If back-to-school sales and talk of fall have you thinking that summer is slipping away, don't despair. We still have a few weeks left to take in outdoor concerts, al fresco dining and blockbuster movies at the multiplex.
Now's the time to get your fill of all that summer has to offer.
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So here's a quick A-to-Z primer on enjoying the last weeks of summer in the suburbs. Just check appropriate websites for further details and prices. And don't delay: Some of the hottest tickets are already selling out.
C -- County fairs. Suburbanites can get their fill of corn dogs, cows and carnival rides at the Lake County Fair in Grayslake, the DuPage County Fair in Wheaton (both running through Sunday, July 27) or the McHenry County Fair in Woodstock (opening Wednesday, July 30).
D -- Drive-in. Nostalgia is just one of many reasons to head to the Cascade in West Chicago, one of the region's last remaining drive-in movie theaters. Check cascadedrivein.com for what's playing.
E -- Extraterrestrial misfits. An adventurer and his alien allies -- including a gun-toting, genetically engineered raccoon -- must save the universe in Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy." The film hits theaters Aug. 1.
F -- Fests. Take your pick on town and tastes any weekend through Labor Day. Check out full listings at dailyherald.com/calendar.
G -- "Ghostbusters." The comedy classic -- starring suburban natives Bill Murray and the late Harold Ramis -- returns to movie theaters Aug. 29 for its 30th birthday. Who ya gonna call?
H -- Horse racing. The running of the Arlington Million -- launched in 1981 as the world's first million-dollar race -- is still a big local event. Catch it Aug. 16 at Arlington International Racecourse. www.arlingtonpark.com.
I -- iFly. Brave souls can take flight at one of two new indoor sky-diving spots in the suburbs -- Rosemont and Naperville. Check chicago.iflyworld.com for packages and details.
J -- Jazz fest. The Windy City may be better known for blues, but Chicago's Jazz Festival is worth a visit. It runs Aug. 28-31 in Millennium Park.
K -- Kane County Cougars' Bark in the Park. Man's best friend is invited to the Geneva ballpark for a dog parade and a chance to run the bases on Aug. 13. www.kanecountycougars.com.
L -- Lollapalooza. True, tickets to this major music fest are sold out. But maybe you snagged them early on to catch Kings of Leon, Eminem and more Aug. 1-3 in Chicago's Grant Park. If not, well, there's always an aftershow. www.lollapalooza.com.
M -- "Merry Wives of Windsor." First Folio Theatre stages Shakespeare under the stars at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday through Aug. 10 at Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook. Just don't forget your picnic. www.firstfolio.org.
N -- Ninja Turtles. Leonardo and his pizza-loving pals are back on the big screen and braced for battle against -- who else? -- the evil Shredder. "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" opens Aug. 8.
P -- "Partners." Cable station FX goes for "Odd Couple"-like chemistry with TV vets Kelsey Grammer and Martin Lawrence as Chicago lawyers from different backgrounds who decide to become partners. It premieres at 8 p.m. Aug. 4.
Q -- "The Qualms." A prizewinning playwright. Chicago's acclaimed Steppenwolf Theatre. And a world-premiere play about suburban swingers. Leave the kids at home for this one.
R -- RiverEdge Park. This outdoor Aurora venue is halfway through its second season. Coming up: Lady Antebellum on Aug. 7 and Boston on Aug. 10. www.riveredgeaurora.com.
S -- Surf and Soul. That's what they're calling the '60s dream-team pairing of the Beach Boys and The Temptations at Ravinia in Highland Park. See both bands Aug. 26. www.ravinia.org.
T -- Theatre Hikes. It's "Alice in Wonderland" this weekend in July, then "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown" weekends in August for theater on the move at Lisle's Morton Arboretum. All hikes start at 1 p.m. www.mortonarb.org.
U -- Umphrey's McGee. The Midwestern prog-rock band -- drummer Kris Myers hails from Palatine -- plays Friday, July 25, at Ravinia. ravinia.org.
V -- Volo Bog. Families can celebrate International Bog Day (we know you want to) Sunday, July 27, with tours, a bog dog picnic, art show, music and more. Get the details at friendsofvolobog.org.
W -- Wizard World. Chicago's Comic Con features stars from "Star Trek," "The Walking Dead," "The Big Bang Theory" and more. It's Aug. 21-24 at Rosemont's Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. Get the details (yes, Capt. Kirk's coming) at www.wizardworld.com.
X -- Xtreme Trampolines. You can wear the kids out in a place where bouncing off the walls is a good thing. The spot has locations in Carol Stream and Buffalo Grove. extremetrampolines.com.
Y -- Yes. The current frontman of the rock band Yes was not yet born when the originals came together in 1968. But lineup changes aside, the band has a new album and plays Chicago's Copernicus Center Saturday, July 26. www.copernicuscenter.org.
Z -- Zoo. Because, well, no summer is complete without a visit to a zoo like Brookfield Zoo.