10 ways to send off summer in the suburbs

It's time for one last summer excursion before temperatures drop and autumn leaves start to fall. In these last few weeks of summer, there are several events in the city and suburbs that will help you bring the season to an entertaining close.

1. Bristol Renaissance Faire

Escape just beyond the Lake County border — and back a few hundred years — to celebrate the first Queen Elizabeth's birthday in a replica of the world she lived in. The Bristol Renaissance Faire runs weekends through Labor Day on a 30-acre site that offers visitors a day filled with minstrels, jesters and characters such as Robin Hood. Along with historical activities and games, the fair features more than 200 artists selling everything from hickory walking sticks to tapestries. This year, the fair also unveiled a new kingdom for children equipped with a castle stage surrounded by enchanting hobbit houses.

The fair is at 12550 120th Ave., Kenosha, Wisconsin. It runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through Sept. 6, plus Labor Day, too. Tickets cost $10-$23.95. or (847) 395-7773.

2. ‘Peter and the Starcatcher' at the Drury Lane Theatre

Fly through the Neverland you never experienced and meet Peter Pan before he became “The Boy Who Never Grew Up” at Drury Lane Theatre's production of “Peter and the Starcatcher.” With music and dancing, 12 performers will bring the prequel to life.

“Peter and the Starcatcher” will run at Drury Lane Theatre at 100 Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace through Sunday, Oct. 18. Performance times vary. Tickets cost $40-$55. or (630) 530-0111.

3. Chicago Jazz Festival

The Chicago Jazz Festival will celebrate its 37th year as a staple for jazz-lovers across the city and the suburbs. The four-day festival runs from Thursday through Sunday, Sept. 3-6, with a lineup that includes Butler, Bernstein & the Hot 9, the Fred Hersch Trio, Muhal Richard Abrams' Experimental Band and more.

Performances are free and take place at the Chicago Cultural Center at 78 E. Washington St. and in Millennium Park at 201 E. Randolph St., Chicago. or (312) 744-5000.

4. Naperville Jaycees Last Fling 2015

For music enthusiasts, Naperville's 50th Last Fling — running Friday through Monday, Sept. 4-7 — will feature a number of local bands and a few nationally recognized artists. Among them: DuPage County's Lucky Boys Confusion, Chevelle and Daughtry. In addition to live music, the four-day festival includes carnival rides, Family Fun Land with pony rides, crafts, bounces houses and more, food and drinks, the Fling Mile at 8:45 a.m. and 5K race at 9 a.m. Monday followed by the parade at 10 a.m. and more. There will also be a meet-and-greet (wristbands required) with Calum Worthy, star of Disney Channel's “Austin & Ally,” from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 6.

The Last Fling will be located across the street from Naperville Central High School at 440 W. Aurora Ave. The event will be open 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4; 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 5-6; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 7. Tickets cost $10 and up. or (630) 961-4143.

5. Arlington International's Party in the Park

Enjoy one last summer day at Arlington International Racecourse among horses and live music. Arlington Park will be offering entertainment, and $3 beer and $2 mini appetizer specials, on Friday, Sept. 4. Lisa Rene will play throughout the day on the Miller Lite Band Stage.

Arlington International Racecourse is at 2200 W. Euclid Ave. in Arlington Heights. The event will open at 2 p.m., with the first race at 3:15 p.m. $8 for adults, $3 for children. or (847) 385-7500.

6. Fox Valley Irish Festival

Unleash your inner leprechaun and celebrate the liveliness that embodies the culture of the Emerald Isle at Fox Valley's Irish Festival on Saturday, Sept. 5. With activities ranging from whiskey tastings for adults to Irish dancing for children, the festival will be suitable for the whole family. There also will be a series of contests, including a best legs in a kilt competition. The entertainment schedule includes Brendan Loughrey, hailing from County Donegal, Ireland, and the rock band The Blaggards.

The festival will be at RiverEdge Park, 360 N. Broadway, Aurora. Festival gates open at 3 p.m. Tickets cost $5-$10. or (630) 896-6666.

7. Kane County Cougars ‘Star Wars' Night

Peanuts, Cracker Jacks and Darth Vader. Experience it all at the Kane County Cougars game on Saturday, Sept. 5. Channel your inner Jedi and head to the game in costume. At the ballpark, there will be special guest appearances by your favorite “Star Wars” characters, and the Cougars will play the Peoria Chiefs in one of the last games of the season.

The game starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Fifth Third Bank Ballpark, 34W002 Cherry Lane, Geneva. Tickets cost $11-$23. or (630) 232-8811.

8. ‘Marvel Universe Live'

Spiderman, Iron Man and other favorite Marvel superheroes are coming to Chicago and then Rosemont next month to engage in aerial stunts, martial arts, motorcycle tricks and more. The show uses cutting-edge special effects to create an experience geared to superhero enthusiasts.

“Marvel Universe Live” runs Thursday through Sunday, Sept. 10-13. at Chicago's United Center at 1901 W. Madison St., before moving to the Allstate Arena, 6920 N. Mannheim Road, from Sep. 18-20. Tickets cost $25-$90., or (312) 455-4500.

9. Tails on the Trails

Embark on one last summer outdoor adventure, and bring man's best friend along, at the Morton Arboretum on Saturday, Sept. 12. As part of the Tails on the Trails event, you can walk your dog on the arboretum's 16 miles of hiking trails. Pets are not usually allowed on the trails, so this is a unique opportunity. Dogs must be on leash at all times and must have updated vaccinations and registrations.

After wandering around, you can shop at a pet expo, or test out your dog's skills in an agility course and in competitions such as a peanut-butter licking contest. Local pet shelters will be in attendance with adoptable dogs.

The Morton Arboretum is at 4100 Route 53, Lisle. The park will be open to dogs for hiking from 7 a.m. to sunset, and the main Tails on the Trails event will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 per dog. or (630) 968-0074.

10. Comedy Cruise with Zanies Comedy Club

Enjoy views of the Chicago skyline while laughing the night away aboard a boat on the Chicago River Friday, Sept. 18. Comedians Dobie Maxwell and Bill Gorgo will entertain on the 90-minute cruise. Maxwell has performed with the likes of Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno, while Gorgo is an award-winning storyteller and talk-radio host.

The Shoreline Sightseeing cruise will set sail from Chicago's Navy Pier at 600 E. Grand Ave. at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $39 per person and include one complimentary drink ticket. or (312) 222-9328.

"Marvel Universe Live" plays Chicago's United Center and then moves to the Allstate Arena in Rosemont in September.
The Bristol Renaissance Faire wraps up its summer run Labor Day weekend.
The Bristol Renaissance Faire wraps up its summer run Labor Day weekend.
Celebrate your favorite "Star Wars" characters with the Kane County Cougars Sept. 5. Daily Herald file photo
Stubhy Pandav and Lucky Boys Confusion play Naperville's Last Fling. Courtesy of Theresa Danet
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