This Weekend Around Oak Park


Independence Day weekend is a tough act to follow, but I’m here to argue that this time around can be even more fun. Seven days ago, we were entertained by fireworks, parades, and live music. We dined casually on burgers, hot dogs, and cold beverages. We spent our days basking in the sun, hanging out with those near and dear to our hearts, while celebrating the birth of our country. For all intents and purposes, it was the epitome of a fun summer weekend.

But then…

Tuesday, July 5 came, and we woke up with our hearing and vision impaired by the music and fireworks. We woke up carrying a little extra weight than we are used to, and weeks of dieting to get that beach bod in perfect condition fell to the wayside. We couldn’t move our arms because the sunburn on our shoulders left our skin feeling tight and hot. Oh, the prices we paid for enjoying our Independence Day weekend a little too much.

But now…

You face no great obligations, such as attending a cookout with your in-laws and later watching fireworks with them. You can spend it entirely at home in the air condition watching Netflix (HBO Go? Hulu? Cable for those who haven’t jumped on the streaming train yet). You can spend a couple extra days getting back into your exercise routine. There are any number of things you can choose to do, and it begins right here by consulting our list of activities and events in the OPRF area from Friday, July 8, to Sunday, July 10.

Oak Park’s First Live Escape Room
If you like solving puzzles and new experiences, you might want to check out Escape Factor Chicago (EFC), which recently opened its doors in Oak Park’s Hemingway District. EFC provides a unique 60-minute experience that allows a group of participants to explore a room filled with puzzles, riddles, and cryptic messages. The goal is to have participants work together in order to solve all of the puzzles before time runs out. EFC is located at 711 South Boulevard. Business hours are 3:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, and 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Oak Park Festival Theatre Presents Pygmalion at Austin Gardens
There are two weekends left to see George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion: a story of a phonetics professor who tutors a lower-class girl to speak proper English in order to pass for a “lady.” The play will be shown at Austin Gardens, 167 Forest Avenue, Oak Park. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 7 p.m. Tickets are $29 for general admission, $26 for seniors, $15 for students, children under 12 and dogs are free. To purchase, visit

Friday Night Splash: Middle School Pool Party
Friday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
All OPRF-area middle schoolers are invited to a pool party at the Ridgeland Pool, 415 Lake St., Oak Park. There will be a professional DJ, games, giveaways, and of course, fun in the pool. To register your child, visit Friday Night Splash.

Free Summer Concert Series at Scoville Park
Sunday from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Enjoy free concerts on Sundays throughout the summer at Scoville Park, 800 W. Lake Street. This week, One Family Band will grace the stage. This acoustic group will play easy-listening tunes that are perfect for the entire family.

Summer Fridays on Madison in Forest Park
The Forest Park Chamber of Commerce is hosting the “Summer Fridays on Madison” shopping promotion once again this week. According to the FP Chamber website, participants can enjoy exclusive discounts at participating shops such as American Artworks Gallery, Bliss Fashion Lounge, Camille et Famille, deedee & edee, Girlicious, Jayne, Madison Street Shoes, Team Blonde, Todd & Holland and Yearbook.

Oak Park Farmers Market
Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Oak Park Farmers Market is now in its 41st annual year. Items for sale include locally grown produce, flowers, bedding plants, honey, cheese, frozen meat, bread, and doughnuts. Cash is the preferred method of payment but credit and debit are available depending on the vendor. The Farmers Market is located in the Pilgrim Congregational Church parking lot, 460 Lake Street.

Saturday Fun Run
There will be two “Best Foot Forward” Saturday morning fun runs: 6 miles at 7:30 a.m., or 3 miles at 8 a.m. The group will meet at Panera Bread, 7349 Lake St in River Forest. These fun runs are open to runners of all ages, experience, and ability levels.

5th Annual Sculpture Walk
The 5th Annual Oak Park Sculpture Walk features 12 sculptures from various local artists. The sculptures can be viewed as a part of the outdoor exhibit in Mills Park near Pleasant and Home Avenues. The walking tour will be open for public viewing until Sept. 5.


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