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5 Chicagoland Arts Events for the Final Days of Summer

Arts Events for September

School may be back in session, the sunset's may be coming noticeably earlier, and the most precocious of the trees may be changing to autumn colors, but the calendar still says there's summer days left to enjoy – until September 21st, to be exact! So, if you're not yet ready to bid farewell to the sunshine and adventures, you're in luck, here's a selection of five arts-inspired Chicagoland field trips that promise to infuse your days with culture and natural beauty. From immersing yourself in the vibrant landscapes of Van Gogh and his contemporaries at the Art Institute of Chicago to strolling through the lush gardens at Cantigny or Chicago Botanic Garden, or catching the final outdoor concerts of the season, these excursions will ensure your summer concludes on a high note. So, don't pack away the SPF and sunglasses just yet; let's make these last three weeks of summer count!

1. Local Libraries and Museum Pass

Our first stop is to our local library. Many libraries offer an in-house gallery as well as a space for live performances. At out local library, the Geneva Public Library, for example, they currently at hosting "The Big Picture of US". This exhibition features works by Claudia Canon and Katherine Kratzer and is presented in partnership with the Geneva Foundation for the Arts. The exhibition reflects on the relationship between human beings and the nature world. "The Big Picture of US" is on display until the end of September. Visit your local library's website for events and performances in your hometown. While checking out your library, be sure to ask a librarian if you library participates in programs that offer free or low-cost admission to local museums, gardens, and more! Visit for Geneva's museum pass programs.

2. Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago is Chicagoland's #1 museum, and its marvelous collection speaks for itself. In September, there are two magnificent special exhibitions on display, "Van Gogh and the Avant-Garde: The Modern Landscape," which closes Sept. 4 and "Remedios Varo: Science Fictions," which runs until Nov. 27.

"Van Gogh and the Avant-Garde: The Modern Landscape" is a captivating exhibition that transports viewers through bold brushstrokes and vivid palettes from the provincial world of 19th century Europe into the modern, mechanized world of coal, gas, and manufacturing of the 20th century. On display are Van Gogh's own works as well as those of his contemporaries including Georges Seurat, Paul Signac, Emile Bernard, and Charles Angrand; all of works creates in a span of just eight shorts years, 1882 and 1890. The exhibitions ends this Labor Day weekend.

If you can't make it this weekend, don't worry another magical special exhibition "Remedios Varo: Science Fictions" is on display until Nov. 27. Remedios Varo was a Spanish-born surrealist who combined scientific concepts, metaphysics, and tarot, with literature, storytelling, and musical elements to create mystical paintings that take the viewer on a voyage into dreamland.

Visit for the latest exhibitions and more.

3. Garden Strolls

  1. Hank checking out the gardens at Cantigny on a Paws in the Park Monday

  2. Chicago Botanic Garden, Sunset

  3. Chicago Botanic Garden, Music on the Esplanade

  4. Chicago Botanic Garden, The Carillon from across the Gardens

  5. Chicago Botanic Garden, Lookin up at The Carillon

The sun may be setter. earlier but the evenings are still warm enough to take a friend or yourself on a Creativity Date and stroll and take in the sounds of nature while enjoying the color, textures, and scents of still blooming flowers. A local west suburban garden worth visiting is Cantigny in Wheaton, IL, which features an events calendar including outdoor concerts, history hikes, as well sa arts and music classes for kids and parents. You can even stroll the gardens with your Best Furry Friend like Hank on Paws in the Park Mondays, which are currently held on non-holiday Mondays. The always breath-taking Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, IL has a few last concerts of the season this week. The gardens even have a carillon, a tower featuring large bells that are played using a keyboard. Visit and for more information.

4. Millenium Park Concerts

If you haven't made it out to a concert at Millennium Park this summer, don't worry, you may still have the chance! The summer concert series is ended, but there are still few final concerts this week and next as well as Chicago Jazz Fest Labor Day Weekend!

The Millennium Park calendar can be found online at

5. Neighborhood Music and Arts Festivals

Our 2022 Perennial Music and Arts Geneva Beautification Garden near The Little Traveler

While summertime festival season may be drawing to a close. There are still opportunities for outdoor arts and music events across Chicagoland this September. Out here in Fox Valley, we have St. Charles' Jazz Weekend, which runs for more than just the weekend, Sept. 7 to 10 as well as Geneva's Festival of the Vine Sept. 8 to 10. Visit and respectively for more information. In the city, there is West Town's Art Walk on Sept. 29 & 30 which the arts, including music and the culinary arts. Some of the exhibitions are going on now including "Mirror, Mirror," at The Martin, Visit for more.


Janae J. Almen is a professional music instructor, composer, sound artist, and writer. She has a BA in Music/Education from Judson University and a MM in Computer Music/Composition from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. She is passionate about tea and creating our own daily rituals. Visit and



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