Here it is, the final “official” summer weekend. Have you eaten your quota of funnel cakes? Did you catch a baseball game? Attend a lakefront festival? Enjoy a bike ride?
Good thing there are still plenty of opportunities to grab some last-minute summer fun:
Late summer can be the best time to venture into Lake Michigan, now that it’s had all summer to warm up a bit. There are several inland lakes, too, with warmer water.
If you go to Twin Lakes’ Lance Park Saturday at 6 p.m. you can catch the final performance this year of the Aquanuts Water Ski Show. Admission is free (and you can stay dry!)
And if you’re seeking water that comes with rafts and slides and a lazy river, go to the Hurricane Harbor outdoor waterpark at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Ill. Hurricane Harbor is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday through Monday before closing for the season. www.sixflags.com.
Eat your weight in cheese
Cheese-A-Palooza — a free downtown lakefront festival — is Saturday and Sunday along the harbor. You’ll find live music, food vendors and eating contests. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Admission is free. The festival is along Kenosha’s harbor on 53rd Street and Sixth Avenue. For more on this festival, see Page 7.
Walk it off
Since the Labor Day Weekend forecast calls for beautiful weather, try to enjoy some time in a park. There are 11 miles of hiking and biking trails at Petrifying Springs Park (on highways E and 31) and even more hiking area — 41 miles of trails — out at Richard Bong State Recreation Area (off Highway 142 in in Brighton).
Programs at Bong this weekend include “Migrating Monarchs” from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday. Participants will “discover how tagging monarch butterflies unlocked the mystery of their migration.” The program includes a hike to search for butterflies to catch and tag. Also on Saturday, officers from the K9 unit of Milwaukee County House of Corrections will demonstrate how police dogs are trained and how they help protect the public. The free K9 program is 6 to 7 p.m. Meet at the Visitor Center in bad weather.
On Sunday, Bong hosts a Photo Scavenger Hunt from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visitors are welcome to “bring your phone or camera and drop in before 3 p.m. You’ll get a clue sheet and then it’s up to you and your team to search the park and photograph the answers to the scavenger hunt.” Bonus: There are PRIZES.
Sunday evening’s program is “Pollinator Crafts” from 6 to 8 p.m. To take part, drop in at Bong before 7:30 p.m. “to create a variety of great take-home crafts to learn about and help pollinators.” This program is for all ages. The programs meet at the Visitor Center. Note: Programs are free, but a valid Wisconsin state park sticker is required to enter Bong. For more information, call 262-878-5601.
If you’re out walking Saturday morning in Kenosha, stop by the Kenosha HarborMarket, open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Second Avenue, between 54th and 56th streets. This outdoor market — which features produce, prepared foods, arts and crafts and musical entertainment — is a great place to kick off your holiday weekend.
The annual Kenosha Classic Cruise-In — which draws 8,000 to 10,000 people each Labor Day Weekend — is Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in downtown Kenosha. Admission is free. For more on the car show, see Page 6.
The Car Show To Benefit Our Wounded Veterans is 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Simmons Island Park, 55th Street and the lakefront. (Rain date is Sept. 8).
There will be raffles, door prizes, food and drinks available and music. A noon ceremony will be held honoring all who have served and those who did not come back. Show vehicle entry fee is $10; the show is free for spectators. Dash plaques and goodies bags will be given to the first 250 vehicles. The show is open to all makes and years of vehicles and motorcycles. No pre-registration required.
Also, donations of “good used toys, puzzles, games and books for children to the age of 12 years and pet food needed for the animals at Safe Harbor Humane Society will be collected,” according to organizer Nick Pulera. For more information, call Pulera at 262-620-4301 or check “Southern Wisconsin All Airborne Chapter” on Facebook.
Note: This chapter is not affiliated with the national wounded warrior project group or any other wounded warrior program.
In Milwaukee, Harley-Davidson fans will be out in force through Monday at the annual Milwaukee Rally, with such “wholesome” activities as wet T-shirt contests. www.milwaukeerally.com.
Fair and Faire
The Walworth County Fair in Elkhorn is in full swing this weekend. Grandstand entertainment includes the a cappella group Home Free on Saturday night and the Christian rock band Newsboys United on Sunday night. Demolition derbies wrap up the fair on Labor Day. For more information, go to www.walworthcountyfair.com or call 262-723-3228.
This weekend (including Monday) is also your last opportunity to don your best suit of armor and strut around the Bristol Renaissance Faire. www.renfair.com.
Laborfest, the annual celebration of the importance of organized labor, is 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Labor Day (Sept. 2) at the picnic grounds east of St. Therese Church, 2020 91st St. Admission is free. For more on Laborfest, see Page 7.
Go south of the border
Zion, Ill., is celebrating its 71st annual Jubilee Days Festival — hosted each year on Labor Day Weekend.
The festival is Saturday through Monday. Highlights include an orchestra concert 6:30 p.m. Sunday on the band shell, with fireworks starting about 8:15 p.m. On Monday, the Jubilee Days Festival Parade steps off at 1 p.m. Also Monday, an arts and crafts festival is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Shiloh Park. www.zionjubileedays.com.
If you’re looking for some thrills, tackle the new Boundless Adventures Aerial Adventure Park in Bristol Woods County Park, 9800 160th Ave.
The aerial adventure park, which opened in June, features nine different obstacle courses of varying degrees of difficulty that are woven through the trees at Bristol Woods County Park.
Climbers are strapped into harnesses and clipped onto wires at all times as they move from platform to platform, crossing rope bridges, climbing over swinging logs, ziplining and navigating teeter-tottering planks.
The easiest courses (yellow) are near the ground; the toughest (black) is 30-40 feet in the air. Admission is $49 for ages 7-11 (you must be at least 7 years old to climb), $45 for college students and $55 for ages 12 to adult. Admission is valid for three hours of climbing time. There is no charge for spectators or parking. Discounts are available for groups. For more information, call 262-924-8781 or log on at https://boundlessadventures.net/wi-park
Go wild II
Looking to add some wildlife to your Labor Day Weekend? Head to the Lake Geneva area — specifically, rural Bloomfield in Walworth County — where you’ll find Safari Lake Geneva.
The wildlife park features two pastures filled with animals, including American bison, miniature horses and zebras. Visitors ride on wagons pulled by a tractor and have the chance to feed the animals while learning about them. Tours last about an hour. To reserve a tour, go online to www.safarilakegeneva.com or call 262-326-4318.
Cheer on the Boys of Summer
Late summer baseball can be fun, especially if your favorite team is still in playoff contention. (Sorry, White Sox fans.)
Friday through Sunday, the Chicago Cubs are hosting the Milwaukee Brewers in Wrigley Field. How perfect is that? Go to the game or watch at home; there are two local teams to cheer for. Bonus: Friday’s game features a shirt giveaway to the first 10,000 fans; Sunday’s game has a lunch bag giveaway. For ticket information, go to www.cubs.com.
PHOTOS: Lincoln Park Live: Betsy Ade & the Well-Known Strangers
Betsy Ade & the Well-Known Strangers — a band made up of Ade on vocals, Cameron Fair on cello and piano, Brittany Lumley playing multiple instruments and backing vocals, Roger Gower Jr. on drums, John Kulas on the bass and Joe Adamek on lead guitar — played a two-hour set at the latest installment of Lincoln Park Live in Lincoln Park, 6900 18th Ave., on Tuesday, July 17.
Here are a roundup of photos of the band performing at the event.
Betsy Ade and the Well-Known Strangers, seen here performing in Lincoln Park earlier this summer, are playing at Laborfest on Monday.