Best Of Chicago

Best Things To Do Labor Day Weekend In Chicago

August 15, 2014 7:00 AM

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Chicago Jazz Festival

With Labor Day on September 1, 2014, you don’t have much time left to squeeze in any summer activities. Whether you want to stretch out on the beach one last time or head to a festival, there are plenty of ways to make the most of these last summer days. If you’re not sure what to do with your family this Labor Day weekend, then consider adding the following Chicago-area activities to your planner. For an additional list of Labor Day activities, check out this article

Hear Music At The Chicago Jazz Festival
Chicago Cultural Center and Millennium Park
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 744-3315
www.cityofchicago.org

Wind down your summer with the soulful sounds of the Chicago Jazz Festival. The annual music event, a longtime favorite event in Chicago, kicks off August 28, 2014, at the Chicago Cultural Center and Millennium Park, with a performance at Roosevelt University, too. The event then moves to Millennium Park from August 29 through 31, 2014. The 2014 lineup includes performances by Terence Blanchard, Gary Burton, Ari Brown Quartet, Cécile McLorin Salvant and Tammy McCann Quintet. Admission to the festival is free, and concert-goers are permitted to bring blankets and picnics to the event.

Experience Art, Culture At African Festival Of The Arts
Washington Park
51st St. and Cottage Grove Ave.
Chicago, IL 60615
(773) 955-2787
www.africanfestivalchicago.com

Add arts and culture to your Labor Day weekend plans by heading to the African Festival of the Arts in Chicago’s Washington Park neighborhood. The festival runs August 29 through September 1, 2014, and includes live music and entertainment, as well as a special area just for children. African Festival of the Arts includes numerous pavilions that cover a range of topics, including health and wellness, drums, fine arts, quilting and a beer and wine garden. Tickets to the festival, now in its 25th year, can be purchased in advance online or through select retail stores.

See The Fireworks At Navy Pier
600 E. Grand Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 595-7437
www.navypier.com

End your summer on the right note by attending a fireworks show at Navy Pier. While it isn’t the last fireworks show of the year at Navy Pier (there is one scheduled for Halloween, and a second for New Year’s Eve), it is the last one for summer. The fireworks show starts at 10:15 p.m. on August 30, 2014, and is a Chicago tradition. You can also watch the fireworks display well away from Navy Pier. If you’re looking for a different way to see the fireworks, consider checking out the fireworks cruises available through several boating companies in Chicago.

Related: Best Labor Day Weekend Events For Kids In Chicago

Take One Last Swim At Oak Street Beach
1000 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 742-5121
www.cpdbeaches.com

With the last day of the Chicago beach season on September 2, 2014, you’ll want to get a last dip in Lake Michigan by heading to Oak Street Beach in Chicago’s Gold Coast and Streeterville neighborhoods. The beach is one of the premier places in Chicago to see and be seen, and is also a great spot for unrolling your beach blanket and getting a late-summer tan or play a quick game of beach volleyball. After soaking up some sun, stop by the Oak Street Beach Food & Drink, where you can choose from a selection of summertime drinks and food. There’s parking near the beach, and you can also take public transportation, with several buses running near the venue.

Indulge In A Scoop Of Ice Cream At Capannari Ice Cream
10 S. Pine
Mt. Prospect, IL 60056
(847) 392-2277
www.capannaris.com

If it’s possible to capture the end of summer in a scoop of ice cream, then Capannari Ice Cream in the northwest suburb of Mt. Prospect is the place to be. While the store doesn’t close until late October for the year, you should still include stopping in for a scoop of ice cream as part of your Labor Day weekend plans. If you’ve never been, then you’re in for a treat. Capannari features a rotating selection of ice cream that includes seasonal flavors and ingredients, as well standard flavors like vanilla, chocolate and rocky road. You can also get adventurous and try flavors like teaberry, ginger and malted butter fudge. In the fall, Capannari offers classics like pumpkin and maple walnut, and a selection of pies and cakes.

Related: Best Cheap Activities To Do With Kids In Chicago

Megan Horst-Hatch is a runner, reader, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in “-er.” She is also the president of Megan Writes, LLC. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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