Summer’s end is approaching, but there are still great days ahead. Check out our top-10 recommendations before we say goodbye to the season!
Top 10 by Summer's End
Dive In! The swimming beach at Three Oaks Recreation Area in Crystal Lake is open 10 a.m. to sunset through Labor Day weekend (September 3). Free for Crystal Lake residents. For more, visit www.threeoaksrecreation.com.
(FREE) Swing Out! McHenry County Living is proud to be the featured sponsor of the final Concerts in the Park at Main Beach in Crystal Lake with Vito Buffalo Orchestra on Tuesday, August 14! Enjoy the swinging sounds of this 20-piece band! For more, visit ww.crystallakeparks.org.
(FREE) Paddle Around! Paddle the waters of Nippersink Creek, the largest tributary to the Fox River and one of the finest streams in Illinois. For more, including canoe and kayak rental information, visit www.mccdistrict.org/web/re-canoe-access.htm.
(FREE) Pedal About! The Prairie Trail is 26 miles stretching from the Kane County line in Algonquin to the Wisconsin border. The trail provides access to more than 100 miles of trail network including the Fox River Trail, the Great Western Trail and the Illinois Prairie Path. Information on this and other trails, plus an interactive map, is available at www.mccdistrict.org/web/re-bicycling.htm.
Stargaze with a Good Movie! The McHenry Outdoor Theater is open every day with double features beginning at dusk. For a schedule, call 847-362-3011 or visit www.goldenagecinemas.com.
(FREE) Get Fresh! Check out a local farmers market for the best local, seasonal produce, flowers, farm-fresh eggs and meats, plus music and more! A complete list of 2012 markets in the county is available at www.mchenrycountyliving.com/places/our-communities/item/409-2012-farmers-markets-schedule.html Also, now is the time to get your hands – and taste buds – on some famous Mirai sweet corn! It's available now through September at Twin Gardens' Roadside Market in Harvard and at the markets listed here: www.twingardenfarms.com/markets/all-farmers-markets.
Dine Outdoors! Just a few great restaurants with outdoor seating include Duke’s Alehouse and Kitchen (Crystal Lake, www.thedukeabides.com); Doyle’s Pub (Richmond, www.doylespubrocks.com); Sideouts (Island Lake, www.sideouts.com); Port Edward (Algonquin, www.portedward.com); and La Petite Creperie (Woodstock Square, www.lapetitecreperie.net).
Meet Thomas! Thomas & Friends are visiting the Illinois Railway Museum in Union August 17-19 and August 25-26 featuring a 20-minute ride with Thomas, clowns, puppet shows, magic shows, live music, storytelling, a play table, balloon animals, coloring and more! For more, call 800-BIG-RAIL or visit www.irm.org/thomas.
Play Fair! The 163rd Walworth County Fair at the fairgrounds in Elkhorn, Wis., promises to be a great time in the country featuring Wynonna (Judd) and the Big Noise, REO Speedwagon, Walworth County’s Got Talent, a cook-off, demolition derby, antique flea market, rides, food and more. For more, call 262-723-3228 or visit www.walworthcountyfair.com.
(FREE) Splash Around! Veteran Acres’ Splash Pad at Acorn Alley is open daily from dawn to dusk when air temperatures exceed 72 degrees F (through Labor Day). For more, visit www.crystallakeparks.org.