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updated: 7/23/2014 10:54 AM

8 things to do while it's 80 degrees and perfect this weekend

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  • The sun rises over Lake Zurich in the summer.

      The sun rises over Lake Zurich in the summer.
    LOIS BURROW/LAKE ZURICH

 
 

We've had record colds. Record snow. Record fog. Record rains. Not to mention a faux polar vortex threat last week.

We're about due for some awesome throw-on-your-shorts, pack-up-the-kids, get-out-of-the-house, soak-up-the-sun, amazing summer weather in the suburbs.

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And that's just what we're going to get this weekend: Forecasters are calling for sun and low 80s all weekend.

No rain. No snow. No tornadoes. No microbursts. No polar vortex.

To help us soak up this slice of meteorological awesomeness while we can, here are 8 things our editors suggest we can do this weekend.

You never know. Next weekend, it could be sleeting.

1. Scenic overlook with panoramic views

The scenic overlook at the Greene Valley Forest Preserve is the tallest point in DuPage County.

The scenic overlook at the Greene Valley Forest Preserve is the tallest point in DuPage County. - Daily Herald file

How about heading to the tallest point in DuPage County, and taking in a panoramic view of migrating birds and even the Chicago skyline. The scenic overlook is at the Greene Valley Forest Preserve, Greene Road and 75th Street near Naperville. It's a long-closed, 190-foot-tall landfill. A road leads from the base of the hill to a parking lot at the top. In addition to great views, the landfill provides energy through the methane gas it produces. Greene Valley is open weekends from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more, http://www.dupageforest.com/Conservation/Forest_Preserves/Greene_Valley.aspx

The Millennium Trail in Lake County offers 35 miles of paths you can bike or hike on.

The Millennium Trail in Lake County offers 35 miles of paths you can bike or hike on. - Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

2. Pedal along sunlight-dappled trails

Take a long, leisurely bicycle ride on the Des Plaines River Trail or the Millennium Trail and Greenway, both in Lake County. The Des Plaines River Trail is 31 miles long, while the Millennium Trail and Greenway is 35 miles in length. Pack a picnic lunch and stop along the way.

3. A good nacho fight

East Dundee hosts a community lunch and "Macho Nacho Throwdown" at 11 a.m. Sunday during the village's weekly farmers market at The Depot, 319 N. River St. The friendly "throwdown" pits two local restaurants -- Bandito Barney's and Rosie O'Hare's Public House -- competing for bragging rights and to support community efforts. Chefs Gabe Pinedo from Bandito Barney's and Andrew Wyslotsky from Rosie O'Hare's Public House will get creative plating their nachos with their own variety of sauces. A complimentary community lunch will follow the throwdown.

Arlington International Racecourse is holding a special event for guys only Saturday.
Arlington International Racecourse is holding a special event for guys only Saturday. - MARK BLACK/File
4. Ponies just for the guys

Arlington International Racecourse is having a Guys Day out at the track. A $30 beer fest ticket gets you into a beer tasting from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Saturday, plus two 12-oz. drinks, a hot dog, admission to the track and a souvenir cup. If 20 beer vendors wasn't enough for you to round up your buddies, there's a build-your-own nacho station and classic car show included. (Ladies, I've seen some guys at the track on Mother's Day, so I think we should feel free to crash this event if we want.)

The Naperville Ale Fest runs Saturday at Naper Settlement in Naperville.

The Naperville Ale Fest runs Saturday at Naper Settlement in Naperville. - Daily Herald file

5. Cure what ales you

More than 200 craft beers and artisan ciders will be available at the Naperville Ale Fest at Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville. $45 (includes festival sampling glass, program guide and beer sampling). (630) 420-6010 or napersettlement.org. 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday.

The White Sox will be playing at U.S. Cellular Field this weekend.

The White Sox will be playing at U.S. Cellular Field this weekend. - Mark Welsh/File

6. Go nuts, go into the city

If you keep saying you plan to hit a ballgame in the city but never get around to it, this is the weekend to just do it. The White Sox play the Houston Astros tonight (7 p.m.), Saturday (6 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.) at U.S. Cellular Field. Hot dogs, peanuts, Cracker Jacks, Lemon ice. Need we say more? Consider a stop at Pin Tom Memorial Park, 1700 S. Wentworth Ave., a tranquil 12-acre park in Chinatown built on a former rail yard with beautiful views of the Chicago River. Great place for a picnic.

Pin Tom Memorial Park at 1700 S. Wentworth Ave. in Chicago, is just 2 miles from U.S. Cellular Field.

Pin Tom Memorial Park at 1700 S. Wentworth Ave. in Chicago, is just 2 miles from U.S. Cellular Field. - Pin Tom Memorial Park

7. Worship outside

Commune with God and the great outdoors at WorshipFest 2014, held 1 to 8 p.m. Saturday at Cross and Crown Lutheran Church, 1122 W. Rand Road, Arlington Heights. Churches participating this year are Orchard Church, Quest Church and Ark Church International, but everyone is welcome. The festival will include music and food. Admission is free.

Gary Sinise performs with his "Lt. Dan Band."

Gary Sinise performs with his "Lt. Dan Band." - Associated Press

8. Feast of fests, of course

There's Gary Sinise and his Lt. Dan Band headline the Rockin' for the Troops all-day music festival Saturday at Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton. The Kane County Fair at 525 S. Randall Road, St. Charles. Alpine Fest in Lake Zurich with carnival rides, food, beer, games and music at Lion Fred Blau Park, 81 E. Main St.

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