For many, this is the last weekend before school starts and the rigors of schedules and homework begin! If you are looking for one last hoorah, this weekend will not disappoint. The Evanston Art & Big Fork Festival, one of the biggest and most entertaining art fairs of the season, has moved up its traditional September date to this weekend. In addition, for those looking to up their Zen before the stress begins, you can take in the Bonsai Show at the Botanic Garden or partake in some mindful kayaking. For those looking for mindless fun, I suggest glow-in-the dark golf or Defending the Caveman. And finally, for those wanting to sharpen the brain power before the school year begins, you can test your skills at an escape room at the Lake Bluff Library!
Evanston Art & Big Fork Festival
Aug. 18: 4 – 9 pm; Aug. 19: 10 am – 9 pm; Aug. 20: 10 am – 5 pm
Downtown Evanston, 800 Church St., Evanston
With a new date in August, Evanston Art & Big Fork Festival introduces a weekend-long celebration of local art and flavorful fare. The Evanston Art & Big Fork Festival will feature local fare, beer, and wine as live music fills the streets for even more fun! The festival will feature original high-end work from 130 artists that will be available for purchase, perfect for gifts or a signature addition to a personal collection. Traditional mediums such as painting, sculpture, and photography will be showcased alongside unique, usable art, including handmade jewelry, one-of-a-kind furniture, and home accessories. For more info, including a schedule of acts and a list of participating artists, click here.
Mid-America Bonsai Society Show
Aug. 18: 12 – 5; Aug. 19 & 20: 9 am – 5 pm
Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe
Enjoy a display of 200 bonsai trees judged by bonsai master, Kathy Shaner. Shop more than a dozen vendors for bonsai trees and supplies. Free demonstrations and lectures will be available. Also, workshops will be held throughout the weekend for bonsai enthusiasts of all skill levels. In addition, there will be an abbreviated display of cactus and succulent specimens as well as an array of cacti and succulents for sale. For more info, click here.
Locked in the Lake Bluff Library
Aug. 18: 8 – 9 pm
Lake Bluff Library, 123 E. Scranton Ave., Lake Bluff
Test your brain power at the Escape Room at the Library! In this program for teens and adults, puzzle your way through a series of locked rooms to solve a mystery. You’ll work as a team to try to escape before the clock runs out in this fun after-hours event! Limit 10 people per session, call the library to register. 847-234-2540.
Kayaking Mindfully with Infinity Foundation
Aug. 19: 9 am – 12 pm (Rain Date: Aug. 20)
Skokie Lagoons Boat Landing on Tower Rd (East of Edens Expressway and West of Forest Lane), Winnetka
Kayaking is an opportunity to mindfully connect with nature, your kayaking strokes, and the present moment. Experience the joys of movement and adventure as you kayak for two hours in the Skokie Lagoons (expert instruction by John Lionberger precedes being turned loose). Meld with nature’s slower and gentler pace while you witness and engage in the beauty of the surroundings and wildlife. No experience is necessary. The program will run rain or shine unless there is lightning or exceptionally high winds. Please bring a good hat, sunglasses, sunblock, bug repellent, a bottle of water, sandals for the kayak, a plastic poncho in case it rains, and a towel. (Change of clothes to leave in the car is optional.) $75, includes kayak rental. To register: call John at 847-691-6727 or Infinity, 847-831-8828, if the weather is questionable that day. Advance registration only. Space is limited.
Aug. 19: 8 pm
Glenview Prairie Club, 2800 W. Lake Ave., Glenview
Grab your clubs and a flashlight for the most fun you can legally have on a golf course after dark! Shotgun start begins at sundown. Includes all the “neon” you’ll need to navigate 9 holes. $25. Advance registration required. For more information, call 847-657-1637.
Defending the Caveman 25th Anniversary Tour
Aug. 19: 8 pm; Aug. 20: 3 pm
Skokie Theatre, 7924 Lincoln Ave., Skokie
Defending the Caveman is a hilariously insightful play about the ways men and women relate. This prehistoric look at the battle of the sexes is full of wonderful scenarios that celebrate the differences between men and women, making it a perfect entertainment option for couples, or girls’ night out. The show has also been seen and recommended by thousands of marriage and family therapists and counselors, for its humorous look at the inherent differences between the sexes. Written by comedian Rob Becker over a three-year period during which he made an informal study of anthropology, prehistory, psychology, sociology and mythology, Defending the Caveman played for two and a half years on Broadway, making it the longest running solo play in Broadway’s history. Tickets: $50. For more info and to get a special code to save 50% tickets, click here.