a.m. at Arlington Park, 2200 W. Euclid, Arlington Heights. $6-$7 general admission, children younger than 17 free when accompanied by an adult; 847-385-7427, arlingtonpark.com

Chicago Premium Outlets: Kids — according to kids — can never have enough back-to-school clothes. And if you’re looking for outfits for the ones who have grown a size over the summer, already-discounted merchandise at the 120 outlet stores will have additional reductions of 25 percent to 65 percent. 9 a.m.-9 p.m. at Chicago Premium Outlets, 1650 Premium Outlets Blvd., Aurora; 630-585-2200, premiumoutlets.com

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