Here’s our range of weekend picks as we head toward the holiday. For our full list of suggestions-a dozen, three a day for Thursday through Sunday-click here. For Monday, not so much typing or clicking: Take Labor Day to enjoy nature’s bounty before the summer’s over. This is the day to be thankful for our parks. Get out. Unwind. Enjoy.
6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28
Obama watch parties Regardless what you think of our junior senator, there’s no denying the night’s history meter. At 6 p.m., if you’re not near a TV at work or at home, you can catch Barack Obama’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention on either a hi-def 9- by 16-foot screen at FitzGerald’s in Berwyn or on a smaller set at Horan’s Snug in Forest Park. The viewing is free at both watch parties; food and drink are on you. At Horan’s, drafts will be $2, but we recommend you pay tribute to the late Bev Thompson and order her usual there: a brandy Manhattan with a splash of sweet vermouth and a hunk of lemon. FitzGerald’s is at 6615 Roosevelt, Berwyn. Horan’s Snug is at 7218 Madison, Forest Park.
7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28
Theatre Thursday Just a week after the premiere of Love in the Middle Ages, things are heating up all the more at Village Players’ Performing Arts Center. The 8 p.m. performance this Thursday will be the centerpiece of a League of Chicago Theatres’ themed night – Theatre Thursday. Beforehand, at 7 p.m., there will be wine, hors d’oeuvres and a preview of another musical and, afterward, there will be a Q&A about Love in the Middle Ages, the boomer dating musical. Food and drink will be from Forest Park’s Starship restaurant. The preview is of The Medium at Large, the next world premiere musical at Village Players, which will feature Tony-nominee John Herrera. Tickets for all this fun are only $5 more than for Love -$30. Call 866-764-1010 to get some. The Village Players’ Performing Arts Center is at 1010 W. Madison in Oak Park. www.village-players.org
9 p.m. to midnight Thursday, Aug. 28
Live jazz on Oak Park Avenue The Lamplighters at Avenue Ale House. No cover. 825 S. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park.
6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29
‘No-headache’ sips Clarity’s a good thing going into a long, holiday weekend. For tonight’s tasting, HouseRed opts for eco-friendly, organic and what they call “no-headache” wines. 7403 W. Madison, Forest Park. 771-7733, www.house-red.com
1 to 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29
Grill coaching Get tips on how to handle turkey, chicken and pork bratwurst from folks in the meat department of Whole Foods. 7245 Lake, River Forest. 366-1045
8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29
Live music on Pleasant Street Holly McGuire brings stylings on piano, bass and drums to Philander’s restaurant. The Carleton Hotel, 1110 Pleasant, Oak Park. 848-5000
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 30
A primer on summer pies Get squared away on best practices for making pies with the rest of the season’s bounty-peach and blackberry with coatmeanl-cookie crust, cherry lattice and coconut cream-and take away those tips as you prep for the holiday baking: $70. Flavour Cooking School, 7401 W. Madison, Forest Park. 488.0808, www.flavourcookingschool.com
1:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 30
Design Detectives tour of the Wright Home and Studio Don’t wait for a visiting out-of-towner to get you to the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio for a tour. Make time for an interactive tour of the most famous architect’s Oak Park digs. 951 Chicago Ave., Oak Park. $12, $10 (ages 11-18 and 65 and older), $5 (ages 4-10) Children younger than 8 must be accompanied by an adult.
Saturday, Aug. 30
Last chance to check out the gussied-up waddlers This is the final day of the Great Goose Waddle exhibit, a show of decorated geese figurines that’s a fundraiser for the artisans co-op at the Oak Park Women’s Exchange. 839 S. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park. Click here.
8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 31
The coffee’s free all day at the Buzz Café as shopowners Laura and Andrew Maychruk celebrate their 10th anniversary as neighborhood baristas in Oak Park’s Arts District. 905 S. Lombard. 524-2899, www.thebuzzcafe.com
11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 31
Live jazz with brunch The weekly champagne brunch at Hemmingway’s Bistro comes with jazz. 211 N. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park. 524-0806, www.hemmingwaysbistro.com
2:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 31
Nature walk as critters dine Learn about a turkey vulture, hawk, coyote and fox as they are being fed their dinner. Free. Trailside Museum of Natural History, 738 Thatcher, River Forest. 366-6530.